Peacock Adds NBC Sports Channel

Peacock has added a new exclusive free channel: NBC Sports on Peacock.

Debuting Aug. 24, the channel will stream daytime live sports talk programming, including “PFT Live with Mike Florio,” “The Dan Patrick Show” and “The Rich Eisen Show.” In September, “Brother From Another” and “PFT PM” will join the lineup.

From the creators of “Pro Football Talk Live,” “PFT PM” delivers the latest news from around the league. The show is hosted by Mike Florio and regularly features Charean Williams, Peter King, Rodney Harrison, Tony Dungy and Chris Simms.

“Peacock provides live topical sports conversations all day, every weekday, from the best and most experienced personalities in sports,” Rick Cordella, EVP and chief revenue officer for Peacock, said in a statement. “We’re excited to launch the NBC Sports Channel on Peacock with this unique and exclusive content, who provide the fans the latest commentary and opinion on everything that is happening in the world of sport.”

The NBC Sports on Peacock schedule includes “PFT Live with Mike Florio” 7 a.m.-9 a.m. ET, “The Dan Patrick Show” 9 a.m.-noon ET, “The Rich Eisen Show” noon-3 p.m. ET (exclusivity begins Oct. 5), “Brother From Another” 3 p.m.-6 p.m. ET, and “PFT PM” 6 p.m.-7 p.m. ET.

Shows will be available on demand in addition to streaming live. Highlights from NBC Sports Channel on Peacock will also be featured in the service’s Trending section, a hub for short-form content that is updated on a daily basis and includes sports highlights, pop culture updates, and shorter interview and news segments.

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Upcoming live sports on Peacock includes coverage of golf’s U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, Premier League, an NFL Wild Card Playoff Game, and select events from the upcoming Tokyo and Beijing Olympics. Fans can also watch on demand replays of events such as Triple Crown horse races, daily highlights from NBC Sports, and hundreds of hours of sports series, documentaries and films such as Tiger Woods: Chasing History; 1968; I Am AliDream TeamBeing EvelFeherty; Willie; and Peacock Originals Lost Speedways and In Deep with Ryan Lochte.

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Consumers can sign up for Peacock for free at peacocktv.com. Peacock is currently available on Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices including Android, Android TV devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4 and PlayStation 4 Pro; and Vizio SmartCast TVs and LG Smart TVs. Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers, as well as eligible Cox Contour customers, enjoy Peacock Premium included with their service at no additional cost.

Netflix’s ‘Teenage Bounty Hunters’ Top Rising Show, ‘Umbrella Academy’ Again Top Binge on TV Time Charts

Netflix’s “Teenage Bounty Hunters” was the top rising show, while “The Umbrella Academy” was again the top binge the TV Time charts for the week ended Aug. 16.

“Teenage Bounty Hunters,” which debuted on Netflix Aug. 14, follows 16-year-old fraternal twin sisters Sterling (Maddie Phillips) and Blair (Anjelica Bette Fellini). Rebelling against their buttoned-up Southern community, they team up with veteran bounty hunter Bowser Jenkins (Kadeem Hardison) and dive into the world of bail-skipping baddies and suburban secrets while trying to navigate high school drama.

The second season of “The Umbrella Academy,” top binge for a third consecutive week, hit screens July 31. The series, based on the comic books of the same name, follows a group of superheroes adopted at birth by a mysterious billionaire who face the end of the world. As season two begins, the time jump scatters the siblings in time in and around Dallas over a three-year period starting in 1960. Some, having been stuck in the past for years, have built lives and moved on, certain they’re the only ones who have survived.

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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 Aug. 16 by Share of Binges:

  1. “The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix) — 5.19%
  2. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 2.30%
  3. “The Rain” (Netflix) — 1.76%
  4. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.47%
  5. “The Office” (NBC) — 1.46%
  6. “Good Girls” (NBC) — 1.32%
  7. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 1.28%
  8. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.19%
  9. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.10%
  10. “The Seven Deadly Sins” (MBS) — 1.09%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended Aug. 16 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Teenage Bounty Hunters” (Netflix) — 99.9%
  2. “Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star” (BBC Three) — 94%
  3. “3%” (Netflix) — 92.2%
  4. “The Big Show Show” (Netflix) — 89.9%
  5. “Dirty John” (USA) — 87.8%
  6. “Infinity Train” (Cartoon Network) — 86%
  7. “Family REunion” (Netflix) — 80.1%
  8. “Greenleaf” (OWN) — 76.7%
  9. “Rita” (TV 2) — 75.8%
  10. “Mr. Iglesias” (Netflix) — 73.6%

Hulu Launches Ad-Assist Program for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

Hulu has launched the Creative Partner Program to assist small- and medium-sized businesses in creating advertising on the service.

The program offers access to “creative partners who are specially trained in Hulu best practices, and have expertise creating unique, non-templated ads for smaller businesses at all stages of the advertising creative process,” according to Faye Trapani, director of self-service platform sales.

The Creative Partner Program currently consists of four partners: GeneroShuttlerockQuickFrame and VidMob.

The service helps smaller businesses to design a program “whether an advertiser is repurposing an existing video for streaming TV or ‘baking from scratch,’” according to Trapani.

The Creative Partner Program offers a range of production options and price points.

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HBO Max to Stream Comedy Central’s ‘The Other Two,’ ‘South Side’ and ‘Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens’

The upcoming seasons of the comedies “The Other Two” and “South Side” from Comedy Central Productions are joining HBO Max as new Max Original series, while the channel’s “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens” will also find a home on the streaming service.

The first seasons of “The Other Two” and “South Side” will land on the platform in 2021 followed by new seasons to stream exclusively as Max Original series.

“The Other Two,” created by former “Saturday Night Live” co-head writers, follows two millennial siblings as they navigate their teenage brother’s rise to internet fame and “South Side,” shot on location in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, is a comedic look at two friends, ready to take one world, once they stop working at the local rent-to-own.

As part of the deal, HBO Max has become the exclusive streaming home to the semi-autobiographical comedy “Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens,” from Awkwafina. Season one is available to stream now on HBO Max. Season two will premiere and air in its entirety on Comedy Central next summer before becoming available on HBO Max.

“These ground-breaking and hilarious programs are cultural touchstones and we are excited about the diverse group of comedic voices they will bring to HBO Max. We know our audiences will want to watch again and again,” Michael Quigley, EVP of content acquisitions at WarnerMedia, said in a statement. “We are strategically thinking of the fans first, and adding these exceptional series to our portfolio allows us to introduce these standout comedies to new viewers on HBO Max.”

“Comedy Central Productions’ deal with HBO Max is emblematic of our studio production strategy to maximize the value of our content by selectively working with third parties while prioritizing franchise IP for our own platforms,” Keyes Hill-Edgar, chief operating officer of ViacomCBS Entertainment and Youth Brands, said in a statement. “As we shift our strategy and double down on adult animation, topical shows and scripted movies — we are excited to supercharge our studio sales business and continue these great series with HBO Max.”

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“The Other Two” features Cary, an aspiring actor and his sister Brooke, a former professional dancer, who try to find their place in the world while wrestling with their feelings about their 13-year-old brother Chase’s sudden rise to internet fame. Created by former “Saturday Night Live” co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, the series stars Drew Tarver, Helene Yorke, Case Walker, Ken Marino and Molly Shannon. Executive producers are Lorne Michaels, Kelly, Schneider, Andrew Singer and Tony Hernandez. The series is produced by Comedy Central Productions, Jax Media and Broadway Video.

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“South Side” follows two friends who just graduated from community college and are ready to take over the world. But until they do, they’re stuck working at Rent-T-Own. Shot on location in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, the show offers an authentic look into what life on the South Side is all about. Created by Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin and Sultan Salahuddin, the comedy stars Sultan Salahuddin, Kareme Young, Chandra Russell and Lil Rel Howery. Executive producers are Michael Blieden, Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin. The series is produced by Comedy Central Productions.

“Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens” features Awkwafina (Nora Lum) as Nora Lin in a scripted series based on her real-life beginnings in Queens, N.Y. Raised alongside her cousin by her dad and grandma, Nora leans on her family as she navigates young adulthood in outer borough New York City. Created by Awkwafina and Teresa Hsiao, the series also stars Lori Tan Chinn and BD Wong.  The series is executive produced by Nora Lum, Karey Dornetto, Lucia Aniello, Teresa Hsiao, and Peter Principato and Itay Reiss of Artists First.

One in Four Signed Up for at Least One TV Service During Pandemic

One in four U.S. consumers (28%) said they had signed up for at least one TV service during the pandemic, according to Hub Entertainment Research.

Each of the big four SVOD services has seen a three percentage point or higher increase since just before the pandemic began in February compared to July, according to Hub.

Meanwhile, pay-TV VOD and TVOD saw an increase of six percentage points and three percentage points, respectively, from February to July.

Moreover, consumers said they were likely to continue their same level of streaming TV service viewing, YouTube viewing and broadcast network viewing (especially for news).

“When it comes to the business of entertainment, people clearly intend to continue supporting the streaming TV services they’ve relied on for comfort viewing, the broadcast networks they’ve relied on for news, and the online videos they’ve used for needed distractions,” Peter Fondulas, co-founder and principal of Hub Entertainment Research, said in a statement.

With viewers spending more time watching TV, previews have become a stronger source of TV show discovery during the pandemic, according to Hub. The source is up considerably compared to last year as a method for discovering new shows, while with personal interaction more limited, word of mouth has dropped as a discovery source.

The data cited comes from Hub’s “Predicting the Post-Pandemic” study, conducted among 3,026 U.S. consumers, ages 14 to 74 who watch at least one hour of TV per week. The data was collected in July 2020.

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Netflix’s ‘The Rain’ Top Rising Show, ‘Umbrella Academy’ Again Top Binge on TV Time Charts

Netflix’s “The Rain” was the top rising show, while “The Umbrella Academy” was again the top binge the TV Time charts for the week ended Aug. 9.

“The Rain,” season three of which hit screens Aug. 6, picks up where the second season left off. Years after the rain decimated the population of Scandinavia, Simone and Rasmus find themselves at odds on how to save humanity. Rasmus wants to infect everyone with the same beta version of the virus that turned him into a superhuman, while Simone insists that there must be a cure. The show also came in at No. 2 on the binge chart.

The second season of “The Umbrella Academy,” top binge for a second consecutive week, hit screens July 31. The series, based on the comic books of the same name, follows a group of superheroes adopted at birth by a mysterious billionaire who face the end of the world. As season two begins, the time jump scatters the siblings in time in and around Dallas over a three-year period starting in 1960. Some, having been stuck in the past for years, have built lives and moved on, certain they’re the only ones who have survived.

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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 Aug. 9 by Share of Binges:

  1. “The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix) — 7.17%
  2. “The Rain” (Netflix) — 2.72%
  3. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 2.24%
  4. “Good Girls” (NBC) — 1.55%
  5. “The Office” (NBC) — 1.35%
  6. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.32%
  7. “The Seven Deadly Sins” (MBS) — 1.25%
  8. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 1.24%
  9. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.14%
  10. “High Seas” (Netflix) — 1.09%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended Aug. 9 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “The Rain” (Netflix) — 94.4%
  2. “High Seas” (Netflix) — 90.8%
  3. “Selling Sunset” (Netflix) — 90.2%
  4. “The Seven Deadly Sins” (MBS) — 73.3%
  5. “Get Even” (BBC iPlayer) — 64.2%
  6. “Tokyo Ghoul” (Tokyo MX) — 37.3%
  7. “Locked Up: The Oasis” (Fox Espana) — 31.1%
  8. “Locked Up” (Fox Espana) — 28.4%
  9. “The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix) — 28.4%
  10. “Wynonna Earp” (Syfy) — 25.7%

Hulu Offers Discounted Yearly Plan

Hulu Aug. 7 began offering a new discounted yearly plan for current subscribers to its $5.99 per month plan.

Subscribers to that ad-supported plan have the option to get a one-year subscription to Hulu for only $59.99, or 12 months for the price of 10.

While only currently available for existing subscribers on Hulu’s ad-supported plan, the option will roll out to new ad-supported Hulu subscribers later this year, the company announced.

The annual plan gives viewers access to Hulu’s extensive library of TV series and movies — including TV hits such as “Empire” and “Atlanta,” Hulu originals such as “The Act” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and past favorites such as “ER” and “Full House” — for a 16% savings over the cost of the standard monthly plan.

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HBO Max Greenlights Docuseries ‘One Perfect Shot’ With Ava DuVernay

HBO Max has greenlit a new docuseries celebrating iconic movie moments executive produced and narrated by Oscar nominee and Emmy Award winner Ava DuVernay.

“One Perfect Shot,” a half-hour unscripted series inspired by a popular Twitter account of the same name, is produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted Television with DuVernay’s production company Array Filmworks.

Each episode arms one acclaimed director with an arsenal of visual tools to pull back the curtain on their most iconic shots. Using state-of-the-art technology, the directors will literally enter each shot, walking through the scene in 360 moments that allow viewers to join an immersive exploration of moviemaking. Filmmakers will share their obstacles, challenges, lessons and triumphs as they detail how they created their crowning cinematic achievements. Each helmer will also present one shot from an auteur who deeply influenced them.

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“There is nothing more fascinating than witnessing the passion and creativity of a filmmaker discussing their craft and dissecting how they pulled off that jaw-dropping shot,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content for HBO Max, said in a statement. “Narrated by the illustrious Ava Duvernay, this series is sure to ignite and inspire film and television enthusiasts at every level.”

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“Ava’s concept for ‘One Perfect Shot’ and Array’s attachment to any project intensifies the production value and story quality,” Mike Darnell, president of Warner Bros. unscripted and alternative television, said in a statement.

“As one of today’s most respected filmmakers, Ava is the perfect voice to narrate the journey through the immersive new technology created to showcase the most beloved films of all time,” added Brooke Karzen, EVP and head of Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.

“I’ve long wanted to create a series about the art of directing,” DuVernay said in a statement. “To chronicle the craft of great filmmakers is a dream come true for me and all of us at Array Filmworks. We’re thrilled that our partners at Warner Horizon Unscripted Television embraced this idea and look forward to fully geeking out over movies with our friends at HBO Max,”

Winner of BAFTA, Peabody and Emmy Awards, DuVernay’s directorial work includes the civil rights drama Selma, the Oscar-nominated social justice documentary 13th and the Disney children’s adventure A Wrinkle in Time. In 2019, she created, wrote, produced and directed the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning limited series When They See Us. She is currently producing the fifth season of her acclaimed series “Queen Sugar.” She is the winner of the 2012 Sundance Best Director Prize for her second independent film, Middle of Nowhere.

Amazon Prime’s ‘The Candidate’ A Showcase for Mexico City, Executive Producer Says

Award-winning writer/producer Peter Blake, whose credits include “House,” “Billions,” “The Practice” and “ZeroZeroZero,” trains his sights on Mexico’s narco violence and political corruption in bilingual series “El Candidato” (“The Candidate”), which bowed on Amazon Prime in July.

“When we met with Peter, we found out he spoke Spanish — aside from other languages — and gave him carte blanche to explore how he wanted to create the series,” said executive producer Juan Rendon, who noted that Blake ran the writers’ room as well as penned some of the episodes.

“He had a very good understanding of Mexican current events and politics when we first sat to discuss the project,” added Rendon, who used to run the documentary division of U.S. Hispanic TV network Univision, where he came across a number of untapped stories.

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Made under the 2018 pact forged between Mexican TV giant Televisa and Amazon Prime to produce premium TV content, “El Candidato” follows two CIA agents, one a grizzled vet played by James Purefoy (“Rome”) bent on capturing an omnipotent drug lord played by Joaquin Cosio (“The Strain,” “Narcos: Mexico”), and the other a rookie (Eréndira Ibarra of “Sense8”). The candidate in question is a mayor with presidential ambitions, played by José María de Tavira, whose TV credits include “Rosario Tijeras” and “Diablo Guardian.”

The rookie is given the unenviable mission to find out the connections between the mayor, her old flame and the drug kingpin.

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The series showcases Mexico City as the vibrant, wealthy metropolis that it is. “It’s almost a separate character in the show,” said Rendon, who applauds Blake for bringing a “well-crafted writing structure” to the series.

Shot on location between November 2018 and March 2019, “El Candidato” boasts a formidable production team led by co-directors Jaime Reynoso, who’s worked on big budget films shot in Mexico such as Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium, and Humberto Hinojosa, whose credits include “Luis Miguel: The Series” and “La Hermandad.”

Its stable of writers includes Ted Cohen (“Veep”), Max Hurwitz (“ZeroZeroZero”), Katherine Walczak (“The Flash’), Daniel Krauze (“Luis Miguel: The Series”), David Chasteen and Eva Aridjis (The Favor).

“El Candidato” also counts on the vast experience of one of Mexico’s most sought-after production managers/producers, Stacy Perskie, who has worked on a number of high-profile projects shot in Mexico, including “Narcos: Mexico,” Elysium, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, noted for its astonishing Day of the Dead opening sequence in Mexico City.

While Amazon Prime does not give out viewing numbers, the reviews from Mexico have been first-rate. The show has stirred up considerable debate as it explores the extent of U.S. involvement in the country’s long painful struggle with narco violence and government corruption.

“The series discusses a lot of uncomfortable truths in Mexico,” said Rendon.

A second season has yet to be announced.

The Umbrella Academy: Season 2

STREAMING REVIEW:

Netflix;
Action;
Not rated.
Stars Ellen Page, Tom Hooper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Colm Feore, Justin H. Min, Ritu Arya, Yusuf Gatewood, Marin Ireland, Kate Walsh.

Season two of the Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy,” which debuted July 31, is a binge-worthy, action-packed, emotional roller coaster, although it suffers from a few contrived plot points.

As the season begins, the time jump that left us on the edge of our seats at the end of season one goes awry and scatters the superhero siblings in time in and around Dallas over a three-year period starting in 1960. Some, having been stuck in the past for years, have built lives and moved on, certain they’re the only ones who have survived.

The villains this time around are a trio named “The Swedes” who are there to prevent Five from again changing the timeline as it seems the siblings brought the apocalypse back with them. “The Swedes” fulfill the same role as the iconic Hazel and Cha-Cha from season one, but they lack the same charm and comedy that made the original duo such a great part of the show. This new trio seems to have a greater history that unfortunately doesn’t get explored, leaving us with little attachment to their story.

While we may not get much in terms of backstory on “The Swedes,” season two isn’t lacking in expanded history for the members of the Umbrella Academy. We get to see more background behind the interpersonal connections of the different siblings, as well as how it affects their interactions now. The characters we already grew to love in the first season only become more fleshed out.

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However, the plot sometimes bogs down in order to present the emotional aspect of the show. Some episodes seem stretched to fill the season, as certain conflicts feel unnecessarily manufactured.

Still, despite a few weaknesses, season two is a satisfying continuation to season one of the comic book-based series, and it leaves us waiting in anticipation for the future of the Hargreeves siblings and the Umbrella Academy.

Season Two of “The Umbrella Academy” (Christos Kalohoridis/Neflix)