Afternoon News Update for Thursday, 11/14/13.


Fox Developing Remake of Spanish TV Hit ‘Red Band Society’
has teamed with film producer Sergio Aguero and scribe Margaret Nagle on a remake of the Spanish TV drama “Red Band Society,” from Amblin TV and ABC Studios. Project is a darkly comic coming of age drama about a group of six teenagers with serious medical conditions who work to save themselves from boredom while in the hospital (where red wrist bands signal the severity of their conditions). The original series, “Polseres Vermelles,” has been a big hit in Spain on TV3.

NBC Buys Dad Comedy From Bill Lawrence & Dan Lagana
has put in development a multi-camera comedy produced by Bill Lawrence. Written by Dan Lagana, Stand-Up Guy centers on a young comedian who pursues his lifelong dream of being a working standup while juggling the growing responsibilities of being a husband and soon-to-be-father at home. Warner Bros. TV and Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer are producing, with Lagana, Lawrence and Jeff Ingold executive producing.

FX Developing ‘Rasputin’ Limited Series From Shekhar Kapur & Paul Scheuring
Rasputin, from Indian film director Shekhar Kapur, tells the story of the Russian peasant and mystic who became an advisor to the Russian Imperial family. Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring will write the script based on the upcoming book Rasputin: Dark Forces And The Fall of The Romanovs by Douglas Smith. Per FX, the event series centers on “one of the most controversial characters in history who is held responsible for bringing down the Russian Empire and changing the course of the world as we know it” and answers the question, “who was he really beyond the folklore, a true healer or the greatest charlatan the world has known?”

NBC to Co-Produce Canadian Comedy ‘Working the Engels’
In what marks the first time a U.S. and Canadian broadcaster have teamed to produce a network comedy, NBC has struck a deal to co-produce Global TV’sWorking the Engels.” The Peacock will air the comedy, though the net has yet to select a premiere date. Halfhour sitcom hails from Halfire-CORE Entertainment in partnership with Shaw Media. Under the pact, NBC will co-produce 12 episodes of the comedy, which stars comedy and legit vet Andrea Martin. Katie Ford and Jane Ford created and penned the series. “Working the Engels” centers on a family who must band together to keep their heads above water when their father and breadwinner passes away, leaving them with a mountain of debt.

AMC Renews Hell on Wheels for ‘Super-Sized’ Season 4 — What About Low Winter Sun?
AMC is bringing back the period drama for a fourth season — and with an increased episode order to boot. AMC has expanded Season 4 (bowing next summer) to 13 episodes — up from 10 for the first three seasons.

Parenthood: Jason Ritter Set to Return
Jason Ritter
has inked a deal to reprise his role as Mark Cyr, estranged boyfriend of Laura Graham’s Sarah, during Parenthood‘s current fifth season. As of now, Ritter is on board for just one episode.

(video) First Look: In TNT’s Noir Drama Mob City, ‘Nobody Gets Out Alive’
When it comes to the law in 1947 Los Angeles, things are far from black and white — as evidenced in the latest promo for TNT’s well-pedigreed noir drama Mob City.

(video) Heather Graham, Ellen Burstyn Are Crazy Parents in ‘Flowers in the Attic’ Remake Trailer
The second adaptation of author Virginia C. Andrews’ 1979 psychological horror novel of the same name premieres on Lifetime in January.


Shawn Levy To Direct Fox’s ‘City That Sailed’ With Will Smith Aboard To Star
Shawn Levy has been tapped to develop and direct City That Sailed, the 20th Century Fox adventure pic that now officially has Will Smith aboard to star. Audrey Wells is penning the script for the tentpole and Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment will produce. The story centers on a father and daughter on the island of Manhattan as it breaks loose and sails across the Atlantic Ocean. The pic reteams Levy and Fox, where his 21 Laps banner is based.


‘Daily Show’s’ John Oliver to Host HBO Show
has won the sweepstakes to land John Oliver for a show. The “Daily Show” correspondent’s move to topline his own series was only a matter of time after his well- received stint substituting for Jon Stewart this summer. HBO said Thursday that Oliver will host a weekly topic comedy series to air on Sunday nights starting next year.

‘Nashville’ Star Charles Esten Makes Daytime ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ History by Becoming the First Celebrity Contestant Ever to Make it all the Way to the Million Dollar Question
Actor Charles Esten, who portrays Deacon Claybourne on the hit ABC series “Nashville,” will appear as a contestant on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” with new host Cedric “The Entertainer”.


Fox, American Express Take To Twitter To Promote Sharing Of TV-Show Clips
Are clips of TV sitcoms and dramas passed around digitally as valuable to advertisers as the shows themselves? Fox and American Express are voting in the affirmative. In a new pact that may be the first to attach a sponsor to clips of scripted broadcast-network TV programs distributed on Twitter, the financial-services company will run pre-roll ads before clips of Fox shows.


Businessweek: Disney Needs to Worry About the Jimmy Kimmel Controversy in China
If anti-ABC protests in the U.S. turn into anti-Disney protests in China, the bad publicity could spoil the company’s plans to win over Chinese consumers in time for the opening of its newest theme park, now under construction in Shanghai.


Time: Is There Too Much Great TV or Too Little?
We’re no longer in a so-called Golden Age dominated by a few great shows. But now there are golden nuggets everywhere, and that’s a very good thing.

Blacklist: Similar but different
Sequels. Prequels. Remakes. Reboots. Why do Hollywood studios choose to go this route with such familiar material? Why not fill their development slates with bold projects full of fresh ideas and innovative stories? That would run entirely counter to the working ethos which informs the studio system decision-making process, a business mantra that can best be summed up in this manner: What they are inclined to buy, develop, and produce are projects, including screenplays, that are similar but different.

Pop Culture Pet Peeve: TV shows with bad special effects
I’m not in love with unnecessary effects, especially when it comes to TV shows. When the special effects teams for certain shows are already tirelessly working away on a tight schedule (and often a tight budget), there’s no need to squeeze in elaborate shots that require green-screen heavy lifting. Fake backgrounds and awkward-looking scenes just take me out of what I’m watching. (Unless it’s Sharknado, of course.)

Has ‘The Daily Show’ Bumped ‘SNL’ as TV’s Premiere Comedy Launchpad?
Has “The Daily Show” supplanted “Saturday Night Live” as a launching pad for modern comedy talent? It’s a judgment call, but in light of the latest budding star to break out of the former, a barroom debate well worth having.