‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Season 12 and ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Season 7 Arriving on DVD in August

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment will release NCIS: Los Angeles — The Twelfth Season and NCIS: New Orleans — The Final Season on DVD in August.

NCIS: Los Angeles — The Twelfth Season arrives on DVD Aug. 24. Starring LL Cool L, Chris O’Donnell, Daniela Ruah and Barrett Foa, “NCIS: Los Angeles” focuses on the high-stakes world of a division of NCIS that is charged with apprehending dangerous and elusive criminals who pose a threat to the nation’s security. By assuming false identities and utilizing the most advanced technology, this team of highly trained agents goes deep undercover, putting their lives on the line in the field to bring down their targets.

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NCIS: New Orleans: The Final Season will be released on DVD Aug. 31. Starring Scott Bakula, Rob Kerkovich and CCH Pounder, “NCIS: New Orleans” deals with the local field office that investigates criminal cases involving military personnel in The Big Easy, a city known for its music, entertainment and decadence. Leading the team is Special Agent Dwayne Pride, a.k.a. “King,” a native of New Orleans who is driven by his need to do what is right. This colorful city that harbors a dark side is a magnet for service personnel on leave, and when overindulgence is followed by trouble, Pride’s team is at its best.

Also due on DVD Aug. 31 is NCIS: New Orleans: The Complete Series, containing all seven seasons.

Football Drama ‘Under the Stadium Lights’ Coming to DVD Aug. 3

Paramount Home Entertainment will release the drama Under the Stadium Lights on DVD Aug. 3. The film is now available in select theaters, on VOD and for digital purchase.

Milo Gibson and Laurence Fishburne star in the movie, which is based on the true story of a small-town high school football team who beat all the odds to win their state championship. After a crushing defeat ended their prior season, everyone counted the Abilene Eagles out of title contention. Facing doubts and personal challenges both on and off the field, it will take the guidance of their team chaplain (Gibson) and a surrogate father figure (Fishburne) for them to realize what they can achieve when they stand united as a team.

The cast also includes Abigail Hawk, Acoryé White, Carter Redwood, Germain Arroyo, Adrian Favela, Eddie George, Glenn Morshower and Noel G.

The film is rated ‘PG-13’ for some thematic elements, violence and bloody images, drug material and language.

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‘Raya’ Dominance Over Disc Sales Continues for Third Week

Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon remained No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended June 5. It’s the third week in the top spot for the animated fantasy.

In fact, the week’s top three disc sellers on both charts remained unchanged from the previous week.

Warner’s live-action/animation hybrid Tom & Jerry was No. 2, also for the third week, selling  a bit more than half as many copies overall as Raya.

At No. 3 for the second week on both charts was Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking, a sci-fi book series adaptation starring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley.

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The 2018 Paramount thriller A Quiet Place rose to No. 4 on the overall disc sales chart, and No. 8 on the Blu-ray chart, boosted by the current theatrical success of its sequel.

Rounding out the top five overall (and No. 11 on the Blu-ray chart) was Lionsgate’s John Wick, the 2014 actioner starring Keanu Reeves. The third “John Wick” movie was was No. 6 overall (No. 9 Blu-ray), while a collection of all three movies was the No. 4 Blu-ray seller.

The No. 5 Blu-ray was Universal Pictures’ Liam Neeson starrer The Marksman. It was No. 11 on the overall disc sales chart.

The week’s top newcomer, at No. 9 overall and No. 6 on the Blu-ray chart, was Lionsgate’s The Courier, a Cold War drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

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On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended June 6, Tom & Jerry jumped back into the top spot, pushing Raya to No. 2. The Marksman remained No. 3.

The Courier debuted as the No. 4 rental, while Warner’s The Little Things remained No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 6-5-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 6-6-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 6-5-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 6-5-21
Sales Report for Week Ended 6-5-21
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 6-7-21

1960s Christopher Lee Classics, 1980s Actioner ‘Strike Commando’ Among Titles Due on Disc June 22 From MVD and Severin

Christopher Lee European classics and 1980s actioners Invaders of the Lost Gold and the “Rambo”-inspired Strike Commando and Strike Commando 2 are coming to disc June 22 from MVD Entertainment Group and Severin Films.

Due on Blu-ray is The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee. The collection features movies made during his career in 1960s Europe and brings together five of these Lee classics — Crypt of the Vampire (1964); Castle of the Living Dead (1964) co-starring an unknown Donald Sutherland; Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962); The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967); and the rarely-seen Challenge the Devil (1963) — with the 24 surviving episodes of the 1971 Film Polski anthology series “Theatre Macabre” hosted by Lee. All are remastered from original negative materials with more 10 hours of trailers, rare promos, audio commentaries and vintage interviews, plus the Castle of the Living Dead soundtrack and a new 88-page book by Lee biographer Jonathan Rigby.

Coming on Blu-ray and DVD are the actioners Strike Commando and Strike Commando 2.

For Strike Commando, writer-director Bruno Mattei and co-writers Claudio Fragasso and Rossella Drudi borrowed from Rambo: First Blood Part II, Missing in Action and more to create their own ’Namsploitation masterpiece. Reb Brown (Uncommon Valor) stars as Sgt. Mike Ransom, a one-man war machine on a vengeance mission against brutal Vietcong, merciless Russians and double-crossing U.S. officers. Christopher Connelly (Raiders of Atlantis), Luciano Pigozzi (All the Colors of the Dark) and Jim Gaines (Island of the Living Dead) co-star in the film mastered in 2K from the original negative for the first time. Special features include “War Machine,” an interview with Fragasso; “All Quiet on the Philippine Front,” an interview with Drudi; and in-production promo; and the trailer.

In Strike Commando 2, Mattei, Fragasso and Drudi return to the Philippine jungles with a higher budget, bigger action and actor Richard Harris for a film that borrows from Apocalypse Now, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rambo and other actioners. This time, Sgt Mike Ransom (Brent Huff) battles the KGB, rogue CIA agents, an army of ninjas and a tough bar owner (Miss World 1977 Mary Stavin), among others. Mel Davidson (Robowar) and Vic Diaz (The Big Bird Cage) co-star in this sequel featuring a 2K scan from the original negative for the first time ever. Special features include “Guerrilla Zone,” an interview with Fragasso; “Michael Ransom Strikes Back,” an interview with Huff; and the trailer.

From producer Dick Randall — whose international trashterpieces include Escape From Women’s Prison, The Wild Wild World of Jayne Mansfield and Pieces — comes Invaders of the Lost Gold, an all-star Philippine production of the 1980s, on DVD and Blu-ray. In the last days of WWII, a Japanese platoon is attacked by headhunters while attempting to hide millions in gold. Then, 36 years later, a grizzled guide (Stuart Whitman) is hired to lead an expedition — including Woody Strode (Spartacus), Harold “Oddjob” Sakata and Laura Gemser (Black Emanuelle) — into a jungle inferno of greed, violence, nudity and murder. Edmund Purdom (Absurd) and Glynis Barber (Dempsey and Makepeace) co-star in this film directed by Alan Birkenshaw (Killer’s Moon). Also known as Horror Safari, the film is scanned in 2K for the first time ever. Special features include “Rumble in the Jungle,” an interview with director Alan Birkinshaw, and outtakes from Machete Maidens Unleashed with Birkinshaw and the wife of Randall.

Nielsen: Canceled Netflix Series ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ Dominated Weekly TV Streaming — A Month Ago

What a difference a month makes. Netflix’s recently canceled superhero fantasy comic book adaptation “Jupiter’s Legacy” dominated streaming across household televisions the week ended May 16, according to new data from Nielsen.

The series starring Josh Duhamel generated more than one billion minutes streamed across eight episodes, to double up No. 2 “Start-Up,” a 31-episode series licensed by Netflix, which generated 760 million minutes.

The top-streamed original movie was Netflix’s 21st Century take on Hitchcock’s masterpiece Rear Window, titled Woman in the Window, starring Amy Adams. The movie tracked 500 million minutes in its first week of release.

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Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

 

Movies:

 

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number

Minutes Streamed
(Millions)

1 Netflix The Woman in the Window 1 500
2 Netflix The Mitchells vs. The Machines  1 495
3 Disney+ Moana 1 221
4 Amazon Without Remorse 1 214
5 Netflix Dead Man Down 1 178
6 Netflix Madagascar 3 1 146
7 Hulu The Clovehitch Killer  1 125
8 Netflix I Am All Girls (2021) 1 104
9 Netflix Monster (2021) 1 102
10 Disney+ Frozen II 1 101

Licensed Shows:

Rank

SVOD Provider

Program Name

Number of Episodes

Minutes Streamed
(Millions)

1 Netflix “Start-Up”  31 760
2 Netflix “Grey’s Anatomy” 371 691
3 Netflix “NCIS” 353 672
4 Netflix “Criminal Minds” 310 579
5 Netflix “Cocomelon”  9 551
6 Netflix “Schitt’s Creek” 80 352
7 Netflix “Heartland” 174 341
8 Netflix “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn”  82 276
9 Netflix “New Girl”  146 261
10 Netflix “Supernatural” 328 239

Haystack News Streaming Platform Adds German Broadcaster Deutsche Welle

News-themed streaming video platform Haystack News June 10 announced an updated content distribution agreement with Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster.

With the new agreement, Haystack News launched DW’s world news content as the latest addition to its curated and personalized AVOD service, and also added DW to its growing portfolio of live 24/7 streaming news channels.

In addition to DW, Haystack News offers on-demand news from a wide array of global news providers, including Al-Jazeera English, CBC, Euronews, France24, and i24News.

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“International news providers, including DW, are a valuable addition to the diversity of voices and quality news coverage offered on our premier platform,” Daniel Barreto, co-founder/CEO at Haystack TV, said in a statement. 

Benjamin Schnabel, head of digital partnerships and new business, said the German broadcaster is long renowned for its award-winning journalism, and thus makes for an innovative content partner to help Haystack reach new audiences. 

“With the addition of both our live DW streaming channel and on-demand news content, Haystack News users now have multiple ways to enjoy DW content,” Schnabel said. 

Peacock Orders Original Series Based on ‘Ted’ ‘R’-Rated Comedies

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service June 10 announced a straight-to-series order for “Ted,” from Universal Content Productions (UCP), a division of Universal Studio Group, and MRC Television.

The series is based on the Universal Pictures/MRC movie Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg and the highest-grossing original ‘R’-rated comedy of all time. Collectively Ted and Ted 2 grossed more than $765 million worldwide.

Creator Seth MacFarlane is in negotiations to reprise the voice of the lovable foul-mouthed teddy bear Ted. The live-action series will be executive produced by MacFarlane and Erica Huggins for Fuzzy Door.

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This is the second series order since MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door signed an overall development deal with UCP in 2020. Earlier this year, Peacock announced a series order of “The End is Nye,” hosted by Bill Nye. The series is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio and UCP, divisions of Universal Studio Group, and Fuzzy Door.

UCP is responsible for series such as Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Act,” “Monk,” “Homecoming,” “The Sinner,” “Suits,” “Dirty John” and “Psych.”  Upcoming titles include “Dr. Death,” starring Joshua Jackson, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater; and “Gaslit” starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn.

MRC’s series have been nominated for 94 Emmy Awards and 18 Golden Globe Awards. The current slate includes “Ozark,” from Chris Mundy and starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner, on Netflix; “The Great,” from Tony McNamara, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, on Hulu; “The Shrink Next Door,” starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd and from director Michael Showalter and writer Georgia Pritchett for Apple TV+; “The Terminal List,” for which Chris Pratt stars and executive produces alongside director Antoine Fuqua and writer David DiGilio, with Amazon Studios; “Shining Girls,” starring Elisabeth Moss and produced with Appian Way and Love & Squalor Pictures  for Apple TV+; the Rian Johnson series “Poker Face,” with T-Street and starring Natasha Lyonne for Peacock; and “Hello Tomorrrow!” starring Billy Crudup, from creators Amit Bhalla and Lucas Jansen and director Jonathan Entwistle for Apple TV+.

MRC’s previous series included Netflix’s “House of Cards” and “Counterpart,” among others.

‘A Place in the Sun,’ ‘Nashville’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’ Join Paramount Presents Blu-ray Line in August

Three classics, A Place in the Sun, Nashville and Bugsy Malone, are joining the “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray line in August.

The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-rays come in collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of each film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. Each disc also includes access to a digital copy of the film.

Due Aug. 10 is A Place in the Sun, from director George Stevens. The 1951 film, which won six Academy Awards, is remastered from a 4K film transfer in celebration of its 70th anniversary. The release includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” featuring film historian Leonard Maltin talking about Stevens and the innovative film techniques he used for this story of ambition, passion and betrayal. The disc also features previously released bonus content, including commentary by George Stevens Jr. and Ivan Moffat, retrospective cast and crew interviews, and a segment on Stevens featuring filmmakers who knew him. In the film, Montgomery Clift stars as George Eastman, a young man determined to win a place in respectable society and the heart of a beautiful socialite (Elizabeth Taylor). Shelley Winters is the factory girl whose dark secret threatens Eastman’s professional and romantic prospects.

Nashville is also coming out Aug. 10. Director Robert Altman’s seminal 1970s film is newly remastered from a 4K scan of original elements. The release includes a new featurette entitled “24 Tracks: Robert Altman’s Nashville.” The disc also includes a previously released commentary by Altman. The film follows 24 distinct characters with intersecting storylines over five days in the titular city. The ensemble cast includes Ned Beatty, Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Geraldine Chaplin, Henry Gibson, Michael Murphy, Lily Tomlin, Shelley Duvall, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum and Barbara Harris.

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Bugsy Malone will make its U.S. Blu-ray debut Aug. 31. Director Alan Parker redefined the movie musical with his first feature-length film, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. The film has been remastered from the original elements for this limited-edition release. The Blu-ray includes a new Filmmaker Focus delving into this early work from the director of FameThe Commitments, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Mississippi Burning and Evita. Set in 1929 New York City, Bugsy Malone captures a flashy world of would-be hoodlums, showgirls, and dreamers — all portrayed by child actors. As Tallulah, the sassy girlfriend of the owner of Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy, future superstar Jodie Foster leads a talented cast. Parker’s script is combined with the music and lyrics of Paul Williams.

Tremor International Names Emily Barfuss Chief Marketing Officer

Tremor International has named Emily Barfuss its new chief marketing officer. Barfuss will spearhead the development of the global marketing strategy across Tremor International, including its core Tremor Video and Unruly business groups. Barfuss will report to CEO Ofer Druker and be based in New York City.

Emily Barfuss

“Emily is joining the Tremor team during a pivotal time, when our business is experiencing significant growth and expansion,” Druker said in a statement. “Her proven marketing expertise coupled with her track record of accomplishments in growing global brands makes her an excellent addition to our executive team.”

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Barfuss joins Tremor with extensive media and ad-tech leadership experience. Most recently, Barfuss built marketing and brand strategies at grace+grit, a marketing consulting firm she founded. Prior, Barfuss oversaw CBS Corp.’s affiliate marketing efforts as part of the media giant’s TV distribution.

“Tremor International is a dynamic company, and I believe it is at the frontlines of shaping the future of the ad-tech industry,” Barfuss said. “I’m thrilled to join such an innovative organization and look forward to working closely and collaboratively with the Tremor team to further solidify our global leadership position and, by extension, nurture even stronger connections with our clients worldwide.”

GameStop Under SEC Scrutiny With Stock Up 1,500% in 2021

GameStop June 10 disclosed it is being investigated by federal regulators from the Securities Exchange Commission — the result of months-long stock volatility that has seen the video game retailer’s shares skyrocket 1,500% in value in 2021.

The retailer said it is reviewing the regulatory request, producing the requested documents and intends to cooperate fully with the SEC.

“This inquiry is not expected to adversely impact us,” GameStop said in a statement.

After raising almost $552 million from the issuance of 3.5 million shares in April, GameStop said it plans to issue another 5 million shares in the near future. The stock, along with AMC Entertainment’s, has become fodder for individual traders fueled by social media and crowdsourced stock moves. Company shares closed June 9 up over $300 a share from little more than $4 per share last July.

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“The trading probe is definitely a big red flag,” David Trainer, CEO of research firm New Constructs, said in a media interview. Trainer characterized the SEC probe as “the needle that can bust the balloon of the stock’s valuation.”

Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter contends the regulatory investigation is normal in light of the stock jump. But the analyst believes the June 10 morning decline in share price has more to do with the new stock sale.

“We think that the sell-off had little to do with the fundamentals and everything to do with the company’s failure to reveal its strategy,” Pachter wrote in a June 10 note.

Regardless, Texas-based GameStop saw first-quarter sales (ended May 1) increase 25% to $1.27 billion, from revenue of $1 billion in the previous-year period. Net loss narrowed nearly 60% to $66.8 million, from a net loss of $165.7 million a year earlier.

Speaking on his last call as CEO, George Sherman said the increased revenue came despite the closure of 118 under-performing stores. GameStop still operates nearly 4,700 stores worldwide.

Former Amazon executive Matt Furlong becomes GameStop’s new CEO on June 21.

Furlong’s arrival, along with fellow Amazon executive Mike Recupero as new CFO, underlines the fact that GameStop’s the future is online and with ecommerce. The chain is adding 700,000-square feet to a fulfillment facility in York, Pennsylvania.

“This new distribution center, which is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of this year, will enhance our order fulfillment capabilities on the East Coast,” Sherman said on the June 9 call.