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CNN+ stumbling out of the gate, faces 9-figure $$ spending cuts
SPOTIFY's Podcast dealmaker out / Tom Hanks sets excl APPLE TV producing deal / PEACOCK adds Gordon-Levitt for KNIVES OUT director's series
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY April 13, 2022.
Where guess which SNL cast member had dinner with Jeff Bezos on Monday night? Ok yes fine it was Pete (and Kim) according to PAGE SIX. The location was AOC in Hollywood where it was apparently their famous “Canadian tuxedo and Hoodie night” based on the attire.
Yea ok not exactly breaking news (and let’s face it I’m just jealous of someone wearing something comfortable to a nice meal), BUT it’s the week before both Passover & Easter… and the quiet before start of Q1 Earnings Season… and we’ve already had a BENNIFER engagement and a BRITNEY baby bump and it’s only Wednesday so 2002.0 needs a break for a day.
SO: Yeah this should be another pretty quick read today. Um by quick read I mean lively, entertaining and can’t-miss of course.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Just one thing:
NETFLIX adds Robin Wright, Ray Winstone to Millie Bobie Brown fantasy pic “Damsel”. Angela Bassett joined last week. /Deadline
HOLLYWOOD BUSINESS AFFAIRS
APPLE TV+ signs Tom Hanks / Gary Goetzman’s PLAYTONE to exclusive, overall deal. While it’s for Series, Docus and Unscripted, it includes a sequel to Tom’s WWII naval pic “Greyhound”. /Deadline
NETFLIX promotes Emily Feingold to VP of Communications for US & CAN. /Variety
ICM Partner Adam Ginivisian departs to become a manager at LEVITY LIVE. He spent 15 years there in the comedy touring group. LEVITY owns or is affiliated with 25 comedy venues including THE IMPROV. /Deadline
ICM Digital agent Katie Baral departs for UTA, working on biz dev and partnerships for their digital creators. /Deadline
When does the CAA-ICM deal close again?
📺 THE TV SET
It’s a mystery-drama show written & directed by Rian Johnson (“Knives Out”, “The Last Jedi”), but not much else known other than Lyonne will be solving different murders in each episode, and it has a 10 episode order. /Variety
Called “A Small Light”, about a woman who worked to protect Anne Frank and her family in Amsterdam for 2 years, and preserved her diary after they were captured.
Liev Schreiber playing Anne’s father Otto, and Joe Cole (“Peaky Blinders”) playing Bel’s husband. A trio of “Grey’s Anatomy” vets are running the creative.
A drop of about 3 Million from it’s “60 Minutes” lead in… and about the same size as the “American Idol” audience on ABC.
But it was 4X the size of the show on CMT last year. Granted, it’s CMT… but still nice for VIACOM. And Fritos. /THR
It was also way ahead of the plummeting “American Song Contest” on NBC which had just 1.4 Million viewers. On the plus side - that’s fewer people seeing the “positive” reactions SNOOP has to do for the original songs performed on that show... yikes.
ALSO IN TV
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Music Streaming & Podcasts Ad revenue was… about 10% of that size, hitting $4.9 Billion. But no specific breakout for podcasts only.
However that $4.9 Billion is +58% from 2020. Granted - a low base to rise from, but still. /THR
At least according to internal sources cited by CNBC.
Over at AXIOS, they’re reporting that hundreds of millions of dollars are likely going to be cut from the $1 Billion number CNN was planning to invest in it over the next 4 years - the point at which they projected the service would start making a profit. I mean they were MCKINSEY numbers so… yeah. Btw who keeps hiring these people for Media gigs?
Around $300 Million has been spent to date including marketing according to the story, and there’s more on projections and hiring freezes in the link.
PERSPECTIVE: It’s only been 2 weeks, and CNN+ was never gonna be DISNEY+. Especially when CNN+ is not even its own app, nor does it stream… ya know, live CNN.
But expect Zazlav to likely significantly cut back whatever CNN+ marketing spend hasn’t left the building already, and wait for Chris Licht to get in the building on May 1 to… well, come up with something.
In the meanwhile, I’d also expect Zaz to strongly nudge getting CNN+ into the HBOMAX interface / app as soon as humanly possible, to upsell that 45 Million-ish base for $3 a month and let that be the business model.
He’ll of course likely do that by using the hundreds of engineers that Jason Kilar hired to fix HBOMAX’s tech as soon as he walked in the door… something that no one before him ever prioritized doing.
ALSO IN MEDIA
SPOTIFY’s top Podcast deal maker Courtney Holt is departing after 4 years. This follows the departure of SPOTIFY’s GIMLET creative head Lydia Polgreen last week. Holt is not being replaced, and will stay on as a consultant for the next year. /TheAnkler
Unvaxx’d baseball announcers Paul O’Neill and John Smoltz causing some coverage limitations for YES and FOX SPORTS as the MLB season starts. /NY Post
AMC THEATERS buys 5 BOW TIE CINEMA theaters in CT, and 1 each in NY and MD (66 screens total). /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
AMC THEATERS -7% ($17.42)
CINEWORLD (REGAL Cinemas) -6% ($0.41)
Otherwise a quiet / slightly down day for most.
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👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
SONY “Father Stu” - Only in Theaters
NETFLIX “The Ultimatum” finale and reunion special - STREAM HERE
NETFLIX “Our Great National Parks”, narrated by President Obama - STREAM HERE
NETFLIX “Hard Cell” - UK mockumentary series set at a women’s prison - STREAM HERE
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
PEACOCK “Girls5Eva” Season 2 trailer. Premieres Thu May 5
NETFLIX “Stranger Things” Season 4, Vol 1 trailer. Ok admittedly I only watched Season 1 of this show (is Barb still a thing?) so this is not geared for me… but I do know building an entire trailer around JOURNEY’s “Separate Ways” and not using the killer.. anthemic… all-time classic yell + drumbeat drop part of the song (coupled with a 2022 amp’d up audio mix) is a massive #fail. Premieres Fri May 27
HULU “Conversations with Friends” trailer - Latest series from a Sally Rooney book (“Normal People”). Premieres… Sunday (?) May 15. well that’s new for HULU.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
Gonna let Gilbert Gottfried play us off today with his dulcet tones from a scene I quoted waaayyy too many times in my High School and College years. And probably last week too. Rest in Peace Sidney. #HeresOneHeresTwoTheyreRealCrisp
If you need some new tunes:
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