The 11th Hour Dispatch – Thursday, March 29, 2018

| March 29, 2018

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BINGE WATCH

A first-look deal for you and first-look deal for you! Michael Showalter has signed with Annapurna Television, and Chelsea Handler has penned a deal with Universal Television and Universal Television Alternative Studio. The deal with Showalter’s recently founded Semi-Formal Productions includes a TV show already in development as well as any future projects. Here’s just a peak at Showalter’s stacked resume if you’re wondering if he’s qualified: director of Oscar-nominated The Big Sick; writer and director of the feature film Hello, My Name Is Doris; executive producer and director of the TBS series Search Party; and Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer: First Day at Camp and Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. As for Handler, her deal encompasses both scripted and unscripted projects with the two respective companies. The stand-up comedian just wrapped up her Netflix talk show Chelsea and is currently executive producing Hulu dramedy Unspeakable and the TNT series I Hate the Internet.

YOUNG MONEY

Fifteen-year-old electronic signature company DocuSign has (finally) filed for an IPO. The company will list under the ticker symbol DOCU and is seeking somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million. In its last funding round in 2015, it was valued at $3.1 billion. This is yet another large tech company joining the market after Dropbox’s successful opening last week and Spotify’s direct listing on Tuesday. But if you’ve paid attention to the headlines the last few days, you’ll notice that it may not be as promising as it seems at first glance. Nearly all of the seemingly untouchable FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet) stocks are down as demand for regulation grows.

BIG BUSINESS

The editorial and video teams at The Onion, The A.V. Club, and Clickhole have joined the Writers Guild of America East. Onion Inc., the parent company of the three outlets, said in a statement that “an overwhelming majority” of its roughly 100 person staff unionized. This isn’t a new thing for digital media companies, but it is a notable thing, especially as the business models of online media endure the adjustment period currently taking place in the industry. The WGA East currently represents and bargains on behalf of 1,000+ members on editorial and video teams at companies like Vice, HuffPost, The Intercept, Splinter, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker, MTV News, and Thrillist. Additionally, Vox Media agreed to recognize the WGA as the collective bargaining representative of around 400 of its employees back in January of this year, and they probably won’t be the last.

NOTHIN’ BUT ‘NET

Houston and Chicago are going toe-to-toe over whose giant metal bean is better.

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