Issa Rae rebooting PROJECT GREENLIGHT at HBOMAX
Revealing read on DISCOVERY CEO David Zaslav / Derek Jeter gets ESPN docuseries / Kumail Nanjiani doing CHIPPENDALES show at HULU
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY May 19, 2021.
Where… it’s been a crazy week and it’s only Wednesday, so let’s chill here at Lil Uzi Vert’s house (full disclosure: I had to google who he was 👨🏻🦳).
But you can’t deny these $4.4 Million Bell Canyon views.
And just putting this here if you’d be so kind, so I can get closer to $4.4 Million someday. Or at least $440.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Called “Home Team”, also stars Rob Schneider, Taylor Lautner and Tait Blum (“For All Mankind”). Film centers on Payton’s year coaching a youth football team during his 1 year NFL suspension for offering $$ bonuses to SAINTS defensive players to knock out or injure opponents in games. We’ll see if that part makes the cut for the comedy film. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
NETFLIX adds Leslie Odom Jr. to “Knives Out 2” cast. The 5th indivdual casting announcement for this in about the last 7 business days. Luv ya NETFLIX and I know you paid about $450 Million for parts 2 and 3… but, yeah. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
Will focus on female filmmakers this time out, with Issa as an Exec Producer, Movie will premiere on HBOMAX. /Variety
Will play CHIPPENDALES founder Steve Banerjee in the 8 episode limited series, called “Immigrant”. Written by Robert Siegel (“The Wrestler”, upcoming HULU “Pam & Tommy” limited series). /Variety
Not too much new or different than current schedule, but take a look if ya like of course. /THR
Or just read the highlights from Kimmel’s now annual roast of the TV business from their presentation.
ALSO IN TV
ESPN giving Derek Jeter the Michael Jordan-ish treatment, producing a docuseries on his career called “The Captain”. Will debut 2022. Joins already announced docuseries on Tom Brady. /Deadline
DISCOVERY+ acquires Jon Stewart 9/11 first responders fight for health benefits docu “No Responders Left Behind”. Will debut this Sept around the 20th anniversary of 9/11, centering on the shameful actions of the US Congress to impede health benefits for the NYC first responders of Sept 11, 2001. #NeverForget. /Variety
“SEAL Team” and “Evil” officially now PARAMOUNT+ shows for their next seasons. “Clarice” still TBD. /Variety
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
AT&T CEO John Stankey does… not so great job reassuring WARNER MEDIA employees that their jobs are safe
Kudos to WARNER MEDIA Chief of Comms Christy Haubegger for asking tough questions of Stankey in a company town hall yesterday. Stankey encouraged employees to “stay the course”… until the deal is closed (ie. when layoffs can officially happen). Also said “This doesn’t change anything right now” - not a great look. (right now?? 😳)
Cue the further WARNER MEDIA exodus before the deal closes, another year from now at the earliest. Although, there are seemingly fewer and fewer places for execs to go. /Variety
Meanwhile new WARNER DISCO (yeah, I’m doubling down on that name) CEO David Zaslav extends his contract through 2027.
He made $37.7 Million in the 2020 pandemic year, down from $45.8 Million in 2019.
ALSO: Zaslav has apparently been hosting ZOOM calls wtih about a dozen (seemingly all male) Media Biz figures in recent months (including Jeff Bewkes, Bob Iger, and Irving Azoff), that also included WB Movie Studio head Toby Emmerich…but not Toby’s boss, WB CEO Ann Sarnoff. A great read on Zaslav from Kim Masters at THR. Seriously read this. Also - get ready for 5am meetings WB folks…
ALSO IN MEDIA
THE SKIMM hires JP MORGAN to explore a sale. Looking beyond Media companies to Lifestyle and Financial companies looking to reach Millenial women. Expects to double 2019 revenue to $40 Million for 2021. /Axios
TFI, M6 French TV networks announce merger. Would create the largest French Broadcasting group, with almost 70% of France’s broadcast advertising market. Company to be worth $4.1 Billion if it goes through.
Rationale is it’s a bid to fend off digital rivals like NETFLIX. Apparently media growing pains are universal despite France’s more favorable domestic media ownership laws. /SportsProMedia
Side note: I’m not entirely convinced TF1 and M6 are not also names of French roadways.
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
LIONSGATE +7%… as the next-on-the-block for a sale speculation frenzy continues.
VIACOM/CBS +4.5%, see 👆
AT&T -6% because… well Wall Street just wants to punish T for 5 years of wasted time probably.
ENDEAVOR -7% because…🤷♂️
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
BRAVO “Real Housewives of BH” - Season 11 premiere at 8p
TV UPFRONTS: WARNER MEDIA at 8:30a, CBS/VIACOM at 1p
ALSO: FRANCE’s Movie Theaters… err Cinemas re-open, as do the UK’s at 50%.
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
UNIVERSAL PICTURES “Dear Evan Hansen” trailer. Hits theaters Sept 24.
HULU “Only Murders in the Building” 30 second teaser promo. Premieres Tues Aug 31.
NETFLIX “Feel Good” Season 2 trailer. Relationship drama returns Fri June 4.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
No Song today… rather a reminder of how great Charles Grodin was, who died yesterday at the age of 86. Obviously if you’ve never seen “Midnight Run” - you need to fix that tonight or this weekend. Link here to watch on HBOMAX.
For any GenY and Millienial readers, before there was Kimmel vs Matt Damon… there was Letterman vs Charles Grodin. Sure even Jimmy would give a nod to this. One of the best ongoing Late Night shticks there ever was, with Charles making over 40 appearances on Dave’s shows.
Have a solid Wednesday folks - enjoy your time while ya have it. Email me anytime - just reply to this email, or connect here on LINKED IN.