Afternoon News Update for Thursday, 10/24/13.


Writer Michael Diliberti Sells ABC Comedy With Shine, CBS Drama With Fake Empire
Feature writer Michael Diliberti has set up two TV projects through his double blind script deal at ABC Studios. He has teamed with Shine America and Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite for comedy Skin Deep, which has sold to ABC, and with Fake Empire for Vice, a drama set up at CBS. ABC’s Skin Deep centers on an idealistic young beauty salon owner forced to take on a brash and opinionated male stylist. Diliberti is exec producing with Electric Dynamite. CBS’ Vice revolves around a pair of inexperienced young cops who must confront their own vices when they stumble into high-profile undercover work in the City of Angels.

CW Buys 1930s Hollywood Drama Produced By Ellen DeGeneres; Danny Cannon To Helm
is exploring the past with Players, a one-hour drama set against the Golden Age of Hollywood. From Warner Bros. TV and Ellen DeGeneres’ studio-based A Very Good Production, Players centers on a young Midwestern woman who moves to Los Angeles to avenge her sister’s death at the hands of a predatory Studio head and finds herself swept up in the Hollywood star-making machine, becoming the ingénue in a closeted movie star’s “lavender marriage” and a pawn in a Studio fixer’s scheme against the mob. Nina Fiore and John Herrera will write the script, with Danny Cannon directing.

Adaptation Of Australian Series ‘Secrets & Lies’ Gets 10-Episode Series Commitment At ABC With Aaron Kaplan Producing
Secrets & Lies
is getting an American remake. ABC has given a 10-episode commitment to the project, from ABC Studios, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Australian-based Hoodlum, which produces the original series. Search is underway for an American showrunner. The original six-episode series, which will air on Ten network, stars Martin Henderson as a family man who finds the body of a young boy and quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. He has no choice but to try to find the real killer as his marriage, his kids, his reputation and his sanity are all at stake.

NBC To Reboot ‘Murder, She Wrote’ With Octavia Spencer Starring, Alex Cunningham Writing And David Janollari Producing
is looking to revive Murder, She Wrote with a brand new take from writer Alexandra Cunningham and producer David Janollari that has Oscar winner Octavia Spencer succeeding Angela Lansbury in the lead role. The new hourlong project, which has received a put pilot commitment, is a re-imagining of the long-running CBS series. Described as a light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo, it follows a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth who self-publishes her first mystery novel.

NBC Orders Drama Script Based On Remy Chandler Book Series
has ordered a script for a procedural from 20th Century Fox TV, based on Thomas Sniegoski’s Remy Chandler urban fantasy six-volume novel series, about an angel who, having grown weary of celestial warfare, chose to embrace earthly life and develop a deep appreciation for humans and their vices. The project is described as a procedural with humor, questions of faith and fate, and a very distinct partnership. Bill Chais is attached to write and exec produce. Fox-based Jonathan Levin is EP.

NBC Nabs Dental Comedy From Stacy Traub & Brillstein; ABC Buys Alzheimer Comedy From Aaron Kaplan
has put in development Pulling Teeth, a single-camera, ensemble workplace comedy from Stacy Traub (Glee), ABC Studios and studio-based Brillstein Entertainment. Written by Traub, the project takes place in a large dental practice. It focuses on Holly, a dentist who recently discovered that her surgeon husband has been having an affair with a pharmaceutical sales rep. After a leave of absence, Holly returns to the practice only to find that the dynamics of the workplace are even more complicated than the ones in her own life.

Also sold through ABC Studios is The Alzheimer’s Project, a single-camera script at ABC based on an original idea by Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. Written by Sam Sklaver (HBO’s Bored To Death), it’s a comedy about a father with early onset Alzheimer’s trying to reconnect with his family. Kaplan is executive producing, with Sklaver co-exec producing.

Starz Teams Up With Chris Collins, Ken Fink, and Dan Chaon to Develop New Hour-Long Scripted Drama ‘Most Wanted’
has put into development a new hour-long scripted drama, “Most Wanted,” from Chris Collins, Ken Fink and Dan Chaon. Set in the Great Plains during the 1970s, “Most Wanted” traces the rise and demise of a talented and prolific bank robber, Nate Daniels, who finds himself on a collision course with his family and crew as he becomes one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted. Chris Collins will serve as Executive Producer and showrunner along with Executive Producer Ken Fink and Co-Executive Producer Dan Chaon.

‘Suits’ renewed for fourth season
The network has ordered a 16-episode fourth season. Universal Cable Productions has also signed an overall deal with the show’s creator, Aaron Korsh, to develop new series while continuing his work on the drama.

(review) THR: Dracula:
didn’t get the memo that vampires are over. Even with a sexy star, there’s no real reason for "Dracula" to exist in a crowded world of genre dramas.


Fox Ties Down Wedding Website ‘The Knot’
20th Century Fox
has acquired rights to make feature films from the websites The Knot, The Bump, and The Nest. The first of those sites are popular with couples making wedding plans, the second is for expecting couples, and the third is for settling in as parents. The hope is to turn this into three ensemble films about progressing from the first to the third experience. Set to write is Natalie Krinsky, whose credits include Gossip Girl.

J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan Take Over Writing Duties on ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’
J.J. Abrams
and “Star Wars” veteran Lawrence Kasdan have taken over screenwriting duties on “Star Wars: Episode VII,” replacing “Toy Story 3″-scribe Michael Arndt, who was originally hired to pen the project.


TNT Orders Reality Series ‘Wake Up Call’ from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
is continuing its relationship with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the unscripted space, as the cable net orders “Wake Up Call” to series. “Wake Up Call” will feature Johnson lending a helping hand to everyday people who are facing enormous challenges in their lives, whether they be dead-beat dads, sports teams that don’t gel, or business owners struggling to survive. Johnson will bring his own brand of motivation to each group of people, from 4 a.m. wake-up calls, to emotional reunions and goal setting. TNT has ordered eight hourlong episodes.


NBC News’ Vivian Schiller to Head Twitter News
Vivian Schiller,
chief digital officer for NBC News and former CEO of NPR, will join Twitter in January as head of the social media company’s news partnerships. Schiller will lead Twitter’s news media team, which highlights “best practices and innovative uses of Twitter by journalists and newsrooms,” according to the description on the website.


Disney’s Jungle Boat Cruise goes Christmas: Jingle Cruise
The Jungle Boat Cruise at Disneyland and Walt Disney World is getting a Christmas show called "Jingle Cruise," with new jokes, decor, and awesome. The description on the official announcement is kind of sparse, but as someone who is privy to inside knowledge, I can attest that this will be amazing.

Ronnie Screwvala to Step Down as Disney India Head
Ronnie Screwvala
the iconic head of Disney-UTV is to quit the powerhouse Indian company with effect from Jan. 1, 2014. He will be replaced by his current number two Siddharth Roy Kapur.


Starz Promotes Melissa Harper, Richter Hartig in Original Programming Production
has upped Melissa Harper and Richter Hartig to senior vice presidents in original programming production, it was announced today. Harper will serve as senior veep of production, and Hartig senior v.p. of original programming production finance.

Shonda Rhimes Among Mogul Mentors of New Intern Sushi Program
A professional networking program from founder and CEO Shara Senderoff’s LinkedIn competitor offers users chances to sit down with industry power players such as the ‘Scandal’ creator and showrunner.