|Friday January 20, 2023|
IN THE NEWS
Netflix added 7.66 million subscribers in the fourth quarter, handily besting the 4.57 million analysts had forecast. Revenue of $7.82 billion edged near the $7.85 billion expected, but earnings per share came in at 12 cents, a big miss from the 45 cents projected. Netflix also revealed that co-CEO Reed Hastings is stepping down and transitioning to the role of Executive Chairman. Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters has been promoted to share the co-CEO title with Ted Sarandos.
“I want to thank Reed for his visionary leadership, mentorship and friendship over the last 20 years,” said Sarandos. “We’ve all learned so much from his intellectual rigor, honesty and willingness to take big bets – and we look forward to working with him for many more years to come. Since Reed started to delegate management to us, Greg and I have built a strong operating model based on our shared values and like-minded approach to growth. I am so excited to start this new chapter with Greg as co-CEO.”
“60 Minutes” has a new face: former ABC News White House correspondent Cecilia Vega is joining the team of CBS’s venerable newsmagazine. “Cecilia Vega is a sensational reporter and storyteller. I have admired her work for a long, long time and couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to ’60 Minutes’,” said the show’s executive producer, Bill Owens. “Her new colleagues couldn’t agree more.”
Starz renewed “Outlander” for an eighth, and final, 10-episode season. “For nearly a decade ‘Outlander’ has won the hearts of audiences worldwide and we’re pleased to bring Claire and Jamie’s epic love story to a proper conclusion,” said Kathryn Busby, President, Original Programming for Starz. “But before we close this chapter there is plenty of their passionate story to tell.” Season seven premieres this summer. While the period drama is coming to a close, prequel series “Blood of My Blood” has been greenlit.
The season two finale of HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” on January 26 will double as the series ender. “We are very grateful to showrunner/executive producer Joshua Safran, and executive producers Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz for bringing us back to the Upper East Side and all the scandals at Constance Billard,” HBO Max said in a statement. On Instagram, Safran said producers are looking for a new home for the show, but acknowledged that “in this climate, that might prove an uphill battle.”
US ad investments in children’s content and programming increased by nearly 50% in 2022, according to a new study by MediaRadar. Ad spend promoting children’s products and services, including toys and games, entertainment, personal care, and more, have grown to over $1.6 billion through 2022. Seventy percent of the spend went to digital channels, including streaming; 29% went to traditional TV; and 1% went to print. “This is a growth category,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO, MediaRadar. “Even as other verticals have seen a pullback in spend, investments in children’s content and from children’s brands have grown substantially year-over-year – particularly in digital.”
Media agencies have officially been invited to join the joint industry committee formed by media companies to create standards for audience measurement. A letter on behalf of NBCUniversal, Paramount Global, Fox, TelevisaUnivision and Warner Bros. Discovery asked agencies to nominate three people to participate in the measurement certification council, saying, “We believe that if we’re going to realize our collective ambitions of ensuring accurate cross-platform solutions for measuring premium video are available, we cannot do it alone. We want your feedback as we establish new standards for the future.”
The premiere of acquired British drama “The Lazarus Project,” slated for January 23 on TNT, has been postponed. The show joins delays on Warner Bros. Discovery sib TBS for season four of “Miracle Workers,” which was supposed to kick off January 16, and season two of “The Cube,” which had been slated to debut January 8. The date changes “will allow us to better support the three series later this year,” said a TNets rep.
A+E Networks, Comcast, Netflix and Nielsen are among the companies earning the highest score (five stars) in Newsweek’s list of America’s Greatest Workplaces 2023 for Diversity. The list is made up of companies that employees say respect and value different kinds of people.
2022 Best of the Best & Rising Star Awards
Congratulations to our 2022 winners and honorees!
Join us in celebrating our elite group of 2022 Best of the Best category winners and Rising Star honorees! To view the full list, click the link below.
PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
“The Pradeeps of Pittsburgh” scored a straight-to-series order from Amazon Freevee. The immigrant comedy inspired by the experiences of Vijal Patel (“black-ish”) stars Naveen Andrews (“The Dropout”), Sindhu Vee (“Starstruck”) and Megan Hilty (“Smash”). Producers are Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios.
Love Nature has greenlit a new original commission, “Gladiators,” from Talesmith. The series depicts battles in the animal kingdom.
Anchor Entertainment has partnered with Blumhouse Television for “Look into my Eyes.” Director Brent Hodge (“Pharma Bro”) is attached as director. The four-part true crime series will premiere Thursday, May 4 on SundanceTV and AMC+, telling the story of Dr. George Kenney and his fall from grace after 10 years as a beloved principal at North Port High School in Florida where he practiced hypnosis on students.
Tatyana Ali, who played Ashley Banks in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” will recur as a guest star on season two of Peacock reboot “Bel-Air.” The sophomore run launches February 23.
Cineflix Productions is partnering with Anthony Rapp (“Rent”) on “Surviving Hollywood.” The docuseries will unravel Hollywood’s culture, with Rapp – who accused Kevin Spacey of making unwanted sexual advances – of breaking down the “hostile underbelly of power dynamics, abuse, discrimination, corruption, and misogyny” that permeates the industry.
Allen Media Group gave a “firm go” for “Fast: Home Rescue,” a broadcast syndication offering for fall 2023. The one-hour weekly home renovation series highlights families impacted by natural disasters as it follows disaster-relief organization Reach Out Worldwide.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
History Channel’s “History’s Greatest of All Time,” hosted and exec produced by NFL star Peyton Manning, premieres Monday, February 6 at 10p. The series counts down the top ten G.O.A.T.s across a single category during each hour-long episode.
Heading back for its 29th season is HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” on Tuesday, January 24 at 10p. Topics this time around include the role Brett Favre is alleged to have played in redirecting millions of dollars away from poor residents to his own project.
Also returning to HBO for a new season is “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” On Sunday, February 19 at 11p, the comedian/actor/writer kicks off the satirical current event series’ tenth run.
Season five of Fuse’s “Made From Scratch” launches Wednesday, February 8. In the unscripted series, celebrities cook their favorite dishes while sharing memories about loved ones that inspired them.
Apple TV+’s “Schmigadoon!” is back for season two on Friday, April 7, with Titus Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Patrick Page(“Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”) joining the cast. The streamer’s “Ted Lasso” will return for season three in spring 2023.
Judd Apatow will fourpeat as host of the DGA Awards, taking place February 18. “I am so honored to host the DGA Awards for the fourth time,” said Apatow. “If I was ever nominated, I would stop.” Apatow hosted the ceremony in 2018, 2020 and 2022.
Documentary “Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power,” telling the story of the local fight for voting rights and Black Power in Lowndes County, Alabama, begins streaming on Peacock on Thursday, February 2.
The 22nd edition of “Super Bowl Greatest Commercials: Battle of the Decades” airs Wednesday, February 8 at 8p on CBS. Boomer Esiason (“The NFL Today”) and Daniela Ruah (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) host.
BET+ original film “The Reading,” starring Mo’Nique Hicks as a widowed author, and executive produced by Lee Daniels, premieres February 2.
As he prepares for his third presidential run, Donald Trump has formally requested that Facebook reinstate his account. In a letter, to Meta, Trump’s campaign said the ban on his account, blocked after the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack, “has dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.” A Facebook rep said the company will “announce a decision in the coming weeks.”
New video ad formats in streaming TV are 2X more favorable than traditional TV ads for consumers, according to a study from Magna Media Trials and the Roku Brand Studio. Key findings from “Beyond the :30 on Streaming TV” include:
The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, the 4A’s and the TVB are launching a joint study focused on developing an action plan for supporting the evolution of local TV measurement in the US market. Consulting firm Sequent Partners will undertake a diagnostic exercise, focused on assessing the current state of the market, evaluating requirements across the ecosystem, and identifying potential solutions. “The growth of new platforms has increased the supply of data in the market, opening up new opportunities for measurement, advanced audience buying and attribution,” said Jon Watts, Managing Director at CIMM. “However, there is increasing industry sentiment that these opportunities are unevenly distributed and often unavailable at scale in every local market – and that there is limited coordination on requirements and priorities amongst different players….We’re confident that a collaborative effort like this one can help the industry to make real progress.”
Emplifi, a customer experience platform, announced the launch of Emplifi™ AI Composer, a solution the company says can generate ready-to-publish social media copy. “Emplifi is leveraging AI technology to make it easier for marketers to curate relevant and engaging social media content tailored for their audiences,” said Emplifi Chief Technology Officer Todd McCaslin. “OpenAI GPT-3 APIs have improved software performance and accuracy with iterative query and learning capabilities that streamline tasks and deliver insights to help professionals work more intelligently.” The goal is not to cut humans out of the process, said IDC Research Director Heather Hershey, but to “allow content creators to avoid the churn and burn-out associated with online ‘content farms.’ Marketing teams can spend less time rapidly generating content to appease social media algorithms and more time on strategy and quality engagements.”
Peacock captured a 1% share of total viewing time in the US for the first time in December, according to Nielsen’s The Gauge tracker. The Gauge pointed to Peacock’s December numbers corresponding with the success of Peacock Original “The Best Man: The Final Chapters,” released ahead of the Christmas holiday; Peacock also added Hallmark holiday content.
SiriusXM’s SXM App, which delivers more than 425 SiriusXM channels, is now available on VIZIO Smart TVs. “VIZIO users can now access their favorite on-the-go programs directly on the biggest screen in their homes,” said Katherine Pond, Group Vice President, Platform Content & Partnerships at VIZIO. “From podcasts to music, we are happy to bring SirusXM’s audio and video entertainment to millions of VIZIO users across the US.”
The nominees for the seventh annual Crunchyroll Anime Awards have been announced, honoring the creators, musicians, and performances across streaming and theatrical. Voting is now open in more than 200 countries and territories.
Infront Bettor, the new betting-focused division of Infront, has secured partnerships with a number of new betting industry clients including Admiral, Bilyoner, Tipsport, Kaizen Gaming (Betano, Stoiximan), Superbet, Napoleon and Winamax. Sports fans now have access to over 18,000 hours of content per year from over 30 rights holders worldwide. This includes the English Carabao Cub, the Coupe de France, the Turkish Super Lig and Infront’s ice hockey rights such as the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and the Champions Hockey League (CHL).
Banijay Benelux is taking a majority stake in production company, jonnydepony. The label will join the Belgian footprint alongside Banijay Belgium.
Channel 5 has agreed a new five-year deal with ITN to produce both “5 News” and “Jeremy Vine” in an extension of their current agreement. The deal will enable Channel 5 to maintain its existing Ofcom commitment to deliver a minimum of 280 hours of news each calendar year.
Derren Lawford (DARE Pictures) and Alex Tondowski (Tondowski Films) struck a new strategic partnership on premium documentary productions for the international market. The companies initially joined forces last year to co-produce “Crypto Queen” (with Channel 4, Sky Germany, and Fremantle).
2023 Sports Media Awards
Call for entries!
Be recognized for your hard work and greatness in the workplace and enter the Sports Media Awards today before prices increase on January 26th! In one of the most competitive industries there is, set yourself apart from the competition by taking home the title of Cynopsis Sports Media Award winner.
The double premiere of Telemundo’s “La Casa de los Famosos 3” and the eighth season of “El Señor de los Cielos” positioned the network as #1 in broadcast and cable, regardless of language, on Tuesday night, delivering an 8-11p primetime average of 762,000 A8-49 and 270,000 A18-34, according to Nielsen. The two-hour launch of “El Señor de los Cielos” delivered an average of 857,000 A18-49 and 304,000 A18-34, propelling the production to the #1 spot among primetime dramas regardless of language.
Fox News Digital closed out 2022 having secured more than 18 billion multiplatform views, over 34 billion multiplatform minutes and averaged 82.7 million monthly multiplatform unique visitors, according to Comscore. The Fox News mobile app finished 2022 averaging 6.3 million monthly unique visitors.
The premiere of “The Last of Us” drew in the highest viewership for an HBO Max release in Latin America in its first 24 hours on the platform, surpassing the launch of the first episodes of “House of the Dragon” and “Euphoria” (season 2).
Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, January 17
Naomi Bulochnikov-Paul has been promoted to the newly created role of EVP of Publicity and Head of Communications for Disney General Entertainment. Candice Ashton, Hulu Originals’ SVP of Publicity, Events and Talent Relations, will assume oversight of the Disney Television Studios publicity team. Charissa Gilmore, SVP of Corporate Communications at DGE, is exiting the company after more than 30 years.
BritBox International has appointed Liz Spaulding as Vice President, Business Development and Jennifer Moon as Head of Editorial and Programming Strategy. Spaulding, who was most recently at Starz, and Moon, formerly with AMC, will both be based in the New York office.
Anthony Bennett has joined Smart Communications as Chief Information Officer. Bennett has held roles at Oracle, Service Now and Nokia, among others.
Yeti Television has appointed Simon Greenwood as Series and Executive Producer. Greenwood brings over 20 years’ experience of producing factual content for a range of channels.
Alex Garcia has been named SVP of Development and Content Licensing at Get Me Out Productions. Garcia was previously EVP of Content and Business Development at Entravision Communications.
This Day in History
Friday Fun Fact
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Today’s Trivia Question
|FRIDAY JANUARY 20
ABC: Shark Tank, 20/20
CBS: S.W.A.T., Fire Country, Blue Bloods
CW: Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Criss Angel’s Magic With the Stars
FOX: WWE Friday Night Smackdown
NBC: Lopez vs Lopez, Young Rock, Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week, Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, The U.S. and the Holocaust
Telemundo: La Casa de los Famosos, El Senor do los Cielos, Amor y Traicion
Univision: Vencer La Ausencia, Mi Camino Es Amarte, Cabo