Lionsgate Inks Deal with ‘Overboard’ Star’s Production Company

Lionsgate’s television group has signed a deal with 3Pas Studios, a production company helmed by Latino star Eugenio Derbez and producing partner Benjamin Odell.

Derbez stars in Overboard from Lionsgate Films and MGM.

Under the agreement, 3Pas will produce English- and Spanish-language series for the TV group, as well as Lionsgate streaming platforms such as the recently-launched OTT service PANTAYA.

The partnership expands Lionsgate’s longstanding relationship with 3Pas, which already includes a first-look feature film deal with the company’s Pantelion Films label.  In addition to Overboard, Derbez has starred in and produced Pantelion’s Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the United States, and last year’s hit How to Be a Latin Lover.

“We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with the incomparable comedic genius Eugenio Derbez and his 3Pas Studios into the television business,” said Lionsgate EVP and head of worldwide scripted television Chris Selak in a statement. “This multifaceted partnership is another example of working collaboratively across our divisions to identify premier brand name talent like Eugenio and Ben. We can’t wait to see the exciting new projects they’ll bring to our television slate.”

“We’re delighted to launch this new phase of our relationship with Lionsgate, a major Hollywood studio that embraces the creative vision of its artists and is committed to super-serve underserved audiences, including the growing acculturated Latinx market,” said Derbez and Odell in a statement. “It’s great working with Paul and his team at Pantelion, and we look forward to expanding that collaboration in order to supply Lionsgate’s television business and streaming services with exciting, premium quality content for a diverse spectrum of audiences.”

In addition to Instructions Not Included and How to Be a Latin Lover, Derbez is known for the Mexican comedy “La Familia Peluche,” which is being adapted into an animated feature by 3Pas. He also starred in such movies as Under the Same MoonJack and Jill and Miracles from Heaven and will appear in Disney’s upcoming The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Odell has produced or executive produced more than 20 feature films, including many for Pantelion as former head of production. Prior to that, he was an award-winning TV writer and screenwriter in Latin America.

‘Shark Week’ Celebrates 30th With Blu-ray Combo Pack Walmart Exclusive for Summer

Lionsgate will release the Shark Week: 30th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus digital and DVD) July 3 exclusively at Walmart until Sept. 4, when it will be available at other retailers.

“Shark Week” celebrates 30 years with fan-selected favorites ranging from shark science to harrowing survival stories.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack ($24.99) includes more than six hours of episodes, as well as an exclusive code that allows fans to access 25 additional episodes.

Research: Sports Main Reason 27% of Pay-TV Subscribers Say They Subscribe

Sports programming is the primary reason 27% of U.S. pay-TV households say they subscribe to their pay-TV service, according to new research from Parks Associates.

“While broadcast and pay TV remain key sources for live sports, OTT streaming options have become an important part of the live sports landscape,” said Brett Sappinton, senior director of research, Parks Associates, in a statement. “Increasingly, leagues and networks are offering direct-to-consumer options. These services offer access to content that would otherwise not be broadcast and subscription options to those not subscribing to pay TV. In the past several weeks, both CBS and ESPN have launched their own streaming services for sports content. These services will both compete with and complement major services such as WWE Network and MLB.TV. Over time, pay-TV providers will likely partner with these types of services in order to round out their existing channel packages.”

Parks Associates has also found 52% of U.S. broadband households have a subscription to both pay-TV and one or more OTT video services; 10% of U.S. broadband households have switched, downgraded, or cancelled their pay-TV service in the past 12 months; and U.S. broadband households spend $23 on average for video entertainment per month.

Original ‘Roseanne’ Series Available to Stream on FilmRise’s Ad-Supported Network

FilmRise has just released the complete original series of “Roseanne” on its ad-supported streaming network.

The series, starring Roseanne Barr, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, is available to stream for free across FilmRise apps, including on the Roku and Xbox platforms. The company will soon launch “Roseanne” on FilmRise apps across additional platforms, connected TVs, and mobile devices.

ABC recently re-booted the Emmy award-winning sitcom featuring many of the original cast members to strong ratings.

During the original run that aired from 1988 to 1997, “Roseanne” reached No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings, at one point becoming the most watched television show in the United States. The show remained in the top 4 rated shows for six of its nin seasons. Its finale attracted 16 million viewers.

“We are thrilled to offer fans of this unique series an opportunity to watch all of the original ‘Roseanne’ seasons for free on FilmRise ad-supported platforms,” said Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, in a statement. “The original ‘Roseanne’ broke social barriers and connected with millions of viewers, and we are excited to bring this iconic show to the FilmRise streaming network.”

FilmRise licensed the show from Carsey-Werner Television Distribution.

 

Report: 4K UHD Demand to Boost TV Growth in 2018

Consumer demand for TV sets is poised to return to growth in 2018, boosted by 4K Ultra HD models, according to the latest “Worldwide TV Market Report” from Futuresource Consulting.

The recovery of several markets linked with a transition to 4K UHD models will push the market up by 5% to $85 billion, according to Futuresource.

“We believe 4K UHD TV sets will ship over 100 million units this year, equivalent to two-thirds of the entire large screen market,” said David Tett, market analyst at Futuresource Consulting, in a statement. “Consumers increasingly want larger screens, and this is playing nicely into the 4K UHD proposition.”

The world’s two largest markets, China and the United States, both saw falls in 2017 but have a positive outlook in 2018, Futuresource projects.

“They have been ahead of most other markets in terms of adoption of 4K UHD and large screens generally. Over three quarters of sets that sell in the U.S. and China this year will be over 40 [inches],” said Tett in a statement. “However, other regions are now catching up, and Western Europe is on course to match the 44% Chinese household ownership of 4K UHD TVs by 2022.”

With a substantial installed base of 4K UHD TV households to target, content is now becoming available across markets, according to Futuresource.

“Consumer research shows that there has been a significant step-up in the proportion of 4K UHD TV owners who say they have watched this content at home,” Tett said in a statement. “This is the result not just of an expanding number of SVOD subscribers, but also a growing choice of content via linear TV.”

Big premium TV vendors are increasing using voice assistant platforms to attract consumers, according to Futuresource. Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa are being incorporated into the latest TVs from LG, Hisense, TCL and Vizio. Samsung, meanwhile, is utilising its in-house Bixby assistant in its 2018 QLED range.

Also, in pursuit of better margins, most vendors have introduced either QLED or OLED display technology to larger screens, according to Futuresource.

“The two largest TV vendors are currently on opposing sides; Samsung is the driving force behind QLED and LG is OLED’s primary backer,” said Tett in a statement.

Futuresource expects a 41% CAGR between 2018 and 2022 of these technologies, resulting in around 8 million sets shipping in 2022.
Among other findings, Futuresource expects high dynamic range (HDR) to be present in 60% of 4K UHD sets this year. HDR 10 is the most commonly found solution currently across vendors but the availability of a range of technologies including HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Advanced HDR and Dolby Vision is leading to some consumer confusion, according to Futuresource.

LG Adds Hulu With Live TV to Its Smart TVs

LG Electronics USA April 10 announced that its smart TVs now include Hulu with Live TV.

The updated user interface is available on all 2018 and 2017 LG Smart TVs with webOS, as well as select 2016 models.

“As interest in streaming live events continues to rise, we are offering LG smart TV owners a seamless solution that enables them to experience today’s pivotal cultural moments as they are happening from the comfort of their own home,” said Matthew Durgin, director of smart TV content partnerships at LG Electronics USA, in a statement.

Hulu with Live TV offers viewers access to live and on-demand programming from more than 50 top channels, in addition to the service’s on-demand streaming library with thousands of movies and shows. Hulu’s live offering gives viewers access to personal-ized sports experiences, as well as the opportunity to record live TV through the Cloud DVR option. Current LG TV customers with Hulu subscriptions may enjoy Hulu with Live TV by updating their subscription plan.

The 2018 LG Smart TVs with webOS are now available with the updated UI and access to Hulu with Live TV at retailers nationwide.

Vizio Unveils 4K HDR Smart TV Collections

Vizio April 10 unveiled its new 2018 P-Series 4K HDR Smart TV collection and value-priced D-Series and E-Series 4K HDR Smart TV collections.

The latest P-Series collection features a bezel-less industrial design, a blend of 4K HDR picture quality enhancements and smart TV and smart home capabilities. The series also includes Dolby Vision HDR and up to 1,000 nits of peak brightness and more than 1 billion colors thanks to Ultra Color Spectrum, according to Vizio. Also, the 2018 SmartCast OS offers streaming options and smart home controls with the integration of voice-control support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Offered in 55-, 65- and 75-inchs sizes, the 2018 P-Series 4K HDR Smart TVs are now available on Vizio.com and are coming soon to retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Costco and Sam’s Club, according to Vizio. The TVs retail at $899.99 for the 55-inch set, $1,299.99 for the 65-inch and $2,499.99 for the 75-inch.

Active Full Array Pro backlight combines a full array backlight with up to 120 local dimming zones, according to Vizio. UltraBright 1000 features up to 1,000 nits of peak brightness, and Clear Action 720 features a 240Hz effective refresh rate achieved with backlight scanning.

“Picture quality technologies like Ultra Color Spectrum, Dolby Vision HDR and UltraBright 1000 enable the P-Series to take 4K HDR performance to the next level,” said Vizio chief technology officer Bill Baxter in a statement. “Incredibly, realistic on-screen imagery is complemented by cutting-edge smart TV features to round out the collection’s entertainment experience. Vizio SmartCast OS not only expands discovery and streaming options so consumers can watch content they love from their favorite apps, but also serves as an ideal centerpiece to any smart home with easy-to-use voice-control support through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.”

Through the 2018 SmartCast OS, apps such as Netflix, Prime Video, Vudu, iHeartRadio, Crackle and Xumo can be instantly accessed on the TV screen using the included remote, according to Vizio. Users can also download the free SmartCast Mobile app to turn their smartphone into a touchscreen remote. The SmartCast OS also features Google Chromecast built-in and offers voice-control support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. By utilizing speaking commands, users can turn their TVs on and off, change channels or adjust volume — and for Google Assistant users, stream content to the TV, according to Vizio.

Offered in sizes 43 inches and above, both the D-Series and E-Series collections also feature the 2018 SmartCast OS experience with Google Chromecast built-in. They support HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range formats and full array LED backlighting. The E-Series collection also supports Dolby Vision HDR content. Prices for the D-Series range from $349.99 (43-inch) to $999.99 (70-inch). Prices for the E-Series range from $349.99 (43-inch) to $1,549.99 (75-inch).

The 2018 D- and E-Series 4K HDR Smart TVs are now available on VIZIO.com and coming soon to retailers such as Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart.

“VIZIO believes all consumers — including those on a budget — should be able to enjoy the growing library of 4K and HDR movies and shows available to them,” said Baxter in a statement. “Packed with picture quality benefits that are oftentimes reserved for pricey, high-end TVs, our all-new 2018 D-Series and E-Series 4K HDR models were engineered to bring the benefits of 4K HDR to the masses. The entertainment experience is rounded out by our easy-to-use, on-screen smart TV experience that grants access to thousands of popular streaming apps.”

Universal to Release First Season of ‘Will & Grace’ Revival on DVD June 12

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release Will & Grace (The Revival): Season One on DVD June 12.

Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally reprise their roles as Will, Grace, Jack and Karen after a 10-year hiatus, and the new season picks back up right where it left off — best friends navigating life together once again. Guest stars include Bobby Cannavale, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Alec Baldwin, Minnie Driver and many more.

The DVD includes all 16 episodes plus bonus features, including deleted scenes; a gag reel; “Back to the Beginning,” in which the cast and crew discuss what made the show so special and the relevance it continues to have; “Reuniting the Team,” detailing how what started as a PSA turned viral and sparked the revival of the show; and “Classic Comedy,” in which series director Jimmy Burrows and the cast discuss creating comedy.

FilmRise’s Ad-Supported Roku Channel Adds Classic Carsey-Werner TV Shows

FilmRise has launched several classic Carsey-Werner TV shows on its ad-supported Roku streaming channel, including the “3rd Rock From the Sun.”

The FilmRise channel ranks at No. 15 among top free channels on the platform, according to a release from the company. The channel generates more than 300 million monthly ad impressions and reaches nearly 20 million users who can watch movies and TV on demand for free, according to the release.

FilmRise will soon launch ad-supported channels on Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, Apple TV, and smart TVs such as Vizio, among other platforms, and is currently in development on iOS and Android for mobile viewing via worldwide apps.

Other Carsey-Werner sitcoms available on the Roku channel include “Cybill,” “Grace Under Fire” and “Grounded for Life.”

“FilmRise’s tremendous growth on Roku sheds light on the power of ad-supported free digital streaming,” said Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise. “By bringing our vast library of quality content to viewers who don’t wish to pay a transactional or subscription fee, we’ve unlocked the potential to reach new and diverse audiences who want to experience the best in film and TV — including timeless TV series and iconic movies.”