TV/STREAMING . . .
House Hunters: LOL Is Coming and Yes That is the Title. It's always nice when shows understand why we watch them. Sure, some part of us watches House Hunters for the houses, but we're usually paying a lot more attention to the people trying to buy the homes, who never agree on what they want in a home and who often seem to be on the verge of a separation before they even get into their new house. HGTV gets us. The network has greenlit a new series called House Hunters: LOL, which features comedians watching House Hunters while social distancing in their homes and video chatting with other comedians. "Everything on House Hunters is fair game -- from the house tours and budgets to the wish lists for paint colors, granite countertops and stainless-steal appliances," the description reads. Is the title of this show silly? Yes. Is it still absolutely something we'd like to watch? You betcha. "House Hunters is a play-along phenomenon that has long inspired drinking games, snarky social media commentary and spoofs on late night television," said Jane Latman, president, HGTV. "While we're #HomeTogether, House Hunters: LOL will amp up the fun by combining our favorite comedians with one of America's favorite shows." There will be six half-hour long episodes of House Hunters: LOL, and they will premiere in June. (Eonline)
Hulu Picks Up British Coming-of-Age Comedy 'In My Skn'. The award-winning BBC comedy will land on the platform in early June. Hulu has acquired the dark British comedy In My Skin, with the five-part series set to premiere on the platform on June 4. Produced by Expectation, the banner behind Sky's comedy series Intelligence starring David Schwimmer, and distributed by BBC Studios, In My Skin was written by Kayleigh Llewellyn (a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2019), who has mined her own experiences to create the coming-of-age story about a teenage girl leading a double life. The pilot aired in 2018 on BBC Three and BBC Wales and went on to win two BAFTA Cymru awards for best drama and best actress. It was closely followed by the series, which recently launched in the U.K. to critical and popular acclaim, with the final episode airing on April 30. In My Skin is a darkly comic coming-of-age story about a Welsh teenager living a double life, as she negotiates mental illness, friendships and her sexuality. Bethan (Gabrielle Creevy) desperately tries to keep the truth of her home life a secret from her friends. But when your mother (Jo Hartley) is committed to a mental facility near your school, and your father is an alcoholic Hell's Angel, flying under the radar isn't so easy. "I'm eternally grateful to the people both on and off the camera who have poured so much love and care into this show," said Llewellyn. "It's a story close to my heart and to be able to share it on a global platform is truly thrilling. I just hope that Americans will know what a 'fat bap' is ..." Written and created by Llewellyn, In My Skin is directed by Lucy Forbes (End Of the F***king World 2, Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe) and executive produced by Nerys Evans (Intelligence) and Llewellyn. (Hollywood Reporter)
TV Anchor Caught With Naked Woman During Broadcast -- And She's Not His Girlfriend. The girlfriend said the couple were on a 4-day break when Lady Godiva shimmied across the background of the TV show. A Spanish news anchor was broadcasting from his home when a naked female walked past in the background and viewers were quick to play detective to discover Lady Godiva was not his girlfriend. Alfonso Merlos was hosting the Estado de Alarma channel live on YouTube this week when his fellow journalist, Alexia Rivas, gave quite the cheeky display, leaving fans wondering what happened to Merlos' partner, "Big Brother" contestant, Marta Lopez. Turns out -- it was a very "Friends" kind of thing when Ross stepped out on Rachel and repeated "We were on a break!", according to Merlos. The 41-year-old broadcaster said he and Lopez were not officially together when the publicized parade of impropriety occurred, according to the DailyMail. According to Lopez, the couple were still an item, but merely had a fight and, after quarantining together since March 14, they spent four days apart, during which the saucy broadcast took place, per Lecturas. "I had been mad at Alfonso for four days. He didn't want me to do something that affected my family. I did it, and he got mad. We argue," Lopez told the outlet. But something still doesn't add up, however, when you figure in Rivas admitted she has been dating Merlos for three weeks. "I didn't get into a relationship, he told me he was single. We have been [seeing each other] three weeks," she told Socialite. Perhaps even more scandalous in today's day and age -- Merlos and Rivas broke the strict rules for coronavirus social distancing. Spain has endured some of the world's toughest containment measures since March 14, restricting leaving the house for anything other than essentials. Perhaps some consider such a thing "essential." (Too Fab)
Pandemic Hits European TV Giant RTL's Ad Revenue, Helps Streaming Business. Subscriptions for RTL's streaming services TV Now and Videoland jumped 34 percent in the first quarter as most of Europe went into lockdown. European television giant RTL Group is starting to feel the pain of COVID-19. Advertising revenue at the company, which operates such commercial networks as RTL in Germany and France's M6, started to dip in early March as the novel coronavirus infection rate began to spike in northern Europe. That drove overall revenue for the first quarter of 2020 down 3.4 percent to $1.59 billion (1.466 billion), RTL reported Thursday. "At the beginning of March, we registered first cancellations of advertising bookings, as well as postponements of productions," said RTL Group CEO Thomas Rabe. "This trend has accelerated with the introduction of wide-ranging lockdown measures across Europe in later March. We are making good progress in implementing counter measures to reduce costs and preserve liquidity." Revenue at RTL's core broadcast business in the first three months of 2020 was down 4.8 percent to $1.13 billion (1.035 billion) and sales at its content division Fremantle were flat at $411 million (378 million), 1.3 percent lower than the same period last year. Stay-at-home and quarantine orders, however, appear to have helped RTL's online business. The company saw a 34 percent jump in subscribers for its streaming services TV Now (in Germany) and Videoland (Netherlands). Together, the two SVOD services boast 1.53 million subscribers. M6's online catchup service 6Play in France saw a similar bump, with an additional 1 million users registering for the service and a 45 percent increase in videos viewed from mid-March to mid-April. RTL on April 2 withdrew its original financial forecast for the year, citing uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Rabe on Thursday said the company was still not in a position to assess the full economic damage of the coronavirus on its businesses this year. RTL, however, did note that it has a stronger position than most, having reduced its net debt from $418 million (384 million) at the end of last year to $217 million (200 million) as of March 31. RTL can also dip into unused credit facilities from its parent company Bertelsmann, the earliest of which mature in 2023. (Hollywood Reporter)