|A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM KATZ DIGITAL VIDEO
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Thursday November 4, 2021
Apple TV+: Dr. Brain
HBO Max: Head of the Class, Frayed, gen:LOCK
ID: Love, Honor, Betray at 10p
Netflix: Catching Killers
Peacock: Siwas Dance Pop Revolution
IN THE NEWS
Discovery Inc. has hired Kevin Mayer, who helped launch Disney+, as a consultant to help steer its streaming strategy in the lead-up to the company’s merger with WarnerMedia. Mayer had a brief run as CEO of TikTok and COO of ByteDance before joining sports streaming service DAZN as Chairman. Mayer is also Co-CEO and Chairman of the Board of Forest Road Acquisition Corp – which means his new job will be part-time.
Starz renewed wrestling drama “Heels” for a second season, and elevated Trey Tucker and Robby Ramos from recurring to series regulars. “It’s clear from the critical and fan acclaim that the stories and characters from the Duffy Wrestling League have made a connection with audiences bringing a community that is not often found to premium TV,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, President and CEO of Starz.
Voting machine company Smartmatic, which filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell in February over a “disinformation campaign,” has now filed defamation suits against Newsmax and One America News Network. Smartmatic alleges the news nets spread false information about the company following the 2020 election in an effort to increase viewership and revenue. “Newsmax reported accurately on allegations made by well-known public figures, including the President, his advisors and members of Congress, as well as reporting on Smartmatic’s claims in its defense,” responded a Newsmax spokesperson. “Smartmatic’s action against Newsmax today is a clear attempt to squelch the rights of a free press.”
In more lawsuit news, a federal judge has ruled that a football fan can proceed with his case against the NFL over streaming issues during Super Bowl LIV. Sietel Singh Gill contends technical problems breached the terms of the league’s Game Pass Service. NFL tried calling foul, but the case will move forward.
News content is uniquely valued and ads benefit from the positive halo, found a new study from MAGNA Media Trials. Ads in news felt +8% more relevant, +6% more valuable, and +4% more trustworthy, compared to non-news content. Other findings include:
Season three will be the last for Amazon’s “Hanna,” focused on a teenage assassin. The third run launches Wednesday, November 24.
Show us your BEST… programming, marketing campaigns, social good campaigns, social justice and diversity & inclusion initiatives, tech innovations and more. See the full list of categories for the Best of the Best Awards and submit your entries by tomorrow November 5th. Then we’ll hope to see you and celebrate together in February in NYC!
Fox News Channel has named Benjamin Hall as State Department correspondent, and Rich Edson has been elevated to senior national correspondent. Alex Hogan, who joined FNC last year, has been named London correspondent.
|PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Drew and Jonathan Scott are flipping for HGTV again. The network ordered a sixth season of renovation competition “Brother vs. Brother,” slated to premiere in summer.
TBS has greenlit “Kill the Orange-Faced Bear” to series. The 10-episode comedy centers on a man’s (Damon Wayans Jr.) revenge journey after a bear eats his girlfriend. The series is written, created and executive produced by Romanski (“Blue Mountain State”). Trevor Engelson and Steven Fisher of Underground (“Snowfall”), Alex Karpovsky, Jake Szymanski, and Damon Wayans Jr. also serve as executive producers. TBS also picked up “Miracle Workers” for season four.
TruTV’s “Tacoma FD” has been renewed for a fourth season. Currently in season three, “Tacoma FD” has become one of the most DVR’d cable comedies in 2021.
Entrepreneur and TV host Marcus Lemonis (“The Profit”) and Nancy Glass, CEO of Glass Entertainment Group, have formed Marcus / Glass Productions. The production entity was created to manage their recently acquired Hatos-Hall Productions game show catalog that includes formats “Let’s Make a Deal” and “Split Second.”
Anthony Hemingway (“American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson”) has been enlisted to direct a present-day reimagining of the “The Preacher’s Wife,” for Bassett Vance Production. Courtney B. Vance, who appeared in the 1996 film, will also appear in the new version. The project will be produced by Anthony Hemingway, along with Whitney Davis and Kyndra “Binkie” Reevey as executive producers for AHP. Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett will also serve as producers, along with Johnson-Cochran and Ramirez as executive producers for Bassett Vance Productions.
Multicultural children’s entertainment company bulbKIDZ (“Gopher It!”) has partnered with Lion Forge Animation Studio (“Hair Love”) to co-develop and produce the original animated comedy “Alien Baby Sitters.” The co-venture is planned for Spring 2023.
Casting notes: Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”) has joined the cast of ITV/Masterpiece drama “Tom Jones,” based on the 1749 book….Sofia Vergara will play drug lord Griselda Blanco in Netflix limited series “Griselda.” Vergara will also exec produce.
EVENT COUNTDOWN – This Tuesday morning, November 9th, we’ll be celebrating the Model D & It List Awards in person in NYC. Vaccine mandate and all CDC protocols in effect to gather safely in person. Hurry, get your tickets today!
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Season 15 of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” premieres Wednesday, December 1 at 10p with two episodes on FXX. With the new installments, the series will become the longest-running live action comedy ever, passing “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” (1952-66).
NBC is airing original episodes of its five comedies during the holiday season, ahead of their 2022 premieres. Sophomores “Young Rock,” “Kenan” and “Mr. Mayor” will return Wednesday, December 15 with holiday episodes, while new comedies “American Auto” and “Grand Crew” will each offer two episodes, on Monday, December 13 at 10p and Tuesday, December 14 at 8p, respectively.
Tamron Hall, host and EP of daytime talker “Tamron Hall,” is taking on a new project. Hall will host weekly true crime series “Someone They Knew…With Tamron Hall,” set to debut Sunday, January 9 at 9p on Court TV.
The past catches up with Joe Turner in season two of “Condor,” returning to Epix on Sunday, November 7 at 9p.
Docu-series “KLUTCH Academy” premieres Tuesday, November 23 at 11p on BET. The series follows six NBA hopefuls as they work on and off the court to achieve pro careers.
Carole Baskin shares her version of the “Tiger King” tale in “Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight,” a two-part docu-series that starts streaming Saturday, November 13 on discovery+.
TBS has set Thursday, January 20 for the season seven premiere of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” and Monday, January 24 for the season 17 premiere of “American Dad!”. Season three of “Snowpiercer” arrives on TBS sib TNT on Monday, January 24.
Five-part nature series “The Mating Game” launches Sunday, November 21 on discovery+. Sir David Attenborough narrates as the show explores the “intricate, often dramatic and sometimes comical” ways animals partner up.
Showtime will air the world streaming and television premiere of Oliver Stone’s documentary film “JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass,” starting Friday, November 12 on streaming and on demand. The film offers a fresh look at the material that has been declassified, re-examined and placed in the public records since Stone’s film “JFK” premiered 30 years ago.
ON THE MONEY
Discovery reported total 3Q21 revenues of $3.15 billion, up 23% compared to the prior year quarter. Net income was down 48% from 3Q20, to $156 million, due to expenses for its broadcast of the Summer Olympics and costs associated with its direct-to-consumer businesses. “We made great strides in the quarter operationally, financially and creatively,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO. “The team drove solid momentum in our direct-to-consumer business, which we grew to 20 million paid subscribers at quarter end on the strength of our global brands and fan-favorite content, including the Summer Olympic Games and Shark Week. Additionally, we delivered double-digit growth in both advertising and distribution revenues, as we doubled next generation revenues year over year. This strong performance once again drove very healthy cash flows during the quarter, further strengthening our balance sheet and financial profile.”
Total revenue for Sinclair Broadcast Group dipped 0.3% in 3Q21, to $1,535 million. Media revenues increased 0.5% to $1,526 million, while total advertising revenues of $446 million decreased 11%, due to the absence of political revenues. Third quarter core advertising revenues, which excludes political revenues, were $434 million, up 11%, due to a recovery from depressed levels in the same period a year ago caused by the pandemic. “As the economy emerges from the pandemic, our advertising recovery continues to be strong, with our core advertising, excluding auto, growing versus 2019 across both our broadcast and sports segments,” said President and CEO Chris Ripley. As for the company’s regional sports networks, during an earnings call Ripley told investors the company has direct-to-streaming rights to four MLB teams and is negotiating with additional teams, with plans to roll out a streaming service by Opening Day. “We do think we have critical mass in terms of rights to launch a product and that’s what we intend to do,” he said.
Roku saw an 82% jump in platform 3Q21 revenue, to $582.5 million. Average revenue per users grew 49%, hitting $40, while overall streaming hours rose 21% to 18 billion hours in the period. Revenue slipped 26%, versus pandemic-driven demand in 2020. The holidays could pose issues as well. “The challenges created by the global supply chain disruptions will likely continue into 2022,” said a letter to shareholders. “These headwinds may have a broad impact on the holiday season in terms of consumer confidence, product pricing and availability, and advertising spend levels.”
Fox Corp. beat analysts’ estimates, with a 17% rise in ad revenue and a 12% rise in sales to $3.05 billion. “We have made a strong start to the 2022 fiscal year with broad-based operating momentum led by the return of a full slate of live events at Fox Sports, ratings leadership at Fox News and exceptional progress at Tubi,” said CEO Lachlan Murdoch. “As audiences migrate to live news, sports and streaming, it underscores the strategy and priorities that have defined our short history at Fox.”
Integral Ad Science has been accredited by the Media Rating Council for impression and viewability measurement and reporting of display and video ads across Facebook and Instagram. “Accreditation of IAS as compliant with MRC’s Viewable Impression Standards for its integrated viewability measurement and reporting of display and video inventory on Facebook and Instagram is an important achievement that will help bring marketers the transparency they need to better evaluate ad spend on these critical platforms,” said George W. Ivie, Executive Director and CEO of the MRC.
People-based ad software company Viant Technology and convergent TV advertising platform Beachfront announced the integration of Beachfront’s linear and CTV inventory into Viant’s Adelphic advertising software. With the integration, Adelphic becomes the first demand-side platform to support Beachfront’s unique linear TV inventory, which is enabled for real-time bidding.
Grom Social Enterprises unveiled new features in the Grom Social media app that allow schools, teachers, classrooms, and students to connect in a safe forum overseen by educators. Classrooms can use the Grom Social media app as an educational tool designed to promote the benefits of kids being safe and responsible while on social media.
White-labeling – or using ready-made software products that can be rebranded, rather than creating them from scratch – is a cost-efficient tactic in ad tech. Tatyana Slyvkin, CEO of BidPulse, offers insights on white labeling’s potential growth, in Cynsiders.
Roku is cleaning up. The company said it will remove the porn site Pornhub and ban other porn operations from its platform starting in March 2022. Developers had been using non-certified channels, available to support testing, to deliver content that was not allowed by Roku; the company has new tools for testing and will remove non-certified channels.
Rakuten Viki, a streaming service for Asian content, and Well Go USA Entertainment have struck a deal to bring 10 Korean and Chinese films to the platform. “Propelled by a deep knowledge of and passion for Asian cinema, Viki has really become an emerging destination for Korean cinema in particular,” said Jason Pfardrescher, EVP Digital and Theatrical Distribution at Well Go USA.
Discovery U.S. Hispanic net Hogar de HGTV will join the DirecTV and DIRECTV Stream lineups in mid-November. Created in June 2020, Hogar de HGTV joins Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia on DirecTV’s MAS and DirecTV Stream’s En Español services.
“True Life Crime UK” will return for a second season, premiering on MTV’s international channels starting November 24. The series, an extension of MTV’s “True Life” franchise, first premiered in 2020 to audiences outside of the US.
Russian animated series “Leo & Tig,” created by Parovoz Studio and commissioned by Digital Television Russia Group, has launched its own YouTube channel, with episodes being released in Italian.
Animation studio The Nuttery Entertainment has signed an exclusive agreement with audiobook publisher Storytel for the animated and ancillary rights for the kids IP Håkan Bråkan.
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Hallmark Channel’s Friday, October 29 Countdown to Christmas movie, “Christmas in Harmony,” averaged 1.5 million viewers and 225,00 W25-54 in Live+SD ratings. Saturday’s “Coyote Creek Christmas drew 2.4 million total viewers and 292,000 W25-54, while Sunday’s “Christmas Sail” notched 2.1 million viewers and 257,00 in the demo. The movies boosted Hallmark Channel to the most-watched cable entertainment network each day among Households, W18+, W25-54 and total viewers.
Basic Cable Top 5 Nielsen Ratings for the week of October 25
Broadcast Nielsen Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of October 18 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, November 2
Havas Media Group has promoted Meghan Grant to President of Havas Media Group US and Chief Client Experience Officer for North America. Her appointment comes as part of the acceleration of the group’s overall growth strategy in North America.
Brooke Kahn has been elevated to SVP of Content Distribution, Partnerships and Programming at Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group. Kahn had been VP Digital Sales and Partnerships.
Visual effects studio DNEG has hired Josh Jaggars as Group President VFX and Stereo. Jaggars joins from Legendary Entertainment, where he served as Senior Vice President, Visual Effects and Stereo Production.
Michael Fletcher has joined environmental organization EarthX as Co-CEO. The former CEO of Ride TV will lead the growth and transformation of EarthxTV.
PR agency Smithhouse has appointed Steven Feldman as Vice President, and Danielle Matlin as Director. Feldman was previously Director, Communications at CBS Television, while Matlin oversaw efforts for TLC’s “90 Day Fiance” franchise.
As it moves forward with reforms, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has named speaker and entrepreneur Neil Phillips as its first Chief Diversity Officer. “The HFPA has welcomed me and given me the opportunity to work not only with them, but the broader Hollywood and media industries that have struggled to discuss these issues of race openly and candidly without fear,” said Phillips.
Adaora Udoji is joining PBS’ General Audience Programming team as Vice President of Programming & Operations. Most recently, Udoji led a corporate innovation and venture program team at RLab.
Pia Chaozon Barlow is being elevated to Executive Vice President, Originals Marketing, HBO Max. In this expanded role, Barlow will lead marketing for all original programming on HBO Max.
PBS announced that Lori Brittain has been promoted to serve as Vice President of LearningMedia. Brittain has served as the interim head of education since September.
|This Day in History
1841 – The first wagon train arrived in California.
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Today’s Trivia Question
|THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4
ABC: The Queen Family Singalong, Queens, Queens
CBS: Young Sheldon, United States of Al, Ghosts, B Positive, Bull
CW: Walker, Legacies
FOX: NFL Football
NBC: The Blacklist, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Organized Crime
PBS: This Old House, Ask This Old House, Call the Midwife, Grantchester on Masterpiece
Telemundo: La Casa de los Famosos, Parientes a la Fuerza, Malverde: El Santo Patron
Univision: La Rosa de Guadelupe, Vencer el Pasado, La Desalmada