Morning News update for Monday, 10/21/13.


Darren Star’s Comedy ‘Younger’ Gets Cast-Contingent Pilot Order At TV Land
TV Land has given a cast-cotingent pilot order to Younger, a single-camera comedy written and executive produced by Sex And the City creator Darren Star. The project has been a top priority for the network, which put it on fast-track development only two months ago. Based on the novel by Pamela Redmond Satran, Younger centers on a suddenly-single New Jersey housewife and mother in her early 40s who, unable to restart her career, decides to lie about her age and successfully passes herself off as a twentysomething.

(from Fri) ABC Buys Las Vegas Drama From Martin Campbell, Legal Show From Jonathan Shapiro, Betsy Borns & Matt Gross
Martin Campbell
(Casino Royale) is set to direct and executive produce a drama project for ABC and ABC Studios. Written/exec producer by Chris Downey (Leverage) and co-created/exec produced by Apollo Robbins (The Gentleman Thief), the untitled drama centers on Alice Jones, an FBI forensic psychiatrist, who teams up with Vincent Smith, a brilliant pickpocket-turned-Las Vegas magician, to catch bad guys living it up in Vegas in elaborate stings. Each week, Vince and Alice are ably assisted Ocean’s Eleven-style, by a rogue’s gallery of Sin City hustler, card cheats and showgirls.

ABC has put in development The Law Of Attraction, a legal drama written-executive produced by veteran TV writers, married couple Jonathan Shapiro (The Practice) and Betsy Borns (All of Us), in their first collaboration. It follows a beautiful, upper class, brilliant woman who is forced to practice law with a charismatic, lower class tough guy in a reluctant partnership to save her father’s powerful Boston law firm. Matt Gross (Body of Proof) is executive producing through his ABC Studios-based Gross Entertainment.

(from Fri) MTV Picks Up Comedy Pilots ‘Happyland’ & ‘Faking It’ To Series
MTV has picked up both of its comedy pilots, Happyland and Faking It, to series with eight-episode orders. Happyland, written by Ben Epstein and executive produced by Storyline’s Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, is described as a soapy teen comedy which explores the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and those who work there. The pilot was directed by Lee Toland Krieger.

Faking It from Carter Covington, revolves around two best friends who will do almost anything to fit in and be popular in high school — including pretending to be something they are not. The cast of the pilot, directed by Jamie Travis, included Bailey Buntain, Gregg Sulkin, Katie Stevens, Michael Willett, Rita Volk. On the drama side, MTV has pilots Eye Candy and Finding Carter, now casting.

Once Upon a Time Casts Rumplestiltskin’s Father
British actor Stephen Lord has been cast as Rumplestiltskin’s father on Once Upon a Time.

Nickelodeon Renews ‘Haunted Hathaways’, Orders More ‘See Dad Run’
has ordered a 22-episode second season of promising new comedy series Haunted Hathaways. Additionally, the cable network has extended the second season of Nick at Nite‘s See Dad Run with an order for 13 additionally episodes.

EW: Why aren’t you watching ‘The Neighbors’?
Let’s just say hypothetically you were at a party and someone asked you what your favorite TV sitcom this season is. Say Brooklyn Nine Nine and you’ll get some nods. Modern Family and everyone will agree. Big Bang Theory? Can’t go wrong there. But…The Neighbors? Chances are you’ll get either blank stares or uncomfortable “Are you serious?” laughter. Here’s the thing, though: It’s funny. Like, actually funny. I’d even say funnier than at least one of those other sitcoms.

(scheduling) NBC preempting the next 3 ‘Parks and Rec’ episodes, including an Oct. 31 Halloween-themed episode
The next three episodes of Parks and Recreation — including a Halloween-themed outing that was to air Oct. 31 — are being preempted, NBC confirmed with its latest scheduling alert. The Voice‘s Battle Rounds this week will spill over into Thursday’s 8 o’clock hour, bumping Tatiana Masalany’s second Parks appearance and filling the void left by the now-cancelled Welcome to the Family. Then on Halloween night, NBC will air a holiday-themed Saturday Night Live special.


‘Face Off’ Renewed for Sixth Season by Syfy
announces that its critically-acclaimed hit reality competition series Face Off will return for a sixth season in January 2014.


Netflix Poised to Pass HBO in Paid U.S. Subscribers
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) is poised to pass HBO in paid U.S. subscribers, showing Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings is making progress toward a goal of transforming the streaming service to a Web-based television network. Already the world’s largest subscription-video service, the company probably reached 30 million paying U.S. customers as of Sept. 30, according to Needham & Co. HBO, Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s premium cable-TV network, has about 28.7 million, according to researcher SNL Kagan.

Maker Studios Unveils New Programming Strategy
Leading online programmer Maker Studios is restructuring its vast network of YouTube channels to more closely model the cable world, the company’s executive chairman revealed Monday at the Variety Entertainment & Tech Summit. Most of the 50,000-plus channels will be organized into four main units aimed at getting more traction with both consumers and advertisers.


Seven, Beyond link for US venture
Seven Network
and Beyond Productions in Australia have teamed up for a development and marketing venture to create programming for the North American market. The new partnership will be called 7Beyond and has established a Los Angeles office. Content created by the venture will be coproduced by Seven Network’s Seven Productions business and Beyond Productions, and distributed internationally by Beyond Distribution.

Fox Channels to Wear Marvel’s ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’
Fox International Channels
has acquired a quartet of TV shows from Disney Media Distribution for its TV channels in South East Asia. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will play on the Fox Channel in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and The Philippines and on the STAR Movies channel in Taiwan. FIC has also picked up “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”; sitcom “Trophy Wife”; and the upcoming “Killer Women.”


Nate Silver Previews ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight: No Paywall, Features, and Burritos
founder Nate Silver gave journalists a sneak peek at his upcoming website venture with ESPN, saying it will focus on the data-driven, accurate coverage for which he’s become known and follow much in Grantland’s model in terms of its editorial independence from its parent company. Silver said the site will “not be flashy or listicle-y, but have interesting topics each day that are handled in a smart way and hopefully informs people a bit better.”


Esquire Network Names Three New VPs
Dave Serwatka
has been named VP Current Programming, Jamie French has joined as VP Communications and Marta Harmon will serve as VP Marketing, Esquire Network said today. Serwatka will oversee and guide the network’s current programming division, reporting to Matt Hanna, Head of Original Programming.

Fox Shock: Tony Sella Exiting As Marketing Chief
20th Century Fox
domestic marketing topper Tony Sella is leaving the studio, according to sources. Sella’s decision to leave comes in the aftermath of a profound shake-up at Fox’s executive suite.

Matt Damon, Hayden Panettiere Honored at Environmental Media Awards
Matt Damon, Hayden Panettiere, Bill McKibben
and Anna Getty were honored at the Environmental Media Awards. Panettiere, the recipient of the Futures Award, said instead of waiting for the media to rally people to this cause, they need to take initiative to save the environment.


Big 4 broadcast networks feel good about fall, thanks to ‘DVR lift’
This may be remembered as the autumn that network TV executives fell head over heels in love — with the DVR. Not that long ago, digital video recorders were seen as a threat to broadcasters’ way of life, much as VCRs were seen as a killer for the movie business 30 years ago. But now, armed with special data from Nielsen, executives are trumpeting the big viewership gains their shows are seeing up to a week after original air dates.,0,773717.story