INDUSTRY NEWS
  • NETFLIX  - Netflix has seen subscriber numbers surge this year, as lockdowns around the world keep people at home where they want to be entertained. The number of subscribers jumped by almost 16 million in the first three months of the year. That is almost double the new sign-ups it saw in the final months of 2019. However, the streaming service, which is behind some multi-million dollar productions, said shutdowns have halted "almost all" filming around the world. LINK.

  • VIACOMCBS/FREMANTLE - ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) will launch Balcony Stories this April, a slate of short form content that explores how people are experiencing COVID-19. Produced by VIS in collaboration with Fremantle, Balcony Stories leverages user-generated content from audiences and talent. The content will be crafted into 27 local versions to air across 130 countries and 100 channels with four daily episodes airing Monday to Friday. LINK.

  • TRAVEL CHANNEL - Discovery-owned adventure network Travel Channel has commissioned a one-off special event that will join legendary rocker Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne on the couch to watch an episode of paranormal investigative series Portals to Hell. The hour-long Portals to Hell – Watching with the Osbournes will catch up with Ozzy and Sharon in self-isolation as they watch an episode of Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell, hosted by their son Jack Osborne and co-host Katrina Weidman. LINK.

  • BUNIM MURRAY - South Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM and Bunim/Murray Productions, a division of Banijay Group, have partnered to coproduce a large-scale physical game show format for Korean audiences. ‘Cash Back’ will challenge leading athletes, including Olympic gold medalists and national champions, to bank as much money as they can carry to the vault all while navigating three rounds of “crazy obstacles.” LINK.

  • CBS - ViacomCBS-owned commercial broadcast network CBS Television Network has commissioned the one-hour special #HomeVideos: A Global Phenomenon (working title) from Juma Entertainment and A Bird and a Bear Entertainment. Hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, the special will feature funny, heartwarming and inspirational viral home videos made during social distancing and sheltering in place. LINK.

  • QUIBI - Quibi has put in development Cancelled, a comedy series from Nikki Glaser, who stars, Cindy Caponera (At Home with Amy Sedaris) and Sara Gilbert and Tom Werner’s sara + tom production banner. LINK.