CNBC Renews ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’, Orders Sports Pilot From Michael Strahan & Alex Rodriguez, Development Projects With Hank Azaria, More


Deadline Hollywood 2014

By Denise Petski

CNBC is ramping up its business-based primetime slate. The network has renewedJay Leno’s Garage and The Filthy Rich Guide, given a pilot order to Back in The Game, a sports-focused project with MLB star Alex Rodriguez and executive produced by Michael Strahan, and set three projects in development including The Fame Economy (working title) with Hank Azaria.

The network has renewed both Jay Leno’s Garage and The Filthy Rich Guide for third seasons. In Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay Leno hosts the series that explores all things automotive. From classic cars to supercars and everything in-between, Jay’s hitting the road to discover the most exciting, weird and wonderful vehicles ever made and meet the passionate people behind their wheels.

Jay Leno’s Garage is produced by Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company, and Kitten Kaboodle, with Jay Leno, Philip D. Segal, Sarah Whalen, and Jeff Bumgarner as executive producers. Abby Schwarzwalder serves as co-executive producer. Jim Ackerman and Adam Barry are the executive producers for CNBC.

Half-hour The Filthy Rich Guide catalogues the ways in which the .001 percent spend their money with a guide to the best that (a ridiculous amount of) money can buy. Produced by Cineflix with Dave Hamilton and Mike Riley serving as executive producers. Jim Ackerman is the executive producer for CNBC.

CNBC has given a pilot order to  Back in the Game (working title) with former major league baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez to serve as host. The show, from executive producer Michael Strahan, will focus on former athletes in financial distress. One former athlete, guided by Rodriquez and a stable of influential mentors, will get a second chance to earn a job or build a business.

In addition to The Fame Economy, CNBC also announced two other projects in development: Ms. Fortune (working title) and I Got a Guy (working title).

“We’ve always said business is a great backdrop for storytelling,” said Jim Ackerman, EVP, Primetime Alternative, CNBC. “We continue to build on our momentum and deliver more originals that stay true to our DNA.”

See details of CNBC’s new projects below:

New Projects in Development:

“Ms. Fortune” (working title)

Produced by A. Smith & Co. with Arthur Smith, Frank Sinton, and Rupert Dobson as executive producers.

For too many of us, living the life we want means spending money we don’t have. And when the credit card bills and mortgage payments become unmanageable… the results can be nothing short of disastrous. Personal finance expert Danisha Danielle Wrighster has been there: a broke single mother in her early twenties, she bootstrapped her way to a highly successful career as a commercial real estate broker and investor. Now she’s determined to help a debt-plagued family step back from the brink by giving the tools and tough love they need to get back on the path to economic independence. Following her plan will mean real sacrifice… but in the end, it will also mean freedom.

“The Fame Economy” (working title)

Produced by Whalerlock Industries with Chris Cowan and Hank Azaria as executive producers.

Could “fame” be the world’s most precious commodity? Is celebrity quantifiable in dollars? Can a youtube star out earn an A list actor? How does a tweet generate six figures? And what if YOU’RE the commodity? What are the hidden costs of fame? Be it the price of maintaining your privacy … or the psychological expense of being judged for your looks or … your box office? Emmy award winning actor Hank Azaria is out to tackle fame and provide an inside look at what it’s like emotionally, psychologically and economically to navigate through an industry that is ultimately all about the bottom line.

“I Got a Guy” (working title)

Produced by Left Hook Media and Endemol Shine North America with Scott Teti and Matt Odgers as executive producers.

“I Got a Guy” (working title) follows a group of animated, life-long friends from Staten Island who’ve yet to come up with an idea or product too far-fetched for them to invest in. Without MBAs (or even college degrees) these men prove that grit, ingenuity, and imagination may be the real key to success. Of course, it helps that somebody’s always “got a guy” with the right connection or a good hook-up.

New Pilot Order:

“Back in the Game” (working title)

Produced by SMAC Entertainment and Machete Productions with Amber Mazzola, Michael Strahan and Constance Schwartz as executive producers.

It’s a story we hear all too often. A pro athlete heads into retirement, only to find themselves in financial free-fall. With no more games to play or big paychecks to cash, the future can often look bleak to those athletes struggling to adjust and adapt. But help may be on the way. From executive producer Michael Strahan and hosted by Alex Rodriguez, “Back in the Game” (working title), pairs ex-athletes in serious financial distress with money-savvy mentors who can help them get back on their feet. Whether the game plan involves launching a second career, starting a new business, or just finding a way out of crushing debt, the mentors are ready to guide these former stars to their next great play. But after years of living large, will they be willing to listen to their new coach?


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War Documentary ‘Apache Warrior’ in the Works From ‘Citizen Soldier’ Producers

Variety 2014

by Dave McNary

Strong Eagle Media, producer of “Citizen Soldier,” has signed a multi-picture agreement with A. Smith & Co. Dox to create a slate of film projects with “Apache Warrior” as the first title, Variety has learned exclusively.

“Apache Warrior” focuses on the U.S. Army helicopter crews in the war-torn countries of Iraq and Afghanistan. The film includes real-life footage of the crews providing 24-hour transport, air cover and rescue.

“Apache Warrior” is produced by Bert Bedrosian, David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud for Strong Eagle Media and Frank Sinton, Arthur Smith and Jason Mergott for A. Smith & Co. Dox. Other titles will be announced within the coming weeks.

A. Smith & Co. Dox is a recently-launched division of A. Smith & Co. Productions, which served as co-producer on “The Hornet’s Nest,” “Citizen Soldier” and “Danger Close.”

“Citizen Soldier,” released earlier this year, is told from the point of view of a group of soldiers from the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Thunderbirds Brigade about their tour of duty in Afghanistan. It’s been touted as offering a personal look into modern warfare, brotherhood and patriotism.

“The Hornet’s Nest,” released in 2014, was produced by Bedrosian, Salzberg and Tureaud. It grossed $312,706 in the U.S. and is the only film to ever be enshrined into the National Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning, Ga.

“With the successes of ‘The Hornet’s Nest’ and ‘Citizen Soldier’ we are delighted to unite with our co-producers on a new multi-picture deal under their A. Smith & Co. Dox banner and we look forward to a long and prosperous partnership,” Salzberg said.

Bedrosian negotiated the deal for Strong Eagle Media with Sinton for A. Smith & Co Dox.

“We’re proud to partner with Strong Eagle Media to tell some of the most gripping stories of our time with content that audiences wouldn’t normally have access to,” said Sinton, president of A. Smith & Co. Dox. “Our documentary films will serve to inform, educate, and lend voices to our veterans who put their lives on the line on a daily basis to protect our freedoms.”

A. Smith & Co. has produced more than 3,500 hours of  programming. Current productions include “Hell’s Kitchen,” “American Ninja Warrior,” “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge,” “Ellen’s Design Challenge,” “Unsung,” “Behind the Label,” “Acting Out” and “Team Ninja Warrior.”

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Dodgeball headlines new NFL Pro Bowl skills challenge

 Fox Sports

By Rob Perez

For the past couple of decades, the Pro Bowl has notoriously been one of the NFL's more unpopular events. Granted, it's an exhibition game with little incentive for the players to try their hardest and risk injury, so you can't really blame anyone for the actual gameplay of the Pro Bowl being lackluster. But that's all about to change.

While the actual Pro Bowl game remains unchanged, the NFL announced Monday afternoon that this year's Pro Bowl weekend will include an event known as 'The Pro Bowl Skills Showdown', "pitting AFC and NFC All-Stars against each other in "unique competitions."

The highlight of which is: DODGEBALL!!!!!

The 2017 Pro Bowl Legends Captains, JEROME BETTIS and RAY LEWIS of the AFC and TONY GONZALEZ and CHARLES WOODSON of the NFC, will lead their respective squads.

Each team in the Skills Showdown will feature a mix of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs.

Taking place at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, the Skills Showdown will be produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions, producers of such shows as American Ninja Warrior and Hell’s Kitchen.     

Competitions include:

Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball: Pro Bowlers will compete in a game of dodgeball.

Power Relay Challenge: Four team members will compete in a timed relay race.

Precision Passing: Two players on each team will battle it out, trying to hit moving targets of varying size and distance.           

Best Hands: Quarterback and wide receiver duos from each team will show off their skills, connecting on as many pass attempts as possible before time runs out.

Say what you want about professional football but the NFL absolutely NAILED this one. Can see it now -- Aaron Rodgers uncorking a MISSLE at Antonio Brown who spears the ball out of the air with one hand, does an epic touchdown dance celebration, salutes a fan in the crowd, and then gets drilled in the throat by Odell Beckham Jr. as he screams "JOANIE LOVES CHACHI!"

Would you rather be known as a Super Bowl Champion or NFL Pro Bowl Dodgeball Champion? Only half-kidding when I ask this.

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Tony Rock has landed a new gig at TV One.

The comedian-writer-actor-producer will host the network’s new primetime game show, “The Game of Dating,” where each episode has three teams of friends and/or family watch real dates in a “hidden camera” style from their homes. Throughout the show, the teams, as well as Rock, offer commentary about the couples as they try to figure out the daters’ stories and next moves in order to score cash.

As the dates progress, the teams will participate in gameplay with questions such as “How long has this couple been dating?” or “Who will pay the check?” Each correct answer earns the teams increasing amounts and the team with the most money at the end of the episode wins a $10,000 grand prize.

The nine-episode hourlong series premieres at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31.

Rock, the brother of Chris Rock, has previously hosted “Russell Simmons’ All Def Comedy Live” and the revamped talent competition “Apollo Live.”

“The Game of Dating” is produced for TV One by A. Smith & Co. Entertainment, a division of A. Smith & Co. Productions.

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Freeform Launches Comedic Short-Form Original Unscripted Series ‘Oh My Josh!


“Oh My Josh!,” an original short-form series surrounding the professional and personal life of Australian dancer and choreographer Josh Horner, is now live on, the Freeform app and Hulu.

Getting up close and personal, this unscripted comedic series delves into the ups and downs of Josh’s personal life and career as a choreographer. Over the course of the series, Josh will work with clients who desperately need help with a dance routine for a special occasion. Since Josh is from Sydney, Australia, the show will also chronicle him making friends and dating in LA.  Along for the ride is Josh’s quirky assistant Jayme, who also is an actress/model and whose OCD can often clash with Josh’s ADD, and Josh’s mom Cherylynne, who is in constant communication with her little “Joshy” to keep tabs on him while she’s in the land Down Under.

Josh will also make an appearance on tonight’s episode of “Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?” as he teaches Ben how to dance, so he can surprise Lauren with a special night. Will the master choreographer be able to turn Ben’s not-so-great dance moves into a success? “Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?” airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST, on Freeform.

“Oh My Josh!” is produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions and Kids At Play. The series is directed by Mark Marraccini and executive produced by Jason Berger, Amy Laslett and Christmas Rini.

About Freeform
Part of the Disney|ABC Television Group, Freeform connects to audiences and goes beyond entertainment with bold original programming and immersive social engagement. The network delivers a unique mix of quality original and acquired series, plus fan favorite movies and the holiday events "13 Nights of Halloween" and "25 Days of Christmas." The Freeform app is a service that allows viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as continued on-demand access via a wide array of devices.

About A. Smith & Co. Productions
A. Smith & Co. Productions creates some of the most innovative, highly rated, and high-quality programming for the domestic and international television marketplace. The company has produced more than 3,500 hours of award-winning programming – with budgets totaling well over one billion dollars across more than 47 broadcast and cable networks. Current productions include “Hell’s Kitchen," “American Ninja Warrior,” “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge,” “Ellen’s Design Challenge,” “Unsung,” “Inside the Label,” “Acting Out,” “Team Ninja Warrior,” “Container Homes,” “The Game of Dating,” “That Awkward Game Show” and “The Dunk King.” Past hits include “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Full Throttle Saloon,” “Wizard Wars,” “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura,” “UFC Countdown,” “Joe Rogan Questions Everything,” “Paradise Hotel,” “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” “The Swan,” “Trading Spaces,” “Celebrity Duets,” “Pros vs. Joes,” “Skating with Celebrities,” and many others. For more information, visit

About Kids At Play 
Kids at Play is a content creation studio developing and producing television, commercial, branded, digital and theatrical video that entertains and engages viewers across all screens. Most recently, Kids at Play released “The 5th Quarter,” a scripted comedy sports mockumentary series that launched on Verizon’s go90 platform, as well as “Junketeers” for Comedy Central’s digital platforms, which garnered almost 3 million views in 8 episodes during its first month, as well as over 12.3 million Facebook impressions. Additional recent projects include “Attention Deficit Theater” on CW Seed starring Jaime King, THE THINNING for Legendary Digital Films, “You’re Doing It Wrong” for PBS Digital starring Jason and Randy Sklar, and “Ithamar Has Nothing To Say” executive produced by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Past titles include award-winning series “Tiny Commando” featuring Ed Helms and Zachary Levi and “We Need Help” with Cheryl Hines. Other partnerships include Comedy Central, FX, Spike, Food Network, CMT, AMC, LG, Budweiser, Yahoo!, Pepsi, AOL, and Freeform among others. Kids at Play are repped by UTA and Principato-Young. For more information, visit 

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A. Smith & Co Launches Documentary & Entertainment Divisions

Deadline Hollywood 2014

Written by: Denise Petski

Leading reality production outfit A. Smith & Co. Productions is expanding with the launch of two new programming divisions. A. Smith & Co. Dox will handle documentary and factual programming, and A. Smith & Co. Entertainment will house the company’s entertainment programming, such as broadcast’s American Ninja Warrior and Hell’s Kitchen, along with a number of cable series. Former FremantleMedia North America exec Toby Gorman has signed on to head the entertainment division as president.

Both divisions will fall under the A. Smith & Co. Productions banner, which will still be led by CEO Arthur Smith, President Kent Weed, and COO Frank Sinton, who also will lead Dox as president.

Dox is the result of the merger between A. Smith & Co. Productions and sister company BASE Productions. A. Smith & Co. Dox includes a partnership with Strong Eagle Media (Citizen Soldier), and both will continue to create documentary films together in a first-look co-production deal. A. Smith & Co. Dox will continue to produce ESPN’s Emmy-winning Sport Science, which has been renewed for an eighth season by the network, with BASE Productions founder John Brenkus remaining as exec producer and host.

Gorman most recently served as the EVP of alternative programming at FMNA. During his tenure there the company sold and launched a slate of alternative primetime programming, including To Tell the Truth, Match Game, Celebrity Family Feud and Mat Franco’s Got Magic.

Click here for the full story

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MTV Unveils Comedy Hour

 TV Week

By: TV Week Staff

MTV is rolling out a one-hour block of comedy-focused programming. The cable network announced plans to premiere the new shows “The Almost Impossible Game Show” and “Acting Out” back-to-back on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 10 p.m.

MTV’s announcement describes “The Almost Impossible Game Show” as “an absurd comedy game show that’s so hard to beat, contestants are given 40 lives … and probably still won’t win! Brought to you by the producers of ‘Wipe Out,’ ‘The Almost Impossible Game Show’ is based on the popular UK series of the same name.”

“Acting Out,” hosted by comedian Lil Rel Howery, is described as “an outrageous comedy series in which the most irreverent, established and up-and-coming comedians of today will perform their best stand-up routines and have it simultaneously acted out. We’ll see hilarious reenactments of the best bits, bringing new life to your favorite moments from stand-up.”

“The Almost Impossible Game Show” is produced by Endemol Shine North America in association with Left Hook Media. Matt Odgers and Scott Teti are executive producers for Left Hook Media, with Georgie Hurford-Jones and Rob Smith executive producing for Endemol Shine North America.

“Acting Out” is produced by A Smith & Co. Productions (“Hell’s Kitchen,” “American Ninja Warrior”). Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Frank Sinton and Page Hurwitz are executive producers.

Read More:

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'American Ninja Warrior' Renewed at NBC

Hollywood Reporter

Written by: Kate Stanhope


American Ninja Warrior isn't showing any signs of slowing down.

Hours ahead of the season finale, the reality competition series has been renewed at NBC for a sixth season at the network and ninth season overall, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The renewal is no surprise given American Ninja Warrior's impressive ratings. The show is averaging a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and also ranks among the top 10 primetime series on broadcast in the demo. This season, the fifth on NBC and eighth overall, also currently ranks as the show's most-watched ever in total viewers. (Submissions for the show also reached a series-high last spring of 70,000, according to NBC.)

American Ninja Warrior also is coming off its first Emmy nomination for best reality competition program, for which the winner will be announced at Sunday's awards ceremony.

Original episodes first bow on NBC, with encores airing on the NBCUniversal-owned Esquire Network. G4 was the original home of American Ninja Warrior beginning in 2009; the show moved to sister network NBC in 2012. G4 then became Esquire Network in 2015.

"The increased popularity of American Ninja Warrior on air, as well as its growing social and cultural impact, is a testament to the athletes who push themselves beyond their limits,” NBC Entertainment alternative and reality group president Paul Telegdy said Monday in a statement. “We couldn’t be more proud to see this show reach new heights and watch the effect it has on those who compete and strive to be their best.”

American Ninja Warrior is based on Sasuke, from the Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, which is now in its 31st season in Japan. The American version follows competitors as they tackle a series of obstacles courses in city finals around the country. Those that complete the course then move onto the national finals round in Las Vegas, where they face a four-stage course modeled after Japan's famed Mt. Midoriyama course and compete for a $1 million grand prize.

Matt Iseman hosts along with former NFL player Akbar Gbajabiamila and co-host Kristine Leahy of Fox Sports. American Ninja Warrior hails from A. Smith & Co. Productions, with founders Arthur Smith and Kent Weed executive producing along with Brian Richardson and Anthony Storm.

“We are in constant awe of the extraordinary athletes on American Ninja Warrior who make the show as exhilarating to watch as it is to produce,” said E! and Esquire Network president Adam Stotsky. "It is incredibly exciting how the series has evolved from an unconventional Japanese game show with a cult following to the global hit phenomenon that it is today in partnership with NBC — and we are looking forward to many more seasons to come.”

American Ninja Warrior has been proven to be an important part of NBC's summer lineup. While other broadcast networks like CBS and ABC have struggled with originals scripted series during the summer months, NBC has found success with reality fare such as Running Wild With Bear Grylls, America's Got Talent and the soft-scripted Better Late Than Never.

American Ninja Warrior also has spawned a spinoff on Esquire: Team Ninja Warrior. The forthcoming second season of the offshoot, picked up in May, will expand to 16 episodes and feature five special college edition episodes where rival universities go head-to-head.

American Ninja Warrior's season finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.


Read more here:

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‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Renewed For Seasons 17 & 18 By Fox

Deadline Hollywood 2014

by Nellie Andreeva

Fox has ordered two more installments — Numbers 17 and 18 — of Gordon Ramsay’s unscripted stalwart Hell’s Kitchen, in which aspiring restaurateurs are put through an intense culinary academy — and Ramsay’s wrath — to prove they have the endurance and skill to compete and win a grand prize.

Auditions for the next season of the cooking show start Monday, Sept. 12 in Los Angeles, followed by casting calls in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas.


Read More:

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Emmys 2016: American Ninja Warrior Nominated

Hollywood Reporter

By: THR Staff


'Game of Thrones' and 'The People v O.J. Simpson' lead the nominees as 'Mr. Robot' and 'The Americans' break through.

The Television Academy announce nominees for the 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards on Thursday morning, again at the forgiving hour of 8:30 PT — not 5:30 a.m., like so many years past.

Black-ish star Anthony Anderson and once-and-future Gilmore Girls actress Lauren Graham have the honors of naming this year's nominees from the Academy's North Hollywood headquarters — and in addition to a repeat of HBO's Game of Thrones earning the most nominations, 23 total, FX's The Americans finally broke through. And, in its first year of eligibility, USA breakout Mr. Robot made a strong showing.

In the increasingly competitive race for limited series, FX's The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story led by a wide margin — 22 nominations, only behind Game of Thrones for the most this year.


Reality-Competition Program

  • The Amazing Race
  • American Ninja Warrior
  • Dancing With the Stars
  • Project Runway
  • Top Chef
  • The Voice


To see the full nominations list and the original article go here:



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