Morning News Update for Wednesday, 11/6/13.


Carol Mendelsohn Teams With ‘Scandal’s’ Judy Smith for CBS Medical Crisis Drama
has picked up a script for The Advocate, a drama from CSI EP Carol Mendelsohn and Scandal co-EP Judy Smith, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. From writer Ayelet Waldman, the drama centers on a former doctor who has found her calling as a medical advocate, where she works on behalf of patients and their loved ones, solving medical crises and mysteries and guaranteeing people the care they deserve.

Waldman will pen the script for the CBS Television Studios drama and executive produce alongside Mendelsohn and Carol Mendelsohn

American Horror Story Renewed for Season 4
announced Wednesday that the spooky smash will return for a fourth season. The new season is slated to begin in late 2014.

El Rey Casts Leads In ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’, Taps Showrunners For K/O Action Series
DJ Cotrona, Zane Holtz
and Jesse Garcia are set to star in English-language network El Rey’s first original series, From Dusk Til Dawn, based on the cult horror movie by El Rey’s Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Like the movie, the El Rey/FactoryMade-produced series centers on career criminal Seth Gecko (Cotrona) and his older, seriously unstable brother Richie (Holtz). Rodriguez wrote and is directing the first episode. Filming has started this week in Austin, TX.

Meanwhile, El Rey has assembled the writing and producing team for its second original series, from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s K/O Paper Products. Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie have joined the untitled action drama as executive producers and showrunners. They are writing the first episode, which will be directed by Rodriguez. The adventure drama is said to be a lighter, Latino take on James Bond. It centers on a playboy soccer star who in reality is a skilled covert operative, executing missions for a little known branch of the CIA.

MTV Pilot ‘Eye Candy’ Casts Quartet, ‘Finding Carter’ Finds Director
Oleysa Rulin, Justin Martin, Harvey Guillen
andLilan Bowden have been cast in the MTV cyber thriller pilotEye Candy, about Lindy (Victoria Justice), a reclusive hacker whose blog exposes everything from terrorist plots to suspected killers. She is targeted by a dangerous cyber stalker and teams up with the city’s cyber-crime unit to catch him.

Feature/music video director Scott Speer (Step Up 4) is set to direct MTV’s other drama pilot Finding Carter.

ABC Family’s ‘Melissa & Joey’ Adds ‘666 Park Avenue’ Alum
Samantha Logan
will recur on the comedy series, while professional chef Robert Irvine is set to guest star.

(scheduling) Netflix Sets ‘Lilyhammer’ Season 2 Bow for Dec. 13, Releases Trailer
Netflix has set the premiere date for season 2 of drama “Lilyhammer,” with Steven Van Zandt reprising his role as a mob hit man relocated to the Norwegian hinterlands. All eight one-hour episodes of the drama will be available Dec. 13 to customers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

(scheduling) Comedy Series ‘Ja’mie: Private School Girl’ Debuts Nov. 24 on HBO
From Australian sensation Chris Lilley, the six-episode comedy series JA’MIE: PRIVATE SCHOOL GIRL debuts SUNDAY, NOV. 24 (10:30-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. Lilley, who created and starred in the acclaimed series “Summer Heights High” and “Angry Boys,” created, wrote and stars in the title role of this new series.


Jon Favreau In Talks To Helm New Disney Adaptation Of Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’
Disney is in negotiations with Jon Favreau to helm The Jungle Book, a new adaptation of the 1894 Rudyard Kipling novel that is a priority project for the studio. Justin Marks, scripter of The Raven, will turn in a draft shortly, and the studio hopes to get into production next year.


Which Nashville Stars Are Performing at the CMA Awards?
Bummed that Nashville isn’t on this week? Don’t fret because you can catch the cast at the Country Music Awards. Hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, the live broadcast will feature Connie Britton and Charles Esten as presenters. Lennon and Maisy Stella, who play Maddie and Daphne Conrad, are set to perform.


Amazon Starts a Semi-Secret Digital Focus Group for Its Homegrown TV Shows and Movies.
Here’s the way Amazon describes the program, which it is calling “Amazon Preview”: Amazon Preview is an exclusive opportunity for entertainment fans to help shape Movies and TV Series. Once you’ve accepted our invitation, we will email you opportunities to view and provide feedback on entertainment projects — before they’re available to anyone else. We’ll share concepts, storyboards, test movies and even television pilots with Amazon Preview members and use the feedback we collect from them to make entertainment projects better.


FremantleMedia Acquires Majority Stake In Danish Scripted Producer Miso Film
is expanding its scripted business with this acquisition in the hot Nordic region. Miso Film‘s TV credits include the recently launched Dicte, and Those Who Kill, a drama being remade for A&E with Chloë Sevigny and James D’Arcy starring. It’s also working on 1864, an epic war drama series directed by Ole Bornedal that’s Denmark’s biggest production ever.


Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher Splitting After 22 Years
Producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher will be splitting up after 22 years, they told TheWrap exclusively on Wednesday. The producing pair, with classics like “Get Shorty,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained” in their canon of work, will likely be shutting Double Feature Films, but will continue to make television programs together.

THR: Next Gen 2013: Hollywood’s New Class
In its 20th incarnation, The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation list remains the definitive guide for the best and brightest up-and-comers in the business.
Ben Davis / AMC, vp scripted programming
Michelle Lee / True Jack Productions, head of development
Kathleen McCaffrey / HBO, director of original series
Brooke Posch / Comedy Central, vp original programming/development, East Coast
Pavun Shetty / Chernin Entertainment, vp comedy
Lindsey Springer / DreamWorks TV, head of development
Andy Weil / Universal Television, vp comedy development


The Remaining 300 Blockbuster Stores to Close
DISH Network Corporation
announced today that they will be closing the remaining 300 Blockbuster locations. On the move, DISH president Joseph P. Clayton said, "This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment." (A sentence Netflix’s president is about to get tattooed on his back.) DISH will maintain the Blockbuster brand for its DISH customers in the form of Blockbuster On Demand, their transactional streaming service. R.I.P., Blockbuster retail locations.

TOLDJA! Nikki Finke Leaves Deadline
Nikki Finke has officially parted ways with Deadline Hollywood, the website she founded in 2006 and sold to car racing scion Jay Penske in 2009.

Lady Gaga to Perform in Outer Space
Lady Gaga is going to be the first woman to sing in outer space. No really. According to Us Weekly, Gaga will perform a song from the Virgin Galactic ship during the three-day Zero G Colony tech festival in New Mexico in 2015. Gaga is schedule to blast off on the third day at dawn, which is about six months after the first Virgin Galactic commercial flight will take off.

(gaming) Call of Duty: Ghosts nets more than $1 billion in sales into retail day one
Call of Duty: Ghosts has sold more than $1 billion in sales worldwide into retail in the one day period following its launch, Activision announced today.