Streamers Advertise Big on Academy Awards Telecast

Subscription streaming video services spent big March 12 marketing their platforms on ABC’s 95th Academy Awards national TV broadcast.

With 30-second spots ranging from $1.6 million to $2.1 million, marketers such as Paramount Global dug deep showcasing Paramount+, while spots for Disney-owned Hulu and Disney Studios’ The Little Mermaid invariably amounted to house ads.

Verizon bought several spots showcasing its new +Play streaming platform, the telecom’s attempt to emulate Amazon Prime Channels, which offers Prime members direct access to third party streaming services. The Verizon ads significantly featured Netflix programming, including “Wednesday,” “Stranger Things” and Glass Onion.

Beginning March 12, Verizon subscribers get free 12 months access to Netflix’s Premium tiered service ($19.99 monthly) with a paid 12-month subscription to a third-party SVOD service on +Play.

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Studio advertisers included Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and Disney.

“Our sponsors showed up in full force, across every major category with new and custom creative, joining a spectacular evening celebrating the biggest achievements in storytelling and the moments that bring us together,” Rita Ferro, president of Disney advertising, said in a media statement.

Channing Dungey Departs Netflix After Just Two Years

Channing Dungey, VP of original series at Netflix, is leaving the SVOD giant after just two years on the job. Dungey, the first black executive to head a broadcast network entertainment division, had joined Netflix in 2018 following a career at Disney-owned ABC Television.

Dungey made headlines in 2018 when she called out Rosanne Barr for her racist tweets, calling the comedienne’s comments “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.” Barr was fired from the successful reboot “Roseanne”, which was subsequently canceled and retooled as “The Conners.”

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The move comes following the rise of CCO Ted Sarandos to co-CEO, and the departure of longtime Netflix executive Cindy Holland, to whom Dungey reported. Bela Bajaria, who was promoted to head global TV production following Holland’s departure, wished the best for Dungey.

“I’ve known Channing for many years, and it’s been a pleasure working closer with her,” Bajaria said in a statement. “She’s a terrific executive who’s always carved her own path, and although we will miss her, we wish her all the best for the future.”

ABC TV’s Commercial-Free Broadcast of ‘Black Panther’ Tribute to Late Actor Chadwick Boseman Generated 6 Million Views

Disney-owned ABC Television’s commercial-free Sunday night (Aug. 30) broadcast of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther following actor Chadwick Boseman’s death on Aug. 28 after a lengthy battle against colon cancer, generated more than 6 million viewers — tops among all networks.

The subsequent tribute, “Chadwick Boseman: A Tribute for a King” generated 4.7 million viewers. The program featured numerous Black Panther co-stars, Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige and Disney executive chairman Bob Iger, among others.

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“He was having this immense success, in a strata of his own, humble hardworking, always smile on his face,” actor Robert Downey Jr., who plays Iron-Man in the Avengers franchise, said about Boseman. Downey called Black Panther “the crowning achievement” of the Marvel cinematic universe.

Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy’ Tops ‘TV Time’ Binge Week Chart

Netflix’s just-released superhero series, “The Umbrella Academy,” was the most binge-watched show of the week Feb. 11-17, according to new data from

The website registers a binge session when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day.

“Umbrella Academy,” which co-stars Ellen Page spearheading a dysfunctional family of superheroes, was binged-watched 3.29%, compared to “One Day at a Time” (Netflix), which was binge-watched 2.59%. Rounding out the podium was “Friends,” the former NBC sitcom being binge-viewed 2.57%.

Previous-week top shows – Netflix’s “Russian Doll” and “Sex Education” – ranked ninth and seventh, respectively. NBC’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and reruns of “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS All Access) ranked fourth and 10th, respectively.

The CW had two shows in the Top 10 with “Gossip Girl” (6th) and “Riverdale” (8th).








Shonda Rhimes Reveals First Slate of Original Netflix Shows

Shonda Rhimes, the creative force behind TV hits, “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” among others, made headlines when she moved her Shondaland production company from Disney/ABC TV to Netflix.

On July 20, Rhimes, business partner Betsy Beers and their team revealed eight shows that will soon debut globally on Netflix.

“I wanted the new Shondaland to be a place where we expand the types of stories we tell, where my fellow talented creatives could thrive and make their best work and where we as a team come to the office each day filled with excitement,” Rhimes said in a statement. “Ted [Sarandos] and Cindy [Holland, VP, original content] and everyone at Netflix have been incredible partners in making that happen.”

The projects include the following series (all titles are working titles):

Untitled Shonda Rhimes Project

Based on the New York Magazine article How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People by Jessica Pressler. Manhattan makes a new friend like no other. But is she the stuff American dreams are made of or is she New York’s biggest con woman? Is it a con if you enjoy being taken?

Rhimes (EP) will create the series.

Untitled Bridgerton Project

Based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of novels, this feminist take on Regency England romance unveils the glittering, wealthy, sexual, painful, funny and sometimes lonely lives of the women and men in London’s high society marriage mart as told through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family.

“Scandal” executive Chris Van Dusen (EP) will adapt and showrun the series.

“The Warmth of Other Suns”

Based on Pulitzer-Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson’s award-winning book of the same name, this groundbreaking series tracks the decades-long migration of African-Americans fleeing the Jim Crow South in search of a better life in the North and the West between 1916 and 1970.

National Humanities Medal recipient, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and 2-time Drama Desk winning playwright Anna Deavere Smith (EP) is set to adapt.

“Pick & Sepulveda”

Set in the 1840s against the surreal and sensual backdrop of the then-Mexican state of California, the series tracks the end of an idyllic era there as American forces threaten brutality and war at the border to claim this land for its own.

Emmy-award writer Janet Leahy (EP) will create the series.

“Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change”

Netflix and Shondaland acquired the rights to Ellen Pao’s memoir detailing her life and career, including the lawsuit she brought against her former employer that sparked intense media scrutiny, shook Silicon Valley to its boys’ club core and presaged the Time’s Up movement.

“The Residence”

Netflix and Shondaland acquired the rights to Kate Andersen Brower’s nonfiction book, The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House, which offers a vivid insider’s account of White House residence staffers and the upstairs downstairs lives they share with the First Families at one of the most famous homes in history.

“Sunshine Scouts”

In this dark comedy series, an apocalyptic disaster spares a rag-tag group of teenage girls at sleepaway camp who must then summon their moxie and survival skills to weather the fallout and ensure all that remains of humanity abides by the Sunshine Scout Law.

Writer/actress Jill Alexander (Co-EP) will create the series.

“Hot Chocolate Nutcracker”

This documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s award-winning reimagining of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker. This staged contemporization – with its inclusive cast of all ages and its blend of dance traditions – has further cemented Debbie Allen’s legacy as one of the greatest forces for good in dance.

Oliver Bokelberg (DP/director “Scandal”) will serve as director, cinematographer and producer.

“It’s been thrilling to begin this journey with Shonda, Betsy and their team and watch them embrace the full range of creative freedom possible at Netflix,” said Holland. “Infused with Shonda’s sensibility, the Shondaland slate is shaping up to be something truly special that we know will delight our members around the world.”


Original ‘Roseanne’ Series Available to Stream on FilmRise’s Ad-Supported Network

FilmRise has just released the complete original series of “Roseanne” on its ad-supported streaming network.

The series, starring Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, is available to stream for free across FilmRise apps, including on the Roku and Xbox platforms. The company will soon launch “Roseanne” on FilmRise apps across additional platforms, connected TVs, and mobile devices.

ABC recently re-booted the Emmy award-winning sitcom featuring many of the original cast members to strong ratings.

During the original run that aired from 1988 to 1997, “Roseanne” reached No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings, at one point becoming the most watched television show in the United States. The show remained in the top 4 rated shows for six of its nin seasons. Its finale attracted 16 million viewers.

“We are thrilled to offer fans of this unique series an opportunity to watch all of the original ‘Roseanne’ seasons for free on FilmRise ad-supported platforms,” said Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, in a statement. “The original ‘Roseanne’ broke social barriers and connected with millions of viewers, and we are excited to bring this iconic show to the FilmRise streaming network.”

FilmRise licensed the show from Carsey-Werner Television Distribution.


Amazon Prime Video U.K. Gets Two New Disney Series

Amazon Prime Video in the United Kingdom has licensed exclusive access to two new series from The Walt Disney Co. Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The series include Marvel’s “Cloak & Dagger” and “The Crossing,” – the latter sci-fi episodic launching on ABC TV in the United States on April 2 and on Prime Video U.K. on April 3.

“Cloak & Dagger,” features Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph as Tandy Bowen (Dagger) and Tyrone Johnson (Cloak), two teenagers who acquire superpowers and form a romantic relationship. The series bows domestically on Freeform (formerly Disney Family) on June 7 and on Prime Video U.K. on June 8.

“The Crossing” is about refugees from a war-torn country (the U.S.) in the future coming to an American fishing town in the present. While the government sets to work trying to untangle the truth behind the ominous migration, the fact that the lives of those involved will never again be the same seems to be the only thing that no one can deny.

“This marks another step forward in bringing best-in-class TV shows to Prime Video customers in Europe,” Jay Marine, VP Prime Video EU, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be bringing Marvel’s next hugely anticipated TV series exclusively to Prime Video and we look forward to hearing the reaction from Marvel fans and newcomers.”

Last month, Prime Video U.K. secured exclusive access to ABC’s “American Idol” two days after the show’s domestic broadcast. This season’s music talent competition features guest judges Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan.