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Realscreen January/February 2019

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040 JANUARY / FEBRUARY '19 YEAR IN REVIEW The more that things change, the more they stay the same. While disruption seems to be the order of the day in the entertainment industry, many of the disruptors of the last year recall past game- changing events. M&A activity moved further into the broadcasting domain, redrawing the buyers' landscape, and some of the biggest hits of the last 12 months were revamps of successes from seasons gone by. Here are some of the trends from 2018 worth noting. REBOOTS RULE 2018 didn't invent the TV reboot, but the year saw a phenomenal number of series making a comeback. And it wasn't just the Roseannes and Murphy Browns of yesterday making their way to the skeds. Non-fi ction titles of days gone by got in on the nostalgia boom in a serious way too. Some of the reboot slate of 2018 (whether premieres or announcements) consisted of more recently departed titles such as American Idol, which went off the air on Fox in 2016, came back to ABC and is set to return in March of 2019. Then there was the personal boundary-pushing Fear Factor, already rebooted once from 2011 to 2012 and currently set for a second season at MTV, with musician and actor Ludacris serving as host. Other reboots had to reach further into the past, with varying degrees of success. In February, Netfl ix brought back Bravo's Queer Eye after 11 years off the air, then again for a second season in June. A new "Fab Five" were enlisted to make over various "heroes" in need, and the series racked up considerable acclaim and a few Emmys in the process. Meanwhile, MTV's upcoming reboot of The Hills turned some heads by doubling down on its premise of bringing teen drama The O.C. into the real world by casting O.C. alum Mischa Barton in this year's The Hills: New Beginnings. The list of non-fi ction reboots is truly impressive, with revived series that were launched or announced over the course of 2018 including Battle of the Network Stars, Bridezillas, The Real World, Temptation Island, While You Were Out, Trading Spaces, Mysteries and Scandals, Bug Juice, Eco-Challenge, Jersey Shore, Deal or No Deal, Supermarket Sweep, Wife Swap, The Joker's Wild and more. Frederick Blichert HOT DOC BOX OFFICE The box offi ce success of documentaries this past year has illustrated that docs aren't just for binge- watching couch potatoes anymore. Over the course of the spring and summer months, Betsy West and Julie Cohen's biopic of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RBG; Academy Award-winning director Morgan Neville's Fred Rogers-focused fi lm, Won't You Be My Neighbor? (pictured), and Tim Wardle's feature Three Identical Strangers, about three identical triplets who reunite years after being separated at birth, brought in millions of dollars at the box offi ce. The success of docs at the cinema continued into the crisp fall months. Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi's multi-award winning feature Free Solo, which follows Alex Honnold as he completes the fi rst free solo climb of El Capitan's 3,000-foot vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park, garnered US$8,935,533 at the box offi ce as of Nov. 18, according to movie tracker, Box Offi ce Mojo. Amy Entelis, EVP of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide and one of our 2018 Trailblazers, attributes the boom to a hunger for in-depth storytelling. "I think documentaries are fi lling that void," Entelis says. CNN Films was a producer on both RBG and Three Identical Strangers. Consumer media trends also point to a potential extension of the "summer of docs" into this year and beyond. The rise of SVODs provides more opportunities for buyers and sellers of doc fare, and expands the opportunities audiences have to view the content. Cable appears keen to catch up. Selina Chignall

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