Wednesday August 11, 2021
ABC: Superstar at 10p
CNBC: Money Court at 10p
Discovery: Josh Gates Tonight at 9p
Disney+: What If…?, Disney Presents Goofy in How to at Stay Home
MTV: The Challenge at 8p, MTV Cribs at 9:30p
Netflix: Bake Squad
IN THE NEWS
Dominion Voting Systems filed defamation lawsuits against Newsmax and One America News Network for spreading election fraud conspiracy theories that involved rigged voting machines. “The defendants in today’s filings recklessly disregarded the truth when they spread lies in November and continue to do so today,” said Dominion CEO John Poulos. “The defendants named show no remorse, nor any sign they intend to stop spreading disinformation. This barrage of lies by the Defendants and others have caused — and continue to cause — severe damage to our company, customers, and employees.” In March, Dominion sued Fox News for $1.6 billion on similar grounds, which FNC is seeking to have dismissed.
Responding to the Dominion filing, Newsmax said in its coverage of the 2020 Presidential elections, “Newsmax simply reported on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress,” and called the lawsuit “a clear attempt to squelch such reporting and undermine a free press.”
While the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics delivered the smallest audience since 1988, with an average 15.5 million viewers for primetime broadcasts, they were still profitable, reported NBCUniversal. Ad sales topped $1.2 billion, and the Games logged 5.5 billion minutes across digital and social platforms. “Despite being thrown a series of curveballs over the last 18 months, the power of the Olympics delivered to audiences across the various platforms of NBCU has proven itself unequaled,” said Pete Bevacqua, Chairman of NBC Sports. “The pandemic fundamentally altered virtually every aspect of these Games, but our team pivoted, and reimagined, in the midst of showcasing history-making performances across 41 sports.”
Former MSNBC anchor Kasie Hunt will host a daily show on CNN+, the streamer slated to launch in 1Q22. Hunt’s beat also includes covering breaking and national news for CNN, a job she starts September 7.
PBS shared major new DEI initiatives during the TCA Summer Press Tour. PBS will require producers to provide their own DEI plan at the proposal stage and for all new agreements, series renewals and direct to PBS programs. PBS Digital Studios announced today that PBS TERRA, its science-themed hub on YouTube, will launch a new slate of STEM content with support from the US National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program. The $2.5 million grant will support a PBS initiative to create STEM-related, short-form videos and conduct follow-up research to better understand how and why these videos attract underrepresented groups.
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|PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
HBO has renewed “100 Foot Wave” for a second season. The docuseries will continue to follow surfers profiled in the six-episode first season as they search for the biggest wave in the world. The final two episodes of season one debut August 15 and 22.
Also coming back for a second round is HBO’s “The White Lotus. The social satire will move from Hawaii and follow a different group of vacationers
Docu-series “High on the Hog”: How African American Cuisine Transformed America” was renewed for season two on Netflix. The streamer is also welcoming back animated series “Kid Cosmic” for seasons two and three.
Entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis (“The Profit”) and producer Nancy Glass and her Glass Entertainment Group have partnered in the acquisition of “Let’s Make A Deal.” The pair have retained the IP and all assets from Hatos-Hall Productions and brought in Sharon Hall as a consultant. The purchase includes the rights to other game formats that will be rebooted and relaunched.
“‘Let’s Make a Deal’ is so much more than a game show….I love that it gives people the opportunity to be creative, think strategically, and make deals to win some really great prizes,” said Lemonis, who has also partnered with Glass for podcast “One Hundred Percent with Marcus Lemonis” and new format “The Renovator” for HGTV. “I’m also very excited to be working alongside two powerful and successful women in entertainment. How could this not be a great deal for me.”
Lifetime ordered a remake of 1997 hazing film “Dying to Belong,” starring Shannen Doherty (“Beverly Hills, 90210”), Favour Onwuka (“Supergirl”) and Jenika Rose (“iZombie”). As part of Lifetime’s commitment to hiring women in key production roles, Pink Buffalo Films is producing with Wishing Floor Films with Danielle von Zerneck (“The Christmas Set Up”), daughter of Frank von Zerneck, a producer on the original film, executive producing.
“The Great American Recipe,” a cooking competition that celebrates the multiculturalism that makes American food unique, is headed to PBS in summer 2022. The eight-part series will give home cooks from different regions of the country the opportunity to showcase their signature dishes.
A new animated series from Fred Rogers Productions, “Alma’s Way,” will premiere Monday, October on PBS Kids. The series is created by Sonia Manzano, who as Maria on “Sesame Street” broke ground as one of the first Latino characters on national TV.
Casting notes: Judith Light (“Transparent”) will join Courteney Cox, Greg Kinnear and Mira Sorvino in Starz horror comedy “Shining Vale,” from Jeff Astroff (“Trial & Error”) and Sharon Horgan (“Divorce”)…Daniel Sunjata (“Power Book II: Ghost”) landed a lead role opposite Michelle Monaghan and Matt Bomer in Netflix limited series “Echoes.”
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
TV One’s “Uncensored” is back for a new season Sunday, August 29 at 10p. This go-round, the docu-series explores the private lives of producer Swizz Beatz, actress-singer Loretta Devine, standup comedian-actor Tommy Davidson, vocalist BeBe Winans, comedian-actress Kym Whitley and more.
Season eight of PBS’ “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” makes its debut in January 2022. Among the guests will be Amy Carlson (“Blue Bloods”), Terry Crews (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Tony Danza, Kathryn Hahn (“Wandavision”), Rebecca Hall (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), Nathan Lane, John Leguizamo, Lee Daniels (“Empire”), restaurateur David Chang; and activists Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Anita Hill, among others.
Nat Geo’s “Life Below Zero” is back Monday, September 6 at 8p, followed by a new season of “Life Below Zero: Next Generation.”
“Fena: Pirate Princess” heads ashore Saturday, August 14. The original series premieres on Adult Swim and Crunchyroll Saturday, August 14.
Showtime’s “Gossip,” delving into the world of tabloid reporting, launches Sunday, August 22 at 8p. The docu-series is directed by Jenny Carchman (“The Fourth Estate”).
Hallmark’s Fall Harvest event kicks off with “Roadhouse Romance” on Saturday, September 11 at 9p, followed by weekly premieres of new romances through Saturday, October 16. Hallmark’s Movies & Mysteries launches new originals starting Sunday, September 12 at 9p with “Redemption in Cherry Springs.”
Google is taking action to protect young users. Ad targeting based on the age, gender or interests of people under 18 will be blocked, and Google is turning off its data-tracking “location history” option for users under the age of 18 and adding filters promoting safe searching for all minors. YouTube plans to change the default upload setting to private for 13-to-17-year-olds, making videos viewable only by the user and people they authorize.
Integral Ad Science has acquired Publica, the CTV advertising platform, in a cash and stock transaction valued at $220 million. “CTV viewership and programmatic advertising have skyrocketed, and by acquiring Publica we’re accelerating our growth to offer publishers the tools to capitalize on this opportunity,” said Lisa Utzschneider, CEO, IAS. “Advanced data and technology will fuel the future of addressable CTV advertising.”
NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises has created a new Hispanic Streaming business division exclusively dedicated to charging the growth of Latinos on Peacock and across Telemundo and NBCUniversal streaming platforms. The content slate will include 50+ projects at launch. Romina Rosado has been named EVP and General Manager, Hispanic Streaming, to lead the new division. “Today, 1 in 4 Americans under the age of 35 is Hispanic, and they are voracious content consumers across languages and across platforms,” said Rosado. “NBCUniversal, powered by Telemundo, is the only media company that can connect at scale on every screen with these 200%ers – Latinos who are 100% Latino and 100% American.” Most recently, Rosado was EVP, Entertainment & Content Strategy for NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises
Sinking Ship Entertainment has struck streaming deals making preschool series “Chirp” and factual series “My Home, My Life” and “Giver” available through the Kids & Family experience on The Roku Channel in the US and UK, and “Chirp” on Oznoz in the US.
XUMO has expanded its line-up of programs featured on the Free Kids TV channel. The launch coincides with XUMO’s Kids Week, a week-long curation of XUMO shows running through August 16. The Free Kids channel provides a rotation of over 65 kid-focused series.
FilmRise has acquired the digital distribution rights to over 300 titles from the Maverick Entertainment library. The deal gives the FilmRise Streaming Network AVOD, including FAST rights, in both the US and Canada.
A modern omnichannel marketing strategy can set up touch points across TV, radio, web, and out of home, but must start and end with the phone, says Dan Greenberg, Co-Founder and President of Sharethrough. You’ll find Greenberg’s take on who the winners of TV’s next chapter will be, in Cynsiders.
Game & Fish Magazine has teamed with Outdoor Sportsman Group’s multi-platform media outlets to present Gear Up & Hunt sweepstakes throughout August. Content including gear reviews, tips and season prep are available, as well as the sweepstakes.
Electric Entertainment has acquired four specials from standup comedy destination, The Laugh Factory. Episodes included in the deal are “The Factory Specials: Jackie Fabulous,” “The Factory Specials: Johnny Sanchez,” “The Factory Specials: Ron Pearson” and “The Factory Specials: Brett Riley.”
Music video network Vevo has launched its first ad-supported linear TV channel in Australia, Vevo Pop, through a partnership with Samsung TV Plus. “This is an exciting launch for Vevo, as we continue to grow and diversify our CTV network in Australia, going beyond a purely on-demand app offering,” said Steve Sos, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Vevo.
Mastiff Sweden, a Banijay company, will produce a local version of “All Against 1” for SVT, under the title “1 mot Sverige.” All Against 1 pits a contestant against the nation, with viewers sly trying to predict the outcome of outlandish experiments via a fully integrated app, created and managed by Banijay Nordic Mobile.
|CYNOPSIS RESOURCE CENTER
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With the Tokyo Olympics in full swing, in anticipation of lower numbers many shows were re-titled as specials, so their week’s ratings would not be included in their full season averages. The re-named “Jeopardy-Olym” (4.4 Live+SD day national Nielsen rating, down 6% from the week before) featured the guest-host LeVar Burton, and earned the week’s second biggest rating of any syndicated program.
Broadcast Nielsen Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of July 26 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Basic Cable P2+ Rankings for the week of July 26
Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, August 2
Fonda Anita has been named EVP of Production at dick clark productions. Anita most recently served as VP of Production for Tentpoles, Events, Music & Specials for ViacomCBS.
Jason DeMarco has taken on a newly expanded role, joining Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios as SVP, Anime and Action Series/Longform. DeMarco will also continue his role at Adult Swim as SVP, Head of Anime and Action Series.
Cecilia Loving will join PBS as SVP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Loving comes to PBS from the New York City Fire Department, where she served as Deputy Commissioner, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
Kerry Kennedy has been promoted to EVP, Business Affairs, ABC Entertainment and Walt Disney Television Unscripted. Kennedy was previously SVP and Head of Business Affairs for the network as well as its cable operations.
Actor Alex Cord died August 9. He was 88. Among numerous television roles, Cord played Archangel on “Airwolf.”
|This Day in History
1866 – The world’s first roller rink opened, in Newport, RI.
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Today’s Trivia Question
|WEDNESDAY AUGUST 11
ABC: Press Your Luck, The $100,000 Pyramid, Superstar [p]
CBS: Big Brother, Love Island, S.W.A.T.
CW: Riverdale, Into the Dark
FOX: MasterChef, HouseBroken, Duncanville
NBC: America’s Got Talent, Family Game Fight!, Chicago P.D.
PBS: Nature, NOVA, Secrets of the Dead
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Hercal: Amor e Venganza, Café con Aroma de Mujer
Univision: Disenando Tu Amor, Si Nos Dejan, La Hija Del Embajador
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