YOUTUBE ends Originals Programming, leader departing
NETFLIX orders Mike Judge-Greg Daniels comedy / ACTIVISION head to get $375 Million payout / Tom Hanks movie gets director
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY January 19, 2022.
Where Willem Dafoe is set to host SNL next week on Jan 29 (Will Forte is this Sat). KATY PERRY is joining as music guest.
AND: The GRAMMYS are moving to Sun Apr 3 (weekend after the OSCARS), and from LA to Vegas which just feels right. CMA Awards are moving to.. later in April TBD as a result.
ALSO: “The Kite Runner” will open on BROADWAY this Summer on July 21.
BUT: Sadly 2 more RestInPeace’s this morning in a rough month as it is… Fashion Biz legend Andre Leon Talley died at 73 years-old,
And Marty Roberts of legendary LA act “Marty and Elayne” died at 89 years-old as well. 🎹
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Marc Forster (“World War Z”) directing Tom Hanks movie based on Swedish film
Film is “A Man Called Ove” and was based on a hit book. It was also the highest-grossing foreign language pic in the US in 2016.
About a grumpy widower in a small town who… kinda warms up to some new neighbors and relives his relationship with his wife through flashbacks. Or at least that’s kinda the gist from the trailer for the Swedish version here.
David Magee (”Life of Pi”) is writing, Hanks’s PLAYTONE among producers but no word as to when it’ll finda a home at
APPLE TV a streaming service or studio, all of whom have an equal shot. 😬 /Deadline
Ethan Hawke joins NETFLIX Juila Roberts / Mahershala Ali pic “Leave the World Behind” from “Mr. Robot” creator
Myha’la Herrold (HBO’s “Industry”) also joining for the story of 2 families who don’t know each other, that get stranded together on a long weekend… and things go south.
Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”) is directing and adapting the source book by Rumaan Alam which was nominated for the 2020 National Book Awards. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
PAR+ basically renews everything “Star Trek”
“Star Trek: Discovery” renewed for Season 5, sets Thu Feb 10 premiere for Season 4
“Picard” will return on Thu March 3
New series “Strange New Worlds” will drop May 5 and is already renewed for Season 2.
“Star Trek: Lower Decks” also renewed for a Season 4 (Season 3 drops this Summer) /THR
NETFLIX orders animated comedy series from the new Mike Judge / Greg Daniels outfit
Nicole Byer & Lauren Lapkis will be the lead voices for “Bad Crimes”, playing FBI agents on the road solving grisly crimes, juggling friendship and “as many men as possible”.
10 episodes, created by Nicole Silverberg (“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”). /Variety
ALSO IN TV
“The White Lotus” Season 2 adds four to cast including F. Murray Abraham. Character descriptions in the link for the inclined. 👈 /THR
NBC cancels “Ellen Game of Games” after 4 seasons. /Deadline
MTV cancels “The Hills: New Beginnings” after 2 seasons. /Deadline
“Bull” will end on CBS after this season. /Variety
NETFLIX cancels “Cooking with Paris” after 1 season. Wait did Cooking have quotes around it? /Deadline
FOX planning to add all-Animation Monday night by 2023 season to go with Sunday Animation Domination. /Deadline
ROKU doing biopic on “Weird” Al Yankovic starring Daniel Radcliffe, co-written by Al who will also be a producer on it. FUNNY OR DIE is a co-producer as well. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
YOUTUBE exits Original Programming biz, dept chief Suzanne Daniels leaving
YT had abandoned the Scripted thing a while ago (“Cobra Kai”, the “Step Up” TV series etc), but had kept the Unscripted game strong with Will Smith’s “Best Shape of My Life” and Demi Lovato series “Dancing with the Devil” this year among others.
But now… they apparently realized - Wait what? People already create popular unscripted shows for us for a paltry 55% of the ad revenue without us spending a dollar in development money? 🤫
YT Originals did have their most-watched quarter in Q4 2021, but YT will instead shift internal resources to focus on compelling Live Shopping programming, and still maintain some Kids stuff and content for a vertical called Black Voices.
But everything else will wind down and Suzanne will leave in March. /Deadline
Additional details of note on the MICROSOFT - ACTIVISION BLIZZARD $69 Billion purchase
Makes MICROSOFT the world’s #3 biggest video game company behind SONY and China’s TENCENT, but leapfrogs NINTENDO.
MICROSOFT paying in cash cuz that’s how MICROSOFT rolls. #noReceipts #BiggestCastAcquisitionEver 💰💰
$69 Billion is about 1/3 of NETFLIX’s market value, but 3X the value of VIACOMCBS, for some context. Also 3X MICROSOFT’s last big purchase of LINKED-IN ($26 Billion)
MICROSOFT is worth $3.2 Trillion, this is just 3% of that
Yes, a lot of this valuation is based on future Metaverse growth speculation
25 Million people pay for XBOX GAME PASS each month:
At $10 or $15 a month tiers, but couldn’t find a breakdown of how many for either. Though wait - where have I seen that pricing approach elsewhere? 🤔
For context… that’s about the rumored size of APPLE TV+… but well below HULU, HBOMAX, AMAZON PRIME and NETFLIX US subscriber bases, although granted there is a bunch of in-app purchasing in gaming.
Why doesn’t Hollywood or Streaming buy Gaming companies if the sector is so hot and “the future of entertainment”?
A) Most of them can’t really afford it in the first place (save for the APPLE & AMAZON’s of the world), and game development is very expensive compared to IP/Movie/TV properties.
B) Gaming has never been a core competency of Hollywood studios - DISNEY tried and exited real fast in the Iger era, WB still has their division but was trying to sell it for years. And in general - we all know how well it works out for companies who enter other businesses they know little about (coughAT&Tcough).
Not to mention the 90’s era when Electronics companies like PANASONIC and SONY tried it, and nearly lost their shirt when thought it was a good idea to hire Guber & Peters to run it. 🤦♂️
ACTIVISION is that company you keep seeing “Toxic Work Culture” headlines about. They’ve fired 36 people and disciplined 40 others since July for sexual harassment and other misconduct, and have had several equal pay issues as well. They also make “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush”. /WSJ
OH AND OF COURSE: The man who led the company during this shitshow of management, CEO Bobby Kotick is getting a $375 Million payday thanks to the stock options he’s been given over the years. But ya know, that’s before taxes 🤷♂️. /Bloomberg
ON TOP OF THAT: Kotick could get an additional payout of well over $100 Million if for some reason he’s shown the door when the deal closes in June. /VideoGamesChronicle
ALSO IN MEDIA
CNN+ adds former U OF KENTUCKY & NBA star, and newfound Social Media star Rex Chapman to programming lineup. Will host an interview show featuring Celebs, Athletes and… Regular Folk in stories about finding a silver lining in tough situations. Rex battled an opioid addiction after his time in the NBA. /Variety
PUCK Media hires THR’s chief Legal matters writer Eriq Gardner, Esq to write for them with Matt Belloni and Dylan Byers on the Media / Hollywood team. /Axios
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
Former HBO FILMS exec Len Amato named Chief Creative Officer at MASTERCLASS. /Deadline
TIKTOK head of Marketing Nick Tran abruptly departs. /The Information
Head of Ridley Scott’s SCOTT FREE productions Kevin Walsh departs, signs production deal at APPLE TV+. /Deadline
CBS NEWS sets new streaming head - Anthony Galloway is coming over as SVP Streaming from his gig at WSJ as Chief Content Officer.
CBS Mornings booking head Kaci Sokoloff also promoted to VP Bookings for CBS NEWS overall. /THR
IMAGINE promotes their Docu-unit head Justin Wilkes to overall Chief Strategy Officer. Will oversee all new biz development as Brian & Ron continue to hold majority-sale talks for the company. /Variety
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
A down day overall… Media included. Biggest movers:
DISCOVERY -5% ($29.64)
SNAP -6% ($35.70)
AMC THEATERS -8% ($18.84)
ENDEAVOR -5% ($30.44)
ALTICE -5% (14.82)
VIMEO -5% (13.99)
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
NETFLIX “Too Hot to Handle” Season 3 - Stream or Add to Your List Here
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
HBOMAX “Our Flag Means Death” series teaser - From Taika Waititi, about a pioneering “gentleman pirate” and his crew, and look - Leslie Jones! Fun spot. Premieres March TBD.
HBOMAX “The Fallout” movie trailer - Follows an unexpected friendship that follows a school shooting and the emotional repercussions resulting - very powerful spot. With Julie Bowen, Shailene Woodley & John Ortiz in supporting roles. Premieres Thu Jan 27
APPLE TV+ “Severance” series trailer - Adam Scott and Patricia Arquette star in this… dark comedy / thriller (?) about a company where employees get a chip in their brain which makes them forget about their personal lives while at work. The Holiday party is off the chain. Ben Stiller directs. Premieres Fri Feb 18.
MARVEL “Moon Knight” series trailer - Premieres March 30 which means… DISNEY+ will go about 7 weeks without a new MARVEL Original this Winter (“Boba Fett” finishes on Feb 9), which further explains the decision to move PIXAR’s “Turning Red” to streaming on March 11 to keep the new A-list content pipeline at least marginally active.
LIFETIME & A&E “Janet Jackson” docu event trailer - 2 nights, Jan 28 and 29, it seems primarily driven by co-producer SKY, so it’s unclear where or if it’ll be streaming here afterward.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
TECHNO KATY PERRY & ALESSO “When I’m Gone” - Katy goes clubbing. Takes a shot of auto-tune every now and then.
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Oh I loved watching Marty & Elayne at the Dresden. RIP.