Afternoon News Update for Friday, 9/27/13.


Fox Acquires Damon Wayans Jr. Comedy
has landed “Man/Child,” a project from Damon Wayans Jr. with a pilot production commitment. Comedy centers on two single dads who move in together and struggle to find the balance between being responsible parents and debaucherous bachelor. “Wilfred” showrunners Reed Agnew and Eli Jorne will pen and exec produce “Man/Child,” with Wayans Jr. also exec producing. “Modern Family” helmer Jason Winer will direct “Man/Child” and also receive an exec producer credit. 20th Century Fox TV and Small Dog Picture Company will produce the pilot.

NBC Nabs Light Procedural Produced By Krysten Ritter & David Janollari
David Janollari Entertainment
has partnered with Krysten Ritter’s also Uni TV-based Silent Machine Entertainment for Six Months, Three Days, an hourlong project, which has been sold to NBC. Based on the 2012 Hugo Award winning novelette of the same name by Charlie Jane Anders, Six Months, Three Days is a light procedural about a mismatched pair of San Francisco private investigators — an upbeat, free-spirited idealist and a swoon-worthy, brooding fatalist –- both of whom can see the future. Forced to team up, the pair knows their relationship is destined to grow from antagonistic rivalry into fairy-tale true love… but only if they can stop him from being killed in six months and three days. The adaptation will being written by film and TV writer Eric Garcia.

Rina Mimoun & Fake Empire To Adapt Novel ‘Sisterland’ As ABC Paranormal Drama
Fake Empire’s Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage
and Rina Mimoun were among the WB/CW’s top writer-producer talent. Now the trio have teamed at their new home, ABC Studios, where both Fake Empire and Mimoun are under overall deals. Their collaboration is drama project Sisterland, which has landed at ABC. Based on the best-selling novel by Curtis Sittenfeld, Sisterland tells the story of identical twin sisters born with paranormal abilities and how those abilities shape their very different lives. Mimoun is writing the adaptation and is executive producing with Schwartz, Savage and Fake Empire president of television Len Goldstein.

ABC Buys Comedy From Jenny Bicks, Lizzie & Wendy Molyneux With Penalty
Work With Jerks, a comedy from former Big C showrunner Jenny Bicks andBob’s Burgers writers-producers Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux, has landed at ABC with significant penalty. 20th Century Fox TV, where the Molyneux sisters are under an overall deal, is producing. Written by Lizzie and Wendy Molyneux with Bicks supervising and the three executive producing, Work With Jerks centers on an ambitious yet often misguided woman whose role models are Hillary Clinton and Marissa Mayer but realizes she may have to rethink her professional strategy when she joins a company working with all male employees.

A&E Network Developing New Scripted Drama Series ‘The Returned’
A&E Network is in development on the new original scripted drama series “The Returned,” a co-production of A+E Studios and FremantleMedia North America. “The Returned” is based on the popular French suspense series adapted by Fabrice Gobert and inspired by the feature film, Les Revenants, directed by Robin Campillo. “The Returned” focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people, who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, having not aged and unaware of their own fatality. As they attempt to resume their lives, strange phenomena and gruesome murders begin to occur.

Fox Names Jeni Mulein to Oversee Event Series
Film vet Jeni Mulein has been named veep of event series at Fox, a signal that the 21st Century Fox-owned net is placing more support behind the development of special programs and miniseries that stand apart from its regular schedule. Mulein comes from Original Film, where she was co-producer of the film “SWAT: Firefight.” She will report to Shana C. Waterman, senior veep of multi-platform programming and event series, and will offer creative input on event series in development and production.

E! ‘Royals’ Pilot Casts Its Ophelia & Princess
Hamlet has found his Ophelia. Haley Lu Richardson (Ravenswood) has been cast in the network’s pilot The Royals, a contemporary drama about a fictional royal family informed by the regal opulence of the British monarchy and framed by Shakespeare’sHamlet.Also cast in the pilot, from Lionsgate TV and creator Mark Schwahn, is Australian newcomer Alexandra Park(Home and Away).

Archie Kao Joins ‘Chicago PD’ As Regular, Genevieve Angelson In ‘House Of Lies’
Archie Kao has been cast as a new series regular on NBC’s midseason series Chicago PD. He’ll play Jin, who’s in charge of tech and surveillance at the CPD Intelligence Unit in the Chicago Fire spinoff. Genevieve Angelson has signed on to join Showtime’s House Of Lies, appearing in nine of the 12-episode third season. She’ll play Caitlyn, a young, naive, Ivy League-educated consultant who works for Marty (Don Cheadle) and is a new love interest for Doug (Josh Lawson).


(review) LA Times: HBO’s ‘Hello Ladies’ a cringe-worthy comedy that works
As the series goes on, it becomes clear that Stuart and Jessica, if not necessarily fated to be mated, are two peas in a pod, struggling for acceptance, tossing in comments from the edges of conversations they are not invited to join, putting up walls with their own desperation. It is classic stuff, really — the situation in which, in order not to seem a fool one does increasingly more foolish things and where the gesture meant to look insouciant ends in slapstick. The gangly Stephen Merchant, with his 6-foot-7 frame and serious spectacles, is highly adept at this — he is not quite made for this world. But he is for comedy.,0,4946613.story

(review) THR: Masters of Sex
There appear to be myriad stories for the writers to mine in Masters of Sex, which lets the audience know that it’s not going to be a sprint from two disparate people to a couple on the cover of Time magazine, spearheading a sexual revolution. But perhaps the best story of all is that Masters of Sex manages, with lightning speed, to shed any preconceived notions about what type of show it will be and, in so doing, tilts the camera up from the breast to the brain.


Chernin And Rupert Wyatt Tap Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa To Adapt ‘Night Film’
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
has been tapped to adapt Night Film, the Marisha Pessl noir novel for Chernin Entertainment and director Rupert Wyatt. In Night Film, a journalist investigates the suspected suicide of a young beauty, and discovers she is the daughter of a reclusive horror film helmer and that the girl was murdered and someone is bent on revenge.

Mandalay Vision Acquires Cold War Novel ‘Preemptive Strike’
Mandalay Vision
has acquired screen rights to the John H. Scully novel Preemptive Strike. Mandalay Vision is teaming to produce it with the author’s Della Heights Productions, and they have set Paranoia and Vantage Point scribe Barry L. Levy to adapt. Inspired by true events, the novel is a Cold War action thriller about what could have become one of the most dangerous moments during the back and forth between the U.S. and Soviet Union. At a time when the latter’s nuclear missile program was far ahead of America, a young FBI agent was tasked with hunting down a Soviet double agent to protect a critical piece of technology from falling into Russian hands.

Pope Francis the Subject of Two In-Production Film Projects
The films, from Argentina and Germany, respectively, will recount different periods of the new pope’s life.

Katie Holmes Joins Meryl Streep in ‘The Giver’
Phillip Noyce
is directing the YA adaptation for The Weinstein Co. and Walden. Holmes will play Thwaites’ mother, a strict obeyer of the laws that govern what is described as an antiseptic society.


Discovery’s Simon Andreae Emerges as Top Contender for Fox Reality Job
Simon Andreae,
Discovery Channel senior VP of production and development on the West Coast, has emerged as a top contender to fill the vacancy in Fox’s alternative programming department. The Fox network has been looking for a new reality chief for the past four months, ever since Mike Darnell ended his nearly 20-year tenure with the net and moved across town to Warner Bros. TV.


Lucasfilm says video game engines will ‘take the post out of post-production’ for filmmakers
knows a thing or two about making movies, and executives at the company are convinced that video game engines will play a huge role in film production within the next decade. Chief technology strategy officer Kim Libreri laid out the company’s vision at BAFTA in London this week. Libreri says that computer graphics will eventually evolve to a point that allows video game assets to be inserted in scenes in realtime — drastically lessening the burden of post-production for filmmakers.


Janice Marinelli Gets Oversight of Disney’s Physical, Digital Homevideo Distribution
The Walt Disney Studios
has promoted Janice Marinelli to oversee how the company releases its films, TV shows and other projects across physical and digital platforms. It’s the latest move by a studio to consolidate both physical and digital under the management of one executive as the amount of digital dollars have grown to become a more important source of revenue for Hollywood. Marinelli will now serve as president, Disney studio global in-home and digital distribution and Disney ABC North America content distribution.

Shine America Ups Adam Neal To VP Unscripted
Adam Neal
most recently served as Executive Director of Unscripted Development for Shine America and he’s now been promoted to VP, reporting to Chris Culvenor, SVP, Unscripted Development.

Movie Academy Unveils 2013 Nicholl Screenwriting Finalists
Nine individual screenwriters and one writing team have been selected as finalists for the 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. Their scripts will now be read and judged by the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, which may award as many as five of the prestigious $35,000 fellowships. This year’s finalists are (listed alphabetically by author):

Scott Adams, Menlo Park, CA, “Slingshot”
William Casey, Los Angeles, CA, “Smut”
Frank DeJohn & David Alton Hedges, Santa Ynez, CA, “Legion”
Brian Forrester, Studio City, CA, “Heart of the Monstyr”
Noah Thomas Grossman, Los Angeles, CA, “The Cupid Code”
Patty Jones, Vancouver, BC, Canada, “Joe Banks”
Erin KLG, New York, NY, “Lost Children”
Alan Roth, Suffern, NY, “Jersey City Story”
Stephanie Shannon, Los Angeles, CA, “Queen of Hearts”
Barbara Stepansky, Burbank, CA, “Sugar in My Veins”


Gamechanger Films Creates Film Fund for Female Directors
A new financing company, Gamechanger Films, was announced today with the mission statement of producing indie films directed by women. The company, which will create a for-profit film fund, was founded by veteran documentary producers Julie Parker Benello (“Afternoon Delight”), Dan Cogan (“How to Survive a Plague”), Geralyn Dreyfous (“Born Into Brothels”) and Wendy Ettinger.

Report: Hollywood Is Less Gay-Friendly off-Screen
A new study suggests the proliferation of gay and transgender characters in films and television shows has not prevented gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender actors from experiencing discrimination in Hollywood. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists commissioned the survey, released Friday. It found that more than half of the actors who identify as gay, bisexual and transgender think directors and producers are biased against them. More than one-third of the actors who don’t fall into those categories agreed with that perception.