FuboTV Boots Up Next-Gen App on Fire TV
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TV Everywhere Continues Its Climb

NBCU Tags ‘Halcyon’ for Linear, Web, VR

NBCU Tags ‘Halcyon’ for Linear, Web, VRThe Oculus Rift will start shipping on March 28

NBCUniversal International Networks said it has tapped Secret Location to produce 15 episodes of Halcyon, a new short-form scripted series that will be offered on Syfy’s linear channels around the world, on Syfy’s Web sites, and, partially, via the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) platform.

The programmer said Halcyon’s 15 episodes will alternate between 10 episodes that will be available to view on Syfy linear channels and the Web, and five VR episodes to be distributed through Oculus Rift, “with additional premium and mobile platforms to be announced.”

Viewers who watch only the linear episodes of the series, will have access to “short recaps” of the five VR episodes. Preorders for the Oculus Rift started last month; shipments are expected to start on March 28, with additional distribution at “select retailers” to follow in April.

Production of Halcyon began in Toronto in February 2016, but Syfy has not announced a premiere date.

Directed by Benjamin Arfmann (Random Stop) Halcyon is a police procedural series set in 2058 set in a future in which “virtual reality is as ubiquitous as smart phones are today.” The series’ main character, Julie Dover is a detective in the Virtual Reality Crimes Unit who is investigating “the first real-life murder to take place within virtual reality.”

“Syfy is the perfect home for launching this innovative, hybrid linear and virtual reality series,” Steve Patscheck, EVP global programming, NBCU International Networks, said in a statement. “We look forward to partnering with Secret Location on Halcyon, as Syfy international channels break new ground with the launch of the brand’s first scripted virtual reality series.”

“VR is being exposed to more and more people and with projects like Halcyon, we intend to help this immersive form of entertainment grow,” added Secret Location President James Milward.

Halcyon is being produced with financial participation of the Independent Production Fund, a Canadian private foundation that makes equity investments in original digital drama series.

Spike Orders Pilot For Stephen King’s ‘The Mist’

Spike Orders Pilot For Stephen King’s ‘The Mist’

Spike TV has teamed with Dimension Television to develop a pilot for a suspense series based on a Stephen King novella, the network said Wednesday.

The series, The Mist, follows the exploits of a small town infected by a seemingly innocuous mist, according to network officials. Christian Torpe will serve as the executive producer for the series.

“We are thrilled to join forces with the incredibly creative Christian Torpe and Dimension Films to develop Stephen King’s enthralling novella to a compelling series unlike anything else on television,” said Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike.

ACA Seeks Navigation Device Carve-out

ACA Seeks Navigation Device Carve-out

Complete coverage of the FCC’s set-top proposal.

The American Cable Association is urging the FCC to recognize the “enormous strides” smaller MVPDs have made in offering programming, the burdens of a new navigation device mandate, and give them a break.

In a letter to the FCC, ACA asked that if the FCC does adopt agency chairman Tom Wheeler’s set-top proposal to provide MVPD set-top data to third-party boxes, that the FCC: “(1) adopt a tentative conclusion that analog-only systems should be exempt from any new set-top box requirements, and (2) seek comment on an exemption for MVPDs with fewer than one million subscribers, which would serve the public interest by ensuring that the cost of MVPD service does not dramatically and unnecessarily increase, as it most certainly would if small and medium-sized MVPDs are forced to take the difficult and costly steps necessary meet the demands of the Chairman’s proposal.”

Wheeler has scheduled a vote on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at the FCC’s Feb. 18 meeting.

Former Discovery Channel Star Wyatt Arrested

Former Discovery Channel Star Wyatt ArrestedA whole new reality: Richard Wyatt, former cast member of Discovery Channel’s “American Guns” was arrested on gun charges.

Richard Wyatt, former star of Discovery Channel’s reality series American Guns, was arrested last week and charged with conspiracy, dealing in firearms without a license and tax-related charges, according to the Justice Department.

Wyatt surrendered to authorities and was expected to make his first appearance before a judge in Colorado Friday (Feb. 12).

A 13-count federal grand jury indictment was returned against Wyatt Feb. 9.

Wyatt allegedly failed to report more than $1.1 million in income from his Gunsmoke store in Wheat Ridge, Colo. He also allegedly conspired to sell guns without a license. He surrendered that license in 2012.

Wyatt also faces forfeiture of the guns and ammo “involved in the commission of his alleged crimes,” those crimes being trying to sell those guns and ammo without a license and evading taxes on that income.

DOJ noted that he “aggressively” marketed the business on YouTube and through his appearances on 26 episodes of the Discovery Channel series in 2011 and 2012.

His new reality, if convicted on all counts, could be 35 years in prison and fines of more than $1.5 million.

FCC Shares Captioning Responsibilities

FCC Shares Captioning Responsibilities

A unanimous FCC has decided to share program distributors’ responsibility for the quality of closed captions with the program producers who supply them.

That came at the FCC’s Feb. 18 public meeting.

In continuing to implement the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), the commissioners unanimously voted to make programmers responsible for caption issues within their control — i.e., in production or transmission to distributors like cable operators and broadcasters — while distributors will continue to be responsible for quality and transmission issues within their control.

The item also updates the complaint process to allow distributors and programmers to make best efforts to resolve complaints before they are considered for FCC enforcement.

In keeping with the move to make programmers responsible for captioning issues, their closed captioning certifications will now go directly to the FCC, rather than first to the distributors.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who has made disability accessibility a priority, said the item was about the responsibility to those who “hear with their eyes,” and for those who provide closed captioning “whether they create it or distribute it.”

YouTube Increases Originals for Red Subs

YouTube Increases Originals for Red Subs

YouTube is expanding the content in its Red subscription service with a pair of new offerings.

The feature length documentary, working title Untitled Gigi Gorgeous Project, comes from video maker Gigi Gorgeous and Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple, and will debut later this year. The film “explores the intimate journey of a transgender woman from her childhood to life as a successful media personality.”

The original series Foursome, from AwesomenessTV, stars Jenn McAllister (JennxPenn) as “an undateable sophomore” whose older brother makes sure no guy comes near her. Andie must rely on the unbreakable bond she has with her three best friends.

Read more at B&C.

Netflix Renews ‘Master of None’

Netflix Renews 'Master of None'

Master of None, the rookie comedy series from Aziz Ansari, will return for season two on Netflix in 2017.

Ansari tweeted the news, saying, “Master of None Season 2 coming 2017. Thanks for all the support everyone!!”

Netflix has confirmed.

Read more at broadcastingcable.com.

Al Jazeera, DirecTV Revitalize Demeanour Bargain

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