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Netflix signs content deal with Obamas; Royal wedding attracts 29M viewers in US


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Netflix signs content deal with Obamas; Royal wedding attracts 29M viewers in US

The Program Guide highlights recent programming announcements from various networks and online video platforms in the U.S.


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"The Spanish Princess"
Source: Starz

* When it comes to royal weddings, the nuptials between Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle set a new U.S. audience standard. According to fast national data from Nielsen Holdings PLC, an estimated 23.7 million U.S. households and 29.2 million people watched the May 19 wedding ceremony across 15 networks from 7 a.m. to 8:15 ET. NBC (US) set the pace with 6.42 million viewers from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., ahead of the 6.35 million watchers on ABC (US) and 4.79 million for CBS (US). FOX News Channel (US) was the cable leader with 1.94 million watchers, while there were 1.79 million for CNN (US) and 994,000 on MSNBC (US).

* Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s Starz (US) kicked off production on "The Spanish Princess," a limited series based on the novels, "The Constant Princess" and "The King's Curse," written by Philippa Gregory. Starz has cast Charlotte Hope in the titular role as Catherine of Aragon, alongside Stephanie Levi-John as her lady-in-waiting and confidante, Lina de Cardonnes, the company said May 17.

* Time Warner Inc.'s HBO (US) and HBO Latino will premiere the fourth season of original series "SR. ÁVILA" on July 29. The fourth season will feature 10 episodes, according to a May 17 news release.

* New seasons of comedy series "Ballers" and "Insecure" will return to HBO on Aug. 12. HBO will premiere the fourth season of "Ballers," starring Dwayne Johnson, while "Insecure" will return for its third season, according to a May 17 news release.

* HBO teamed up with Sky for documentary series "The Case Against Adnan Syed." The four-hour series will explore the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, according to a May 16 news release.

* Walt Disney Co.'s ABC added a couple sitcoms to its already comedy-centric lineup and a pair of dramas that will cap two of the evenings on its upcoming fall programming schedule. The programming slate includes second season of a "Roseanne" revival, "The Kids are Alright" comedy series, "Black-ish," "Splitting up Together," "The Rookie," "The Goldbergs," "American Housewife" and the 10th season of "Modern Family."

* Discovery Inc.'s Animal Planet (US) will premiere "Dodo Heroes" on June 9 in the U.S. and in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The series is about the bond between people and animals, according to a May 14 company news release.

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Former U.S. President Barack Obama
Source: Luca Bruno

* The series "Cash Cab" will return to Discovery Channel (US) in July. Viewers will also be able to watch past seasons of the series on the Discovery GO app, free with their paid TV subscription, the company said May 14.

* Univision Communications Inc. on May 11 unveiled its 2018-2019 programming slate, including a new show produced by Netflix Inc. and Univision's Story House Entertainment. The Netflix coproduction "Tijuana" is the second show created by Univision and the streaming company, following "El Chapo," a series about the life of drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán. Other new shows in the company's scripted programming slate include three supernatural-themed series, four action-dramas, four dramedies, eight melodramas and one epic about the life of Jesus.

* Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s Adult Swim (US) struck a deal for 70 new episodes for animated series "Rick and Morty." The series follows a sociopathic genius scientist who drags his timid grandson on dangerous adventures across the universe, the company said May 10.


* Netflix signed a deal with former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, to produce films and series with the streaming service. Under a multiyear agreement, the Obamas will produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docuseries, and documentaries and features, the company said May 21.

* Netflix picked up rights to "Happy As Lazzaro" and "Girl" for North America and Latin America. Both movies premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, according to a May 19 news release.

* Netflix green-lighted "First Ladies," a political comedy starring Jennifer Aniston as president of the U.S. and Tig Notaro as the first lady. The series was written by Notaro and Stephanie Allynne, the company said May 18.

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Yara Shahidi from "Black-ish"
Source: ABC

* Google Inc.'s YouTube green-lighted a new series on artificial intelligence from Team Downey partners Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey, Network Entertainment's Derik Murray and Paul Gertz, and Sonar Entertainment's Jenna Santoianni and Tom Lesinski. The untitled series, which will feature eight episodes, will debut exclusively on YouTube Red in 2019, the company said May 17.

* Hulu LLC entered into a content licensing agreement with VICE Media LLC. The deal that marks VICELAND's first subscription video-on-demand partnership will add 15 series to Hulu's library of unscripted programming, including all past episodes of "Gaycation," "Woman," and "F*ck, That's Delicious," according to a May 17 news release. Hulu subscribers will be able to stream these shows starting June 8.

* In more Netflix news, the streaming company acquired rights to the "Lost Girls" movie. Starring Amy Ryan, the true-crime story is based on Robert Kolker's book of the same name, the company said May 16.

* Netflix acquired rights to horror anthology series "Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight." In the new series, del Toro will present a collection of personally curated stories, that are both equally sophisticated and horrific, the company said May 14.