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TV News Roundup: ‘Riverdale’ Sets ‘Heathers’ Musical Episode

In Thursday’s roundup, “Riverdale” is set to tackle “Heathers: The Musical,” and Freeform has announced its second annual summit.

DATES 

The musical episode of the CW’sRiverdale,” featuring nine songs, will air Wednesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. On the show, Riverdale High School takes on “Heathers: The Musical,” with queen bees Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) channeling the three Heathers in the production.

Variety has exclusively learned that Zach Anner, a writer and actor from ABC’sSpeechless,” is launching the “Speechless Podcast” on Jan. 22. The 30-minute podcast, hosted by Anner, will be a free-wheeling, behind-the-scenes look at the comedy series. It will feature interviews with the cast, producers, writers, and special guests in a no-holds-barred roundtable. The first guest will be John Ross Bowie, a comedian and actor known for his roles on “Speechless” and “The Big Bang Theory.”

FIRST LOOKS

Jach Noe Towers’OUT on Stage: The Series,” featuring a line-up of queer stand-up comics, will be released Thursday, Jan. 17. Comedians in the special include Towers, Jared Goldstein, Jonathan Rowell, Irene Tu, Gloria Bigelow, Anthony Desamito, and more. Each of the six episodes will be 30 minutes, and the project is produced by Comedy Dynamics and Dekkoo.

CASTING

George Lopez and Lisa Vanderpump have been added as judges on Facebook Watch’s interactive talent competition series, “World’s Most Amazing Dog.” Comedian and actor Preacher Lawson will take the main stage as the host of the series which is set to premiere on Feb. 7. On the show, dogs will compete to win the inaugural title and win the $100,000 grand prize.

GREENLIGHTS

Epix has ordered a feature-length documentary on the legendary Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1960s and ‘70s, from director Alison Ellwood, Kennedy/Marshall Co. and Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions. Set to premiere late this year, “Laurel Canyon” promises to celebrate the music of Joni Mitchell; Jackson Browne; Linda Ronstadt; the Eagles; the Mamas And the Papas; Carole King; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; James Taylor; the Doors; and Frank Zappa. Marshall and Kennedy/Marshall Co. are producing with Amblin Entertainment. Warner Music Group, the label home to many of the featured artists, is also a partner in the production.

DEALS

Nielsen and Cox Media Group have announced a multi-year renewal agreement for television and audio measurement services. The agreement covers all Cox Media Group’s local television and radio stations as well as CoxReps and Videa. With this new agreement, Cox stations will continue to use a comprehensive suite of Nielsen data to demonstrate value to advertisers.

EVENTS 

Freeform has announced the second annual Freeform Summit on March 28 in Hollywood. The event will feature some of the biggest names from the network’s 2019 programming slate. The summit will also spotlight influencers, tastemakers, and pop culture titans who have dedicated their voices to creating culture and effecting change. The event’s theme will be a reimagined beauty pageant, and include panels on topics related to inclusion. Panels, moderators, and participants of the summit will be announced at a later date.

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