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Thursday, June 28, 2018

TV

Christina El Moussa Getting Her Own HGTV Series Christina on the Coast. Christina El Moussa is striking out on her own. The Flip or Flop star has a new HGTV series all to herself: Christina on the Coast. "Design is my favorite part of the house-flipping process and I can't wait to be able to now work directly with clients and create a space they've always dreamed of having," Christina said in a statement. The new eight-episode series will follow Christina as she expands her design business in Southern California. Look for Christina to transform the outdated properties of clients into "high-end showplaces," HGTV said in a press release. The series will also feature Christina's personal life after her split from husband and Flip or Flop costar Tarek El Moussa. Expect cameras to capture Christina as she searches for the perfect new home for her fresh start, balance parenthood and career and a new relationship. Christina on the Coast is expected to premiere in early 2019. "The past few years have brought a lot of change into my life and I am so excited to see what the next stage has in store for me both professionally and personally, there is so much to look forward to and this is only the beginning," Christina said in a statement. Christina currently stars with her ex-husband Tarek on HGTV's Flip or Flop. New episodes of that show, which has spawned spinoffs set in other cities with other couples, air Thursdays, 9 p.m. on HGTV. Tarek is also in discussions to develop a potential new show with HGTV. "Christina's design style is very popular, so it's a natural progression for us to expand her visibility with a new series," Allison Page, president, HGTV and Food Network, said in a statement. "Her fans also are deeply vested in her personal life and eager to see 'what happens next' -- so we're bringing them the opportunity to share in these real-life moments in a way that no one else can." The El Moussas, who married in 2009, split as a couple in 2016. They filed for divorce in January 2017 and it was finalized January 2018. They have two kids together, Taylor, 7, and Brayden, 2, and continue to co-parent and appear on Flip or Flop together. HGTV said the network is in talks with both Christina and Tarek are for another season of Flip or Flop. (Eonline)

The future of Bella Thorne's Famous in Love is up in the air. On Tuesday, the actress responded to a report that the Freeform show in which she stars had been canceled after two seasons. "If this is how I find out our show is canceled. I'm going to be so upset," Thorne, 20, tweeted in reply. "Very hurtful freeform," she wrote. "I woulda liked a phone call maybe." Reps for the Freeform drama -- a series of books that were adapted for TV by the team behind Pretty Little Liars -- told PEOPLE that a cancellation is not confirmed and that no decision has been made at this time. If this is how I find out our show is canceled. I'm going to be so upset. Very hurtful freeform. I woulda liked a phone call maybe. Thorne stars as Paige Townsen in the series, which premiered in April 2017 and was created by I. Marlene King and Rebecca Serle. The plot focuses on a college student who is picked to star in a major movie franchise, and all of the craziness that comes along with it. "I relate to her in many ways," Thorne told PEOPLE in 2015. "She gets caught up in this harsh world with the paparazzi and media and everything else, and struggles with how to handle it." "It's something I've dealt with and it's hard," she said. "I like that we see her whole way in." (People)

Jack Osbourne is revealing why his father Ozzy detested appearing on their family's reality show The Osbournes. The father of three, 32, opened up about the return of his reality TV show Ozzy & Jack's World Detour on PeopleTV's Chatter on Tuesday. On returning to World Tour for another season, Jack recounted how he didn't think his father would ever appear on reality TV again. "After The Osbournes, he just hated reality TV," Jack said. "He hated the experience, he hated the way he was portrayed. He was like, 'It's not what I do. I'm a musician.'" Ozzy was not the only who did not like the show, which aired from 2002 to 2005. Jack's oldest sister, Aimee, refused to be part of the series and even moved out of the family home at the age of just 16. Now he is a father, Jack's daughters do appear on his new show but he tries to make the experience as normal as possible. "[It's] the best time. My favorite times on the show have been when my kids have come out," he said. "I'm a little more structured with my kids than my parents were with me. I won't take them out of school for travel, not so much." He recently announced his split from wife Lisa Stelly in an Instagram post in May. "We're doing really well," Jack said on how the two are co-parenting their three daughters. "It's all you can really ask for at this stage. It's great." The two issued a joint statement, writing, "So the news about us separating has probably come as a bit of a shock to everyone. But, we just want to clear the air and share with you what's going on." "So, first and foremost, we absolutely still love each other. Our family is the most important thing in our lives, and we tried everything we could for many years to make this work," the statement read. "What's best for our family right now is that we separate lovingly, and remain best friends who are committed to raising our children together. We had 7 beautiful years of being a couple, filled with the most amazing moments and we will be eternally grateful to one another for that," the statement continued. "We also have 3 wonderful children who we cherish more than anything." "We are disappointed but feel confident that we will continue to grow our relationship as co-parents and best friends," the two added. "Lots of love, Jack and Lisa." Catch PeopleTV's Chatter live on Twitter (live.twitter.com/chatter) and streaming on People.com every weekday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. (People)

Constantin Film Acquires German Production Group Hager Moss. The Munich-based production outfit is best known for its TV dramas and for crowd-pleasing German films, including 'Oktoberfest' and 'Guys and Balls.' German mini-major Constantin Film has acquired Hager Moss Film, a Munich-based production outfit best known for its television dramas. Founded in 1989 by producers Kirsten Hager and Eric Moss, Hager Moss Film has produced more than 70 TV movies and feature films, including Pepe Danquart's acclaimed documentary To The Limit, which was nominated for a German Film Award and European Film Award in 2008. Among its more successful features have been the soccer-set rom-com Guys and Balls (2007) from Sherry Hormann, and Johannes Brunner's crime drama Oktoberfest (2005). But TV is the main focus at Hager Moss, which has produced dozens of TV movies and episodes of the hit crime proceedural Tatort. The deal, announced Wednesday, is a further sign that Constantin wants to grow its small-screen business. Constantin, best known internationally for its blockbuster Resident Evil franchise, has expanded into high-end TV of late with series such as Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments and the upcoming German-language Perfume, both of which air on Netflix internationally. Hager Moss will continue to operate as a stand-alone shingle within Constantin. (Hollywood Reporter)

Can Netflix Transform the Television Landscape in the Middle East? With over 400 million potential viewers, the region has vast potential, but with little variation in programming, audiences are starved for original content. The streaming giant could change all that. As Ramadan came to end on June 14, across the Middle East, families broke their fasts and then, with full bellies, gathered in front of the TV to watch their favorite shows. For Arabic TV, this holy month is often compared to American sweeps. Advertisers pour their biggest budgets into 30-day serialized dramas and comedies featuring beloved actors who, like distant relatives, return in different situations year after year. These shows are to Ramadan what football is to Thanksgiving -- an institution. Arabs, like Americans, watch a lot of TV. Over 400 million Arabs of all ages spend an average of 19 hours per week watching scripted Arabic-language series. But while American broadcasters covet the 18- to-35-year-old male audiences, Arab broadcasters cater to one demographic -- middle-aged women. Heavy on plot and light on character development, this is telenovela-style entertainment that rarely challenges or inspires viewers, especially the region's massive youth population. The Arab writers who churn out these melodramas are eager to create more nuanced entertainment, the kinds of shows that can spark public debate and serve as catalysts for social change. Over the past six months, my USC colleagues and I have conducted more than 50 in-person and phone interviews with top Arab TV writers, producers, and network executives about the state of Arabic TV. They are frustrated with the status quo and hungry to create more engaging local content that better reflects people's lives. Many revealed that while they write for Arabic shows, they personally only stream American shows like Insecure and Stranger Things. They told us the region needs gatekeepers willing to take a risk on content that speaks to younger audiences. This disregard of young viewers is about to change. Earlier this year, Netflix announced its first Arabic language production. While other services like Starz and iFlix are already in the market streaming foreign content to the Middle East, Netflix is the first to make good on its promise to invest in local storytellers. Production will begin this year on Jinn, a teenage supernatural drama featuring young Arab talent in front of and behind the camera. Young people in the region will finally see themselves on screen, and the writers and directors will have the freedom to create content grounded in their authentic experiences. That's not to cast Netflix as a savior for the region. Saudi Arabia, which has controlling financial interests in media companies across the Middle East, is implementing a massive change in its approach to media production in ways that will diversify content and target new audiences. In March, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman traveled to Los Angeles to spend billions on bringing Hollywood expertise to bolster the creative and economic development of Saudi Arabia's film and TV industry. Among the notable deals is a $400 million investment in the world's largest talent agency, Endeavor. What this American investment really means is that Arab TV writers will finally have access to outlets that know how to profit from character-driven, complex storylines, including those that engage the region's social issues youth alienation, women's empowerment, minority rights, and violence -- with authenticity and nuance. At present, most Arabic broadcast shows are developed for a 30-episode Ramadan release, and must fall into familiar categories such as period dramas and slapstick comedies. Dina Harb, an Egyptian producer who runs Cairo-based screenwriting workshops, says the long-term impact of outside investment will be a changed regional TV market. "Writers are longing for a greater number of productions and the chance to develop new stories in different genres and formats that are not suitable for the current airing requirements." In order for real change to happen, the American behemoths investing in the region must also bring with them the market practices that are common in the U.S., particularly for Arab TV writers who are overworked, underpaid, and have no control in the production process. Arab writers, for example, are routinely asked to create 30-episode shows with a 2-month turnaround, a process that would take more than a year in the American market. Netflix seems to be sticking to its American development model, with time for collaboration, revision, and innovation. If Jinn is a hit, it could prove to be a major disruptor across the board, both in terms of the kind of content that gets the green light and the way television is made. Yes, a lot is riding on what is essentially a small television show, but television has more than proven its ability to impact social change, particularly with young people. And the vision is compelling: a cadre of new shows featuring relatable on-screen Arab characters of all ages who struggle -- dramatically or comedically, but above all, authentically -- with real life challenges. (Hollywood Reporter)

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