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The week in OTT: Netflix saves FOX's 'Lucifer'; Oprah signs deal with Apple


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The week in OTT: Netflix saves FOX's 'Lucifer'; Oprah signs deal with Apple

The week in over-the-top provides a recap of recent news related to streaming initiatives in the U.S. from various networks and platforms.

* Netflix Inc. picked up recently canceled FOX (US) drama series "Lucifer" for a fourth season, according to the show's Twitter page, which announced the pickup in a June 15 tweet. FOX canceled its run of the series in May.

* Apple Inc. entered into a multiyear content partnership with Oprah Winfrey, CEO of Oprah Winfrey Network LLC, to create original programs that "connect with audiences around the world," Apple said June 15.

* Facebook Inc. acquired rights to new docuseries "Breaking Big" for its Watch platform. The 12-part OZY series premiered June 15 on PBS (US) and Facebook Watch with a profile of "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah.

* Netflix picked up rights to "Dolemite is my Name!" The film is based on the real-life story of comedian, musician, actor and producer Rudy Ray Moore. The movie, starring Eddie Murphy, will be released in 2019, Netflix said June 14.

* Netflix said that it does not have plans to get into gaming and is only adding "Minecraft: Story Mode" as a licensed five-episode interactive narrative series, reported June 13, clarifying its earlier report on Netflix's strategy with the company's response.

* MobiTV Inc., a provider of live and on-demand video delivery services, has signed up more than 210 networks for its new, hosted IP video platform MobiTV Connect, the company said June 13. The platform will offer access to C-SPAN (US), Disney Channel (US), ESPN (US), Fox Networks, NBCUniversal Media LLC, Pac-12 Networks, CBS Corp.'s Showtime (US), Outdoor Channel (US) and Viacom Inc.-owned networks, among others. More than 35 pay TV operators have signed on to deploy the service beginning this summer, MobiTV said.

* Apple placed a straight-to-series order for a drama inspired by the life of preteen investigative reporter Hilde Lysiak, Deadline reported June 13. Dana Fox and Dara Resnik created the 10-episode series.

* 21st Century Fox Inc.'s FOX Sports will livestream nine games from the 2018 season of BIG3 basketball — a half-court, 3-on-3 basketball league — on the Facebook Watch platform, starting June 22. As part of FOX Sports' multiplatform distribution plan for BIG3's 2018 season, FOX Sports will air three games exclusively on FOX or FOX Sports 1 (US) during the regular season and playoffs, according to a June 12 news release. Games will also be available via the FOX Sports app.

* Netflix green-lighted three new unscripted series, according to a June 12 news release. Comedy show "The Fix" will feature 10 episodes, while music business-focused "Westside" and baking show "Sugar Rush" will feature eight episodes each.

* Netflix renewed anime series "B: The Beginning" for a second season. The streaming giant will also premiere animated adventure film "Hilda" Sept. 21, according to a June 12 news release.

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