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MTV Launches “MTV Studios”

MTV announced the launch of MTV Studios, a new unit focused on developing new series and re-imaginations of its most iconic hits for partners across SVOD and Linear. MTV Studios will develop and produce a full slate with a focus on beloved series, franchises, and spin-offs that span MTV’s 35-year history.

MTV Studios’ initial slate includes a reimagined version of the feminist icon “Daria” with writer Grace Edwards from “Inside Amy Schumer”; cult sci-fi hit “Aeon Flux” from “Teen Wolf” creator Jeff Davis; groundbreaking reality series “The Real World” and an update of the Emmy Award-winning coming of age unscripted series “Made.”

The slate will also include two new titles including “The Valley”, a coming of age docuseries in the spirit of “The Hills” and “Siesta Key” which follows a group of young friends growing up in the Valley town of Nogales, Arizona, a city split in half, with one side in the United States and the other in Mexico. Also included is “MTV’s Straight Up Ghosted,” which follows young people trying to reconnect with lost friends, lovers and family members and confront them about why they have been ghosted.

“MTV has the biggest collection of hit youth franchises that spans more than three decades of content and over 200 titles, part of which have fueled our resurgence,” said Chris McCarthy, President of MTV. “With MTV Studios, we are for the first time ever opening up this vault beyond our own platforms to reimagine the franchises with new partners.”

MTV Studios builds on MTV’s growth in the past year, as the brand has reclaimed its core of youth, music, and reality programming. MTV is currently the fastest growing network on TV, with viewership in prime time up 21% year-over-year. Additionally, MTV attracted 2.9 billion streams in 2018, up +83% YoY, and has amassed more than 350 million social followers around the globe. The brand’s rapid growth across platforms offers MTV Studios’ partners a vibrant marketing platform for new and reimagined co-productions alike.

Steven S. DeKnight Inks Deal With Netflix

Steven S. DeKnight is jumping back in bed with Netflix by a signing multi-year overall deal for series and possible feature films. Many people know his work as he was the creator of the TV show “Spartacus” on Starz and was the Showrunner for the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix. His more recent work was writing and directing Pacific Rim: Uprising. Though many may not know that he wrote, directed, and produced on hit iconic shows such as Angel, Smallville, and Dollhouse and was also a writer on Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“Steven S. DeKnight is a multifaceted writer, director, producer, and showrunner whose daring visions have gripped audiences for years,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, original content, Netflix. “From ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ which become a global cult sensation, to his historical gladiator epic Spartacus, and his unforgettable work on season one of ‘Marvel’s Daredevil,’ Steven’s bold, visceral storytelling has left its mark. We look forward to teaming with him on future original series and other projects for our members around the world.”

DeKnight also added, “Collaborating with Netflix on the first season of Daredevil was one of the most satisfying creative endeavors of my career. The level of trust they place in their creatives is matched only by their unflagging support and enthusiasm for storytelling. I couldn’t ask for a better home for myself or DeKnight Productions.”

As a huge fan of his work, I look forward to seeing what he brings to Netflix.

Apple’s AirPower Wireless Charger Not Coming Anytime Soon

If you are like me and many other people who use Apple product, you were beyond excited to read about how Apple was coming out with a wireless charging station called AirPower. Basically, there will be no more countless cords to plug into the wall. The idea is to have the AirPower charge three devices simultaneously: an iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods.

Bloomberg is reporting that “One challenge is making sure the charger doesn’t overheat. Another is the complexity of the circuitry, according to people familiar with the device’s development”. Currently, Apple is looking to launch the AirPower sometime in September of this year.

But with the issues that Apple has had the past few years of products being delayed, I won’t believe it until I see it.

Fornite Has Second Most Successful iOS Launch…Ever

For those who don’t follow the gaming world Fornite: Battle Royale is the newest player vs player game sweeping the gaming industry and within 90 days of their iOS launch through in-app purchases has made $100 million making it the second most successful iOS launch of all time. The one game Fortnite’s iOS did not beat was Clash Royale, though outplaced Clash Royale in those first three months.

Already on Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC, and Mac, Fortnite came to iOS this past April and has recently launched on Nintendo Switch. Fornite is considered the most successful free-to-play game on consoles. Case in point, according to the latest analysis, Fornite made $223 million across all platforms in March. That is up 73% from the month before.

Have you played Fornite? Let me know in the comment section below.

Instagram Now Letting You Post 1-Hour Videos

Instagram is now ready to compete with Youtube, once rumored, in a big event in San Francisco, Instagram announced that will not let people create video posts that are 1 hour long and to house these new hour-long videos Instagram is launching IGTV. Which is where your videoes and the people you follow will live. Plus you will be able to discover other videos from Instagram influencers and celebrities.

“It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve,” said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom onstage at the event.

IGTV official website says that “People are watching less TV and more digital video.1 By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. And we’ve learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals”.

For more information, check out www.business.instagram.com/a/IGTV.

Lucasfilm Holding Off On Star Wars Spinoff Stories

It’s being reported that Lucasfilm is putting a hold on all of their Star Wars Story spinoff movies. Instead, they are putting all their focus on Star Wars IX. Because of their newest spinoff story “Solo: A Star Wars Story” was considered a failure by box office standards, movies in development like previously rumored Obi-Wan movie and the recently announced movie Boba Fett that Logan filmmaker James Mangold was in early talks to write and direct aren’t going to see the big screen any time soon.

All of this news comes off of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”. The film brought in $84.4 million on its opening weekend and has seen $192.8 million domestically so far, with $339.5 million worldwide in four weeks. Which to level it up to any other movie it would be considered a huge success, but this is a Star Wars movie we are talking about. The expectations are extremely high for the brand to succeed.

The writing was on the wall that Solo wasn’t going to be as big as it could have been. Between opening up in May to competing with Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, the movie market was oversaturated with huge movies that were just too close together. Plus with the news of the firing directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller during the production and then bringing Ron Howard to replace them sadly gave the movie a negative look, which in reality wasn’t true. But perception is the reality in this case.

For now, Lucasfilm is going focused on the new Star War trilogy that was announced. Writer and director Rian Johnson will create a whole new trilogy that will focus on new characters. Plus they are also putting time into the series of films that will be written by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

It will be interesting to see where Lucasfilm will take Star Wars and if the spinoff movies will come back.

The CW Sets Fall Dates For Shows & Premieres

The CW Network is out with its fall schedule of TV programming. From Sunday to Friday now you can get your CW smolder fix.

Tuesday, October 9th everyone’s favorite speedster races into your home with “THE FLASH” at 8pm, followed by “BLACK LIGHTNING” at 9pm.

Wednesday, October 10th Go back to school with “RIVERDALE” at 8pm, followed by “ALL AMERICAN” at 9pm.

Thursday, October 11th, everyone’s favorite demon-hunting brothers are back with “SUPERNATURAL“.

Friday, October 12th, watch the Carringtons and the Colbys again with “DYNASTY” at 8pm, followed by “CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND” at 9pm.

Sunday, October 14th get your superhero fix with “SUPERGIRL” at 8pm, followed by the Reboot of “CHARMED” at 9 pm.

Monday, October 15th the emerald archer returns with “ARROW” at 8pm.

Monday, October 22nd, jump back in time with “DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW” at 9pm.

Thursday, October 25th sees the series premiere of “LEGACIES” at 9pm.

The final seasons of Jane the Virgin and iZombie will launch in the midseason. Until then enjoy this CW smolder video.

AMC Theaters To Launch $20/Month Movie Ticket Service

Deadline.com is reporting that AMC Theaters is looking to change the game when it comes to monthly movie ticket subscription services. Moviegoers who sign up for the $20 a month service will be able to see three movies a week. The program starts on June 26th and anyone signing up can start using their benefits immediately.

This is a big deal as MoviePass should expect to take a big hit by AMC Theaters doing this. For those of you who don’t know MoviePass is a subscription that allows you to able to see a movie in theaters once a day. This company has been somewhat of a sore in the sides of both movie theaters and studios as it has become a middleman between them.

In reality, he service isn’t making the money either of them would like it to. Which in turn you will see other companies like AMC Theaters create their own ticket subscription service.

This A-List service will also let you choose tickets from any theater format like IMAX, Digital, and 3D.

“We expect to see a surge in demand for IMAX tickets from this exciting new program, which should drive incremental revenue to IMAX® theatres by offering consumers – for the first time – the freedom to experience blockbusters such as Jurassic World in IMAX over standard offerings for no additional upcharge,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond.

The big takeaway from this though is that you better use your weekly tickets if you sign up as they don’t rollover into the next week.

For more information about the service or to sign up, check out www.amctheatres.com/amcstubs/alist.

Disney Signs Amended Acquisition Agreement to Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., for $71.3 Billion

The news all geeky fans have been waiting for! Disney has bought Fox for $71 billion. Disney today announced that it has signed an amended acquisition agreement with Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21st Century Fox”) (NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX), for $38 per share in cash and stock. Disney will acquire 21st Century Fox immediately following the spin-off of the businesses comprising “New Fox” as previously announced.

The more interesting news out of all that is that the businesses to be acquired by Disney include 21st Century Fox’s film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000 Pictures; Fox’s television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Sports Regional Networks; Fox Networks Group International; Star India; and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, and Tata Sky.

The acquisition will occur immediately after the spin-off by 21st Century Fox of the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company referred to as New Fox. If 21st Century Fox completes its acquisition of the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own prior to the closing of the Disney acquisition, Disney would assume full ownership of Sky, including the assumption of its outstanding debt, upon closing.

The acquisition will significantly increase Disney’s international footprint and expand the content and distribution for its direct-to-consumer (DTC) offerings, which include ESPN+ for sports fans; a Disney-branded streaming video-on-demand service launching in late 2019 that will feature Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films along with a host of exclusive original content and library titles; and its ownership stake in Hulu. As a result of the acquisition, Disney will hold a controlling stake in Hulu.

Say it with me, The X-Men v.s. The Avengers.

Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical Coming To Cinemas On July 26th and 28th

Who didn’t love the movie “Newsies” growing up as a kid? Well due to popular demand “Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical!” is making its way back to the big screen for a two-day summer encore event. Captured live at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in September 2016, the event features Jeremy Jordan, who currently stars in the television series “Supergirl,” reprising his role as Jack Kelly. In addition to the feature content, audiences will enjoy behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and creators.

“We are thrilled that Newsies is returning to cinemas,” said Thomas Schumacher, President & Producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. “With theatres and schools across the country now producing their own version of the title, so many young theatre-makers have become part of our growing Newsies family. The Fathom re-release is a chance for them to come together with fans of the show to see the spectacular original Broadway cast and celebrate their own connection to this beloved musical.”

What’s more impressive is looking back at why there is a popular demand for it. That’s because last year on February 18th, Disney and Fathom Events brought the movie musical to U.S. cinemas for only a 6-day run and make a whopping $2.5 million. That’s impressive for a movie musical about a movie that came out in 1992.

Credit: Disney Theatrical Productions

Photo Credit: Disney Theatrical Productions

“After immense success with our previous screenings, we are thrilled to bring the ‘newsies’ back to cinema audiences nationwide,” Fathom Events CEO Ray Nutt said. “‘Fansies of all ages will love seeing this fun musical up on the big screen with its memorable soundtrack, incredible cast, and unforgettable story.”

Set in New York City at the turn of the century, NEWSIES is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.