Following yesterday’s announcement about CTV pick-ups at last month’s L.A. Screenings, Bell Media announced today the acquisition of 10 marquee series for its entertainment specialty channels for the 2018/2019 broadcast year.
The acquisitions feature big and buzzy new titles including the highly anticipated Bad Boys spinoff series L.A.’S FINEST with superstars Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, and DEADLY CLASS, based on the hugely popular graphic novel of the same name and from directors of the smash hit film Avengers: Infinity War, the Russo brothers.
“Landing a powerful lineup of series that resonate with our core brands is the kind of forward-looking programming that has helped define our groundbreaking entertainment specialty channels,” said Mike Cosentino, President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. “Our unique schedules, including an array of character-driven dramas, comedies, and docu-series, are proven destinations for viewers, and a robust choice for our clients.”
Also joining Bell Media’s specialty lineup this season are dramas ARROW and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, with brand new seasons coming this fall. Additionally, Chris Pine stars in mystery drama ONE DAY SHE’LL DARKEN (working title), featuring award-winning director Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) at the helm; and Chris Noth stars in the powerful procedural crime drama, GONE.
As well, THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS joins Bell Media’s unparalleled lineup of award shows on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on E!
Also coming to Bell Media specialties are comedies THE OTHER TWO and SOUTH SIDE; new late-night series BUSY TONIGHT (working title), hosted by actress, social media darling, and infamous “BFF” Busy Philipps; and coming-of-age series STATEN ISLAND 10310 (working title).
See below for the full list of new Bell Media Entertainment Specialty channel acquisitions:
L.A.’S FINEST (2019, 13 x :60)
Based on the Bad Boys film franchise, L.A.’S FINEST stars Gabrielle Union as Syd Burnett, last seen in Miami taking down a drug cartel. Syd has left her complicated past behind to become an LAPD detective and pursue all the fun Los Angeles offers. But things get a little crazy when her new partner, Nancy McKenna (Jessica Alba), a working mom with an equally complex past, learns that Syd’s unapologetic lifestyle might be masking a greater personal secret. These two have completely different approaches and don’t agree on much, but they find common ground when it comes to taking on the most dangerous criminals in L.A. in this action-packed, character-driven drama.
DEADLY CLASS (2019, 10 x :60)
From blockbuster directors the Russo Brothers, DEADLY CLASS follows Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth) a homeless teen recruited into King’s Dominion, a storied elite private school where the students are the children of the world’s most feared crime bosses. Under the leadership of Master Lin (Benedict Wong), Marcus is forced to maintain his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, which includes hand to hand combat and poisons, all while navigating vicious social cliques, and facing his own adolescent uncertainties. Set against the backdrop of late 80s counter culture, based on the successful graphic novels of the same name, DEADLY CLASS is a coming of age journey full of ancient mystery and teen angst.
ONE DAY SHE’LL DARKEN (working title, Fall, 6 x :60)
Starring Chris Pine, ONE DAY SHE’LL DARKEN tells the incredible story of Fauna Hodel (India Eisley, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) who was given away at birth. As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets to her past, she follows a sinister trail that swirls ever closer to an infamous Hollywood gynecologist, Dr. George Hodel (Jefferson Mays, THE AMERICANS), a man involved in the darkest Hollywood debauchery. Pine (Wonder Woman, Star Trek) executive produces and stars as Jay Singletary, a former Marine-turned-hack-reporter/
GONE (Fall, 12 x :60)
Starring Chris Noth, GONE is a powerful procedural crime drama that follows Kit “Kick” Lannigan (Leven Rambin, The Hunger Games), the survivor of a famous child-abduction case, and Frank Novak (Noth), the FBI agent who rescued her years ago. Now a young woman with an expertise in self-defence, Kick is recruited by Novak to join a special task force he created to solve missing person and abduction cases. Working alongside former military intelligence officer John Bishop (Danny Pino, LAW & ORDER: SVU), Kick utilizes her past experience to find missing people and bring them safely back home.
THE OTHER TWO (2019, TBC x :30)
THE OTHER TWO stars Drew Tarver (Bajillion Dollar Propertie$) as a 29-year-old aspiring actor wondering why he can’t get better auditions than “Man At Party Who Smells Fart,” and Heléne Yorke (Masters of Sex, High Maintenance) as his 30-year-old sister, and former professional child dancer, Brooke, who aspires to be anything other than what she is right now. As the two siblings work towards finding themselves, they also confront the dueling emotions of envy and pride brought on by the overnight internet fame of their younger brother, 12-year-old Chase, played by real-life musical.ly sensation Case Walker. THE OTHER TWO also stars Molly Shannon, the siblings’ Hollywood-ready mother, and Ken Marino (Party Down), as ChaseDream’s newly-hired manager. The series is created, written, and executive produced by former Saturday Night Live co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider.
SOUTH SIDE (2019, TBC x :30)
SOUTH SIDE is an ensemble workplace comedy set in and around a rent-to-own store in the working class neighborhood of Englewood on the South Side of Chicago. The series centers around two long-time friends trying to better their lives despite the numerous socioeconomic and political obstacles they face on a daily basis, authentically exploring the ups and downs of the ensemble of characters, as well as the people they come into contact with while on the job and off-the-clock. SOUTH SIDE is written by brothers Bashir Salahuddin (GLOW) and Sultan Salahuddin, and Diallo Riddle (MARLON). Late Night With Jimmy Fallon alums Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin, and Michael Blieden will serve as executive producers.
2018 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS (Sunday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on E!)
E!’s inaugural broadcast of THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS is set to air November 11, 2018, with Den of Thieves’ Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager as Executive Producers. The 44th annual installment of the awards show, which celebrates the best in pop culture and is voted on entirely by fans, is produced by Wilshire Studios, the team behind E!’s Live From the Red Carpet coverage.
BUSY TONIGHT (working title, 2018, 10 x :30)
Hosted by actress Busy Philipps (VICE PRINCIPALS, COUGAR TOWN), BUSY TONIGHT features comedic commentary, interviews, and segments that go behind her most popular Instagram stories. Unfiltered, in-the-know, and always entertaining, Busy gives viewers her unique and hilarious point of view on literally everything.
STATEN ISLAND 10310 (working title, 2018, TBC)
STATEN ISLAND 10310 is a coming-of-age story that follows a group of rebellious young adults and their families as they struggle to break away from the temptations of the lifestyle they were born into.