Hulu Launches Watch Party Promo for ‘Pen15’ Season Two Premiere

To celebrate the Sept. 18 premiere of season two of “Pen15,” for the next 10 days, Hulu users will be able to stream the Emmy-nominated comedy together through a series-branded Hulu Watch Party feature.

In keeping with the theme of the show, the Watch Party experience resembles a classic online chat room, complete with screen names taken from the series.

Viewers can launch the Hulu Watch Party through the details page for the series on Hulu.com. Clicking on the Watch Party icon will trigger a shareable link that a user can then share with their friends or family. Hulu Watch Party supports up to eight people per session and viewers must be 18 years of age or older to access the feature.

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Viewers can also call 1-855-HULU-FAN to hear a pre-recorded conversation between the show’s lead characters Maya and Anna. Callers can listen in on a conversation between the two best friends, provide their cell phone number when prompted and receive a link to download a digital pack complete with Zoom backgrounds, GIFs, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and phone wallpapers. Fans (who are 18 years or older) can dial 1-855-HULU-FAN starting at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET through Sept. 30.

HBO Max Picks Up ‘Raised by Wolves’ for Second Season

“Raised by Wolves,” which HBO Max reports is its top-performing original since the platform’s launch, has been picked up for a second season.

The serialized sci-fi series from filmmaker Ridley Scott (The MartianGladiator, Alien) debuted with three episodes on Sept. 3 and has continued to be a strong performer in its second week on the platform, growing its audience by nearly 50% week over week, according to the service.

“Raised by Wolves” centers on two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet. As the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences, the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task.  Scott serves as an executive producer on the series and directed the first two episodes. The series was created by Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners).

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“When I think of ‘Raised by Wolves,’ I think of artistry; artistry in crafting a compelling storyline, artistry in the out-of-this-world production design, special effects and cinematography, artistry in our actor’s portrayals of these memorable characters, and artistry attached to the legendary work of Ridley Scott, Aaron Guzikowski and our phenomenal crew,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original programming at HBO Max, said in a statement. “This chart-topping series beautifully weaves together Ridley’s hallmarks of sci-fi and horror while offering fans one of the most original storylines they’ve seen in some time.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for season two.”

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“Being a dyed-in-the-wool advertising man, I was knocked out by the extraordinary campaign done by HBO Max marketing, which conveyed the ambitious storyline in such a provocative and tactile manner, and deftly positioned our first season of ‘Raised by Wolves’ as a ‘must watch’ show,” said Scott in a statement. “It must have been a notable challenge to selectively plumb the riches In Aaron’s storylines. We were even happier that audiences have responded so enthusiastically. We are already deep into the ‘layers’ of season 2, as Aaron has begun to shape what we think will be another brilliant season to inspire the imagination.”

‘Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse’ Shorts Coming to Disney+ Nov. 18

Mickey Mouse and friends are heading to Disney+ in the new animated shorts series “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse.”

From the team behind Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts, the new Disney+ original series will debut on Mickey’s birthday, Nov. 18, with two new shorts rolling out every Friday beginning Nov. 27. Ten shorts will premiere this year, with 10 additional shorts set for summer 2021.

“The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” follows the adventures of Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto. Each seven-minute short features the classic art style of the “Mickey Mouse” shorts and will include stories inspired by various lands at Disney parks and cameos by classic Disney heritage characters.

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Marked by a contemporary art style that harkens back to Mickey’s 1928 beginnings, the “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts premiered on Disney Channel in 2013 and ran for five seasons, consisting of a total of 96 episodes, and garnered seven Primetime Emmy Awards, two Daytime Emmy Awards and 21 Annie Awards. The shorts inspired a global line of consumer products, toys and clothing as well as the new attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the first ride-through attraction in Disney history starring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, now open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. All five seasons of the shorts are currently available to stream on Disney+.

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“The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” is produced by Disney Television Animation with Emmy Award-winning artist and director Paul Rudish serving as executive producer and supervising director. Christopher Willis, the Emmy Award-winning composer of the “Mickey Mouse” shorts, also provides the music for this series.

Netflix Picks Up Zendaya Film ‘Malcolm & Marie’

Netflix has acquired the worldwide rights to Sam Levinson’s romantic drama Malcolm & Marie starring Zendaya and John David Washington.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” director-writer-producer Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

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The story follows a filmmaker (Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) who return home following a celebratory movie premiere as he awaits what’s sure to be imminent critical and financial success. The evening suddenly takes a turn as revelations about their relationships begin to surface, testing the strength of their love.

Will Smith and ‘Fresh Prince’ Cast Reunite to Tape Special for HBO Max

Will Smith released two first-look photos at the 30th anniversary Sept. 10 taping for the upcoming “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion special from Westbrook Media.

Will Smith and Janet Hubert

Smith was joined by series regulars Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid and Alfonso Ribeiro as well as recurring co-star DJ Jazzy Jeff for a reunion on set in the Banks’ home in this one-time special.

Surprising the rest of the cast, Smith revealed that he sat down Sept. 9 with Janet Hubert, who originated the role of Aunt Viv, for the first time in 27 years for a reunion and a candid conversation.

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As previously announced, the special will include music, dancing and more special surprise guests in honor of the series that ran for six seasons and 148 episodes.

Produced by Westbrook Media, the reunion will launch exclusively on HBO Max around Thanksgiving. HBO Max is the exclusive SVOD home of the full original series library in the United States.

Disney+ to Bow Reboot of ‘Doogie Howser’

Disney+ will bow an updated reboot of “Doogie Howser, M.D.” tentatively titled “Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.” in 2021.

The re-imagining of the popular ABC series has been picked up to series and is scheduled to go into production later this year. Kourtney Kang (“Fresh Off the Boat,” “How I Met Your Mother”) is set to write and executive produce for 20th Television.

Set in modern-day Hawaii, the 10-episode comedy follows Lahela “Doogie” Kameāloha, a mixed race 16-year-old girl, juggling a budding medical career and life as a teenager. Guiding Lahela (and also complicating things) is her family, including her spit-fire Irish mother who’s also her supervisor at the hospital and her Hawaiian “Local Boy” father struggling to accept that his daughter is no longer his little girl.

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“Thirty years ago, a young medical prodigy took the world by storm and left a lasting impact on pop culture,” Ricky Strauss, president of content and marketing at Disney+, said in a statement. “Kourtney and the team at 20th Television have created a very modern take on this beloved property which will resonate with our global Disney+ audience. We can’t wait to introduce the world to the new ‘Doogie.'”

“‘Doogie Howser, M.D.’ is beloved by everyone at our studio, so we knew that if we were going to reinvent it for a new generation, we had to have both the blessing and participation of the Bochcos and a creator with a fresh, new take that made us lean in,” Carolyn Cassidy, president of 20th Television, said in a statement. “Kourtney’s vision for the character is so inspired, we’ve been dying to collaborate with Melvin and Jake again, and Disney+ is exactly the right home for this idea. We couldn’t be more excited.”

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Running for four seasons on ABC from 1989 to 1993, “Doogie Howser, M.D.” starred Neil Patrick Harris as a kid genius doctor.

“Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.” is written and executive produced by Kourtney Kang and produced by 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios. Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar will executive produce and Dayna and Jesse Bochco will produce the half-hour comedy series.

Interpret: Apple TV+ $9.99 Bundle With Showtime and CBS All Access Could Boost Growth

Apple’s bundling of Apple TV+ with CBS All Access and Showtime for just $9.99 per month, announced in August, could be a savvy move, according to research firm Interpret.

Apple TV+ alone is $4.99 a month.

Interpret’s New Media Measure shows that Apple TV+ has room for growth with the bundle method. Among current Apple TV+ subscribers, only 7% subscribe to Showtime streaming and 13% subscribe to CBS All Access.

“Both CBS All Access and Showtime were already available in the Apple TV channels lineup, but considering that Showtime costs subscribers $10.99 monthly and CBS All Access subscriptions go for $5.99, Apple is banking on the bundle approach as too irresistible for content-hungry fans — not unlike Disney+ offering a bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu,” according to Interpret.

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‘Raised by Wolves’ Top Rising Show, ‘Lucifer’ Again Top Binge on TV Time Charts

HBO Max’s “Raised by Wolves” was the top rising show, while Netflix’s “Lucifer” was again the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended Sept. 6.

Top rising show “Raised by Wolves,” which hit screens Sept. 3, follows two androids tasked with raising human children on a virgin planet. Meanwhile, coming in at No. 2 on the chart was another sci-fi series, Netflix’s “Away,” which debuted Sept. 4. It stars Hilary Swank as American astronaut Emma Green, leading an international crew on the first mission to Mars. She must reconcile her decision to leave behind her husband (Josh Charles) and teenage daughter (Talitha Bateman) when they need her the most.

Season five of top binge “Lucifer” hit Netflix Aug. 21. The fantasy series follows Lucifer’s exploits on Earth. No. 2 on the binge chart was perennial sitcom favorite “Modern Family,” while taking the bronze was Netflix’s “Trinkets,” season two of which debuted Aug. 25. It follows three teenage girls who find themselves in the same mandated Shoplifters Anonymous meeting and form an unlikely friendship. The series is based on the young adult novel by screenwriter Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith (Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man), who serves as creator and executive producer.

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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).

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 Top Binge Shows Week Ended Sept. 6 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Lucifer” (Netflix) — 5.51%
  2. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 2.25%
  3. “Trinkets” (Netflix) — 2.15%
  4. “The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix) — 2.02%
  5. “Cobra Kai” (YouTube) — 1.70%
  6. “The Office” U.S. (NBC) — 1.60%
  7. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.51%
  8. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.41%
  9. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.10%
  10. “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS) — 1.08%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended Sept. 6 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Raised by Wolves” (HBO Max) — 99.9%
  2. “Away” (Netflix) — 99.9%
  3. “Sister, Sister” (ABC) — 99.7%
  4. “Top Model Poland” (TVN) — 97.1%
  5. “Grand Hotel France” (TF1) — 96.1%
  6. “A.P. Bio” (Peacock) — 91.7%
  7. “Hotel Paradise” (TVN) — 90.4%
  8. “The Boys” (Amazon) — 88.8%
  9. “Les Marseillais vs. le reste du monde” (W9) — 84.9%
  10. “The Hook Up Plan” (Netflix) — 82%

Apple TV App on Vizio Smartcast TVs in U.S. and Canada

Vizio customers in the United States and Canada now have access to the Apple TV app on SmartCast TVs.

For a limited time, eligible Vizio SmartCast customers in the United States can sign up for Apple TV+ and receive three months free.

“With the Apple TV app coming to Vizio SmartCast TVs, customers can enjoy an even broader range of exciting entertainment, including the popular and award-winning Apple TV+ service,” Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue officer of Vizio, said in a statement. “Knowing the important role the TV has in the home, Vizio continues to expand the entertainment available for consumers to discover.”

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Vizio SmartCast TV users can select the Apple TV app icon from the SmartCast Home screen and sign in with their Apple ID to subscribe to Apple TV+.

Customers can also subscribe to Apple TV channels, such as Showtime, CBS All Access and Starz, and watch online and offline, ad-free and on demand, directly on the Apple TV app. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share subscriptions to Apple TV channels using their personal Apple ID and password.

Additionally, Vizio SmartCast TV users can browse the Apple TV app to buy or rent more than 100,000 movies and TV shows, including titles available in 4K HDR and with Dolby Atmos, as well as access their library of movie and TV show purchases from Apple.

Vizio customers can also enjoy Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities on SmartCast TVs. With AirPlay 2, Vizio customers can stream, control, and share their favorite content directly from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac to their Vizio SmartCast TV. HomeKit allows customers to easily and securely control their SmartCast TV using the Home app or by asking Siri on their Apple devices.

A Drive-in Premiere for ‘The Boys’

Amazon Prime Video Sept. 3 hosted a drive-in screening of “The Boys” season two ahead of its Sept. 4 premiere. Stars Antony Starr, Jack Quaid, Erin Moriarty, Karen Fukuhara, Shantel VanSanten, Claudia Doumit, Langston Kerman and Abraham Lim arrived at Level 8 at The Grove in Los Angeles to celebrate the new season. Guests arrived in their cars through Lucy the Whale, who makes a special appearance in the third episode of season two. Ahead of the drive-in special screening, guests were invited to a socially distant pre-party in their cars, where they had their pictures taken at the drive-through photo op activation, danced in their cars to the music of DJ Michelle Pesce, and enjoyed Umami Burgers, Popcorn and Swedish Fish. Before the two-episode screening, fans enjoyed a pre-taped introduction from the cast and executive producers Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen and Evan Greenberg. A special encore drive-in screening for cast and fans is also being held Sept. 4 and is at full capacity.

The first three episodes of season two premiere Sept. 4, with new episodes available each Friday following, culminating in a season finale Oct. 9. The eight-episode Amazon Original series will be available exclusively on Prime Video in more than 200 territories around the world.

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Based on the New York Times best-selling comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, “The Boys” is an irreverent take on what happens when superheroes — who are as popular as celebrities, as influential as politicians and as revered as gods — abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. The Boys continue on a quest to expose the truth about The Seven, and Vought — the multi-billion-dollar conglomerate that manages these superheroes and covers up all of their dirty secrets.