Morning News Update for Friday, 10/25/13.


Fox Buys Retirement Home Comedy From Twitter Writer Kelly Oxford
has put in development a single-camera comedy from Kelly Oxford, a Twitter star with more than 550,000 followers. The untitled project, which has a script commitment, is based upon Oxford’s real-life work in a retirement home and centers on a 30-year-old single mom who runs the recreation department of a senior center. Warner Bros TV is producing, with Oxford co-executive producing.

Amazon Developing Upstairs/Downstairs Period Drama About Rise Of Los Angeles
Amazon Studios
has put in developmentGrand Ave, a large-scale period drama set in 1910 Los Angeles. Written by Ian Goldberg based on a story he penned with producer Jessika Borsiczky,Grand Ave chronicles the explosive, overnight transformation of L.A. from small town to iconic American city. The show revolves around a powerful, ruthless family and explores — in an upstairs/downstairs fashion — how the destiny of a select few coincided with a major metropolis on the verge of its grand arrival. Goldberg and Borsiczky, who worked together on ABC’s Flash Forward, will executive produce.

12 Years a Slave Screenwriter to Pen American Crime Drama for ABC
has put into development American Crime, a racially tinged drama pilot penned by John Ridley, the screenwriter of the critically acclaimed film 12 Years A Slave. Set in California’s Central Valley, American Crime looks at how a racially charged murder and the subsequent trial are examined through the personal lives of the victims, the accused and their families. Ridley will also serve as an executive producer, alongside former ABC Studios drama head Michael McDonald, whose Stearns Castle shingle is producing the pilot.

BET orders first scripted series
Viacom’s BET has ordered Being Mary Jane, its first-ever scripted series. A follow-up to BET’s original TV movie of the same name, the series will launch in January in a 10pm slot on the US cable net. The 8x1hr show follows a successful cable news anchor, Mary Jane Paul (played by Gabrielle Union). The movie, which was effectively a back-door pilot for the series, will be reshown ahead of the launch of the new show.

Jane Seymour to Go After James Caan on ‘Back in the Game’
The actress is set to appear in an upcoming episode of freshman ABC comedy. She’ll play Danny’s (Griffin Gluck) teacher, Ms Crosby, whose intimidating demeanor has earned her the nickname "The Eviscerator." And in true Seymour fashion, Ms Crosby is also something of a man-eater — setting her sights on The Cannon (James Caan), who is less than responsive.

TV Networks’ Pilot Spending Reflects Cable Competition
On paper, it appears that each of the Big Four networks is on track to shoot about 40 to 50 pilots for the 2014-15 development cycle — numbers that are, of course preposterous. For the past decade, the major broadcast nets have produced 20-25 pilots apiece. ABC and NBC have been on the high end of that range in recent years. But this year, the Big Four have been on a tear in handing out lofty-sounding commitments to projects.


‘We’re The Millers’ Producer Benderspink Options Sci-Fi Novel ‘Day One’
has teamed with Macmillan Films to develop the science fiction novelDay Oneby Nate Kenyon. Dean Loftis will write the script. Set in the near future, the book details a journalist’s attempt to escape New York to rescue his pregnant wife and young son during the chaotic first 24 hours of a sentient computer takeover.


Fusion Unveils Plans For Nightly Sports Talk Show
, the new ABC/Univision joint venture debuting Monday, announced its new “outrageous” half hour of sport-talk mayhem, SportsTalker, which the network promises, takes sports commentary to the next level. Set in what Fusion described as “tricked out suburban basement”, where three members of comedy troupe Harvard Sailing Team will combine elements of talk radio, late-night comedy, and improv performance.


MTV Boasts Binge-Viewing App Plans For New ‘Walt Til Next Year’
today said it has become the first network to pre-release an entire season of a series exclusively on an app. Viewers can watch all 12 episodes of the new docu-drama Wait ‘Til Next Year via the MTV app, available on iPhone, iPad and Xbox 360 for Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S., a week before its TV premiere.


BBC orders Gangsta Granny
is making a TV version of kids book Gangsta Granny. The one-hour TV special based on the book will go out as part of the BBC One’s Christmas schedule. The story follows a boy and his grandmother as they attempt a jewel heist. BBC Comedy will produce with Bert Productions.

Peaky Blinders Gets Second Season on BBC Two
has re-commissioned the 1920s-set gangster drama Peaky Blinders, from creator and writer Steven Knight. The second season will be produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions. The story centres on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps (hence the title), and their ambitious and highly dangerous boss Tommy Shelby.


New Marvel iPad App & Stylus Now Available
Disney Consumer Products
(DCP) and Marvel Entertainment have released the Marvel Creativity Studio app and stylus, made exclusively for iPads. The free application allows children to draw, color and animate a selection of Marvel characters from Avengers Assemble, The Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. The stylus, which is being sold at mass retailers, gives users unlimited access to locked content and future updates.


Exec Shuffle For 10/25/13: 20th Century Fox, HBO, Chernin Entertainment
ABC Entertainment: Michelle Aponte
has been promoted to Manager, Comedy & International Scripted Development; Brittany Cope has been promoted to Coordinator, Comedy Development.
Paramount Television: Jennifer Howell was named Head, Comedy.
TriStar Productions:
Lindsay Sloan will join as Senior Vice President, Television starting in November.
Chernin Entertainment: Ivana Schechter-Garcia has been promoted to Vice President, Film.
Mythology Entertainment: Jon Silk has joined as Executive Vice President, Development & Production.
New Regency: Pam Abdy has joined as President of Production.
Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC): Helen Asimakis was named Senior Director, Drama, and Michelle Daly has been promoted to Senior Director, Comedy.
Hearst Entertainment & Syndication:George Kliavkoff and Neeraj Khemlani have been promoted to Co-Presidents of the company.
Lionsgate Television: Melissa Darman and Jocelyn Sabo have joined as Managers, TV.
Esquire Network: Dave Serwatka has joined as Vice President, Current Programming.
Pivot: Chris Loveall has joined as Director, Scripted Programming.


Nikki Finke Claims to Be Leaving Deadline, Announces
Nikki Finke
says she is set to leave the website she founded and start over again at, announcing it on Twitter on Thursday. “I am building out and will unveil it right after the new year,” she tweeted. “Can’t wait to report the real truth about Hollywood.” Finke added in another tweet: “All that’s left is for the lawyers to disentangle me from [owner Jay] Penske. I have no idea why he has fought so hard to keep me. I’ll be free soon.”

Bisexuality on TV: It’s Getting Better
The quality of bisexual television characters is, on the whole, improving. Revenge, for instance, created the character of Nolan Ross, one of the few representations of bisexual men in the media. To its credit, Revenge reveals Ross’s sexuality in a way that doesn’t capitalize on the supposed shock value of two men having sex. Ross tosses out the information casually, like any other fact about himself, suggesting to the audience that this knowledge isn’t a great revelation—not because Ross is the most dapper man in the Hamptons, but because bisexuality is not a big deal.

(opinion) Entertainment Geekly: How to fix ‘Agents of SHIELD’
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
is a resolutely okay TV show. It’s neither great nor terrible, neither inspired nor boring.
I’m just saying it could be much better. Recognizing that Marvel seems extremely anxious about taking any chances with the show, I’ve offered up a few suggestions with three tiers of radicalness: Soft Touch, Big Shift, and Full-Scale Reboot.