WarnerMedia Kids & Family will celebrate the 20th anniversary later this year of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film with two new unscripted Wizarding World specials — a limited Harry Potter fan quiz competition series and a dedicated retrospective special — to premiere on HBO Max, Cartoon Network and TBS in the United States.
The unscripted game show and retrospective will help to find some of the biggest self-proclaimed fans to celebrate and test their Wizarding World knowledge. Produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon, the limited series will include four one-hour quiz challenges followed by the film retrospective.
Casting is now underway in the United States. Fans can visit wizardingworld.com to learn more about the show.
Viewers will also be able to take advantage of a play-along component.
“To celebrate the dedicated fans old and new who have passionately kept the Wizarding World magic alive in so many forms for decades, these exciting specials will celebrate their Harry Potter fandom in a must-see multiplatform TV event,” said Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. global kids, young adults and classics.
WarnerMedia’s TNT, TBS and truTV are blowing up winter holiday cheer with marathon rollouts of classic holiday movies and TV show episodes throughout December.
On Dec. 17, truTV will feature a new “Impractical Jokers: Dinner Party” episode, celebrating holiday meals and memories. TBS will air all-new Christmas-themed episodes of “American Dad” on December 21 and “The Misery Index” on December 23, as well as festive marathons of “American Dad,” “Family Guy,” “Friends,” “Seinfeld” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
An annual tradition since 1997, TBS and TNT will host a 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” from Christmas Eve to Christmas. This marathon is consistently among television’s highest-rated programs around Christmas, and last year’s marathon reached nearly 35 million viewers across TBS and TNT. This year throughout the marathon, interstitials will feature fan-favorite AEW wrestlers performing a special table read of some of the film’s most iconic scenes. Additionally, the table read will be available to view at TNT.tv and on TNT’s YouTube page.
A Christmas Story
Friday, Dec. 4 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, Saturday, Dec. 5 at 6:00 p.m. ET/PT
Jingle All the Way
Friday, Dec. 4 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, Saturday, Dec. 5 at 4:00 p.m. ET/PT, Sunday, Dec. 6 at 5:00 p.m. ET/PT & 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, Saturday, Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET/PT
“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Sunday, Dec. 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT
“An Elf’s Story: The Elf on the Shelf”
Sunday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas
Friday, Dec. 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, Saturday and Dec. 12 at 3:30 p.m. ET/PT
6:30 p.m. ET/PT – “A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas”
7:00 p.m. ET/PT – “Road to the North Pole Part 1”
7:30 p.m. ET/PT – “Road to the North Pole Part 2”
8:00 p.m. ET/PT – “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!”
8:30 p.m. ET/PT – “Christmas Guy”
9:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The 2000-Year-Old-Virgin”
9:30 p.m. ET/PT – “How the Griffin Stole Christmas”
“American Dad” – New Episode
Monday, Dec. 21 at 10:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. ET/PT
10:00 p.m. ET/PT – “Yule. Tide. Repeat.” – New Episode
After Stan’s plan for the perfect Christmas goes terribly, tragically wrong, he’s given a magical opportunity to make things right.
Leading up to the new episode, starting Dec. 1st, fans can go to tbs.com/americandad to experience the “American Dad” Advent Calendar for daily unlocked content from holidays past and present and play the American Dad Holiday Edition trivia game
12:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The One with Phoebe’s Dad”
12:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The One Where Rachel Quits”
1:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie”
1:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The One with the Inappropriate Sister”
2:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The One with the Routine”
2:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The One with All the Candy”
3:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The One with the Holiday Armadillo”
3:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The One with Monica’s Boots”
4:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The One with the Ross’ Step Forward”
4:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The One with Christmas in Tulsa”
5:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The Red Dot”
5:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The Pick”
6:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The Race”
6:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The Gum”
7:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The Strike”
“The Big Bang Theory” Marathon
Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET/PT
7:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis”
8:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The Santa Simulation”
8:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The Cooper Extraction”
9:00 p.m. ET/PT – “The Clean Room Infiltration”
9:30 p.m. ET/PT – “The Holiday Summation”
“The Misery Index” – New Episode
Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on TBS
“The Misery Index Holiday Special”
In this Holiday Special episode of The Misery Index, find out why camels and nativities don’t mix, why Santa never goes rock climbing and why Joe is trying to sell caramelized gingerbread taint. All that and festivities a plenty, plus an epic final round worth fifty thousand dollars!
24 Hours of A Christmas Story
Thursday, Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT to Friday, Dec. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
A Christmas Carol (1999)
Thursday, Dec. 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and 10:00 p.m. ET/PT
“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Friday, Dec. 18 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT and 7:30 p.m. ET/PT and Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT
Jingle All The Way
Friday, Dec. 18 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and Saturday, Dec. 19 at 4:02 p.m. ET/PT
“Impractical Jokers: Dinner Party” – New Episode
Thursday, Dec. 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
With HBO Max looking to expand its presence in Latina America and Western Europe in 2021, WarnerMedia’s subscription streaming VOD platform will also tackle an ad-supported option going forward — that could include live sports.
Speaking on AT&T’s recent fiscal call, CEO John Stankey addressed a host of questions on Max and its relation to the existing pay-TV ecosystem, and its main draw: live sports. WarnerMedia’s TNT networks has major distribution agreements with the NBA, Major League Baseball and the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament.
Stankey said that live sports will remain a unique pillar of pay-TV, which he contends will be the distribution channel’s key advantage when cord-cutting reduces the pay-TV household footprint to around 50 million to 60 million in the coming years.
“Sports content is important to our linear business, our cable networks business to make sure we have enough of it that sustains that business and keeps it at attractive must-have offering, an offering that our customers want to have in that cable bundle,” Stankey said.
At the same time, AT&T’s online TV platform, AT&T TV, and Max aim to push WarnerMedia content beyond premium television. And live sports could be part of the mix — as professional soccer, cycling is doing in Europe. Stankey said the concept of adding live sports to streaming video distribution is appealing.
“You’ll probably see as we move through AVOD, maybe we do some additional live work that we have coming forward,” he said.
But Stankey cautioned that any move would be complementary to pay-TV and not involve growing the company’s sports footprint to include additional leagues beyond e-sports and gaming. WarnerMedia recently launched “TNT Bets,” an online companion show available through the TNT app that features live-streamed feed of the games, commentary on betting analysis and odds.
“ELEAGUE,” the interactive gaming show that airs on TBS, just partnered with Amazon’s Twitch for “Super Punch,” an interactive show where fans can discuss the most relevant gaming topics of the day and week.
“Our goal is not to become known as the sports company,” Stankey said. “I don’t see going deeper in sports is the direction for WarnerMedia.”
The “Friends” cast will be reuniting exclusively for an untitled unscripted special for HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering debuting in May 2020.
The subscription streaming service will cost $14.99 a month.
Series stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer will return to the comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank for a celebration of the show. The unscripted cast reunion special, along with all 236 episodes of the Emmy-winning series, will be available to subscribers at the launch of HBO Max.
“Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TBS, TNT, and truTV, in a statement. “I became aware of ‘Friends’ when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends — and audiences — gathered together in real time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans.”
Ben Winston will direct the special and will executive produce along with “Friends” executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer will also executive produce the special.
To get caught up on original “Friends” episodes, sister WarnerMedia network TBS recently announced that for the next four weeks every episode of “Friends” will air on TBS and livestream on the TBS app, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additionally, the network has curated an experience for fans offering the best of the series on their digital platforms.
AT&T’s pending subscription streaming service HBO Max Oct. 2 added several executives to its ranks.
The service, which is set to launch in Spring 2020, named Billy Wee SVP of original animation, and Nikki Reed VP of kids and family scripted originals.
Wee comes from WarnerMedia’s TBS, where he was VP of original programming, and Reed hails from Viacom’s Nickelodeon, where she was VP of original series development.
“The kids and family space has a long history at WarnerMedia, from our legendary animation to classic motion pictures, and is now an essential part of HBO Max,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max, and president of TNT, TBS and truTV, said in a statement. “We now have a top-notch team to create a slate of original content appealing to kids, tweens, young adults and the whole family.”
Separately, Max added Sarah Lyons as SVP of product experience. She previously worked for AT&T’s DirecTV unit as VP of OTT media products.
WarnerMedia executive Katie Soo, was named SVP of growth marketing, while Keith Camoosa, was named SVP of data insights and operations.
DirecTV Now’s Jess Miller was named VP of project management, while former Crunchroll executive Reid DeRamus was named senior director of business operations.
Meanwhile, Sean Kisker, transitions to EVP and chief strategy officer for Otter Media and WarnerMedia direct-to-consumer. He will work with Josh Walker, chief strategy officer and EVP of financial planning, WarnerMedia Entertainment.
“We have gathered an all-star team of executives whose innovative contributions have directly advanced the digital media industry,” said Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media.
On the heels of AT&T’s odd corporate decision announcing — in an Oct. 10 regulatory filing by the CFO — the future (Q4 2019) launch of a subscription video-on-demand service, WarnerMedia subsidiary CEO John Stankey rushed out a follow-up statement with few additional details.
Stankey, who was in Los Angeles attending a media conference, said the unnamed and unpriced service would help WarnerMedia expand its reach by offering consumers a new distribution choice for HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner’s collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries.
“We expect to create such a compelling product that it will help distributors increase consumer penetration of their current packages and help us successfully reach more customers,” Stankey said in the statement.
Speaking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, Stankey said the OTT video service would be different from existing products on the market.
“My job isn’t to build another Netflix,” he said.
As expected, the executive – who made news earlier this year when he challenged HBO to up its game – said the OTT venture would be spearheaded by HBO with Turner (CNN, TNT, TBS) and Warner Bros. content bundled in.
“Our job is to build a compelling offer of content that gets a large number of customers,” Stankey said.
That apparently includes creating original content for AT&T businesses that include DirecTV Now and pending AT&T Watch.
“We’ll do both within our business,” Stankey said.
Fubo TV, the sports-centric online TV service, Aug. 22 announced the addition of Turner Networks portfolio of pay-TV channels, including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, TCM and HLN. The addtions bring to 75 channels available on Fubo for $39.99 monthly.
“Adding Turner Sports’ programming builds upon our heritage in soccer, while expanding our sports offering with more MLB, NBA, PGA and college sports,” Ben Grad, head of content strategy and acquisition at Fubo TV, said in a statement. “Turner’s news, entertainment and kids brands will continue to drive engagement with viewers, while reinforcing our commitment to offering a premium, high-quality cable replacement.”
Turner’s Boomerang and CNN International are also being added to Fubo Extra, the company’s 90-plus channel tier that is now available at $44.99 for the first month. Additionally, CNN en Español has been added to Fubo Latino.
The above channels are all available to be streamed live, with popular programming to be available on-demand in the coming weeks. All fuboTV subscriptions come with 30 hours of personal cloud DVR storage, two simultaneous streams, and the ability to upgrade to 500 hours and three streams, respectively, with no contracts, cords or set-top boxes required.
The service is available on the Web at www.fubo.tv, and via Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, and TV connected devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku.
The White House May 31 wasted little time criticizing comedian Samantha Bee for calling the president’s daughter a “feckless c**t” during the May 30 opening monologue of her political show, “Full Frontal” on TBS.
“The language used by Samantha Bee last night is vile and vicious. The collective silence by the left and its media allies is appalling,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as reported by The Wrap. “Her disgusting comments and show are not fit for broadcast, and executives at Time Warner and TBS must demonstrate that such explicit profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned on its network.”
Bee, who was commenting on President Trump’s immigration policies, opined that Ivanka Trump, as a mother and advisor to her dad, should do more to impact policies that have separated members of the families of undocumented immigrants.
Trump made illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaign, calling for the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep out immigrants he claims are flooding across the border from Mexico and Latin America.
Since the election, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have increased rounding up undocumented workers following minor run-ins with the law, including traffic citations.
“Let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad’s immigration practices you feckless c**t!” Bee said on the monologue. “He listens to you. Put on something tight and low cut and tell your father to f**king stop it. Tell him it was an Obama thing and see how it goes.”
TBS and Time Warner have not responded publicly to the issue.