Netflix Looking for a Few Good Reality Stars

Netflix has launched an online portal giving aspiring reality TV stars the opportunity to join the streamer’s growing portfolio of reality programming. Participants must select a program category and submit a one-minute casting video selling themselves to be considered for future seasons. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the U.S., Canada, U.K. or Ireland.

“Reality TV is a powerful genre,” Brandon Riegg, VP of unscripted and documentary series, wrote in a recent post. “It has the ability to make you invested in who is going to win the big competition or find true love. It also has the ability to bring people together from all walks of life. We love to hear from viewers who feel inspired and accepted after seeing themselves reflected in our shows.”

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Netflix also announced the renewal of three original reality shows: “The Circle” (for two more seasons), “Indian Matchmaking” and “The American Barbecue Showdown.” It also ordered a new series, “Roaring Twenties,” a coming-of-age story of eight twenty-somethings who set out to find success in life and love in Austin, Texas, while learning to navigate the “new normal” of pandemic America.

NBCUniversal’s Hayu Bows Reality TV Streaming Service Overseas on Xbox

NBCUniversal International Aug. 4 announced that Hayu — the ad-free subscription-based reality on-demand (SVOD) service — is now available on Xbox consoles internationally. The deal marks the platform’s first console agreement.

The NBCUI licensed app, which costs €4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial, is expanding to 22 territories via the Xbox Microsoft Store to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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“It’s been an incredible year for Hayu with 2021 marking our fifth year of operation in the U.K., Ireland and Australia, as well as launches in new territories and expanded global distribution through partnerships with affiliates and device manufacturers,” Hendrik McDermott, managing director of Hayu, said in a statement.

Hayu offers more than 8,000 episodes of unscented subgenres in English, including House and Design, Dating, Cooking, Crime and Fashion. The breadth of Hayu’s content makes it possible to uniquely meet the needs of reality TV fans. Subscribers also don’t have to worry about spoilers as the vast majority of programs are available on Hayu on the day they air in the U.S.

NBCUniversal’s ‘Hayu’ Reality-TV SVOD Service Expands to 11 European Countries

The Kardashians may have ended their primetime TV gig in the United States, but the celebrity clan is helping drive foreign expansion of NBCUniversal’s “Hayu” SVOD service showcasing reality television.

NBCUniversal International Feb. 18 announced expansion of the subscription streaming service to 11 European countries, including Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Switzerland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The $5.99 monthly SVOD service first launched in 2016 in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, followed by Germany and Austria.

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Hayu features more than 8,000 episodes of reality-TV programming, including all seasons of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” the franchise’s spin-offs, in addition other franchises such as “The Real Housewives,” “Below Deck” and “Million Dollar Listing.”

“As Hayu prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary, we are thrilled to [extend] the service to 27 territories worldwide,” managing director Hendrik McDermott said in a statement. “As the premiere destination for world-renowned reality TV content, this multi-territory expansion continues to deliver on our goal of bringing the best reality TV to even more super fans of the genre.”

 

HBO Max Picks Up Second Season of Reality Show ’12 Dates of Christmas’

HBO Max has announced a second season pickup for holiday dating series “12 Dates of Christmas,” which follows single “leads” as they meet potential love interests and go on 12 dates in the hopes of finding that special someone to bring home for the holidays.

Season one was filmed at a castle in Austria and followed hopeless romantics as they searched for love in a magical winter wonderland. All eight episodes of the first season are available now on Max, and the new reunion episode “12 Dates of Christmas: Unwrapped” premiered Dec. 18. Hosted by D.J. Pierce, the reunion features original “leads” and their love interests discussing everything that’s occurred in their relationships since last Christmas — from settling scores and revealing behind-the-scenes stories, to unmasking secret hookups and answering whether the couples stayed together or said goodbye.

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“’12 Dates’ is the escapist holiday treat we all need right now,”  Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of nonfiction and live-action family at Max, said in a statement. “In season one, we wanted to shake up the snow globe to combine everything we love about holiday romcoms with a clever dating show format and a wink at our audience. We look forward to doing more of the same in season two, with a continued emphasis on casting to represent diversity of experience!”

IMDb: ‘The Boys,’ ‘The Queen’s Gambit,’ ‘Tiger King,’ ‘The Last Dance’ Among Top TV Shows in 2020

Amazon-owned movie and TV data base IMDb.com Dec. 8 unveiled the Top 10 TV Shows of 2020 and, for the first time ever, the Top 10 Docuseries and Top 10 Reality and Competition TV Series. Rather than base its annual rankings on small statistical samplings or reviews from professional critics, IMDb determines its list of most popular shows from its proprietary rankings of shows based on the actual page views of the more than 200 million monthly visitors to IMDb.

“Though reality TV was in its infancy when IMDb was founded 30 years ago, it’s grown enormously in terms of the diversity, scale and, in many cases, prestige of its offerings,” Brian Carver, head of content and licensing for IMDb, said in a statement.

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Carver said 2020 proved to be a standout year for TV and streaming series, with an assortment of true breakout shows, turning many of these programs — including Amazon’s “The Boys,” Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Tiger King,” and ESPN’s “The Last Dance” and Netflix’s “Too Hot to Handle” — into cultural moments.

Keith Simanton, managing editor for IMDbPro, said it’s notable that many of the top reality programs have had exceptionally long runs, including an incredible 40 seasons of “Survivor” and 12 seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

“We celebrate these shows for their ongoing creativity and longevity, keeping fans coming back for more, year after year,” Simanton said.

IMDb Top 10 TV Shows of 2020

  1. The Boys
  2. Money Heist (La Casa de Papel)
  3. Dark
  4. Ozark
  5. The Mandalorian
  6. The Queen’s Gambit
  7. The Umbrella Academy
  8. Westworld
  9. The Witcher
  10. The Crown

 

IMDb Top 10 Docuseries of 2020

  1. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
  2. The Last Dance
  3. Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
  4. The Vow
  5. Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
  6. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
  7. Down to Earth with Zac Efron
  8. McMillions
  9. Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak
  10. The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez

 

IMDb Top 10 Reality and Competition Series of 2020

  1. Too Hot to Handle
  2. Selling Sunset
  3. Love Is Blind
  4. The Great British Bake Off (The Great British Baking Show)
  5. Keeping Up with the Kardashians
  6. The Masked Singer
  7. Top Gear
  8. Survivor
  9. RuPaul’s Drag Race
  10. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Nicki Minaj Docuseries Coming to HBO Max

Rapper Nicki Minaj will bow a docuseries on HBO Max based on her life.

Each of the six, half-hour episodes of the untitled project will tell the story of her personal and professional journey. Minaj will guide viewers through the most challenging and fulfilling times in her life, navigating highs, lows and misguided agendas in her rise to fame and her journey to motherhood. Minaj’s many achievements include 19 Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits, and 114 total entries on the Billboard Hot 100 — the record for “Most Billboard Hot 100 Entries Ever by a Female Artist.”

“Nicki Minaj is a multi-faceted artist, businesswoman, and innovator as well as force to be reckoned with. It’s a privilege to bring this project to HBO Max and provide our viewers with unprecedented access to her life,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max, said in a statement.

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The series is directed by six-time Emmy nominee Michael John Warren, who made his directorial debut with Jay-Z’s Fade to Black. Executive Producers are Minaj, Warren and Aaron L. Gilbert, Brenda Gilbert and Cassandra Butcher for Bron Life, in association with Creative Wealth Media. Bron Life, the non-scripted arm of Bron Studios, is focused on original docuseries, documentary films and short-form digital content centered around socially relevant themes and topics. The division also recently announced the civil justice series “Homicide or Justified” with civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.

“Nicki Minaj is one of the most important and influential recording artists of all time; never to be duplicated — and many have tried. We are proud to support this living icon, as she bravely opens her home to the world,” said Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Brenda Gilbert in a joint statement.

“I love that this series not only provides an all-access glimpse at one of the most iconic musicians of our generation; it also profiles the brave woman behind the artist, Onika. I believe all of us can learn a great deal from her remarkable professional and personal life. It’s an honor to be entrusted with this dynamic story,” said director Warren in a statment.

Minaj broke the news on social media with this announcement video.

NBCUniversal International Expands Realty TV Streamer ‘Hayu’ to Germany, Austria

Hayu, NBCUniversal’s foray into reality-TV program subscription streaming video, has expanded its Euro footprint beyond 14 countries to include Germany and Austria.

The €4.99 ($5.93) app is available via Amazon Prime Channels to Prime members following a free 14-day trial.

Launched in 2016 outside the U.S., hayu offers more than 5,000 episodes of U.S. and British reality TV shows, including “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and spin-off “Life of Kylie,” in addition to “The Real Housewives” and “Million Dollar Listing” franchises, among others.

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The shows — the majority of which debut on the service the same day as they premiere in the U.S. — include on-demand access to catalog episodes from more than 150 shows such as “Vanderpump Rules,” “Top Chef,” “Shahs of Sunset” and “Bad Girls Club,” among others.

“We are thrilled to launch hayu — and its world-renowned reality TV content — in Germany and Austria,” Hendrik McDermott, managing director of hayu, said in a statement.

 

Tastemade, Realtor.com Partner for House Buying Streaming Show

Tastemade, a video production company and subscription streaming service focusing on food, travel, and home and design, Aug. 26 announced it has partnered with Realtor.com for a home buying reality show called “Beyond the Block.”

The four-part series, which debuts Sept. 3, features couples and individual buyers looking to purchase homes in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Fort Collins, Colo., and Raleigh, N.C.

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Realtor, host Andrew Tyree

Hosted by realtor Andrew Tyree, the series takes first-time homebuyers on a journey to find a neighborhood that feels like home as they discover what they should really consider before they sign on the dotted line. Each episode goes beyond the typical house hunt, diving deeper into the other aspects of home buying — the neighbors, the surrounding businesses, and the community where roots will be planted; the things that really make a place a home.

Notably, production teams were filming in the field just prior to and during the national coronavirus pandemic. The series’ narrative and production was adjusted midway to showcase the realites of COVID-19. The series revisits the first-time home buyers and local businesses mid-pandemic to see how they were adapting, and discussed pandemic-related issues, including how some of the buyers had to re-qualify for their home loan.

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Tastemade is available on assorted ad-supported VOD platforms, including Philo TV, Peacock, Redbox TV, Sling TV, The Roku Channel, IMDb TV, Samsung TV Plus, YouTubeTV and Xumo, among others. The platform is also available as a standalone SVOD (Tastemade+) for $2.99 monthly or $19.99 per year.

Tubi Begins Streaming ‘The Masked Singer’ Episodes

Ad-supported VOD service Tubi April 23 announced it has begun streaming the first two seasons of Fox singing competition show “The Masked Singer” — the No. 1 show on television in its third season. It is the highest-profile program on Tubi.

Fox Corp. acquired San Francisco-based Tubi earlier this year for $440 million in cash.

The first two seasons can be viewed tonight at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Current season-three episodes of the show will be available on Tubi in the weeks following their airing on Fox.

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“The Masked Singer” features celebrities facing off against one another with one major twist: Each singer is shrouded from head-to-toe in an elaborate costume, complete with a full-face mask to conceal his or her identity.

With each performance, host Nick Cannon, panelists Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, Ken Jeong, and Robin Thicke, audience members, viewers, and even other contestants are left guessing who is singing behind the mask. Ranging from Grammy Award winners to legendary athletes, and everything in between, the singers may attempt to throw the crowd off their scent, while keen observers might pick up on tiny clues buried throughout the show. One singer is eliminated each week, ultimately revealing his or her true identity.

“This marks the first of many new initiatives we’ll pursue with Fox,”Adam Lewinson, chief content officer of Tubi, said in a statement.

“The Masked Singer” is averaging a 3.3 Live + 7 Day rating and 15 million viewers across all platforms. Fox claims the show has helped it win Wednesday night ratings every week it’s been on the air. The season-three premiere after Super Bowl LIV drew nearly 30 million viewers and a 9.4 L7 rating, marking television’s #1 entertainment telecast in two years and the highest-rated and most-watched reality telecast in eight years.

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HBO Max Orders Dog Grooming Competition Show

HBO Max, the upcoming direct-to-consumer offering from WarnerMedia, has ordered the series “Hot Dog” (working title).

HBO Max is scheduled to launch in May.

The 12-episode, half-hour series features three dog groomers facing off in a creative competition showcasing canine breeds of all kinds.

Inspired by the social platforms and coffee table book from celebrity dog grooming expert Jess Rona, each episode will include challenges and themes meant to spotlight the best looks for man’s best friend. Along with comedic commentary from celebrity guests and a host, Rona will lead the judging panel with the best in show winner walking away with a cash prize and first place rosette.

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Rona built a following online with her signature slow-motion blow dry videos and serves as the dog grooming artist to many celebrity dogs. In addition to grooming, she is the author of Groomed, the director of Tegan and Sarah’s Closer video, and has appeared on “Drunk History” and “New Girl.”

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“Jess Rona has made a name for herself as dog groomer-to-the stars and it is so fun to be able to bring her incredibly successful online brand and business to life in this way,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original non-fiction and kids programming for HBO Max, said in a statement. “Expect pure escapism that the whole family can watch together and root for their favorite pooch with the most fabulous and creative trans-fur-mations.”