Awkwafina and Sandra Oh will star in an untitled sister comedy for Netflix.
Golden Globe winners Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians, The Farewell) and Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” Over the Moon) star in Logline: A lonely recluse’s life is upended when her train wreck of a sister vows to mend their relationship by helping her fulfill her lifelong dream: to be a contestant on her favorite game show.
The writer is Jen D’Angelo, who wrote the upcoming sequel to Hocus Pocus for Disney+ and is a co-executive producer on the NBC series “The Young Rock” starring Dwayne Johnson. She was recently the on-set writer for Skydance’s sci-fi feature The Tomorrow War. Additional credits include “Solar Opposites” (Hulu), Workaholics, The Millers and “Cougar Town.”
Netflix has announced a new CG-animated series “My Dad the Bounty Hunter.”
The series is created by Academy Award-winning director Everett Downing (“Maya and the Three,” “Hair Love”) and Patrick Harpin (Hotel Transylvania 2, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation).
The action-comedy series follows the toughest bounty hunter in all the galaxy, a man with razor sharp skills but also a secret — his family on Earth has no idea what he does for a living. So when his two kids accidentally hitch a ride into outer space and crash his latest mission, they discover that their average Dad’s job is anything but boring. Dodging dangerous aliens and laser fights galore, family bonding time goes to the extreme.
The series will star Russell Hornsby (“The Hate U Give”), Yvonne Orji (“Insecure”), Priah Ferguson (“Stranger Things”), Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community”), JeCobi Swain (Troop Zero), Leslie Uggams (Deadpool), Rob Riggle (The Hangover) and Jim Rash (“Community”).
Everett Downing and Patrick Harpin will serve as creators and executive producers.
“We can’t wait to share our brainchild with the world. My Dad the Bounty Hunter is a love letter to animation, science fiction, and Black families rolled into a crazy action-comedy,” said Downing and Harpin in a statement. “We threw everything we love about sci-fi into this show, but it’s the family at the center of the story that we’re most excited about.”
Netflix Oct. 29 has quietly begun implementing price hikes across two of its three subscription plans. The standard plan increases $1 to $14 per month, while the premium plan increases $2 to $18 monthly. The $9 basic plan remains the same. The hikes affect all new subscribers immediately, while existing subs will be phased in over the coming weeks before their billing cycle. Netflix last raised U.S. prices in January 2019.
The SVOD pioneer, which dabbles in pricing at different times in global markets, signaled a price hike during its most recent fiscal call when Greg Peters, chief product officer, said that with Netflix increasing original content production, subscribers could expect to see a price hike to pay for it.
“You heard from Ted [Sarandos] the number of original productions we’re doing, increasing even under these [pandemic] conditions…if we do that, we feel like there is that opportunity to occasionally go back and ask for members where we’ve delivered that extra value to pay a little more,” Peters said on Oct. 20.
A Netflix spokesperson said the U.S. price hike does not suggest a similar global price hike. Netflix ended Q3 with 195 million subscribers. The news sent shares down slightly in after-market trading.
Another week of complete domination by Netflix programming, according to Nielsen’s latest chart of Top 10 streaming programs on the television from the SVOD pioneer, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Licensed Emmy winner “Schitt’s Creek” snagged the top spot, with 968 million minutes of content streamed across 80 episodes of the comedy series. The show bumped the Netflix original horror series “Ratched” to No. 5, with 791 minutes streamed across eight episodes.
A chart newcomer, the documentary American Murder: Family Next Door, finished No. 6 with 778 million minutes streamed. The Amazon original series “The Boys” remains the lone non-Netflix show, finishing in seventh place, with 655 million minutes streamed across 15 episodes.
Netflix’s Bela Bajaria, the recently promoted head of global TV, has been busy making inhouse management changes under the guise of co-CEO Ted Sarandos, whom she reports to.
Bajaria is looking to meld English-language content and non-English content departments under her control into a unified global team, resulting in myriad department redeployments and the reduction of 10 staffers below the VP level. To that end, she has combined young adult/family series production with drama and comedy, according to Deadline, which first reported the changes.
As a result, Brian Wright, former head of young adult/family group, now spearheads a new “overall deals” department. Jinny Howe and Renate Radford head the drama team, while Peter Friedlander, former boss of genre & thrillers, now oversees a new spectacle/event unit separate from drama and comedy.
With Bajaria’s promotion over the summer, and the departure of longtime Netflix executive Cindy Holland, VP original content, there have been numerous executive exits. Channing Dungey, VP, original series and head of drama, left to become chairman of the Warner Bros. Television Group. Jane Wiseman, VP, original series and head of comedy, left earlier this month, while Nina Wolarsky, VP, drama, is leaving.
In a statement, Bajaria said that Netflix has been successful expanding local original content worldwide, including in the U.S. She cited the international success of local language series, including Germany’s “Barbarians” and Mexico’s “Dark Desire,” as examples of expanding viewership bases.
“One of the first things I did when I came into my role overseeing non-English language content in the last year was banish the word ‘international’ – because I wanted to erase this idea that there is U.S. content and ‘international’ content,” Bajaria said. “All content is local for our members, and sometimes they want to watch in a language other than their own, which Netflix makes incredibly easy and satisfying. We have strong, robust slates launching next year in many languages and in many countries for our members to enjoy.”
Netflix’s “Barbarians” was the top rising show and the service’s “Emily in Paris” the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended Oct. 25.
“Barbarians” debuted on Netflix Oct. 23. The German TV series is about the build to the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in ancient Germania during the Roman invasion.
“Emily in Paris,” created, written and executive produced by Darren Star (“Sex and the City”), debuted Oct. 2 on Netflix. It follows Emily (Lily Collins), an ambitious 20-something marketing executive from Chicago, who unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company.
Taking the silver on the binge chart was “The Haunting of Bly Manor,” which hit Netflix Oct. 9. From “The Haunting of Hill House” creator Mike Flanagan, it’s the next chapter of “The Haunting” anthology series. After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry Wingrave hires a young American nanny to care for his orphaned niece and nephew who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef, groundskeeper and housekeeper. But all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets are waiting to be unearthed.
Coming in at No. 2 on the rising show chart was Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” which debuted Oct. 23. It’s a coming-of-age story following a young Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), abandoned and entrusted to a Kentucky orphanage in the late 1950s who discovers an astonishing talent for chess while developing an addiction to tranquilizers provided by the state as a sedative for the children.
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 network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).
Netflix has entered into an agreement with Ubisoft to develop content based on the video game franchise “Assassin’s Creed.”
The first series in development is slated to be a genre-bending live action adaptation. Ubisoft Film & Television’s Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik will serve as executive producers.
Under the agreement, Netflix and Ubisoft will tap into the video game’s stories with “global mass appeal” for adaptations of live-action, animated, and anime series, according to Netflix.
“For more than 10 years, millions of fans around the world have helped shape the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ brand into an iconic franchise,” said Jason Altman, head of Ubisoft Film & Television, Los Angeles, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to create an ‘Assassin’s Creed’ series with Netflix and we look forward to developing the next saga in the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ universe.”
“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life therich, multilayered storytelling that ‘Assassin’s Creed’ is beloved for,” said Peter Friedlander, VP, original series, Netflix, in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”
Since it first launched in 2007, the “Assassin’s Creed” series has sold more than 155 million games worldwide.
The Disney+ live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” returned to the top spot on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals rankings the week ended Oct. 24. It had been No. 2 the week before. With the show’s second season premiere looming Oct. 30, it had a 12.2% increase in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity. The show had 63.7 times the demand of the average series.
Netflix’s perennially popular “Stranger Things” rose a spot to No. 2. Demand expressions were up 7.5% to give the show 58 times average demand.
The top title the past few weeks, Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys” slid to No. 3. “The Boys” had 43.6 times the demand of the average show, with demand expressions down 39.8% a few weeks after its second-season finale.
“Cobra Kai,” the “Karate Kid” spinoff that was formerly a YouTube Premium original series before moving to Netflix, remained No. 4. The show had 43.5 times the demand of the average series, with expressions down 8.5% for the week.
Rounding out the top five was CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Discovery,” which had 37.4 times average demand after expressions rose 5.8%. The sci-fi series is in the midst of its third season and rose a spot from the previous week.
Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.
The ongoing management shuffle at Netflix claimed another long-time executive. Nina Wolarsky, VP of original series – drama, is leaving the SVOD giant after eight years. Wolarsky’s exit is the latest following last month’s promotion of Bela Bajaria to global head of television.
During her tenure, Wolarsky helped guide some of Netflix’s biggest original hits, including “Orange is the New Black,” “The Crown,” and Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us.” Most recently, Wolarsky reportedly helped shepherd pending drama “Bridgerton,” from mega TV producer Shonda Rhimes.
“Nina was part of the team that started original series at Netflix in our early days and she has always brought great passion, creativity and taste to her role over the years,” Bajaria said in a statement. “We will miss her, but we’re grateful for her contributions and wish her well for her next chapter.”
Bajaria’s rise up the corporate ladder coincided with the departure of veteran Netflix executive Cindy Holland — who had been with the streamer since it was a by-mail disc rental service. Other recent executive exits include Anna Lee, head of global content services, Jane Wiseman, who had run Netflix comedy; and VP of original drama, Channing Dungey, the latter quickly joining WarnerMedia as chairman Warner Bros. Television Group.