FIRST LOOK/ ON TV

FIRST LOOK
http://www.eonline.com/news

ON TELEVISION (THURSDAY 7/30/20)
APPLE TV+: The Oprah Conversation (Premiere)
FOOD NETWORK: Restaurant Impossible: Back in Business (Premiere) at 9pm
HBO MAX: Frayed (Premiere)
HULU: In My Skin (Premiere)
NETFLIX: Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy (Premiere)
SUNDANCE NOW: Idiomatic (Premiere)

Beijing-based ByteDance is weighing options for TikTok, amid pressure in the US to ban the app over concerns about the safety of users’ personal data. The company has received a proposal from some of its investors to transfer majority ownership of TikTok to them, valuing it at 50 times its projected 2020 revenue of about $1 billion, reports Reuters, adding that if a deal cannot be reached, ByteDance is considering divesting TikTok’s US operations. TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said the company is willing to take “all necessary steps” to ensure the long-term availability and success of TikTok. “The one thing that will not change is our commitment to ensuring that TikTok remains a safe and secure platform for the tens of millions of American families that derive joy from it,” said Mayer in a blog post.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Mayer also blasted Facebook after CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote, in prepared remarks before his testimony on Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, “We believe in values – democracy, competition, inclusion and free expression – that the American economy was built on. Many other tech companies share these values, but there’s no guarantee our values will win out. For example, China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries.” Responded Mayer – noting that Facebook is introducing “copycat product” Reels, “At TikTok we welcome competition. We think fair competition makes all of us better. But let’s focus our energies on fair and open competition in service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor – namely Facebook – disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the U.S.”
(Source: Cynopsis)

During the aforementioned House Judiciary antitrust hearing, Zuckerberg responded to a question about the boycott of Facebook advertisers over hate speech. “We’re very focused on fighting against hate speech and our commitments to those issues and fighting them go back years before this recent movement,” he said. “Since 2016, the defenses that the company is built out to help secure elections in the US and around the world.” Apple CEO Tim Cook noted the App Store is not a monopoly because 84% of apps are not charged anything, and Apple has not increased commissions on apps since 2008. As for competition in the smartphone market, “Our goal is the best, not the most,” said Cook.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos claimed he had no issue with his company being looked at. “I believe Amazon should be scrutinized,” he told lawmakers. “We should scrutinize all large institutions, whether they’re companies, government agencies, or non-profits. Our responsibility is to make sure we pass such scrutiny with flying colors.” Rather than hurting consumers, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai suggested, Google’s market dominance is helping them. “A competitive digital ad marketplace gives publishers and advertisers, and therefore consumers, an enormous amount of choice,” Pichai said. “For example, competition in ads – from Twitter, Instagram, Comcast and others – has helped lower online advertising costs by 40 percent over the last 10 years, with these saving passed down to consumers through lower prices.”
(Source: Cynopsis)

Eko’s patent infringement lawsuit against streaming service Quibi can proceed, ruled a federal judge. Eko claims Quibi stole the technology for Turnstyle, which lets Quibi viewers seamlessly switch between landscape and portrait-mode viewing. While US District Judge Christina A. Snyder dismissed nine of Eko’s claims, she ruled that, “Eko has adequately pled that Quibi had access to its trade secret information, and produced technology that is similar.” Responded Quibi, “We are gratified by the Court’s decision to dismiss many of Eko’s claims, particularly since the standard for doing so is extremely high. This coupled with the Court’s recent denial of Eko’s request for a preliminary injunction demonstrate what we have said all along – this is a meritless case. We will continue to aggressively defend ourselves in court.”
(Source: Cynopsis)

Speaking of patent infringement, that’s an accusation TikTok rival Triller is making against TikTok in a lawsuit filed in US District Court in Texas. Triller claims a feature that allows users to put together multiple clips using a single audio track infringes on its patent. And a lawsuit isn’t the only slap TikTok is taking from Triller – earlier this week, Triller announced that popular TikTok influencer Josh Richards (20+ million followers) was leaving to join Triller as an investor and Chief Strategy Officer. Fellow TikTok creators Griffin Johnson, Noah Beck and Anthony Reeves are also signing on as Triller advisors.
(Source: Cynopsis)

WGA members voted to ratify their new TV and film contract, in a 98% to 2% vote. “This year we faced a unique situation in negotiations because of COVID-19, but despite the challenges posed by the pandemic we achieved gains in a deal that will serve writers’ interests for the next three years,” said WGA West President David A. Goodman and WGA East president Beau Willimon. The three-year agreement is retroactive to May 2.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones) has been cast in six-part adventure thriller La Fortuna. AMC Studios and Movistar+ will produce the series in collaboration with MOD Pictures. Production begins this week on location in Madrid, Cádiz, Zaragoza, Galicia and the Basque Country, and will move to North America in 2021. The series will premiere in 2021 on AMC in the US, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Movistar+ in Spain.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Kate Winslet (The Reader) voices the role of Black Beauty in an updated adaptation of the 19th century novel about a wild mustang that is headed to Disney+. Produced by Constantin Film and JB Pictures, the film will premiere on the streamer later this year.
(Source: Cynopsis)

ABC is developing thriller drama The Women, from writers Jennifer Johnson and Glenn Porter, producer Mark Pellington and Kapital Entertainment. The show focuses on a conspiracy of dangerous women out to take over the global power structure.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Docu-series Could You Survive the Movies? was picked up for a second season by YouTube. The Ample Entertainment show’s sophomore run will look at the power of water in Titanic and the science of magic in Harry Potter films, among other topics.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Marsai Martin (black-ish) will host and executive produce The Tiny Talk Show (wt) for Quibi. Martin will serve as executive producer under her Genius Entertainment banner alongside Josh Martin and Carol Martin, Michelle Caputo and Shannon Hartman for Art & Industry, and Alex Diaz, Daryn Carp, Josh Martin, Carol Martin and Nicole Dow.
(Source: Cynopsis)

What’s Good Africa, exploring Hip Hop culture in Africa, debuts on Revolt TV on Wednesday, August 12 at 9:30p. The unscripted weekly series comes via a partnership between Revolt TV and What’s Good Networks and sister production company, What’s Good Studios in Nairobi, Kenya.
(Source: Cynopsis)

HGTV’s Brother vs. Brother returns for a new season on Wednesday, September 9 at 9p. During the season, HGTV stars Breegan Jane (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), Maureen McCormick (Frozen in Time), Jasmine Roth (Help! I Wrecked My House), Orlando Soria (Build Me Up), and Dan Vickery (Frozen in Time) will decide which Brother wins each weekly match.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Ryan Murphy asylum drama Ratched debuts on Netflix Friday, September 18. Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) stars as the psychiatric hospital nurse inspired by the tyrannical One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest character.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Discovery’s Shark Week dives into Abandoned Waters, a look at how COVID-19 allowed researchers new opportunities to study great whites in Australia. The doc airs Monday, August 10 at 8p.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Google is being sued by Chrome users who allege their data is being used for targeted advertising. “Although Google promises that Chrome users can opt out of Google surveillance by not providing any personal information to use Chrome and not synching their data, those promises are not true,” reads the complaint. “Unbeknownst to users, Google has programmed Chrome for surveillance no matter what the user does.” The class-action suit was filed in federal court in San Jose.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Netflix picked up the rights to seven classic comedies for its Strong Black Lead strand. Moesha debuts August 1, followed by The Game (August 15); Sister, Sister (September 1); Girlfriends (September 11, the 20th anniversary of its premiere); The Parkers (October 1); and Half & Half, and One on One (October 15). “The goal of Strong Black Lead is to celebrate and lift up Black Hollywood,” said Bradley Edwards, Manager, Content Acquisition and Jasmyn Lawson, Manager, Strong Black Lead. “These trailblazing shows are a huge part of that story. From the classic clown funeral episode of The Parkers to Moesha’s mind-tripping meet-up with Brandy, we’re thrilled that our members can now enjoy these amazing classics.”
(Source: Cynopsis)

Amagi, a cloud-based technology company for broadcast TV and streaming TV, announced it now delivers 30+ live and linear channelsto The Roku Channel, including beIN, Buzzr, Cinedigm, Condenast, MGM, PeopleTV, Tastemade, TYT Network, and Yahoo Finance, among others. “Free Ad Supported TV (FAST) is growing rapidly and this new milestone has propelled The Roku Channel to be a very attractive content destination for the streaming TV audience,” said Srinivasan KA, Co-founder, Amagi. “Our strong technology stack and deep integration with platforms like The Roku Channel places us in a unique position to maximize reach and revenues for our content partners.”
(Source: Cynopsis)

Crackle Plus is adding horror film The Sonata, available exclusively on the AVOD beginning Saturday, August 1. “Well-crafted stories like this are always welcomed by the Crackle audience,” said Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus. “The Sonata combines the suspense of a thriller with the terror of classic horror to create a delicious cocktail of fright.”
(Source: Cynopsis)

Roundtable discussion Race in America: A Movement Not a Moment airs Sunday, August 9 at 10p on Bravo. Host Nina Parker (E!) guides Bravolebrities from Top Chef and the Married to Medicine and Housewives franchises as they share their thoughts and personal stories on the Black Lives Matter movement, racial inequality in America, the value of allies, Karens and their privilege, and more.
(Source: Cynopsis)

Syfy month-long stunt “Metal Crush Mondays” features heavy metal artists in segments surrounding “metal” movies. First up: Lake Placid on August 3 at 7p, with guests Pustulus Maximus and the Berserker Brother (GWAR), and Andy Black (Black Veil Brides).
(Source: Cynopsis)

Maurice “Reese” Schonfeld, who founded Cable News Network with Ted Turner, died July 28. He was 88. In 1992 Schonfeld joined the team that started Food Network, and was named its President.
(Source: Cynopsis)

 

 


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