More WBD senior level exits as TBS dumps show 3 weeks before premiere
ROKU sets big WALMART e-comm deal / Efron to lead A24 wrestling pic / McMahon steps away from WWE Chairman/CEO role for now
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on FRIDAY June 17, 2022.
Where the Zaslav WB+D synergies continue to waste no time… as this lovely offer for being an HBOMAX subscriber showed up yesterday 👀.
This should help the DISCOVERY+ Q2 numbers just in time, as the quarter ends in about 2 weeks 👌.
PLUS: If you’ve ever thought, “OK sure this Sean guy can type, but can he speak?” - well Janice & Richard had the same question and invited me on The Ankler “Hot Seat” podcast this week to find out.
SUBSCRIBE wherever you listen - here it is on on APPLE or SPOTIFY or just search “Ankler Hot Seat” where you listen to pods. It should go up today - talking things to look for in the Streaming biz
whenif a Recession hits and a lot more.
AND: As we’re finishing out my first week of The Wakeup here at The Ankler - if you have any feedback, thoughts or just want to say hi, you can:
Message me on Linked-In here
DM @theseanmac on TWITTER
And pretty sure my PRODIGY account is still active (#GenXrules)
ALSO: DRAKE surprise-dropped a new album at Midnight overnight because I think that’s how they release albums in CANADA 🤷♂️. Anyway - here it is on SPOTIFY
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Will Ferrell - Reese Witherspoon wedding comedy being shopped
DEADLINE with the scoop on the ‘hot package’ (is that really the best name?), pic is to be written & directed by Nick Stoller (“Neighbors”, upcoming “Bros” - see Trailer House today).
UTA keeping all the plot details to themselves, so we’ll see if UNI ponies up or a streamer.
A24 sets Zac Efron to star in drama “The Iron Claw”
From director Sean Durkin (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), about the rise and fall of the real life Von Erich family, who made a huge impact wrestling starting back in the 1960s.
Zac of course also signed onto that NETFLIX rom-com with Nicole Kidman and Joey King earlier in the week. /Deadline
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
TURNER EVP of Unscriped Corie Hansen is leaving WBD, and SVP of Programming for FOOD NETWORK Todd Weiser is leaving too. /THR
This as WBD cancels another TURNER unscripted series, “The Big D” - this time just 3 weeks before its premiere. Word is they’ll treat the $10 Million cost as an accounting write-off. /Deadline
Co-CIO Larry Laque
SVP Comms ID & TRAVEL Channel, Kristin Brown
SVP Comms DISCO+ docs, Jennifer Driscoll
SVP Marketing ,Doug Seybert /Variety
Another ICM departure: MP & TV Talent agent Nathalie Didier is departing for PARADIGM. /Deadline
AMAZON PRIME sets former NETFLIX marketing exec Casey Benesch as Head of Comedy Marketing, reports into Marketing head Ukonwa Ojo. /Deadline
MATTEL hired former MARVEL & DISNEY Consumer Products exec Josh Silverman as “Chief Franchise Officer” and Head of Consumer Products. Starts Sept 1 and reports into MATTEL’s Prez. /Variety
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📺 THE TV SET
STANELY CUP opens to 3.2 Million viewers for ABC on Wed
Only about 25% of what the NBA Finals are doing… but hockey’s audience is always the lowest of the Big 4. And it did get a .9 rating in 18-49, more than double anything else on Network TV that night.
Again these are initial figures… not including OutOfHome viewing (or ESPN+ streaming). /Deadline
Game 1 in 2019 on NBC with Boston vs. St. Louis had 5.1 Million, 2 massive hockey markets.
ALTHOUGH: Woulda helped if the NY RANGERS were in it (and not just for my mental health) - they played in the top 7 most watched NHL Playoff games this year, and their Playoff game average viewership was 2X vs. games they were not in. /SportsMediaWatch
ALSO IN TV
HBOMAX renews “Hacks” for a Season 3. /Variety
WBTV sets longtime “Ellen” showrunner trio to lead “The Jennifer Hudson Show” launching this Sept in syndication. Will air on FOX-owned stations and a variety of other station groups. /THR
APPLE TV+ adds John Ortiz to Vince Vaughn FLORIDA detective comedy series “Bad Monkey” from Bill Lawrence, based on the Carl Hiassen book.
Ortiz is replacing another actor in a key role as Vaughn’s best friend & former partner in the currently-shooting series. /Deadline
📝 IN OTHER WORDS…
“Chappelle, do you know what comes up when you Google your name, bro? That’s the legacy?
Your legacy is a bunch of opinions on trans sh*t? It’s an odd hill to die on.”
- JERROD CARMICHAEL in his GQ profile out this week.
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Elon Musk joins the imaginary “1 Billion Users” club with TWITTER
Yes Elon joined the chorus of media leaders (well, soon to be leader. maybe) who have, or are still publicly touting the belief that a Billion users are within their service’s reach.
TWITTER currently has about 229 Million Daily Active Users so… yeah sure why not 💪.
He also said this in response to an employee question about the notion of layoffs:
“Right now, costs exceed revenue. That’s not a great situation.”
He also sees TWITTER as embracing more of Creator culture… whatever that might mean, and sees TW as contributing to a reality where we better understand the nature of the universe.
I’m just hoping he keeps the ability to post gifs. /NY Times
ROKU cuts deal with WALMART to power new shoppable Ads initiative
Essentially - ROKU is upgrading their tech to make select ads almost “one click” shoppable with your remote using ROKU Pay (ie the credit card you have on file with ROKU).
All orders will be fulfilled by WALMART, no word on the 💰 cut ROKU will get on orders… but with 61 Million ROKU users (mostly in the US), this could be a nice business by later in the year.
And if they get that NETFLIX AdTech deal… I think the term is #RevenueDiversification 👏. /THR
If your FB or INSTA feed has been a dumpster fire since late April too… here’s why
Tom Alison, the head of FACEBOOK decided to pivot from the main reason people used IG & FB in the first place, to instead… chase TIKTOK strategy like they were ABC & CBS creating sitcoms in the mid 90s about young white professionals living in NYC:
Rather than prioritize posts from accounts people follow, Facebook’s main feed will, like TikTok, start heavily recommending posts regardless of where they come from.
So if 80% of the first 10 posts in your IG feed are now ads and random crap you don’t follow (like mine is…), there ya go. /The Verge
ALSO IN MEDIA
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is “stepping aside” as the company’s board conducts their investigation into previously unreported payments to employees. Vince will still keep his hand in creative matters, but his daughter Stephanie who had recently hit pause to “focus on her family” is coming back as CEO on an interim basis. /Deadline
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🏦 STOCK NOTES
WALL STREET: Oh right - higher interest rates can very easily lead to a Recession. Sorry - we TOTALLY forgot about that yesterday, our bad.
META ($160.87), PARAMOUNT ($24.25), COMCAST ($37.91)
SPOTIFY ($97.85), AMC THEATERS ($11.79), WARNER MUSIC ($24.39), SNAP ($12.22), CHARTER ($415.35), BUZZFEED ($1.66)
AMC NETWORKS ($28.10), CINEWORLD (REGAL Cinemas) ($0.27), DISH ($16.73), WBD ($13.65)
ROBLOX ($24.69), ALTICE ($14.35)
👩💻 THE FSS FEED:
(new Stuff to Watch this weekend, Friday - Saturday - Sunday)
👓 WEEKEND READS
“Could a straight man do what I did in ‘Philadelphia’ now? No, and rightly so.”
- TOM HANKS in THE NY TIMES MAGAZINE, getting the longform Q&A treatment about “Baz Luhrman’s Elvis”, and an interesting conversation about “Tom Hanks” the brand if you will.
AND: NY MAG has a look at the state of the TRIBECA FEST through the lens of Jane Rosenthal, and how things have been going since James Murdoch (non #maga one) bought a majority stake in the TRIBECA FEST in 2019.
ALSO: Here are this year’s TRIBECA FEST winners.
🎧 WEEKEND LISTENS
SMARTLESS was a really great episode this week with Bradley Cooper sharing some heartfelt stories about the early days when he and Will Arnett were roommates in NYC and Bradley was living a… harder lifestyle. SPOTIFY APPLE
Peter Kafka had a good RECODE MEDIA pod chat with Bill Simmons about the state of his podcasting empire, and the podcast business overall. SPOTIFY APPLE
DISNEY PIXAR “Lightyear” - ONLY IN THEATERS
FOCUS FEATURES “Brian and Charles” - IN LIMITED THEATERS
APPLE TV+ “Cha Cha Real Smooth” - SUNDANCE fav with Dakota Johnson - STREAM HERE
NETFLIX “Spiderhead” - Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller sci-fi thriller from “Top Gun: Maverick” director - STREAM HERE
HULU “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” - Emma Thompson sex dramedy - STREAM HERE
PARAMOUNT+ “Jerry and Marge Go Large” - Bryan Cranston, Annette Benning comedy - no googleable link
APPLE TV+ “Home” Season 2 - STREAM HERE
HULU Bonnaroo festival live stream all weekend - STREAM HERE
NBC Golf US OPEN all afternoon 🏌️
ABC Stanley Cup Playoffs game 2 at 8p 🥅
NBC Golf US OPEN all afternoon
TNT “Animal Kingdom” - new season at 9p
HISTORY CHANNEL “After Jackie” - Docu looking at the players who came after Jackie Robinson, Premieres at 8p
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
HBO “Westworld” Season 4 trailer - Hard needle to thread on a S4 trailer for a series like this with needing to keep a lotta plot points secret - but still a very engaging spot! And I’ve never seen the show. (I know, I know…) PREMIERES SUN JUNE 26
UNIVERSAL “Bros” official (greenband) trailer - IN THEATERS SEPT 30
HULU “Leave No Trace” docu trailer - About the massive decades-long pedophilia scandal at the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, and I’d challenge anyone not to get both teared up and… well a lotta other feelings at the very end of this. NOW STREAMING HERE
NETFLIX “How to Change Your Mind” docuseries trailer - Michael Pollan and Alex Gibney look into the science and beneficial effects of psychedelic drugs on the mind. Looks really cool and the stories I’ve seen on how this has helped soldiers with PTSD have been remarkable - I’m in. PREMIERES TUES JULY 12
NETFLIX “Blonde” movie teaser trailer - Marilyn Monroe pic with Ana De Armas, directed by Andrew Dominik. PREMIERES FRI SEPT 23
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
And this is from last week but if you missed it like me and you love the Seth Meyers “Day Drinking” remotes… here’s a new one with POST MALONE. Seems fitting on a Summer Friday.
If you need some new tunes:
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