05 June 2020 12:00

GLOBAL HEADLINES

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- Apr 19, 2020
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Emmy®-Award Winning Willems to be HBO Max’s First Ever Artist in Residence, Deal Includes Streaming Rights to Willems’ First Live Action Special Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime! Produced by Stampede Ventures and Willems

Following a highly competitive negotiation, HBO Max has announced an exclusive, multi-year deal with beloved children’s author Mo Willems, an Emmy®-Award winning writer, New York Times best-selling author, and illustrator, establishing Willems as HBO Max’s very first artist in residence. As part of this two-year deal, HBO Max has acquired streaming rights to Willems’ first live-action special Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime! from Greg Silverman’s media company StampedeVentures who will produce all additional content under this deal. HBO Max has committed to additional live-action Storytime specials, as well as multiple animated specials based on Willems’ wildly popular children’s books. The first animated special will be based on New York Times Best Seller, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.

“Mo is a special talent with a profound ability to connect with children and families alike. We are so happy Mo and Stampede Ventures chose to partner with us at HBO Max,” says Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max, president, TNT, TBS, and truTV.

“We are so lucky to be able to work with the multi-talented Mo Willems, whose work is authentic, inspiring and truly impactful,” adds Jennifer O’Connell, executive vice president of original non-fiction and kids programming, HBO Max.

“HBO Max is the perfect home for me to work on fun and experimental ways to bring my book characters and theater work to the screen because we share the goal of creating exciting shows and series that bring families together,” says Willems. “My focus is making stuff that amuses, entertains and sparks creative play after the screen is powered down. Having the creative teams of HBO Max and Stampede Ventures with me means that we’ll get to create meaningful work and have fun doing it. We’re so excited we even created a new logo for the occasion. Banana!”

Added Stampede Ventures’ Greg Silverman, “Stampede Ventures is honored to be Mo’s partner as he brings his vibrant world to life in media for the first time and we couldn’t ask for a better home than HBO Max. Mo’s characters are already beloved by millions of families — his books are often the first that many children ever read on their own — and we’re excited to help him bring these characters to life on screen.”

Previously announced and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime! is a premium, live-action family comedy special featuring Willems and the “Story Time All-Stars”, a group of celebrities, comedians and actors, performing live readings and sketch comedy inspired by Willems’ work, as well as a few surprise musical guests. Celebrity guests include Anthony Anderson (black-ish), Yvette Nicole Brown(Community), Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Cameron Esposito (Take My Wife), Tony Hale (Veep), Greta Lee (Russian Doll), Tom Lennon (The Odd Couple), Natalie Morales (Abby's) and Oscar Nunez (The Office). Shot over the summer at the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, DC., Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime! is produced by Stampede Ventures, with Willems and Stampede’s Greg Silverman, Gideon Yu, Jay Judah and Chris Bosco serving as executive producers.

Willems began his career as a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he garnered six Emmy® Awards. Willems also created several animated projects for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. His New York Times bestselling books have been recognized with many awards around the world including three Caldecott Honors, two Theodor Geisel Medals and five Geisel Honors. Willems has written four musicals based on his books and is the most produced playwright for Theatre for Young Audiences in America. Willems currently serves as the inaugural Education Artist-in-Residence at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, collaborating with artists in Jazz, Classical, Dance, Theater, Opera and Comedy.

The Willems deal with HBO Max was negotiated by Chris Bosco, Anna Pinar and CAA on behalf of Stampede Ventures; Ellen Goldsmith-Vein of the Gotham Group, Marcia Wernick of Wernick & Pratt and Rick Ross of Eisner, LLP on behalf of Willems; and spearheaded by Jay Judah.

Visit Olam Spices at Natural Products Expo West on March 4 - 6, 2020 in Anaheim, California at stand N1408. A business unit of Olam International Limited, a leading food company operating in over 60 countries, Olam Spices will showcase its product innovation development capabilities and sustainable sourcing solutions.

“We’ve continued to place customers’ needs at the center of our business with new product offerings and innovations, including our chili-based simple blends, reformulated GardenFrost™ purees with no added sugar and an expanded organic portfolio,” said Greg Estep, Olam Spices CEO.

Olam Spices’ comprehensive portfolio of on-trend spice ingredients is full-flavored and vibrant — enhancing the heat, color and flavor in snacks, dressings, sauces, dips, frozen foods and plant-based food and beverages.

Manufacturers can work directly with Olam Spices Innovation & Quality Center to co-create solutions that anticipate and respond to shifting consumer trends as demand increases for healthier food that is traceable and sustainable.

Committed to the long-term investment in the sustainability of their products, Olam Spices has ownership or active engagement at every stage of its global supply chain — providing unparalleled traceability and product security.

Visitors can learn more about Olam’s goal to re-imagine global agriculture and food systems with their new sustainability platform, AtSource1, by attending Olam’s exhibitor presented seminar, “Transparency Delivered - Measuring Impact in Supply Chains,” on Thursday, March 5, 2020, from 2:30-3:30 pm in the Anaheim Marriott, Marquis Ballroom Northeast.

Globoplay channel debuts on the Roku platform

Roku, Inc., the No. 1 TV streaming platform in the United States*, today announced its arrival in Brazil, bringing affordable streaming to consumers in the country.

“I’m delighted to bring Roku to Brazil, one of the largest streaming markets in the world,” said Anthony Wood, Founder and CEO of Roku. “With the arrival of Roku, consumers in Brazil will now be able to enjoy their favorite TV programs and movies on the easy to use Roku platform. We want to bring streaming to everyone in Brazil.”

AOC Roku TV

At the heart of the Roku platform is Roku’s proprietary operating system, the Roku OS, which is purpose built for TV. Roku has the #1 licensed TV operating system in North America. In 2014, Roku launched the Roku TV licensing program enabling TV partners an easy and cost-effective way to make best-in-class smart TVs at competitive price points that consumers love.

In Brazil, Roku is partnering with AOC to bring the AOC Roku TV to consumers in the country. The new AOC Roku TV will offer consumers a smart TV experience that is easy to use, with great streaming entertainment at an affordable value.

The new AOC Roku TV lineup includes:

32-inch: HD with integrated wired and wireless connectivity

43-inch: FHD with integrated wired and wireless connectivity

“TPV Group has an excellent relationship with Roku in the United States, and we are glad to bring this partnership to Brazil. It makes perfect sense for AOC to work with the No. 1 TV streaming platform in the U.S. and to launch the Roku platform in Brazil. Consumers will enjoy many great Roku TV features on the 32” and 43” televisions for the best streaming experience,” said Andre Romanon, Head of Marketing and Product at TPV Brazil.

Additional AOC Roku TV features include:

Simplicity: A simpler smart TV experience that displays all the entertainment options (streaming, cable/satellite, antenna) on one personalized home screen.

Roku Search: Makes it easy to discover something great to watch. Simply search by title or actor to find shows or movies to watch.

Roku Remote: A simple remote to navigate TV and streaming channels along with channel shortcut buttons.

Free Roku mobile app: Control the TV via the mobile remote or keyboard, enjoy private listening with headphones, available on both Android and iOS.

Automatic Software updates: Receive new streaming channels and features automatically without lifting a finger.

“We are excited to partner with AOC to bring the first Roku TV models to Brazil,” said Arthur van Rest, Vice President of International at Roku. “AOC is one of the top smart TV brands in Brazil and now, with the Roku OS, consumers can enjoy an easy to use, affordable streaming experience.”

In Brazil, Roku will offer a streaming line-up with thousands of movies & TV episodes across 5,000 streaming channels available in the Roku Channel Store. Consumers can access the streaming channels directly from the home screen on their Roku TV.

What’s On: Globoplay

A key part of Roku’s entertainment experience is to offer the best local content in each country where the company operates. In Brazil, Globoplay will be among the first local Brazilian streaming services available on the Roku platform. Through Globoplay on the Roku platform, consumers will be able to enjoy live TV, TV shows and top movies, on demand.

Globoplay is the largest Brazilian streaming platform that brings together internationally renowned movies and TV series, including exclusive productions that will only be available online, in addition to original Globo content. In order to allow users to enjoy direct access to Globoplay’s content, the Globoplay shortcut button will be added to the Roku TV remote control in Brazil in the coming months.

“Roku is an important partner for Globoplay’s expansion plans. This will improve the experience for those who consume streaming content on TV, and it will bring more competition and quality to the market,” said Erick Brêtas, General Director of Globoplay.

“The partnership with Roku has a strategic importance for the development of the streaming market in Brazil. Globoplay content will allow Roku to have an excellent position in our market in the long run. Given the importance of the Roku platform in other countries, we believe Roku has a great opportunity in our country,” said Fernando Ramos, Executive Director of G2C Globo.

“What our customers most want is great, local content and we are thrilled to bring to Brazilian consumers the best streaming entertainment from Globo through Globoplay on the Roku platform,” said Arthur van Rest, Vice President of International at Roku. “Globo is the ideal partner for us to enter the Brazilian market. With Globoplay and Roku, together we can create the ultimate living room experience by providing the best streaming content for everyone in the family.”

What’s On: Brazil

In addition to Globoplay, consumers in Brazil will be able to enjoy entertainment from paid and free channels on the Roku platform, such as:

The Apple TV app to enjoy Apple TV+ and browse, buy or rent movies.

BabyFirst TV to introduce young children to basic building blocks like numbers, colors, animals, art and music.

The largest, fastest growing global sports streaming service DAZN to enjoy live football, basketball, boxing, tennis and more.

Audio streaming channel Deezer, where you can enjoy more than 56 million tracks and 10+ million non-music content like podcasts, audio books and more.

Google Play, to enjoy movies and TV programs on demand, including the latest blockbusters and the classics.

Happy Kids to entertain and educate children of all ages with music, stories and activity guides.

HBO GO with the best of HBO’s exclusive content, including the eight seasons of the most acclaimed series of all-time “Game of Thrones,” hit series such as “Chernobyl” and “Big Little Lies,” as well as HBO Latin America original Brazilian hits such as “Joint Venture” (Pico Da Neblina), “The Business” (O Negócio), PSI, and Magnífica 70, as well as movies, documentaries, HBO specials, and Hollywood blockbuster releases before any other subscription service.

Brazilian streaming service Looke that allows users to enjoy movies and TV series when and where they want, by subscription and on demand.

Streaming entertainment service Netflix, where users can enjoy Oscar-nominated movies such as The Irishman and Marriage Story.

Brazilian educational channel PlayKids, one of the biggest platforms featuring entertaining content for children.

Global audio streaming subscription service Spotify to enjoy access to millions of songs.

YouTube, to enjoy videos and music and upload original content.

ALTBalaji and Zee5’s new show It Happened in Calcutta is becoming the talk of the town. The web series is an epic love saga that one will be witness in this month of love.

The first glimpse of the show was revealed with the character posters that were recently launched which have only added to the anticipation amongst the viewers. After winning over the hearts of the audience, the platform gives a sneak peek into the show with the release of the teaser today. The dashing and talented actor, Karan Kundrra will be seen playing the character of Ronobir along with the beautiful debutante Naghma Rizwan as Kusum and Harman Singha as Ratan.

The teaser talks about the love story between Kusum and Ronobir which blooms during their college days at Calcutta Medical College and the retro era of the 1960s.

Directed by Ken Ghosh, the web-series will take you back in time, when there were many taboos for women and the country was dealing with political unrest, war and cholera. It Happened in Calcutta features a talented set of actors like Karan Kundrra, Naghma Rizwan, Harman Singha, Pamela Bhutoria, Sunanda Wong, Simran Kaur Mundi amongst others. The story focuses on love, betrayal, friendship and also showcases how each love story is different. Over two separate scenarios, we see the two sides to the story of Kusum and Ronobir as they’re seen in a warm embrace just as having their backs to one another. While some love stories are meant to see two hearts together, in some it is the separation between them that defines the essence of their tale.

Stay Tuned to ALTBalaji app for more updates

HBO GO is now available in Indonesia as a standalone service. The streaming app is accessible on HBOGOAsia.com and can be downloaded from the App Store or Play Store for IDR60,000* (approximately US$4) a with a 7-day free trial.

In Indonesia, the app launched in 2019 and continues to be available via Telkomsel’s Maxstream, First Media and IndiHome.

“Thanks to our local distribution partners, the app has already got off to a flying start in Indonesia. Now, consumers have another method of accessing our great content with a free trial and no obligation,” said Clement Schwebig, Managing Director of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Southeast Asia, Pacific and China, which operates HBO in Asia. “Through HBO GO, viewers can watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster movies and series – as well as Asian content – anytime, anywhere.”

A number of HBO Asia Originals have been filmed in Indonesia, with local cast and crews. For example, award-winning Joko Anwar directed both Halfworlds S1 and Folklore; Reza Rahadian and Arifin Putra star in Halfworlds S1; Adinia Wirasti appears in both Halfworlds S1 and Grisse; and Alexandra Gottardo has roles in Grisse and Food Lore.

HBO GO allows subscribers unlimited access to stream thousands of hours of non-stop and uncut entertainment from the latest first-run Hollywood blockbusters and exclusive original content from HBO, HBO Asia and CINEMAX, to Asian movies, series and all-time favourite kids’ programmes over multiple connected devices.

Within the app, the live TV function can stream six of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks’ channels: HBO, HBO SIGNATURE, HBO HITS, HBO FAMILY, CINEMAX and RED BY HBO. Each HBO GO account can be viewed on two concurrent streams across five registered devices and the service has Airplay and Chromecast functionality.

In Asia, HBO GO is also available in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and will be launching in even more territories and with new partners soon.

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