APPLE TV enters Sports streaming biz with MLB
ZUCKER sets 💰💰CNN exit agreement / PARAMOUNT folds PLAYERS pic division / HULU orders Patinkin detective show
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY March 9, 2022.
Where it’ll be a #dontsaygay ol’ time at the DISNEY Annual Company meeting this afternoon… with all eyes on what CEO Bob Chapek says to the troops and investors about the company’s essentially non-response to FLORIDA’s “Don’t Say Gay” law that passed the State Senate and went to the Governor’s desk yesterday for signature.
ALSO: Jeff Zucker & WARNER MEDIA have come to an exit agreement - no exact terms released (other than an agreement not to sue), but the payout is said to be in the Tens of Millions. And a lifetime guarantee for that discounted $3 a month rate for CNN+.
AND: Author Cormack McCarthy (“No Country for Old Men”, “The Road”) is dropping 2 books this Fall, one in Oct and a prequel to that book in Nov.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Florence Pugh may join “Dune: Part 2” to play “Princess Irulan”
Well…pending a final script… and whether or not she gets the role in the MADONNA biopic that’s in the works at UNI that’ll also shoot this year. /THR
PARAMOUNT folds its (mostly) lower budget film division PARAMOUNT PLAYERS
Projects will now just fall under the overall PARAMOUNT PICURES purview #alliterationBonus. PLAYERS head Jeremy Kramer is leaving the company. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
APPLE TV+ will debut Dakota Johnson SUNDANCE winner “Cha Cha Real Smooth” on June 17…. the same day FOCUS set for their SUNDANCE pickup “Brian and Charles”. /Deadline
HOLLYWOOD BUSINESS AFFAIRS
Former MGM head Jonathan Glickman forms PANORAMIC MEDIA production co. UTA & SPYGLASS are 2 primary investors. Separately, Glickman is currently in production on “Creed III” and the Addams Family series “Wednesday” at NETFLIX. /THR
WME not holding OSCARS party this year, will donate money to UKRAINE support instead. /Deadline
WME’s VP of Comms Brandon Shaw joins HULU as VP of Publicity. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
HULU orders “Career Opportunities in Murder and Mayhem” mystery drama series with Mandy Patinkin
10 episodes, called “Knives Out”-esque: a detective and his protege must solve a murder on a Mediterranean yacht filled with rich folks. /Variety
PEACOCK adds Nick Offerman to “The Resort” limited series from “Palm Springs” writer
William Jackson Harper and Cristin Milioti already set as the leads in the time-spanning comedic thriller about a teacher couple who get caught up in a 15 year-old mystery in the Mayan Riviera.
Sam Esmail (“Mr Robot”) directing, currently shooting. /Deadline
AMC casts Giancarlo Esposito as lead for new series “The Driver”
He’ll play a cabbie who becomes the chauffeur for “a New Orleans-based Zimbabwean gangster” who exploits undocumented immigrants.
6 episode order. Based on a BBC miniseries. /THR
ALSO IN TV
NETFLIX orders 4th and final season of “Never Have I Ever”. Season 3 will drop this Summer. /Deadline
IMDBTVJA renews “Justice Judy” for a season 2. And yes I threw an extra two letters in there to help them complete the full eyechart. Seriously - how long can a name rebrand take? Season 1 finishes up April 15. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
APPLE TV+ is getting into the Sports biz - makes big MLB deal for weekly doubleheader
Get ready for “Friday Night Baseball” in the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the UK as soon as… well, there’s a season to be had.
Will be free to stream for an initial undisclosed period.
HOWEVER: No word how long the deal is, a price, or if there will be ads… (and if so - who would sell them 🤔).
No local market blackouts, and a live pre & post-game show too. Plus a nightly MLB highlights show all season long on the service… giving Cable companies further reason to question why they’re paying MLB to carry the MLB NETWORK. /Apple
PARAMOUNT+ shifts to a new movie every other week strategy
Previously had announced a new movie every week approach, but apparently movies are pretty expensive. /Deadline
4.7 Million households cut the cord in 2021
At least according to research firm Leichtman Research Group. But hey it least it wasn’t the 5.1 Million who dropped their Cable TV subscription in 2020… 😬.
Basically re-re-reconfirms that companies reliant on Cable company affiliate fees & advertising for their core revenues are not exactly in a growth business #AMC #Paramount #Discovery. /NextTV
DIRECTV lost 400k subscribers in Q4, now estimated to be down to 14.6 Million subscribers (incl DirecTV Stream, and AT&T U-Verse).
ALSO IN MEDIA
NETFLIX CFO says “never say never” in regards to some sort of Ad-supported version of NETLFLIX someday. Kinda falls in the Lloyd Christmas “so you’re sayin there’s a chance…” category, but still a slight shift from the flat No Way Jose (paraphrasing) given by company principals in the past to the question. But the CFO did specify it’s “not in our plans right now.” /Deadline
UTA launching Podcast analytics division AUDIO IQ, meant to give clients & agents a leg up in negotiating deals. /THR
AMAZON’s “live radio” app AMP has launched for iOS, though there is a waiting list for some reason 🤷♂️. It’s basically their CLUBHOUSE ripoff, with the exception that they’ve licensed millions of songs so you can also DJ essentially your own radio station, as well as “take callers” / do live Talk radio like CLUBHOUSE. They’re also paying celebs to do live shows there in the near future. /Amazon
MARCH MADNESS Ad inventory is sold out, earliest in recent tourney history, and setting a new record. Obviously up significantly from 2021. Field of 64 kicks off next Thurs. /Deadline
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
ENDEAVOR +5% ($26.61) but basically a quiet day overall.
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👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
PARAMOUNT+ “Scream” is now avail to watch… 2 months post-theatrical release - STREAM HERE
CBS “Survivor” - New season at 8p
FOX “The Masked Singer” - Season premiere 8p, followed by “Domino Masters” at 9p
FREEFORM “Good Trouble” - Season 4 at 10p
NETFLIX “The Andy Warhol Diaries” docuseries - STREAM HERE
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New KANE BROWN “Leave You Alone”
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