A Cynopsis Message From CROWN MEDIA FAMILY NETWORKS
|Wednesday August 5, 2020|
CBS All Access: Star Trek: Lower Decks
HGTV: Christina on the Coast at 9p
Sundance Now: Upright
IN THE NEWS
Discovery Inc. will share details on a new direct-to-consumer offering in the very near future, said CEO David Zaslav during the company’s earnings call. Describing the product as “a new SUV,” Zaslav said, “We’ve got a lane. It’s almost like that lane is ours.” Noting that TLC hit all-time ratings highs last quarter, Zaslav said what separates Discovery brands are genres that are “relevant and durable,” and short production schedules that enable speedy content development.
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is reserving $220 million in TV ads and $60 million in digital ads through the fall, the Democratic candidate’s campaign announced Wednesday. “We know that in a pandemic, we are in unprecedented times,” said Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon. “We’ve seen chaos in recent primary elections, and we know that our responsibility is to make sure that we give voters everything they need to be able to vote, vote early and vote safely. We believe that our advertising strategy is going to do just that and serve as a way to break through from a lot of the misinformation out there.” President Trump’s campaign has reserved $147 million in ads, according to the Associated Press.
Mark X. Lima has joined CBS News as West Coast Bureau Chief, where he will oversee the organization’s newsgathering in the western region for all broadcasts and platforms. Lima most recently served as the VP of News for Univision/Fusion.
ICM Partners signed a deal with the WGA that lets the agency return to representing guild members. A sticking point between the WGA and the “Big 4” agencies has been the practice of packaging deals. “We are looking forward to getting back to work for our writer clients,” said ICM Partners Co-President Kevin Crotty. “The pandemic has caused tremendous hardship and every facet of our industry is greatly challenged because of it. It was time to bridge this gap.” The WGA reached an agreement last month with UTA that included an anti-packaging provision.
Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder) and Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) were named Best Actress and Best Actor for the African American Film Critics Association’s second annual AAFCA TV awards. Insecure landed Best Series honors, and The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel was Best TV Movie. An invitation-only virtual ceremony will take place Saturday, August 22.
Mermaid drama Sirens was canceled after three seasons on Freeform. While the show had dropped over 25% among A18-49 and 13% in viewers during its third go-round, it was still Freeform’s highest-rated original series.
NBCUniversal and producer A. Smith & Co. have severed all ties with last year’s American Ninja Warrior winner, Drew Drechsel, after he was arrested for enticement of a minor to travel for illicit sexual conduct, among other crimes. “We are shocked and disturbed to learn about the charges alleged against Drew Drechsel,” said the companies. “American Ninja Warrior is a family show that has inspired countless people, and we will not let the actions of one contestant tarnish the hard work and amazing stories of so many.”
Jeep’s getting Alone time with History. The network, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Publicis Collective have partnered to create custom vignettes to air in around this season of survival series Alone. The spots feature former Alone contestant Britt Ahart in off-roading expeditions with the Jeep Gladiator and Wrangler. “These spots illustrate the perfect pairing of two outdoor warriors, Britt Ahart and Jeep, exploring the terrain they’ve both mastered,” said David DeSocio, EVP, Ad Sales Partnerships.
BY THE NUMBERS
Discovery Inc.’s US networks had adjusted operating income of $1.052 billion, down 6% from a year ago, with domestic advertising revenue down 14%, due to COVID-19. On the bright side, the nets gained share in primetime. US distribution revenues increased 7%. “We generated significant free cash flows in Q2, demonstrating the durability of our business, especially against the backdrop of a historic disruption to the global advertising market due to the impacts of the pandemic,” said David Zaslav.
Sinclair Broadcast Group reported 2Q20 revenues jumped 66% percent to $1.3 billion, compared with $771 million the second quarter of 2019. The gains were driven mostly by Sinclair’s $10.6 billion acquisition of 21 regional sports networks and Fox College Sports. Analysts expected revenue of $1.4 billion. “Our second quarter results were much as expected as a result of COVID-19. The pandemic dampened advertising spending and resulted in the continued postponement of major sports league games,” said CEO/President Chris Ripley. “Advertising trends, however, did improve throughout the quarter, with the decline in June’s advertising revenue versus the prior year period being roughly half the decline experienced in April. July trends showed further improvement throughout the month.”
Nextstar Media Group reported 2Q20 net revenue of $914.6 million, up 40.9% from the same quarter last year. Core ad revenue was up 11.4%, to $298.2 million. “The 40.9% rise in second quarter net revenue reflects growth in total television advertising revenue as we drove year-over-year increases in same station new-to-television business and strong shares of political spending in our markets, as well as a 71% increase in distribution fee revenues,” said Perry Sook, Chairman, President and CEO. “In addition, despite the economic pressures related to the pandemic, Nexstar’s proven operating and expense management disciplines resulted in a 38.7% increase in net income and record second quarter broadcast cash flow, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow with these metrics growing 27.8%, 48.6% and 127.3%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis.”
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|PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Oh joy! Doubling down on adult-focused animation, Comedy Central gave the green light to a reimagined Ren & Stimpy Show. “We are excited to reinvent this iconic franchise with a new creative team and our partners at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio,” said Chris McCarthy, President of ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group. “Ren & Stimpy joins our rapidly expanding roster of adult animation including South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head and Clone High as we continue to reimagine our treasure chest of beloved IP for new generations.” Nickelodeon launched the original Ren & Stimpy in 1991.
WarnerMedia ordered a reboot of British game show The Cube, hosted by NBA champion Dwayne Wade. Contestants attempt seemingly simple physical tasks within the confines of a glass box. “As a former athlete, I enjoy competition and I appreciate the skill set needed to compete in high-tension and fast-paced environments,” said Wade, who will executive produces as well as host. “I’m looking forward to teaming up with contestants to embark on a quest that is both physical and mental, as well as adding my own flavor to the show that will make this a fun family viewing event.” The ten-part, 60-minute series is slated to premiere next year.
In addition to resuming production on season nine of truTV’s Impractical Jokers, WarnerMedia ordered a third season of TBS comedy game show The Misery Index, and 10 additional episodes of truTV’s Impractical Jokers: Dinner Party. Impractical Jokers: The Movie will stream on HBO Max on September 1. “The Impractical Jokers franchise continues to deliver each and every time,” said Brett Weitz, General Manager of TNT, TBS and truTV. “The plan is continue to grow their business from an incredibly solid foundation and deliver to a passionate fanbase that’s second to none.”
Tacoma FD was picked up for a third season on truTV. Season two ranked among ad-supported cable’s top five comedy series; to date the show has reached 11 million viewers..
HBO Documentary Films and producers Mark and Jay Duplass (Room 104) are currently in production on docu-series The Lady and the Dale, exploring a 1970s auto scam centered around a mysterious entrepreneur. Also in production is two-part Seen & Heard, looking at the history of Black television, produced by documentarian Phil Bertelsen (Who Killed Malcolm X?) and executive produced by Issa Rae (Insecure) and Montrel Rae of Issa Rae Productions.
Apple gave a straight-to-series order for a Team Downey drama based on a true story about a Canadian detective who takes on a decades-old cold case. Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey and Amanda Burrell will executive produce for Team Downey, and Adam Perlman will serve as writer and executive producer.
Thomas Jane (The Expanse) will star in and EP crime drama Troppo, based on bestseller Crimson Lake. Yolanda Ramke (Cargo) will write the series adaptation, following an ex-cop who escapes to the tropics of Australia, from Renegade Entertainment, AGC Television, Essential Media and Beyond Production.
Regina Hall (Black Monday) has joined the cast of Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers, based on the book by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty. Hall joins Melissa McCarthy and Nicole Kidman.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
The doctors are (virtually) in at TLC. Dr. Pimple Popper: Before the Pop premieres Thursday, September 3 at 10p, with Dr. Sandra Lee taking virtual appointments with patients who can’t visit the office. My Feet Are Killing Me: First Steps debuts Thursday, September 10 at 10:30p, as podiatrist patients undergo virtual consultations.
Rachael Ray returns to Food Network with at-home episodes of 30 Minute Meals, starting this fall. Ray will offer step-by-step cooking instructions from her home in upstate New York.
Another cooking show, Selena + Chef, makes its debut on HBO Max on Thursday, August 13. The series stars actress/singer Selena Gomez as she makes meals while sheltering at home.
Ridley Scott sci-fi series Raised By Wolves debuts Thursday, September 3 on HBO Max. The 10-parter follows two androids who raise humans on a mysterious planet.
Season two of CBS summer series Love Island, delayed because of the health crisis, will launch Monday, August 24 with a two-hour premiere, then air nightly at 9p with two-hour episodes on Saturdays. Instead of the season’s planned location, Fiji, contestants on the dating show will look for love sequestered in Las Vegas.
Disney Junior renewed T.O.T.S. for season three. The sophomore run of the animated series premieres Friday, August 7 at 9a.
Fourteen-part documentary Women Make Film will have its US premiere on TCM on Tuesday, September 1 at 8p. The doc from Mark Cousins will be supplemented with over 100 titles from female filmmakers.
Philo hit 750,000 subscribers, up 300% in the past year. The $20/month non-sports streaming bundle recorded the biggest growth in the first half of 2020 among US MVPDs. “As the proliferation of streaming services and the battle for the share of consumer dollars gets tougher, we have always believed that there is a strong demand for live television from beloved brands at an affordable price,” said the company.
Among the big players, Amazon Prime Video reported the highest growth in new subscriptions in second quarter 2020, according to Kantar’s latest Entertainment on Demand reports. Prime Video subs accounted for 23% of SVOD subscriptions, up from 14% last quarter. HBO Max snatched one in ten new SVOD subscriptions, with 33% of respondents saying content was a motivating factor for signing up; The Sopranos, Westworld and Game of Thrones were HBO Max’s most-cited titles. “HBO can be pleased with progress to date in terms of new subscriber numbers, and importantly at the end of Q220, just 18% were on free trials,” said Kantar SVP Dominic Sunnebo. “The key challenge for HBO Max will be enduring longevity of subscribers – there are already some signs that attitudinally, HBO Max subscribers do not view it as a long-term commitment, in the same way they do Netflix. Driving engagement with newer HBO content, alongside headliners like Sopranos and Game of Thrones will be important.”
All eight Harry Potter films will be available to stream on Peacock over the next six months, starting later this year and into 2021. “The Harry Potter franchise is beloved by people of all ages and represents the caliber of quality entertainment customers can expect to find on Peacock,” said Frances Manfredi, President, Content Acquisition and Strategy, Peacock. The Potter collection had a run on HBO Max when that streamer launched in May.
Sony Pictures Television has launched two Spanish-language AVOD channels, targeting the US Hispanic audience and available via VIZIO SmartCast. Sony Canal Competencias features reality competitions and game shows, and Sony Canal Comedias will air comedies and dramady remakes from Latin America. “The addition of Sony’s Competencias and Comedias channels to the VIZIO SmartCast line-up is an important move for us as we look to expand the entertainment options for our Spanish-speaking audience,” said Katherine Pond, VP of Business Development for VIZIO.
Starting in November, HBO will air a weekly anthology of crime-focused documentary films. Among the offerings: Crazy, Not Insane, profiling controversial forensics psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis; Baby God, examining the dark legacy of a Las Vegas fertility specialist; and The Mystery of DB Cooper, following the unsolved case of the man who hijacked a plane almost fifty years ago with $200,000.
Also on HBO: Paul Rudnick comedy Coastal Elites premieres Saturday, September 12 at 8p. Originally conceived for the Public Theater in New York, the satire jumped to the screen due to the pandemic. Bette Midler, Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Sarah Paulson (American Crime Story) and Issa Rae star in the special, exploring a world of deeply divided politics and the pursuit of human connection.
Partners diving into Discovery’s Shark Week include monthly dog box Pooch Perks; Southwest Airlines; salon brand Great Clips; Oceana; Ubisoft; Epic Games; Georgetown Cupcake (which has created a “Shark Week Dozen”); MLBN; and the Georgia Aquarium. The shark stunt launches Sunday, August 9 at 8p.
UK’s Sky History will mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with special programming including three hours of back-to-back documentaries examining the aerial conflict between the Royal Air Force and its allies and the German Luftwaffe. Content kicks off at 9p on Monday, September 14.
Boat Rocker Studio inked a raft of TV sales for new preschool series, Love Monster, including national public service broadcasters ABC Australia, CBC Gem Canada, RTE Ireland, YLE Finland and TVNZ New Zealand; MBC in the Middle East; Iberian kids’ subscription channel Canal Panda for Spain; and Viu TV in Hong Kong. The international rollout started with ABC Australia in June.
One Animation is releasing its fourth seasonal Oddbods special, a pirate-themed adventure for Halloween titled Oddbeard’s Curse. The special will debut on YouTube Kids this October and has also sold to linear broadcasters TV3 Spain and Mediacorp Singapore.
DCD Rights confirmed second seasons of two factual series, Disasters Engineered and Secret Nazi Bases. Disasters Engineered has been acquired by BBC Brit Poland, Phoenix Satellite TV – China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines & Singapore, Prima Group – Czech Republic and Da Vinci Channel Learning – Poland, Russia, CIS, Africa & South Africa. Secret Nazi Bases has been acquired by A+E Networks for CEE and Scandinavia; Discovery – Spain, Andorra & Benelux and Planete for French Speaking Europe & Africa.
South African production company The TVSMITHS has picked up three Armoza Formats shows for local adaptation: dating format Queens of Love, studio-based challenge show Double or Nothing and dating show Guys in Disguise.
Fred Media announced that new medical docu-seres Emergency has been acquired by TV4 Sweden, Mediaworks’ Three in New Zealand, RTL Netherlands, and RTB in Brunei, with more deals pending in Europe and North America.
Woodcut Media has been commissioned by Sky Crime to produce a second season of the true crime docu-series How I Caught the Killer, which has been presold to True Crime Network and A+E Networks Italy for Crime + Investigation.
An immersive talent development and co-production fund for UK and Canadian artists, filmmakers and creators is set to launch in November 2020. The UK-Canada Immersive Exchange is open for applications until September 17, and is aimed at establishing international collaborations to pioneer new forms of immersive storytelling.
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Hallmark Channel’s annual “Summer Nights” programming event launched on Saturday with original movie premiere, Romance in the Air, which averaged a 2.2 HH rating, 2.0 million total viewers, and 245,000 W25-54, propelling Hallmark Channel to be the highest-rated and most-watched entertainment cable network during weekend total day among HHs and W18+ and the highest-rated and second-most watched during weekly total day among HHs, W18+, and total viewers.
BET docuseries No Limit Chronicles delivered 1.3 million total viewers during its premiere (simulcast across BET and BET Her), and was the #1 TV program for the night for African Americans P18-49, P25-54 and P18-34. The first two parts of the series logged double-digits-L+3 ratings lift versus their Live+SDnumbers, +26% (Part One #101), and +22% (Part Two #102).
TV Time’s Binge Report for the Week of July 27
Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, August 4
ViacomCBS Networks International announced the appointment of Kathryn Richardson as VP, Business and Legal Affairs. Richardson joins ViacomCBS from the BBC, where she has been Director of Commercial Rights and Business Affairs for Legal, Talent, Digital and Operations.
Nick Khan has been named President & Chief Revenue Officer of WWE. Khan was formerly Co-Head of Television at CAA.
Exile Content Studios has tapped Arturo Sampson Alazraki to serve as Head of Production. Previously, Sampson worked at production companies including Gloria, where he became a partner in 2014.
|This Day in History
1911: Lucille Ball was born.
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Today’s Trivia Question
|THURSDAY AUGUST 6
ABC: Holey Moley, Don’t, To Tell the Truth
CBS: Young Sheldon, The Unicorn, Mom, Mom, Bull
CW: Killer Camp, Penn & Teller Fool Us
FOX: MLB Baseball
NBC: Ellen’s Game of Games, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: SVU
PBS: This Old House, Ask This Old House, The War
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Cennet, Enemigo Intimo
Univision: La Rosa de Guadelupe, Medicos, Linea de Vida, Como tu no Hay
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