APPLE TV+ signs Kristen Wiig to lead comedy series
OSCAR NOMINATIONS are out / DISNEY+ sets series from SHANG CHI team / Will Smith books another NAT GEO DIS+ show
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY February 8, 2022.
Where here is your 2022 OSCAR NOMINEES list. And yes, still no newsletter category but nice to see a lotta love for “Drive My Car”, including in the Director’s category. Your Ten 2022 BEST PICTURE Noms are:
“Don’t Look Up”
“Drive My Car”
“The Power of the Dog”
“West Side Story”
AND: Any Over / Under wagers on the size of the check GM cut Mike Myers to reprise “Dr. Evil” for a SUPER BOWL Ad? (Teaser out now, full ad drops in the game).
AMAZON will also drop a “Lord of the Rings” TV show spot in the game.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
LIONSGATE gets Michael Jackson biopic project, “Michael”
Graham King (”Bohemian Rhapsody”) is producing, MJ’s estate is on board so we know it’ll be on the up and up. Ok fine at least it’ll feature his music.
John Logan (“Gladiator”) is writing. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
PARAMOUNT & NICKELODEON team up to produce series of “Smurfs” movies. First will be for Christmas 2024, Pam Brady (“South Park”) is writing. /THR
FOCUS FEATURES & PEACOCK team up to buy SUNDANCE pic “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” starring Regina Hall and Sterling K Brown as a disgraced head of a Megachurch who mount a comeback.
No price revealed, will do Theaters & PEACOCK same-day release thing. /THR
“Matrix” producer VILLAGE ROADSHOW sues WB over the whole HBOMAX release thing. WB says uh, yeah this is just a blatant attempt to avoid the arbitration process that we initiated last week. /THR
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
MANAGEMENT 360 partner Chris Huvane died of an apparent suicide at 47. He managed clients from Margot Robbie, Margaret Qualley, Julianne Moore and Chadwick Boseman, and had publicly posted about struggles with depression last year. Some nice sentiments about who he was and his approach to Hollywood and friendship in the link. /THR
ICM’s Jeff Barry moves to RANGE MEDIA PARTNERS as a, well partner. Will lead Int’l TV efforts and build out Lit dept further. /Deadline
Chief Content Officer of COMCAST’s SKY STUDIOS Jane Millichip is leaving after 9 years. Officially departing in April. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
APPLE TV+ sets Kristen Wiig & Laura Dern for comedy series
Called “Mrs. American Pie”, based on a book, 10 episode order.
About a woman trying to get a place in early 1970s Palm Beach high society.
Created by Abe Sylvia (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”, writer on “Dead to Me”), and Tate Taylor (“The Help”) is directing. /THR
APPLE TV+ also sets Rashida Jones to lead A24 dark comedy series “Sunny”
10 half-hour episodes, Lucy Tcherniak (“The End of the F***ing World”) is directing.
Rashida plays an American living in Kyoto, JAPAN whose husband and son disappear in a mysterious plane crash… when she’s given Sunny, a new domestic robot made by her husband’s company, and the two eventually find out there is more going on behind her family’s disappearance. /Deadline
DISNEY+ sets Michelle Yeoh for action comedy series directed by Dustin Daniel Cretton (“Shang-Chi”)
Called “American Born Chinese”, about a teenager who meets a new foreign student on the first day of school, and somehow becomes entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods… with Yeoh playing an auntie who’s also the all-powerful Buddhist bodhisattva of Compassion. Gonna be a lot to unpack in this trailer.
Adapted from a graphic novel, Kelvin Yu (“Bob’s Burgers”) doing the writing, begins shooting this month. /Deadline
DISNEY+ sets Will Smith for another travel docuseries from NAT GEO - called “Pole to Pole” as Will travels from the North Pole to the South Pole. No doubt with a stop in Philly. A bunch of other new NAT GEO projects, mostly nature/animal based are in the link for the inclined. /THR
ALSO: Catherine Zeta-Jones will co-star in their “National Treasure” TV show. She’ll play “a badass billionaire, black-market antiquities expert, and treasure hunter who lives by her own code.” Also - an expert at crochet. It’s important to have hobbies. /Variety
PLUS: Orders Non-scripted shows Exec Produced by Brie Larson and Jeremy Renner respectively. Although Renner’s is called “Rennervations” and… gotta think he’s been sitting on that one for a while. Bravo sir ⛳️👏. /Variety
AND: A live-action series based on “Goosebumps” written by Nick Stoller (“Neighbors”) and Rob Letterman. /Deadline
OLYMPICS get 13.7 Million viewers across NBC, USA, and PEACOCK on Sunday night. About on par with an average SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL game. /Deadline
AMAZON PRIME renews “Reacher” for a Season 2. /THR
NBC renews “That’s My Jam” for Season 2. /Variety
SHOWTIME renews “Vice” for two more seasons. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
WARNER MUSIC doubles profit in a year
Goes from $99 Mil in Q4 2020 to $188 Million in Q4 2021.
Q4 Revenue +21% to $1.61 Billion #thanksStreaming. Well and Ed Sheeran. /THR
ALSO IN MEDIA
APPLE MUSIC cuts free trial for new subscribers from 3 months to 1 month. /MBW
NETFLIX doubling GERMANY production spend by next year to $570 Million. /THR
While no official numbers are released, AMAZON PRIME is thought to lead the market with about 13 Million subscribers, compared to NETFLIX’s 10 Million-ish. /BroadbandTVnews
Newly solidified local competitor RTL+ announced they were going to spend $690 Million a year on their service by 2026. Their service currently has just over 2 Million subscribers. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
FACEBOOK -5% ($224.91)
Otherwise a mildly down day for most but not a lot of action.
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👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
NETFLIX “Ms Pat: Y’All Wanna Hear Something Crazy?” comedy special - STREAM HERE
ABC “Jeopardy!” National College Championship at 8p
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
AMAZON PRIME “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 4 trailer - Dropping 2 episodes a week for 4 weeks. Premieres next Friday.
HULU“The Dropout” limited series trailer - The Elizabeth Holmes THERANOS story - nice spot! Premieres Thu Mar 3.
DISNEY+ “Cheaper by the Dozen” remake trailer - Why they don’t put it on the DISNEY+ YouTube page is… confusing. Premieres Fri Mar 18
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
Look! New Music!! Ok fine just a new video… but I’ll take what I can get. COLDPLAY x SELENA GOMEZ “Let Somebody Go”.
If you need some new tunes:
Email me anytime - just reply to this email, or connect here on LINKED IN.
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There was a Jackson 5 TV miniseries in the early nineties that was pretty good, though largely whitewashed and more importantly - because it was produced by Motown - skips the mid-seventies, when all but Berry Gordy's son-in-law Jermaine decamped for CBS, and early eighties until the Victory tour.
That would be a good period for the movie to cover, because they went through a lot of ups and downs during that period until Michael and Thriller absolutely conquered the world. The iconic Motown 25 performance would be a great place to end the movie. And it wouldn't have to deal with...well, you know.