A&E is jumping in to the national conversation on policing in America with Live PD, a weekly live documentary series that takes viewers inside the country’s busiest police departments and the communities they patrol in real time. The network has ordered eight two-hour episodes of Live PD from Big Fish Entertainment, for premiere Friday, October 28 at 9 PM.
Over the course of eight weeks, dash cams along with fixed rig and handheld cameras, will capture the work of a mix of six urban and rural police forces around the country on a typical Friday night. In-studio host, ABC’s Dan Abrams, alongside Dallas Police Department Detectives Rich Emberlin and Kevin Jackson will guide viewers through the night, giving insight to what audiences are seeing in real time, bouncing minute-by-minute between the featured police departments and offering an inside look at each live incident. The series also includes a live social media component that will take audiences behind the scenes of the Live PD studio.
As with many live events, due to the potential of capturing intense and possibly disturbing content, the network says the program will air on a delay.
David Doss, former news executive producer at CNN, ABC and NBC, will serve as showrunner for the series.
“Every day the demands for more transparency in law enforcement continues to come from both civilians and police across the country,” said Rob Sharenow, EVP and General Manager of A&E and Lifetime. “‘Live PD’ will not only highlight the difficult work being done by our men and women in uniform as they go out into the streets never knowing what to expect, but also answers citizens’ calls for clarity.”
Live PD follows two other Emmy-winning A&E series that tackled important issues in the national dialogue. Critically praised Born This Way, which was just renewed for a third season, follows young adults with Down syndrome, and Intervention, which dealt with addiction, aired for 13 seasons on A&E.
Live PD is produced for A&E Network by Big Fish Entertainment, Dan Cesareo, David Doss, George McTeague, Kara Kurcz and John Zito executive produce for Big Fish. Executive producers for A&E Network are Elaine Frontain Bryant, Shelly Tatro and Sean Gottlieb.
MGM Acquires ‘Live PD’ Producer Big Fish Entertainment
Financial details of the sale were not disclosed. Big Fish will continue to operate under its own moniker and be led by president Dan Cesareo, who reports to MGM unscripted TV head Barry Poznick.
The purchase brings another busy unscripted TV shop into the MGM tent. The Lion has been shopping for producers who are active in the cable reality market to complement the broadcast network strength delivered by MGM Television and Digital president Mark Burnett, who remains a hands-on producer of reality franchises such as “The Voice,” “Survivor,” and “Shark Tank.” MGM bought Burnett’s One Three Media banner in 2015 and 2016. Since then, it has also scooped up “Real Housewives” producer Evolution Media and Orion Television.
“Dan Cesareo is an innovator who has grown Big Fish into a dynamic company. We are going to have fun together,” Burnett said. Said Poznick: “Big Fish has created a wide-range of programming that is compelling, edgy, and must-watch. We are excited to put the full support of MGM Studios behind Dan and the team to make Big Fish even bigger.”
Cesareo launched Big Fish in 2006. The company has scored recently with the A&E series “Live PD,” which offers live feeds of beat cops on patrol in multiple cities. After becoming a sleeper hit in its first season, A&E ordered 100 additional episodes last year. The series airs in a three-hour block on Friday and Saturday nights. “Live PD” has spawned the spinoff “Live PD Presents: Women on Patrol,” which bowed this week on A&E sibling Lifetime. Other series hailing from Big Fish include TLC’s “Tattoo Girls,” MTV’s “Just the Tattoo of Us,” and ESPN’s “Chris Paul’s Chapter 3.”
“Big Fish Entertainment has been built over many years by the hard work and commitment of an enormously talented team of showrunners, development executives, producers, editors and many other dedicated professionals,” said Cesareo. “I am truly thrilled now to be part of the MGM family, which will allow Big Fish to scale and broaden, while keeping the brand’s spirit of agility and independence intact.”
Big Fish was repped in the sale by Todd Weinstein and Tara Senior at Del Shaw Moonves, CAA, Steve Hurdle at Loeb & Loeb, and by Ron Milkes and Bryan Bowles of Bryor Media. MGM was repped by Latham & Watkins.
Produced by Big Fish Entertainment, Just Tattoo of Us puts relationships through the ultimate experiment of trust by asking pairs of friends, family members and couples to design tattoos for each other that won’t be revealed until after they’ve been permanently inked. Led by Polizzi and Tortorella, and with the help of some of the most creative and talented tattoo artists in the industry, the series will follow the blindfolded duos as they learn the stories behind the tattoo designs that are now on their bodies. MTV announced the greenlight for the U.S. version in April.
From Big Fish Entertainment, producers of A&E’s hit series “Live PD,” Lifetime’s “Women on Patrol” will follow female law enforcement officers from around the country including departments in Jackson (WY), Wilmington (NC), Tempe (AZ) and Stockton (CA) as well as officers featured on “Live PD.” In the twenty-episode half-hour series, viewers are provided an unfiltered and unfettered look at the female officers on the front line of some of the busiest police forces in the country as they patrol their communities.
Located in the middle of Harlem on 113th and Lenox Avenue, Black Ink is the only black operated tattoo parlor in New York City. It’s a magnet for hip hop stars both old school and new talent, video vixens, pro athletes and the who’s who of the urban elite.
WE tv has ordered six, hourlong episodes of Hustle & Soul, a docuseries focused on the owner and staff of Brooklyn’s Pink Tea Cup restaurant, for premiere early next year.
Produced by Big Fish Entertainment, Hustle & Soul follows owner and head chef Lawrence Page on a quest to make the Pink Tea Cup the first soul food restaurant to garner the coveted Michelin Star, all while trying to manage staff in-fighting, power moves and love triangles.
“When Lawrence Page resurrected the Pink Tea Cup and relocated it to Fort Greene, Brooklyn, he brought along a high-spirited team that always keeps love and dysfunction on the menu,” said Marc Juris, WE tv president. “WE tv viewers will be fascinated with ‘Hustle & Soul’ and the engaging and highly entertaining staff of the Pink Tea Cup, where every dish comes with a side of drama.”
Hustle & Soul is executive produced by Dan Cesareo, Ken Martinez and George McTeague, and Kim Osorio serves as co-executive producer. In-house executive producers for WE tv are David Stefanou and Lauren Lazin.
The votes are in and Big Fish Entertainment has been selected as one of the world's most influential, inspiring and trusted production partners in the non-fiction community for the 2016, 2017, 2018.
The Boston Globe called it “As real as reality television gets.” Gizmodo named it, “the best new thing on television.” The first of its kind, Bomb Patrol Afghanistan is a groundbreaking TV series giving viewers an unprecedented first person view of one of the most dangerous places on earth. Big Fish embedded with the U.S Military’s most elite Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit for a six month deployment in Afghanistan. Viewers witness the intensity of war as the elite team searches out, disarms, and destroys an array of deadly explosives with one goal: to save lives and return home safely.
Each year Variety’s New Leaders feature profiles the most prominent up-and-comers in the entertainment business. To determine this year’s worthies, Variety looked for go-getters across disciplines, from television, digital, music and film, to law and finance, as well as content creators. They were proposed by their bosses and peers who have worked with them and seen their rise. All are age 40 or under, and Variety has measured them by the progress of their career trajectories: do they take calculated risks? How fast have they risen in their companies? Are they innovative and employ solutions to problems that are creative? While it’s hard to pinpoint the “it” factor, these folks embody that intangible. The people on the list have helped build the brilliant careers of their clients, shepherded hit television shows and successful movies, created small-screen series, films and animated shows, launched digital platforms, fostered hit music, counseled top dealmakers and financed them, and are some of the leading lights in the wildly expanding digital delivery and content world. As part of the salute to the qualities that keep the town humming, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt is also being honored with Variety’s Creative Leadership Award. The New Leaders, Variety’s 10 Assistants to Watch as well as Greenblatt will be recognized Oct. 18, at the Jeremy Hotel rooftop in West Hollywood.
Founder and president, Big Fish Entertainment; 39
Cesareo managed to break through the unscripted clutter on cable with “Live PD,” which earned A&E huge ratings this summer. People didn’t just watch it live, either, turning in for “Live PD: Police Patrol” and also watching on the A&E app. The phenomenon returned Oct. 6, and A&E has put in a 100-episode order with Big Fish. “I want to reinvent television genres. I want to create programming that’s provocative and arresting and promote transparency and change the way viewers relate and interact with the content,” says Cesareo. Two of his series, “Live PD” and “Date Night Live,” use technology in innovative ways. “[We] find the gaps in the creative marketplace and take genres and worlds that previously worked and reinvent them and bring something entirely new to the marketplace,” he says. “Our philosophy with developing shows is that we don’t want to hit singles and doubles, we only want to hit home runs.”
Meghan Hooper White & Devon Graham Hammonds
Hooper White: SVP, original co-productions & acquisitions, Lifetime and Lifetime Movie; 37; Graham Hammonds: VP, non-fiction and alternative programming,
A&E Network; 36
The antiquated perception that Lifetime’s programming is about “women in peril” has been diluted further thanks to White, who oversaw the development of the critically-acclaimed series “Mary Kills People.” “Our goal hasn’t been to tell people how to feel about assisted suicide, White says. “The show gives people a glimpse into why people (want to) die.” Hammonds has diversified A&E’s lineup by making bold programming choices, such as spearheading the controversial and award-winning series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.” “It’s an extremely hard show and time-consuming,” Hammonds says. “We are dealing with people’s personal stories; they’re bravely stepping forward sharing moments of pain.” Hammonds says she learned great advice from her dad who once said: “Own your mistakes.” White stresses the importance of mentors, and cites one he told her to always “remember that everyone’s a human being.”
VP, original programming, Starz; 31
McDonald is the lead on new development and current productions including “American Gods,” “Survivor’s Remorse,” upcoming documentary film “Nude,” past series “Flesh & Bone,” “Blunt Talk” and “The Chair.” He won the bidding war for “Sweetbitter,” the half-hour drama series based on the national best-seller by Stephanie Danler, Plan B and Stu Zicherman (“The Americans”) and will exec produce with Danler. He’s also overseeing action-drama series (working title “Black Samurai”) with Jerry Bruckheimer Television, starring Common, who will exec produce under his Freedom Road Prods. banner. RZA and Mitchell Diggs will also exec produce for Wu Films. “My dad gave me this advice: The only thing holding you back is that you’re worried about what other people have to say.”
President, worldwide television and international, Electus; 40
Pollak helped build production shingles Reveille and Shine Intl., and now with Electus, he is creating a healthy distribution operation with CEO Chris Grant and their team. Electus Intl. distributes more than 4,000 hours of content to some 220 countries, including such hits as “MasterChef, “Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” MMA franchise “Bellator” and “Jane the Virgin.” He also oversees Electus’ scripted projects through deficit financing and international co-productions. Ahead of Mipcom, Pollak sees a trend not so much in content, but in broadcasters and producers working across borders, and creating unconventional partnership models. “Everybody’s working with everybody. People are looking for partnerships. Distributors are looking for partnerships,” he says, noting that he and Grant are connected with many international producers and sellers; “It should always be a two-way street — they pitch to us, we pitch to them.”
Katy Rozelle & Max Taylor
Rozelle: SVP, development, Paramount TV; 35; Taylor: VP, development, Paramount TV; 31
Rozelle and Taylor have more in common than Paramount — each started their career working as an assistant at major agencies where they learned lessons and developed relationships that prove invaluable to this day. When Rozelle wanted to help secure the rights to Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles” for Paramount, she returned to CAA — where she had started out — for a series of successful meetings. “We told Chris Rice [Anne’s son] why we should be the people to work with,” Rozelle says. Taylor, a self-proclaimed lover of sci-fi, is helping develop the TV adaptation of “Galaxy Quest” and recently helped bring the Neal Stephenson novel “Snow Crash” to Paramount. He says he’s received the same great advice from Ari Emanuel and Aaron Sorkin: “Don’t celebrate or dwell too long on the ups and downs of the business. Instead, ask, ‘What’s next?’”
VP of television, FilmNation; 35
Brought onboard FilmNation in January 2016 to build its TV slate from scratch, Vogel discovered Jardine Libaire’s novel “White Fur” as a manuscript, won a bidding war to acquire it, and developed and packaged it as a series, which recently sold to Amazon with Drake Doremus attached to direct. FilmNation is also developing a Latino family drama based on the novel “Book of Unknown Americans,” with Christopher Peña penning the script; Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg (“The Fosters”) are executive producing. “I’ve learned to follow my gut,” says Vogel, who previously served as VP of development at Groundswell Prods. “It’s great to get other people’s advice and sense of people want, but I think having a distinct idea of what you like and why you like it has sort of guided me.”
VP, programming, HBO; 36
Wasserstein joined HBO comedy department as VP in 2016 from HBO-based producer Sarah Condon’s office, where he shepherded projects including HBO’s “Looking” and “Bored to Death.” He quickly showed an aptitude for identifying new talent and forging relationships with showrunners on such high profile and acclaimed series as “Veep,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Divorce” and the upcoming comedy series “Barry” from Bill Hader and Alec Berg (“Silicon Valley”). “I feel very fortunate to work with the TV creators I most admire on the shows I most enjoy.” He cites his best advice as coming from HBO exec Amy Gravitt: “Make the tough calls.”
Sophie and Katherine risked their life savings and traded high-powered careers in fashion and finance to pursue their passion for baking and their lifelong dream of opening a bakery. Armed with their grandmother's recipes and strong family support, the sisters opened Georgetown Cupcake on Valentine's Day 2008. To their surprise, the shop became an overnight sensation and now sells more than 5,000 cupcakes a day.
DC CUPCAKES shares the recipe to Sophie and Katherine's sweet success, following their journey as they navigate the challenges and rewards of building a booming cupcake business. Each half-hour episode goes beyond the frosting to capture the behind-the-scenes drama in their fast paced, family-owned bakery. From baking and decorating thousands of gourmet cupcakes a day, to meeting tight deadlines for discerning clientele, to securing large projects such as fundraisers, festivals and weddings, there is never a dull moment with this sister duo. Mixing in their Mother ("Mommy") - who plays a big part in running the family business - adds to the chaos and family drama. The other staff members are as colorful as their cupcake creations - their small workspace, sprinkled with the high volume of business, leads to family bickering and staff tension that has more icing flying through the air than on the cupcakes.
Visit the Georgetown Cupcake website.
Lifetime's Date Night Live Is Endlessly Awkward and Fascinating
8/18/17 2:00pmFiled to: DATE NIGHT LIVE
The most beautifully awkward show in the world right now is Date Night Live, a Lifetime series in which (mostly) single people across the country endure the bliss, uncertainty, disappointment and confusion of a blind date, played out in real time.
In the four episodes that have aired, including Thursday night’s, a pattern has emerged among the daters: no one really knows what they’re doing. There’s no elaborate concept. Rather than your typical reality “contestant,” all the embarrassing behavior on Date Night Live comes from real people, and since the action happens in real time, there’s nothing to be over-produced like, say, the Bachelor franchise. We are literally just watching people go on dates. It’s a reality-TV Rear Window for our times.
The series pairs a variety of single people together in different cities—a nice range as far as race, sexuality, background, occupation, etc., from serial daters to longtime singles, those who are looking for a life partner and those who’ve had a hard time finding dates. So far, two women in different episodes have asked “Are you gay?” to the men on their dates because they say they’ve wound up dating a lot of gay men.
This poor woman Desiree went out with a podcast host who waited until the middle of the date to tell her he’s in an open relationship with his girlfriend of a year-and-a-half. Here’s her reaction, from an earlier episode.
Then in last night’s episode, Desiree got a do-over date, a sensual pizza-making experience with a lothario named Gino in New York. Her first question to him: “You’re a hundred percent available, correct?”
The blind daters are introduced via audition tapes, while the hosts switch back and forth between different dates throughout the night, over the course of two hours—which you, the viewer at home, can keep on in the background because that’s a long time to be watching people on dates. In the middle of the blind dates, the candidates occasionally give the camera/producer a synopsis of how they’re feeling, in a moment of viewer commiseration.
Real people are legit boring, but they are also characters on their own without all the orchestration. Here’s an absolutely mundane clip of Anthony, a virgin, talking about the foods he’s allergic to: chocolate, ice cream, tree nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, chestnuts...
After this scene, host Michelle Collins (formerly of The View), with her comforting mix of humor and empathy, wonders, “Do you think Anthony has any joy in his life?”
In theory, dates should be fun; in reality they’re awkward to the highest, most uncomfortable degree, and the only way to capture such misery and boredom is to actually show it. So of course this leads to moments of long silence and staring on the show.
But the commentators—Collins is joined by Z100 host Bethany Watson and relationship coach Paul Brunson—do well at breaking the silence with critique and also help to make this whole process feel less strange and creepy (though it will feel that way anyway). There’s a loose, very Watch What Happens Live! vibe to it all.
If this sounds like your thing, then congratulations, you’re an award-winning voyeur, but also there’s a lot to be learned from the simple act of observing humans as they try to be a version of themselves in hopes of finding love or a version of love. It’s not that difficult to distinguish the well-paired couples from the ones with no chemistry—although it often doesn’t feel that way when you are the one on the date.
Is it me or does Aaron, below, not seem that into his conversation with Madison, a publicist who tells him she’s gone on over 146 or so dates in about a year, all of which she chronicles in a blog?
“I hate first dates. I think they’re so awkward, but I feel like I do want to meet somebody and no one’s gonna come knock on my door and find me,” says Madison, explaining the concept of dating.
Here’s the moment a lotto winner tells his date that he won the lotto. She appears to love money and to be impressed that he’s a lotto winner.
I cannot stress the awkwardness of this all, so the scene below should do the job.
nk Ink in Springfield, MO is a tattoo shop like no other. Owner Kelsey Rogers set out to make it feel different from the burly, intimidating, traditional shop. All the artists are women and on any given day, the place is filled with soccer moms, sorority sisters, mother and daughters, brides – anyone is welcome. Kelsey has two other talented artists that work for her, Nikki and Megan, along with Brittany who does piercings. Though she can be tough, Kelsey has a huge heart and always makes time for family – she and her boyfriend live right above Ink Ink with his 3-year-old twins.
With their relationships on the rocks, each week one couple takes the plunge to spend five days together on a secluded island deep in the South Pacific to try to rectify their marital issues. Left alone with no modern conveniences and limited access to food and water, these pairs have only each other to rely on as they navigate the challenging and treacherous conditions on the island. The couples must complete a series of physical and emotional exercises specifically designed by marriage experts to solve the serious issues tearing them apart. Guiding viewers through the experience are Dr. Colleen Long, licensed clinical psychologist, and Dr. Tom Kersting, family therapist, who help navigate the couples’ often volatile journeys, where a simple act can unearth years of pent up aggression, regret and pain.
Welcome to Sturgis, a normally quiet little town nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota. But, for one week a year, it explodes. Half a million bikers invade the town of 6,000. How does this sleepy little town do it?
Welcome to Afghanistan In Afghanistan, a decade-old war rages on. Here the Second Platoon of the 23rd Route Clearance Company is on a mission to blow up an enemy bomb, while the Third Platoon must use their massive, specialized vehicles to draw away enemy fire. But not everything goes as planned.
The history of music's greatest invention and the world's most popular musical instrument. From the early days of the Model U and Frying Pan to the guitar wars of Fender and Gibson, experience the evolution of the electric guitar through vintage footage, interviews with rock historians and rousing live performances.
Meet the experts who make the Smithsonian Gardens a stunning living museum year round. See how our horticulturists work tirelessly to overcome urban conditions and freezing temperatures. Learn how all gardeners, from amateur to seasoned, can use their secrets to make their own gardens grow.
All across America, folks are gathering at local festivals - but many can only be described as wild and wacky.