Another Actor to Reprise Role in Disney+’s Upcoming ‘Lizzie McGuire’

Adam Lamberg is set to reprise his role of David “Gordo” Gordon, a recurring character in the upcoming Disney+ series “Lizzie McGuire.”

Lamberg originated the role of Gordo, Lizzie’s best friend, whose intelligence, creativity and wry observations about middle school life made him a bit of an outcast — except to his inner circle of friends.

Production on the series began earlier this month.

“Gordo was an essential piece of the puzzle to what made the original ‘Lizzie McGuire’ so authentic and beloved,” said Hilary Duff, star and executive producer of the series, in a statement. “I couldn’t imagine the series without him. I can’t wait for fans to see what he’s up to 15 years later and how he fits into Lizzie’s adult world.”

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The new story picks up as Lizzie McGuire is just about to turn 30. She seemingly has it all — her dream job as an assistant to a fancy New York City interior designer, her dream guy and a picturesque Brooklyn apartment — but things aren’t always as they seem. With a little help from her old friends and some new ones to come, her well-meaning family and her 13-year-old alter-ego in animated form, Lizzie navigates the ups and downs of adulthood.

As previously announced, also reprising their roles are Duff as Lizzie McGuire, Hallie Todd as Jo McGuire, Robert Carradine as Sam McGuire and Jake Thomas as Matt McGuire.

Original “Lizzie McGuire” series creator Terri Minsky returns as showrunner and executive producer. Rachel Winter will also executive produce. Ranada Shepard is the co-executive producer. “Lizzie McGuire” is produced by Salty Pictures, Inc. in association with Disney Channel.

Doc ‘The Animal People’ Due on Digital Dec. 10 From Virgil

The feature documentary The Animal People will come out on digital HD Dec. 10 from Virgil Films.

From executive producer Joaquin Phoenix and directors Cassandra Suchan and Denis Henry Hennelly, the documentary — more than 10 years in the making — follows the journey of six young activists who find themselves indicted as terrorists by the United States government. The reason for indictment is the activists’ leadership of a controversial open protest campaign aiming to close down the largest animal testing laboratory in the world. The activists used the then fledgling internet to dramatically magnify their impact and systematically knocked down pillars of financial support for the lab. But when protests began to mushroom into dead-of-night vandalism and worse by unknown underground elements, the FBI stepped in. The bureau began a campaign of surveillance, creating a model that would later be used against Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. According to the program, the United States Congress, under corporate pressure, rewrote laws in specific preparation for prosecution, potentially weakening free speech rights for all Americans.

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Featuring expansive interviews with the six activists spanning more than a decade, rare archival footage, including never-before-seen surveillance footage, wiretaps and government documents, The Animal People is a portrait of what happens when activism rattles the institutions of power.

More ViacomCBS Execs Announced

CBS and Viacom Nov. 18 announced additional senior appointments to ViacomCBS corporate leadership, effective upon closing of the merger.

Alex Berkett, SVP, corporate development and strategy, Viacom, will become EVP, corporate development and strategy, leading ViacomCBS’ efforts to identify, pursue and execute strategic growth opportunities, including acquisitions, partnerships, investments and joint ventures, across all of ViacomCBS’ businesses and geographies.

Nancy Phillips will serve as EVP, chief people officer, and lead the ViacomCBS global human resources organization. Phillips joins the company from Nielsen, where she served as chief human resources officer.

Marva Smalls, EVP, global head of inclusion strategy, Viacom, will serve as EVP, global head of inclusion of ViacomCBS, driving initiatives and fostering partnerships that promote and advance diversity and inclusion for ViacomCBS enterprise-wide both with internal and external stakeholders globally. In addition, she will retain her public affairs responsibilities for Nickelodeon as EVP, public affairs, kids and family entertainment brands, ViacomCBS Media Networks.

Jose Tolosa, chief transformation officer of Viacom, will expand his responsibilities as EVP, chief transformation officer. In this role, he will continue to oversee integration efforts for the combined company, with a focus on accelerating the evolution of its businesses. Tolosa will also lead ViacomCBS strategic planning, helping to set the company’s strategic priorities and support cross-company projects for senior management. Additionally, he will oversee the Global Business Services and Global Sourcing divisions, which will expand their scope, providing enterprise-wide services and helping drive synergies.

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The leadership announcements follow the previously announced appointments of Christa D’Alimonte as EVP, general counsel and secretary; Anthony DiClemente as EVP, investor relations; DeDe Lea as EVP, global public policy and government relations; Julia Phelps as EVP, chief communications and corporate marketing officer, and Christina Spade as Executive Vice President, CFO.

“We now have in place the entire senior management team for ViacomCBS, ensuring we will hit the ground running when the transaction closes in just a few weeks,” stated Bob Bakish, Viacom president and CEO, who will serve as president and CEO of ViacomCBS upon closing. “Working together, these leaders will help us realize the full potential of our considerable assets and competitive strengths.”

The merger of Viacom and CBS remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by early December.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Takes Full Ownership of Game Show Network

Sony Pictures Entertainment has acquired AT&T’s minority stake in Game Show Network for $500 million, the two companies announced.

SPE now owns 100% of the multimedia entertainment company offering original and classic game programming to millions of subscribers through the U.S.-based cable network. It also offers online and mobile games to millions of users through GSN Games. Following the transaction, the Game Show Network channel will continue to be carried on DirecTV.

Prior to the transaction, SPE owned a 58% stake in Game Show Network, and AT&T owned the remaining 42%.

Game Show Network will continue to be managed by Sony Pictures Television with Mark Feldman continuing as president and CEO of the multimedia outlet.

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“We’re excited to bring Game Show Network fully into the Sony Pictures Entertainment portfolio,” said Mike Hopkins, chairman, Sony Pictures Television, in a statement. “The acquisition allows us to work more closely with the company’s talented team to deliver the best iconic game shows, develop and syndicate new game show IP for audiences across the nation, as well as to advance the fast-growing GSN Games business, all of which directly aligns with our strategy of developing targeted direct-to-consumer offerings.”

Game Show Network television programming includes originals such as “America Says,” “The Chase,” “Common Knowledge” and “Catch 21,” syndicated shows including “Wheel of Fortune” and “Family Feud,” and classics including “The $25,000 Pyramid” and “Card Sharks.” GSN Games’ collection of mobile games includes GSN Casino, Bingo Bash, Wheel of Fortune Slots, Solitaire TriPeaks and WorldWinner.

‘Dead Earth’ Stalking to DVD and Digital Jan. 28 From Lionsgate

The action thriller Dead Earth comes out on DVD, digital, and on demand Jan. 28 from Lionsgate.

From filmmaker Wych Kaosayananda, director of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever and The Driver, Dead Earth tells a parallel story to The Driver, focusing on events that happen within the same post-apocalyptic world, with characters and locations intersecting between both films.

In the film, two young women cling to life in an abandoned resort. They must survive in silence, in mortal fear of attracting the hordes of undead. When their compound runs out of fuel, they are forced into the countryside to find gas, resulting in a nightmarish encounter with survivors. But that is nothing compared to the horrors that await them back at home, leading to a deadly confrontation with the evil that surrounds them.

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Lionsgate to Bow ‘The Turkey Bowl’ on DVD Jan. 14

The comedy The Turkey Bowl arrives on DVD Jan. 14 from Lionsgate.

The film is now available on digital and on demand.

Co-written and directed by Greg Coolidge, creator of the “Ride Along” franchise, and co-writer/director of Employee of the MonthThe Turkey Bowl stars Ryan Hansen, Matt Jones, Kristen Hager, Brett Cullen, Barry Switzer and Alan Ritchson.

The story follows Patrick Hodges, a former small-town high school quarterback — now a high-powered Chicago businessman engaged to a politician’s daughter — who hasn’t returned to his tiny Midwestern town in years. But his old friends have lured him back for Thanksgiving to force him to finish the legendary Turkey Bowl — a football game that was snowed out 15 years ago. Patrick must risk his future to lead his ragtag team against their bitter crosstown rivals, ultimately realizing how much he misses the simpler life and the girl that got away.

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Special features include an audio commentary with director Coolidge and co-writer Kirk Ward and deleted scenes with commentary.

Vizio Rolling Out Chromecast Update to Access Disney+ on Smart TVs

Vizio will roll out a Chromecast built-in update that will allow users to cast Disney+ content to their Vizio SmartCast TVs.

The update will start rolling out in early December.

Owners can already watch content from the Disney+ app using Apple AirPlay 2 by tapping the AirPlay icon and selecting their SmartCastTV when in the app.

Vizio can roll out updates to models dating back to 2016.

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“We want consumers to know that when they purchase a Vizio TV, it will keep its value for years to come,” said Bill Baxter, Vizio chief technology officer, in a statement. “Our team is continually improving SmartCast to ensure users have the best home entertainment experience with more ways to enjoy their favorite content.”

VIZIO SmartCast TVs users can also view apps such as Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and YouTube directly from the SmartCast Home screen.

Consumers Willing to Pay 50% More for Additional Streaming Services

Consumers on average pay $22 a month for video streaming subscriptions and are willing to pay an additional $11 a month — or 50% more — for additional services, according to a new report from audit, tax and advisory services firm KPMG LLP.

“The fact that consumers are willing to pay 50% more, on average, provides a critical marker for providers as our study indicates a high degree of price sensitivity,” said Michelle Wroan, KPMG National Media Sector Leader, in a statement.

KPMG surveyed more than 2,000 subscribers, ages 18-24 and 25-60, to examine how people choose their video streaming services and the factors they deem most important.

Price topped the list of the most important features for both demographic groups in selecting a streaming service. Consumers aged 18-24 ranked ad-free service a close second, followed by content, while those 25-60 listed content a distant second, followed by ease of access.

Just under 70% of respondents ages 18-24 and nearly 80% of those 25-60 currently pay $10 to $40 per month for streaming subscriptions. Across age groups, when considering additional streaming services, most people would be willing to pay up to $20 more per month, while others would not be willing to increase their monthly spend at all.

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“Assuming the price is right, content remains a key differentiator, and that’s why the major players have acquired content and lined up high-profile content production teams,” Wroan said in a statement.

About a third of the survey respondents said that a broad mix of content is a key consideration when choosing a video streaming service. After that, those 18-24 listed favorite older TV shows, while those 25-60 ranked the movie library and original series second. As far as where they watch content, more 18- to 24-year-olds (41%) use a smartphone most often to watch streaming content than any other device, and more 25- to 60-year-olds (61%) watch most on TV, smart TVs and devices such as Roku and Apple TV.

Disney+’s ‘The Mandalorian,’ Netflix’s ‘The End of the F**king World’ Top TV Time Charts

Disney+’s “Star Wars” original “The Mandalorian” was the top rising show while “The End of the F**king World,” streaming on Netflix, again was the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended Nov. 17.

TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program.

The second season of “The End of the F**king World,” which takes place two years after the two misfit teens’ traumatic road trip, hit screens Nov. 5. Netflix’s “Atypical,” the third season of which debuted Nov. 1, again came in at No. 2 on the binge chart for the week, just ahead of perennial binge favorite “Friends,” again at No. 3.

Two of the originals from new SVOD service Disney+, which debuted Nov. 12, came in at Nos. 1 (“The Mandalorian”) and 2 (“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”) on the “Shows on the Rise” chart. “The Mandalorian,” based in the “Star Wars” universe, is directed by Jon Favreau. “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” is based on the popular Disney TV movies. No. 3 on the “Rise” chart was “The Crown,” the third season of which debuted Nov. 17 on Netflix.

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Top Binge Shows Week Ended Nov. 17 by Share of Binges:

  1. “The End of the F**king World” (Channel 4/Netflix) — 5.90%
  2. “Atypical” (Netflix) — 3.80%
  3. “Friends” (NBC) — 2.37%
  4. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.70%
  5. “Riverdale” (The CW) — 1.57%
  6. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.30%
  7. “The Good Place” (NBC) — 1.26%
  8. “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) — 1.26%
  9. “Lucifer” (Netflix) — 1.19%
  10. “How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC) — 1.18%

 

Top Shows on the Rise Week Ended Nov. 17 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “The Mandalorian” (Disney+) — 100%
  2. “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” (Disney+) — 97.8%
  3. “The Crown” (Netflix) — 83.7%
  4. “Rick and Morty” (Adult Swim) — 82.7%
  5. “Shameless” (Showtime) — 63.5%
  6. “Green Eggs and Ham” (Netflix) — 63.3%
  7. “The Man in the High Castle” (Amazon Prime Video) — 62.1%
  8. “Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj” (Netflix) — 61.8%
  9. “All American” (The CW) — 54.4%
  10. “Black Lightning” (The CW) — 50.6%

Hulu Live TV Price Jumping by $10 a Month

The price for the Hulu Live TV service will increase by $10 a month, Hulu announced.

The skinny bundle will jump from $44.99 a month to $54.99 starting Dec. 18.

“The new price better reflects the substantial value of Hulu + Live TV and allows us to continue offering all of the popular live news, sports and entertainment programming included in the plan,” read a Hulu statement.

The service features more than 60-plus live TV sports, news and entertainment channels, including ESPN, Fox Sports, CNN, FX, TNT, Bravo and all major broadcast networks.

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“Price changes are never easy to stomach, and we know that many people don’t watch live television year-round, so we’ve made it easy for Hulu subscribers to switch back and forth between our plans to best suit their needs,” read the Hulu statement. “If you love college football, choose Hulu + Live TV during the season, then switch to one of Hulu’s less expensive on-demand plans when it’s over. If you enjoy most of your TV on demand but really want to watch live election news, just switch to Hulu + Live TV for a few months.”