Netflix to Bow New Animated Series ‘DeadEndia’ in 2021

Netflix and Blink Industries announce a new 2D animated series “DeadEndia” based on the graphic novels from creator Hamish Steele.

The series will be produced at the Blink Industries studio in London and will premiere globally on Netflix in 2021.

Based on Hamish’s horror-comedy graphic novels of the same name and web short Dead End, the series follows the adventures of Barney, Norma and magical-talking-dog Pugsley, as they balance their summer jobs at the local theme park haunted house while battling the totally real supernatural forces that dwell within it. Together with their guide to the underworld multi-plane, a sardonic thousand-year-old demon named Courtney, they face zombie mascots, demonic game show hosts, sleep-sucking witches and the scariest thing of all — their first crushes.

The graphic novels have been lauded for capturing the growing pains of early adulthood of characters with a wide variety of identities and experiences, including Barney, a transgender teen, and neurodiverse Norma, according to a Netflix release.

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The series will star Zach Barack as Barney (Spider-Man: Far from Home), Kody Kavitha as Norma (Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Emily Osment as Courtney (“Almost Family,” The Kominsky Method”), Alex Brightman as Pugsley (Beetlejuice The Musical), Clinton Leupp a.k.a. Miss Coco Peru as Pauline Phoenix (“Will & Grace”), Kenny Tran as Logs (Maybe Happy Ending) and Kathreen Khavari as Badyah (“Marvel Rising,” Insecure,”Big Little Lies”).

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“’DeadEndia’ is about terrifying demons, vengeful ghosts and mysterious magic,” said Steele in a statement. “It is also about coming of age in a world that wasn’t made for you. It’s a drama about found family, identity and making mistakes. And of course it’s a laugh out loud comedy! I’ve always dreamed of making the show I needed as a lonely, horror-obsessed closeted gay kid and thanks to Netflix and our ridiculously talented, diverse and representative writers room and crew, we have shot way past my dreams and into wildest fantasy territory!”

Parks: OTT Service Churn Rate Jumped to 41% During Q1

While consumers have jumped into streaming, they have been more fickle about committing to OTT services during the pandemic.

The churn rate for OTT services increased from 35% in Q1 2019 to 41% in Q1 2020, according to research from Parks Associates.

During the COVID-19 crisis, more than two in five U.S. broadband households have trialed an OTT service, and 8% of households have trialed four or more services, according to the report.

“We are seeing a record number of consumers experiment with new OTT services as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the shifts in strategy in the industry,” said Steve Nason, research director, Parks Associates, in a statement. “OTT services are offering extended free trials to build up engagement, and 8% of U.S. broadband households report they have subscribed to at least one new OTT service since the COVID-19 crisis began.”

Among these new subscribers, 49% subscribed to Disney+ and 27% subscribed to Apple TV+, according to Parks.

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A key question going forward is whether subscribers will keep these services as fewer households shelter-in-place, according to Parks. A significant challenge, especially for services relying on original programming, is delivering new content since production on many series has halted, according to the report.

“The industry is working on new hybrid content strategies as a result of production halts,” Nason said in a statement. “Major players like AT&T for Warner Brothers and Comcast for Universal Studios are greatly concerned about the delays in content production on the launches of new services, like HBO Max and Peacock. Free trials will bring in new subscribers at the launch, and roughly seven in ten have subscribed to at least one OTT service they have trialed. OTT services need to be creative in building an engaging service, but during this time of heavy video consumption, OTT services have the opportunity like never before to win over new video consumers and retain them as long-term subscribers.”

Ava DuVernay to Produce Scripted Series on Colin Kaepernick for Netflix

The adolescent life of athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick will hit Netflix in Colin in Black & White, a scripted limited series from Kaepernick and Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Ava DuVernay.

The series will focus on Kaepernick’s formative high school years, lending meaningful insight into the acts and experiences that led him to become an activist. Emmy Award nominee Michael Starrbury writes and serves as executive producer, alongside DuVernay and Kaepernick who will appear as himself as narrator of the series.

The six-episode series, which was conceived in 2019 and recently completed writing in May, provides an introspective look at Kaepernick’s early life as a black child growing up with a white adopted family and his journey to become a great quarterback while defining his identity. The limited series reunites Starrbury and DuVernay who last worked together on Netflix’s acclaimed When They See Us, which received 16 Emmy Award nominations, including a nomination for Outstanding Writing for the duo and was recently honored with a Peabody Award.

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“With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally,” said DuVernay in a statement. “Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.”

“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” said Kaepernick in a statement. “We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”

“We’re proud to bring Colin’s experience and his creative vision to life as he joins Ava to share his powerful story and message with all our members around the world,” said Cindy Holland, VP, original content, for Netflix. “It is an unparalleled union of two strong and defining voices coming together to tell the story about what it’s like to be Black in America.”

Exercise Streaming Service Collagevideo.tv Offering 90-Day Free Trial

Exercise subscription streaming service Collagevideo.tv is offering an extended 90-day free trial for those who sign up through July 4.

The promo code for the Independence Day offer is “90EVERYONE.”

Consumers who cancel before the 90-day free trial is up will not be charged. After the trial period, the service is $9.99 a month. Consumers can cancel at any time with no obligation.

Content on the service ranges from Pilates to yoga to step aerobics, offers everything from beginner to advanced workouts, and features such fitness stars as Denise Austin, Kathy Smith and Gilad.

New content is added weekly.

“We’re expanding and working with more new instructors and producers, so stay tuned,” said marketing manager Nisreen Damatti at BayView Entertainment, which owns the service.

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Collagevideo.tv can be viewed on most devices, including iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Android, personal computers, laptops and many more.

Peacock to Be Available on Vizio and LG Smart TVs at Launch in July

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, will be available on Vizio SmartCast TVs and LG smart TVs when it launches on July 15.

Consumers will be able to access Peacock through the LG smart TVs’ Home Launcher or the built-in application on the Vizio SmartCast home screen.

Peacock will offer a free tier featuring more than 7,500 hours of movies, shows, and live and on-demand programming across news, sports, reality and late night. Peacock Premium will also be available for $4.99 per month, featuring more than 15,000 hours of content. Viewers may also upgrade Peacock Premium to ad-free for an additional $5 per month.

“We want to provide fans of Peacock’s vast programming a choice of how and where they consume our content when we launch nationally next month, said Matt Bond, chairman, content distribution, NBCUniversal, in a statement. “Vizio and LG are great partners that will help provide these fans the viewing experience they’ve come to expect from us at NBCUniversal.”

“With increasing consumption on smart TVs, we are happy to make it easy for Peacock customers with Vizio and LG smart televisions to stream all our content,” said Maggie McLean Suniewick, president, business development and partnerships, Peacock, in a statement. “We offer Peacock as free to our distribution partners because we want people everyone to enjoy Peacock where and when they want it.”

Peacock original programming available at launch includes “Brave New World,” “The Capture,” “Intelligence” and “Lost Speedways”; sports documentary In Deep with Ryan Lochte; and the full-length film Psych 2: Lassie Come Home. Also available will be current season programming from NBC and Telemundo, access to hundreds of movies such as Jurassic Park, Do the Right Thing and Shrek; and shows including comedies “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” “Saturday Night Live,” “King of Queens,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Frasier,” “George Lopez,” “Psych,” “Monk” and “Cheers”dramas “Law & Order: SVU,” “Downton Abbey,” “Yellowstone,” “Friday Night Lights,” “House,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Parenthood,” “Heroes,” and kids programing including “Curious George,” “DreamWorks Where’s Waldo?” and “Cleopatra in Space.”

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Peacock customers will also enjoy daily programming highlights from “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Meet the Press,” “Noticias Telemundo,” MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, “E! News” and “Access Hollywood,” and dozens of streaming channels including clip-based channels such as Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers comedy sketches, sketches from the “SNL” vault, plus news channels from NBC News Now and Sky News, and genre channels such as True Crime, Reality Check-In and 80s Mix Tape.

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In April, Peacock’s early preview rolled out to Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex customers at no additional cost. Peacock will also be bundled and included at no additional cost for eligible Cox Contour customers for national launch in July.

Docs ‘Secrets of Highclere Castle,’ ‘Hudson River School’ Coming to PBS Living in July

The documentaries Secrets of Highclere Castle and The Hudson River School: Artistic Pioneers begin streaming on PBS Living in July from PBS Distribution.

The subscription rate for the PBS Living Channel is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 per month with no additional annual fees.

In Secrets of Highclere Castle, viewers get the insider story about the famous mansion from the multi Emmy award-winning series “Downton Abbey.” Viewers step inside one of Britain’s best-known manor houses. It may be more famous now than any time in its 1,300-year history as the setting of “Downton Abbey,” but England’s Highclere Castle has its own stories to tell. In its heyday, Highclere was the social epicenter of Edwardian England. Viewers see how all the inhabitants of Highclere lived, from the aristocrats who enjoyed a life of luxury to the army of servants toiling “below stairs.” They also find out how the current inhabitants, Lord and Lady Carnarvon, spend their $1 million in annual upkeep funds, and what life in the castle is like today.

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In The Hudson River School: Artistic Pioneers, viewers learn about a group of artists who captured images of 19th century America in their lifelike landscape paintings.

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In the vicinity of New York’s Hudson River Valley, the Adirondack Mountains, Catskill Mountains and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a group of American painters led by British born artist Thomas Cole forged an artistic vision of the American wilderness. This was the first American school of landscape painting that emerged between 1825 and 1880. In addition to Cole, men with the names of Asher Durand, Jasper Cropsey, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Church would impress the world with their creative brilliance and wondrous vision. On canvas they would bring to life 19th century America through imagination, interpretation, color and conviction. The Hudson River School: Artistic Pioneers focuses on the story of these men and their message, its founder Cole, and other influential celebrants of this movement.

Hulu’s ‘Love, Victor’ Top Rising Show, Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons’ Again Top Binge on TV Time Charts

Hulu’s “Love, Victor” was the top rising show and Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” was again the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended June 21.

The fourth and final season of “13 Reasons Why” hit Netflix June 5, and the show topped the binge chart for a third consecutive week. As the series ends, the senior class at Liberty High School is preparing for graduation, but before they can say goodbye, they’ll have to keep a dangerous secret buried. No. 2 on the binge chart was the ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” moving up from No. 3. Taking the bronze was Netflix’s supernatural horror series “The Order,” season two of which hit screens June 18.

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Top rising show “Love, Victor” debuted on Hulu June 19. Inspired by the 2018 film Love, Simon, the romantic dramedy shares Victor’s challenges and self-discovery as he adjusts to a new high school and struggles with his sexual orientation.

Netflix swept spots Nos. 2 through 6 on the rising show chart. Taking the silver was “Mr. Iglesias,” featuring comedian Gabrial Iglesias as a high school teacher, with “The Order” at No. 3.

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 June 21 by Share of Binges:

  1. “13 Reasons Why” (Netflix) — 3.44%
  2. “Modern Family” (ABC) — 2.48%
  3. “The Order” (Netflix) — 2.17%
  4. “Dynasty” (The CW) — 1.88%
  5. “Friends” (NBC) — 1.63%
  6. “The Office” (NBC) — 1.58%
  7. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 1.27%
  8. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) — 1.21%
  9. “The 100” (The CW) — 1.20%
  10. “Love, Victor” (Hulu) — 1.14%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended June 21 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Love, Victor” (Hulu) — 100%
  2. “Mr. Iglesias” (Netflix) — 97.6%
  3. “The Order” (Netflix) — 97.5%
  4. “Coronavirus, Explained” (Netflix) — 97.1%
  5. “The Politician” (Netflix) — 95.8%
  6. “Girls From Ipanema” (Netflix) — 95.7%
  7. “Tomorrow Is Ours” (TF1) — 77.3%
  8. “The Sinner” (USA) — 71%
  9. “Power Rangers” (Nickelodeon) — 58%
  10. “One Day at a Time” (Pop) — 50.2%

Apple TV+ Picks Up Script for Julianne Moore Film ‘Sharper’

Apple has picked up the spec feature screenplay Sharper, starring and produced by Academy Award winner Julianne Moore, for its subscription streaming service Apple TV+.

Sharper follows a con artist, played by Moore, set in the world of Manhattan’s billionaire echelon.

Moore will produce Sharper with Bart Freundlich, Brian Gatewood, Alessandro Tanaka and Erik Feig of Picturestart. Gatewood and Tanaka will write the script. A24 will serve as the studio, with Picturestart attached as the production company.

Sharper marks Moore’s second project with Apple, following the upcoming limited series “Lisey’s Story,” a thriller from writer Stephen King and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television, in which Moore will star and executive produce, to premiere exclusively on Apple TV+.

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In addition to Sharper, Apple and A24’s feature film partnership includes On the Rocks from Sofia Coppola, starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones, and The Sky Is Everywhere. Apple will also soon premiere Greyhound, starring Tom Hanks, on July 10; and the Sundance 2020 Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary Boys State with A24 as the distribution partner on the film.

Hulu Celebrates Pride Month With Free Virtual Fest, New Content

Hulu is celebrating Pride Month by offering new content in its LGBTQ+ hub and mounting its first-ever virtual PrideFest June 28.

The moves commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march and allow consumers to observe the event via social distancing as festivities are cancelled or postponed.

The Hulu PrideFest event will be an immersive digital experience that will allow users to virtually connect and enjoy exclusive music, dance, and spoken-word performances and programming throughout the day, according to the service.

Both Hulu subscribers and non-subscribers can visit the free festival at www.hulupridefest.com.

Upon arrival, guests will enter “The Green Room,” where they will have the option to create their own fully customizable avatar. Avatars can be customized with a drag wig or outfit patterns, including ferris wheels (“Love, Victor”), crowns and swords (“The Bravest Knight”), “Bonkers” the dog (“Shrill”), and basketballs (“Defining Moments with Ozy: Jason Collins”). 

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Guests can then proceed to “The Main Stage” to view Hulu content and interact with talent in a live festival environment. The day’s lineup includes DJ sets from artists such as Coco & Breezy, who will premiere a new single “Convo” (out June 26), musical performances by singer/songwriter Daya, Alex Newell (Glee”) and VINCINT, a spoken word session by Lee Mokobe, and a dance performance on the “History of Voguing” by House of Ebony. Visitors can also attend an “Out in Sports” panel with U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe, transgender boxer Pat Manuel, and Jason Collins, the first openly gay active player in one of the four major sports leagues.

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Hulu’s PrideFest also features experiences such as a flower field where guests are encouraged to plant their own virtual flowers in a community garden with inspiring or supportive messages. Attendees will also have the ability to donate to the ACLU, an organization that fights for racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights, by clicking through to the ACLU website.

As part of its ongoing commitment to diverse stories, Hulu’s LGBTQ+ hub will feature new episodes of its exclusive series “Defining Moments,” featuring “Pose” actress and advocate Dominique Jackson and Jason Collins. The year-round hub features more than 100 titles, including new Hulu Original “Love, Victor,” which premiered June 17 and was inspired by the feature film Love, Simon.

HBO Max Touts Exclusive June 26 SVOD Premiere of ‘Scoob!’ Before Disc

HBO Max is flexing its content muscle in the streaming wars.

The Warner Bros. animated feature Scoob! will have its exclusive U.S. SVOD premiere on HBO Max June 26 — almost a month before its July 21 disc release and a little over a month after its premium VOD debut May 15 because of the pandemic.

HBO Max, which debuted May 27, is the direct-to-consumer offering of the studio’s parent company WarnerMedia.

Scoob! was set to be the first “Scooby-Doo!” animated feature film released theatrically May 15, but with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down theaters it was instead released through premium VOD and digital sellthrough. Its release on SVOD before disc breaks longstanding windows between the two formats in which disc release typically has preceded streaming.

The film, which will be released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, recounts the meeting of Scooby-Doo and his best pal Shaggy, and how they joined with young detectives Fred, Velma and Daphne to form Mystery Inc. Now, after hundreds of adventures, Scooby and the gang encounter the larger world of the Hanna-Barbera universe, teaming with Blue Falcon and Dynomutt to stop Dick Dasterdly from unleashing the legendary ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. The voice cast includes Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Kiersey Clemons, Ken Jeong, Tracy Morgan, Simon Cowell and Frank Welker.

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“HBO Max is the perfect home for these ‘meddling kids’ and their dog,’” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max, and president, TNT, TBS and TruTV, in a statement. “Scoob! tells the backstory of how these beloved friends met and formed Mystery Inc. It’s a perfect addition to our kids and family offering and will sit alongside beloved original Scooby-Doo episodes.”

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HBO Max also released a clip for the much-anticipated streaming debut of director Zack Synder’s director’s cut of Justice League. WarnerMedia May 20 announced its streaming debut in 2021.

In a boost to HBO Max’s unscripted lineup, the service announced an agreement to a two-year, first-look overall deal with showrunner and executive producer Sam Dean (Netflix’s “Love Is Blind”). In addition to Dean’s future assignments as showrunner for HBO Max projects, her deal includes first-look rights on all her owned or controlled concepts for her unscripted programming for all platforms. She recently wrapped production as showrunner for the upcoming HBO Max unscripted series “12 Dates of Christmas,” which will debut later this year.

“Sam is an outstanding unscripted storyteller and a top-tier showrunner,” said Jennifer O’Connell, EVP, original non-fiction and kids programming, in a statement. “After working with Sam on our reality rom-com, ‘12 Dates of Christmas,’ it was clear that her ability to tell stories with heart, humor and a wink to the audience made her a perfect fit for HBO Max. We count ourselves lucky to be in business with a producer of her caliber.”

“I am really looking forward to working with HBO Max; it’s a new and ambitious platform with an unlimited appetite to create fresh and innovative content, yet it also brings with it WarnerMedia’s history of excellence that has continually kept them at the forefront of creativity and storytelling,” said Dean in a statement. “It’s a great time to get involved as an unscripted producer. I feel blessed to be joining an incredibly strong and talented team, who I admire greatly and have loved collaborating with on ’12 Dates of Christmas.’ I am excited to get started on new projects.”

Dean has produced a variety of unscripted genre content, including social experiments, dating and competition formats. In addition to Netflix’s “Love Is Blind,” she’s worked on ABC’s “The Taste” and multiple series of “Married at First Sight” and various spin off shows within that franchise.