News round-up: Paramount+ creates ‘Mixtape’; AI to lead Kartoon Studios film expansion; The CW & Roku ‘Fight To Survive’ together


Paramount+ creates ‘Mixtape’

Paramount+ has commissioned Mixtape, a documentary exploring how the creation of mixtapes launched hip hop into mainstream culture.

The doc will premiere exclusively on the service on 1 August in the US and Canada and 2 August in the UK, Australia, Latin America and Brazil, with further international markets to follow later in the year.

Mixtape is produced by MTV Entertainment Studios, Mercury Studios and Saboteur Media, in association with Def Jam Recordings. David Kennedy, Tony Touch, Nick Quested and Daniel Seliger serve as producers with executive producers Paul Rosenberg and Barak Moffit.

The film is directed and produced by Omar Acosta and explores how the importance of mixtapes went well beyond the tapes themselves, with mixtapes acting as a form of currency and a signifier that someone was “in the know” and had their ear to the streets.

AI to lead Kartoon Studios film expansion

Kartoon Studios is utilising AI to launch a package of original full-length animated features for children based on existing properties.

These titles will leverage AI technology to animate more content, in less time and reduce expenses, said Kartoon Studios, with the films to debut exclusively across the Kartoon Channel! US streaming platforms in 2024, as well as being distributed to broadcasters and streamers globally.

Among the new titles are Stan Lee’s Cosmic Crusaders, spinning off from Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten; Llama’s Big Adventure, spinning off from Llama Llama; and Rainbow Rangers Hot Concert To Cool Global Warming, spinning off from Rainbow Rangers.

Producer-director Mike Maliani commented, “By using both AI, human creativity, and the existing assets that have already been developed with the brands, production costs will be reduced, while upholding the highest levels of quality.”

The CW & Roku ‘Fight To Survive’ together

The CW Network and Roku are collaborating on an original unscripted series, Fight To Survive.

The eight-episode survivalist competition will debut on 10 August on The CW, and then be made available to stream on The Roku Channel and The CW App on 29 September, the day after the broadcast finale.

Hosted by Akbar Gbajabiamila, the social experiment follows 17 competitors – including former Survivor, Alone, Naked And Afraid and American Ninja Warrior contestants – who must survive 25 days on a remote tropical island combatting brutal conditions – and each other – to win $250,000.

The series is executive produced and created by Kevin Lee for Tollbooth Television.

“By bringing together the best of The CW and the best of The Roku Channel, Fight To Survive will be able to reach the largest audience possible across both broadcast and streaming,” commented Brad Schwartz, president of entertainment at The CW Network, and Brian Tannenbaum, head of originals at Roku.

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