APPLE TV+ buys Tom Hiddleston series, set in Antarctica
Zazlav sets direct reports at WARNER DISCO / APPLE TV orders Huey Newton series / GIMLET head goes to NY TIMES
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on FRIDAY April 8, 2022.
Where The ACADEMY board meets today to (presumably) hand down any additional penalties for Will Smith regarding… well think I can stop here really. (Btw his autobiography has gone from #14 to #2 on the NY TIMES list)
But hey it’s Friday, so let’s have our morning coffee at Mark Wahlberg’s house…err, I think legally we have to call this a Chateau? Although for a paltry $87 Million, you can call it whatever you want - I’m guessing followed by “Hey d’ya know who used to live here?!”
The Wine Cellar complete with 2 super classy chairs to drink in is a nice touch to check out - but wonder if that CELTICS logo at the center of the hoops court is removable…
ALSO: WARNER BROS met last week to discuss Ezra Miller’s troubling Hawaii incidents, and have hit pause on any potential future DC projects as far as his involvement. Ezra’s starring role in “The Flash” was recently pushed from a release this Nov to June 2023. /Rolling Stone
PLUS: John Mulaney has added 15 more dates to his Summer tour 🎤, including LA dates in May and NYC in June - tix on sale here.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
NETFLIX doing Laura Dern, Liam Hemsworth love story pic “Lonely Planet”
Set in Morocco, Susannah Grant (NETFLIX limited series “Unbelievable”, wrote “Erin Brockovitch”) is writing & directing, no plot details avail. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
NETFLIX adds Angela Bassett to Millie Bobbie Brown fantsy pic “Damsel”. She’ll play the stepmother to Millie’s princess, who learns she’s to be sacrficed to a dragon upon marrying her Prince Charming 😳. /Deadline
Indie film vet Sarah Eaton joins FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER as VP of Marketing and Comms. /Deadline
Shout out to my Irish folks - IRELAND is getting a new 14 soundstage, 670k sq ft production facility about 30 minutes south of Dublin. Plans to open in 2024. ☘️ /THR
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📺 THE TV SET
APPLE TV+ sets Tom Hiddleston to lead limited series “The White Darkness”
Inspired by the true story of a father and former soldier who embarks to cross ANTARCTICA by foot 🦶😱.
Will be co-showrun by Soo Hugh (“Pachinko”) and Mark Heyman (“Black Swan”). /Deadline
APPLE TV+ casts Andre Holland (“Moonlight”, “The Knick”) as BLACK PANTHER Huey P. Newton in limited series
Called “The Big Cigar”, Don Cheadle directing first 2 episodes (will be 6 episodes total) and follow Huey’s exile into CUBA in the mid 1970’s while evading the FBI for a murder charge. /Deadline
AMAZON PRIME casts Maya Erskine (“PEN15”) as co-lead for “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” series with Donald Glover
She replaces Phoebe Waller-Bridge who departed the project soon after joining it last year over creative differences.
Glover is also a co-creator on the show. /Variety
Sidebar - if you’ve never seen Maya’s movie “Plus One” - it’s one of my favorite RomComs, you can watch it here on NETFLIX. 👏
ALSO IN TV
Chip & Joanna’s MAGNOLIA network is being moved to HBO/MAX head Casey Bloys’s purview at WARNER DISCO, removed from all the other DISCOVERY cable networks in a move to give MAGNOLIA a more elevated perception. /Variety
PEACOCK orders ”The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” unscripted series, based on a book about how to lessen your belongings before you die, and the show will help people at a major crossroads get their houses, posessions and lives in order in a reflective way.
Amy Poehler among the producers and will narrate. /Deadline
ABC orders Kelly Ripa-hosted game show “Generation Gap” to debut in July, Jimmy Kimmel among the producers. Family members compete to answer questions about each other’s generations. How has this idea not been a show yet?? 🤯/Deadline
AMAZON adds Whoopi Goldberg to Neil Gaiman series “Anansi Boys” with Delroy Lindo. She’ll play Bird Woman for any Gaiman fans out there. /THR
HBO “Winning Time” 🏀getting a 2nd season. Audience for the most recent episode (5) was +37% from the premiere, and I’ve really been digging this show so far too.
FOX “The Cleaning Lady” for Season 2
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
The new WARNER DISCO exec structure takes form
CEO David Zazlav’s direct reports:
JB Perrette - CEO & Prez of WBD Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment. Essentially running HBOMAX, DISCO+, and WB Gaming biz.
Casey Bloys (CCO of HBO/MAX)
Toby Emmerich (Chairman of WB PICTURES)
Channing Dungey (Chairman of WBTV)
Kathleen Finch - Chairman & Chief Content Officer, US Networks Group. She led DISCO’s US cable networks biz, now adding TURNER networks & CARTOON / ADULT SWIM too.
Chris Licht - Chairman and CEO, CNN Global. Already announced / unchanged.
Gerhard Zeiler - Head of International. He previously led WB Int’l biz, and now adding DISCO networks biz worldwide… and I guess the EUROSPORT biz for now? (See below). On streaming matters he’ll work with / report into JB.
Gunnar Wiedenfels - CFO. Unchanged, and his DISCO direct reports will continue run the finance side with him.
Bruce Campbell - Chief Revenue & Strategy Officer. Key Zazlav guy, will run all Ad Sales, Distribution & Revenue aspects of WBD, and Legal will report into him too.
As for Marketing - No overall CMO per se, each content vertical has their own head reporting into the top (Bloys, Dungey, Licht etc), and sure Zaz is keeping his own Comms person too.
And word is he’s looking for a Sports head (EUROSPORT and the TURNER SPORTS biz).
As anyone who’s been thru a media acquisition knows, execs like to keep their own people… so the groups likely to see the most change / job “redundancies” on the WB side look to be: Finance, Ad Sales, Distro, Legal, HR and US Cable networks ops and Marketing Ops.
Again - they have to find $3 Billion in cost savings in 2 years.
As for HBO / MAX I’d think we’ll see how the duties split between JB vs. Casey… Since Casey is listed as Chief Content Officer, quite feasible all non-development / production areas on the service will now go into JB for his reshaping, but certainly possible the old revered HBO-brand-core itself may still retain some staff autonomy under Casey as the ‘tiffany’ brand of the company.
On the DISCO side - their International group might see some changes as that’s the only group that has a WB person taking more responsibilty.
TWITTER testing function to allow users to remove or “unmention” themselves from tweets / conversations 🤐. /Tech Crunch
NY TIMES head Dean Baquet recommends reporters
stop livingcut back on TWITTER time, and devote more time to reporting. /Nieman Lab
AND: Lydia Polgreen, content head at SPOTIFY’s GIMLET studio is leaving to return to the world of journalism, joining the NY TIMES Opinion division as a columnist. /NY TIMES
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
Pretty quiet Thursday
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👩💻 THE FSS FEED:
(new Stuff to Watch this weekend, Friday - Saturday - Sunday)
WEEKEND LISTENS + READS
This episode of Belloni’s RINGER pod “The Town” with WWE CEO Nick Khan was a really good listen - updated POV on how the PEACOCK deal is going, the streaming business overall, and their new creative approach to finding new talent.
This NY TIMES read on Molly Shannon was really good too.
PARAMOUNT “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” - Only in Theaters - Likely Jim Carrey’s last movie, for at least quite some time.
UNI “Ambulance” - Only in Theaters
ALSO: “Fantastic Beasts” hits CHINA and the U.K.
AMAZON PRIME “All the Old Knives” - Chris Pine, Thandiwe Newton CIA double agent spy pic 🔪 - STREAM HERE, Also in limited theaters
NETFLIX “Metal Lords” - Misfit high school band movie 🤘 - STREAM HERE
HULU “Woke” Season 2 - STREAM HERE
HBO “Black Lady Sketch Show” Season 3 - Watch at 11p or STREAM HERE
APPLE TV+: MLB enters the exclusive streaming age with the premiere of their Friday Night Doubleheaders. 🏟
Note: They’re Free for everyone during the first 12 weeks and guessing this won’t be hard to find on the APPLE TV+ interface.
NICKELODEON KIDS CHOICE AWARDS at 730p, hosted by Gronk and Miranda Cosgrove
SNL is Jake Gyllenhaal and CAMILA CABELLO
The MASTERS final round on CBS
New “60 Minutes” right after, including a sit down with Zelenskyy in UKRAINE
AMC “61st Street” - Premieres at 10p
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
NETFLIX “Russian Doll” Season 2 trailer - Ah… time travel - Of course! 🤦♂️ Premieres 4/20 (note that’s a Wednesday)
HBOMAX “Not So Pretty” docu trailer - A look at all of the basically unregulated chemicals that are in beauty and skincare products, narrated by Keke Palmer. Looks good! Premieres on Thursday
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
LUCIUS “Dance Around It” - This is just a fun song to end a week, with BRANDI CARLILE and SHERYL CROW.
If you need some new tunes:
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