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TV News Roundup: PBS Secures Distribution Rights to Bill Nye Documentary

Variety logo Variety 6/14/2017 Rebecca Rubin
© Provided by Variety

In today’s roundup, PBS obtained distribution rights for the documentary “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” and “MasterChef” released two online cooking classes.

DEALS

PBS acquired North American distribution rights for “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March. The documentary , which follows Nye in his pursuit to ignite a passion for science and science education, will have its broadcast premiere in 2018 on the PBS documentary series POV. “Bill Nye: Science Guy” was produced and directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, produced by Seth Gordon, Kate McLean, and Nick Pampenella, executive produced by Walker Deibel, Mary Rohlich, Henry S. Rosenthal, and Chad Troutwine, and co-executive produced by Andre Gaines.

DIGITAL

“MasterChef” announced the launch of “Cooking with MasterChef,” a series of online cooking classes with lessons taught by former winners. The paid program provides two exclusive online experiences: “Homestyle Favorites” and “Restaurant Results,” both taught by season 4 winner Luca Manfé, season 6 winner Claudia Sandoval, and season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale. Each class includes detailed instruction, step-by-step demonstrations, and complete recipes.

EXECUTIVE NEWS

Turner Classic Movies announced two promotions and one hire to its executive team. Richard Steiner was promoted to senior vice president of digital products and services, Lydia Kim was promoted to vice president of business development and strategy, and CJ Bargamian joined as vice president of OTT services for FilmStruck. All three executives are based in Atlanta. In his new role, Steiner will be responsible for all aspects of digital development and strategy for both brands and overseeing the digital components for TCM brand and event initiatives. Kim will develop long-term growth strategies for TCM and FilmStruck and will oversee forecasting and cross-functional coordination between departments. Bargamian will lead the day-to-day operations of FilmStruck, including overseeing consumer outreach, marketing, acquisition, and customer experience.

Layer3 TV added Jeff Gaspin, president of Primary Wave Entertainment and former NBC Television chairman, to its advisory board. As president of Primary Wave Entertainment, Gaspin oversees a diverse television series portfolio of unscripted and scripted programming across multiple genres and platforms. After his career at NBC, Gaspin formed Gaspin Media, a production and consulting firm, joined the advisory board of TowerBrook Capital and co-founded TAPP TV, a subscription-based online television network. He’s also held board seats on NCTA, A&E Networks and the Paley Center for Media.

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