Colman Domingo of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead is coming back with season four of another AMC Networks show, Bottomless Brunch at Colman's.
Originally conceived as the kind of digital short that could be produced during the pandemic, Bottomless Brunch has proved unquenchable. Last year, it picked up a sponsor in liquor distributor Diageo, whose spirits are used in the cocktails served in the show. And this season, episodes will premiere on cable networks IFC and SundanceTV before moving into digital and social channels.
The series was created by the Content Room, AMC Networks’ branded content unit, which sees Bottomless Brunch as the model for its growing list of productions.
Bringing back Bottomless Brunch as a no-brainer, Kim Granito, executive VP, content room & integrated marketing at AMC, told Broadcasting+Cable. Since the series started, Domingo has blown up, appearing in Candyman, Euphoria, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Zola. He’s still passionate about the project, she said.
“What began as a passion project in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown to foster community virtually, to engage with some lighthearted fun, food, and online cocktails with friends near and far has blossomed into a first rate series on digital and linear platforms including a podcast,” Domingo said.
“I brought my passion for cocktail culture and bringing people together to host and offer some light in some of our darkest days. Now in its fourth season, it has become incredibly rewarding as we continue to expand, yet keeping the heart and intention of what began this journey,” he said. “I am proud of the successful Diageo brand partnership since our second season. A champion of our engaging conversation to promote thought, change and community. I am over the moon at how my partners at AMC, NBTV, Diageo and my production company Edith Productions have collaborated. I feel like we’ve only just begun.”
The sponsor also was keen to buy another round.
“Our partnership with AMC and Colman continues to be an incredible example of how we strive to create branded content that is genuinely entertaining and harnesses what’s happening in culture,” said Lindsay Wallner, who is in charge of branded content and entertainment at Diageo. “We’re thrilled to be expanding this partnership across new channels, working with a great partner like Colman, and enabling consumers to discover our brands, such as Crown Royal and Baileys, in a medium that’s relevant to them.”
Bottomless Brunch’s early episodes featured high profile guests including Regina King, Patti LaBelle, Jon Batiste, Common and Barry Jenkins.
Episodes this season will be spaced out over the next few months and have themes that are important to Domingo. The opening episode is called Friendsgiving, all about spending the holiday with friends. Future episodes mark the return of Broadway and the Christmas season in December, Women’s History Month in March, awards season later in March, and Pride and Juneteenth and Black History Month in June.
The first episode of the new season, premiering Sunday on IFC is the Friendsgiving episode. Domingo and his guests Elaine Welterorth and Aja Naomi King, will be sharing Crown Royal Cinnamon Apple cocktails.
The second episode, commemorating Broadway and the holidays, will debut Dec. 18 on IFC. Domingo will be sipping hot chocolate made with Baileys Original Irish Cream with Chita Rivera, Danielle Brooks and Ephrain Sykes.
The remaining four episodes of the season have not yet been cast. The first couple of episodes have been produced virtually. “We are talking about figuring out a way to do it as a live event, but we don’t have anything to share yet,” Granito said.
“It’s a perfect example of what we set out to do with the Content Room. Marry great content to our partners’ brand and align them with our biggest talent,” said Granito.
“What we found is because the show has so much heart, people really wanted to watch and find it and grow with it,” she said. AMC is increasing the distribution of the show so more people can find it. In addition to playing on cable, it will appear on the company’s AMC Plus streaming service and on other streaming and digital outlets, including Pluto TV.
It’s been good for the sponsor. Domingo never runs out of drinks to make, and the cocktails serve as a bridge to the conversations he wants to have with his guests.
The Content Room is working on a number of other productions, many tied to the last season of AMC’s Better Call Saul. One, Cooper’s Bar. features Saul’s Rhae Seahorn playing the worst person in Hollywood. She has guests gather at a backyard tiki bar, discussing the industry.
Upcoming is an upcoming animated series called Slippin’ Jimmy about a young Jimmy McGill.
“We think fans are going to go crazy for this,” Granito said.
Better Call Saul also spawned a series of fake training tapes produced by The Content Room that have won awards for digital productions. Seahorn appeared in one, as did Giancarlo Esposito, explaining the ins and outs of working at Los Pollos Hermano, the chicken joint featured in Saul and Breaking Bad.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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