BBC and BYUtv Adaptation of “A Kind of Spark” Set to Premiere on World Autism Awareness Day (TV News Roundup)

BBC and BYUtv have released an official trailer and the premiere date for the upcoming scripted series “A Kind of Spark,” which is set to premiere on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2. The first two episodes will air on BYUtv at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT, and BBC at a later date.

Based on Elle McNicoll’s award-winning novel, “A Kind of Spark” follows an autistic girl, Addie, as she learns to juggle school and friends, all while fighting for acceptance, for herself and others who are scrutinized for their differences.

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“Since its original publication in 2021, Elle McNicoll’s novel has resonated with audiences across the world, especially children, by celebrating the unique perspectives and differences that bring strength to our communities and families,” said Andra Johnson Duke, head of content at BYUtv. “The inspiring book was born from Elle’s own frustration with misunderstanding specifically of female autism. Serving as a writer for the production, she was able to oversee and consult on key decisions throughout the adaptation process. The result is an uplifting viewing experience, telling an empowering story of self-acceptance and sisterhood for all ages.”

The production committed to building an authentic team in front of and behind the camera, recruiting neurodivergent individuals, who make up around half of the cast and crew — including the series’ three leads Lola Blue, Georgia De Gidlow and Caitlin Hamilton.

“A Kind of Spark” is produced by 9 Story Media Group with BYUtv and BBC, with Gráinne McNamara serving as executive producer. McNicoll serves as a lead writer alongside, Karissa Hamilton-Bannis, Vicki Lutascreator and creator Anna McCleery.

Check out the official “A Kind of Spark” trailer below.

Also in this week’s TV news:


More than 25 years later, Cinderella and her Prince Charming are still living happily ever after. Paolo Montalban has been added to the cast of the upcoming Disney+ Original film “Descendants: The Rise of Red.” Montalban will play the role of King Charming, reuniting with Brandy as Cinderella after they stared as the dynamic royal duo in ABC’s 1997 “Wonderful World of Disney” TV movie “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”

“The Rise of the Red” comes as the latest installment in Disney’s “Descendants” franchise.

The cast includes Kylie Cantrall as Red, Malia Baker as Chloe, Rita Ora as the Queen of Hearts, China Anne McClain as Uma, Dara Reneé as Uliana, Ruby Rose Turner as Bridget/Young Queen of Hearts, Morgan Dudley as Ella/Young Cinderella, Joshua Colley as Hook, Melanie Paxson as Fairy Godmother, Jeremy Swift as Principal Merlin and Leonardo Nam as Maddox Hatter.

“Descendants: The Rise of Red” returns audiences to the lands of Auradon and the Isle of Lost while introducing a new but familiar location: Wonderland. The film will follow Red, the daughter of the Queen of Hearts, and Chloe, the daughter of Cinderella, as the two descendants travel back in time to save the Queen of Hearts from her traumatic villain origin story.

The film is directed and co-executive produced by Jennifer Phang with Suzanne Todd and Gary Marsh as executive producers. The script was written by Dan Frey and Russell Sommer. Mark Hofeling is the film’s production designer, and the casting directors are Alexis Frank Koczara and Christine Smith Shevchenko.


Apple TV+ has released the first look images for its new comedy series “Platonic,” starring Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen. The 10-episode series will premiere with the first three episodes on May 24, with the remaining seven dropping Wednesdays until the finale on July 12.

“Platonic” follows former best friends, Sylvia (Byrne) and Will (Rogen), who reconnect after a long rift. As the two tackle midlife, their rekindled friendship becomes all-consuming— and then destabilizes their lives.

Rogen and Byrne star opposite each other, in addition to serving as the series’ executive producers, alongside Conor Welch. Co-creators, co-directors and co-writers Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco join Rogen, Byrne and Welch as executive producers. “Platonic” also stars Luke Macfarlane, Tre Hale, Carla Gallo and Andrew Lopez.

Check out the “Platonic” first images below.


Netflix has released the first look clip and images for its new series “XO, Kitty.” The 10-episode series will premiere all episodes on May 18.

“XO, Kitty” follows the Netflix film series “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” adapted from the book series of same name and written by Jenny Han. After setting up her sister Lara-Jean with her longtime boyfriend, Kitty Song Covey (Anna Cathcart) thinks she knows everything there is to know about love. Everything becomes a bit more complicated after Kitty moves halfway across the world to reunite with her long-distance boyfriend.

Cathcart is returning with John Corbett and Sarayu Blue. The “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” veterans are joined by newcomers Minyeong Choi as Dae, Gia Kim as Yuri, Sang Heon Lee as Min Ho, Anthony Keyvan as Q, Peter Thurnwald as Alex, Yunjin Kim as Jina, Michael K Lee as Professor Lee, Jocelyn Shelfo as Madison and Regan Aliyah as Juliana.

Han also serves as co-showrunner and executive producer alongside Sascha Rothchild. ACE Entertainment’s Matt Kaplan will join Han and Rothchild as the third executive producer.

Check out the “XO, Kitty” first look clip below.


Apple TV plus has released the trailer for its new two-part documentary series event “Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker.” Oscar-winning filmmakers Alex Gibney and John Battsek have dived into the world of German tennis champion Boris Becker to give an extensive look into the athlete’s life both on and off the court. The series is set to premiere on April 7.

Becker began his success story after winning the Wimbledon Championships at just 17 years old, and has since garnered 49 career titles, including six grand slams and an Olympic gold medal. For over three years, Gibney and Battsek collected interviews with Becker about his career and personal life, as well as conversations with immediate family members and fellow tennis stars. In April 2022, Becker was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for hiding assets and loans to evade paying debt, marking the filmmakers’ special access to him.

“Boom! Boom!” follows several other Apple TV Plus nonfiction programs that give an inside look at the lives of sports’ biggest stars, including “Real Madrid: Until The End,” which takes a look at the soccer clubs 2021-2022 season; “Monster Factory,” that documents amateur wrestlers; “Make or Break,” a World Surf League docuseries; and “Super League,” which covers the state of European football.

The series is a co-production between Gibney’s Jigsaw and Battsek’s Ventureland productions, in association with Lorton Entertainment. It is produced by Gibney and Bettsek with George Chignell and Erin Edeiken. Executive producers are Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, Kerstin Emhoff, Andrew Ruhemann, Julian Bird, Duncan Ford and Ed Barratt.

Check out the “Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker” trailer below.


HBO Max has released the mid-season trailer for its final six episodes of “Titans.” The fourth and final season will return with two episodes on April 13, followed by a weekly rollout of one episode per week until the series finale on May 11.

The final season resumes after the Titans return to the Temple of Trigon and discover both Sebastian and Mother Mayhem have disappeared. The last six episodes follow as the Titans search for Sebastian and Mother Mayhem, encounter a mysterious town, partake in dangerous battles, make severe sacrifices, struggle with self-discovery and ultimately save the world one last time.

The DC series stars Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Joshua Orpin, Franka Potente, and Joseph Morgan, Jay Lycurgo and Lisa Ambalavanar.

Greg Walker serves as both the showrunner and executive producer, alongside Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Richard Hatem. Weed Road Pictures and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television produce the DC-inspired series.

Check out the “Titans” mid-season trailer below.


Netflix announced the premiere of their new docuseries “Chimp Empire,” which takes an up-close look into the lives of chimpanzees. The four-part series is directed by James Reed, who co-directed the Academy Award winning documentary “My Octopus Teacher.” “Chimp Empire” will premiere on April 19.

“Chimp Empire” journeys into Uganda’s Ngogo Forest, home to the largest chimpanzee society known to humans, where scientists and field trackers have been observing the tribe for the last 25 years, learning about the chimp’s politics, hierarchies and social habits. By immersing a camera crew into the Ngogo, Reed was able to capture a year of chimp life in the forest, full of births, exchanges of power and intense battles.

The show is narrated by Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali, who won best supporting actor for his work in “Moonlight” and “Green Book.”

Check out the “Chimp Empire” trailer below.


Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA) has hired Jennifer Provencher and Courtney Colman to join its business affairs, finance and production departments. Veteran producer Amy Krell was re-upped and will continue to supervise MPCA’s LA-based projects and on-site global filming locations.

Provencher formerly served as both the director of business and legal affairs at Netflix and the VP of business and legal affairs for Shine America. Provencher has been named SVP of business affairs and will focus on business and legal affairs for MPCA’s slate of films and television series.

Colman was formerly the SVP of finance and business development at CBS Films, the VP of Participations at Sony Pictures Entertainment and the CFO for multiple companies including XPRIZE Foundation, Mob Scene LLC and Gold Circle Films. Colman will now serve as MPCA’s CFO and EVP of production, overseeing the strategic planning, accounting, finance, budgeting and forecasting.

Krell has been a part of MPCA since 2010, first as a freelance producer, and then in 2016, as a full-time producer. Since Krell joined the MPCA, she has worked on more than 60 of the company’s films and will continue to do so on a global and local scale.


Public relations agency DKC has announced its new flagship location in Los Angeles. This new Century City location shifts from its previous West Hollywood office, where it had been for the last 10 years.

“DKC’s Los Angeles practice has experienced exponential growth across multiple sectors, including streaming, technology, consumer brands, health and wellness, sports and esports, BIPOC-specific initiatives, crisis management and, of course, high-profile talent and studio work,” said DKC President Sean F. Cassidy. “The L.A.-centric ecosystem of entertainment, technology and consumer brands has evolved tremendously since 2020. Clients see Los Angeles as the place to introduce brands to national and international marketplaces, be it through media, influencers, creative content or experiences. Our new office is set up perfectly to ensure the highest level of cross-collaboration across our DKC and HangarFour teams.”

The office features an open-concept workspace, a product showroom, viewing lounge, barista bar, floor-to-ceiling glass walls and an outdoor garden terrace.

“For the past five years, we’ve driven significant growth propelling us to this exciting moment with the grand opening of DKC Los Angeles’ new creative hub,” said executive director Wendy Zaas. “We’ve assembled a best-in-class powerhouse of passionate, talented professionals who continue to deliver brilliant communications strategy and storytelling, making DKC the best choice among entertainment and consumer brands.”

DKC was founded in 1991 and has its headquarters in New York City. In addition, the firm has locations in San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Denver.


The United States Soccer Foundation is renewing its partnership with NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises as its official Spanish-language media partner. The renewed partnership was announced Wednesday at the “Unstoppable Women in Sports: Changing the Game Together” event at the Telemundo Center.

The two organizations are promoting the “United for Girls” playbook, which guides organization to support the next generation of girls both on and off the field.

“We are thrilled to partner with the U.S. Soccer Foundation because we strongly believe in supporting initiatives that create more opportunities for unstoppable Latino girls and women,” said Christina Kolbjornsen, SVP, corporate & external affairs at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “This renewed partnership aims to combat the inequities in access to facilities and representation that exist among communities of color across the U.S. We’re looking forward to continue helping the Foundation expand their reach across the Latino community.”

Telemundo will also be a part of the “Just Ball League” Unity Cups this May and June. The U.S. Soccer Foundation uses the league to help connect with communities across major cities like New York and Los Angeles so that kids can play without having to worry about transportation or cost.


On March 22, Paramount’s Office of Global Inclusion threw the first ever kick-off event to introduce the three new creatives joining the Paramount Directing Initiative. With remarks from Amy Reisenbach, President, CBS Entertainment, as well as showrunners such as Aaron Rashaan Thomas (S.W.A.T.) and Tia Napolitano (Fire Country), the event heralds a new era for the legacy program which now guarantees participants an episodic directing gig.
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Miko Lim, Shari Lynette Carpenter, Oscar Rene Lozoya.
Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Paramount Global has announced Shari Lynette Carpenter, Miko Lim and Oscar Rene Lozoya as the three participants for the 2023-2025 Paramount Directors Initiative. The program pairs these selected directors with CBS Television Network, CBS Studios, Paramount Television Studios and Paramount Global drama and comedy series directors, providing them with individual connections and creative opportunities.

Paramount’s Office of Global Inclusion held the first kick-off event on March 2 to introduce the three directors joining the initiative. The night featured remarks by Amy Reisenbach, president of CBS Entertainment, David Stapf, president of CBS Studios, Nicole Clemens, president of Paramount Television Studios, as well as a conversation with showrunners Aaron Rashaan Thomas (“S.W.A.T”), Tia Napolitano of “Fire Country” and Christopher Silber of “NCIS: Hawai’i,” moderated by Marci Cooperstein, SVP of current at CBS Entertainment.

The Paramount Directors Initiative aims to uplift underrepresented groups by giving directors the chance to learn from and work with key producers, showrunners, executives and other significant figures.

“At Paramount, we believe that diversity and inclusion are key to creating compelling and meaningful content for our audiences, and this program is an important step in achieving that goal,” said Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, executive vice president of entertainment diversity and inclusion at Paramount. “We are thrilled to announce our initiative’s newest class of talented directors who are looking to break into network television. We are also proud to have Yasmin Dunn, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Paramount, spearheading this project as we are committed to creating a pipeline of inclusive talent for our industry.”

Participants include writer and director Shari Lynette Carpenter (“Queen Sugar”), director and photographer Miko Lim (“Ocean Mother”) and film editor and director Oscar Rene Lozoya (“Law & Order: SVU”).


ABC announced its summer slate of premiere dates with 11 new and returning series, that will premiere beginning May 8 until July 9. Below is the full list of premiere dates.

  • “Jeopardy’s” latest iteration “Jeopardy! Masters” premieres May 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

  • “Judge Steve Harvey” returns on May 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

  • Season 2 of “The Wonder Years” premieres June 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

  • “Claim to Fame” returns on June 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

  • “The Bachelorette” will follow on June 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

  • “Press Your Luck” returns on June 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

  • “Generation Gap” premieres on June 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

  • “The Chase” will continue to air on June 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

  • New unscripted comedy series, “The Prank Panel” premieres July 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

  • “Celebrity Family Feud” Season 9 premieres on July 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

  • “The $100,000 Pyramid” returns on July 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

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