Morning News Update for Friday, 11/15/13.

SCRIPTED NEWS:

The Mentalist Promotes Emily Swallow to Series Regular Ahead of Dec. 1 Debut
Emily Swallow has been made a full-time member of The Mentalist 2.0. The Monday Mornings actress — who was originally signed for just three episodes — has been promoted to a full-fledged series regular on the CBS procedural two weeks before her first episode even airs.
http://tvline.com/2013/11/15/emily-swallow-the-mentalist-series-regular-season-6-kim-fischer/

NCIS: Los Angeles: Michelle Trachtenberg Cast in Action-Packed Holiday Episode
Michelle Trachtenberg guest-stars in a holiday episode of the CBS drama. In NCIS: LA‘s Dec. 17 outing, Trachtenberg will play Lily , a smart, witty, charming and physically capable environmentalist-slash-private chef.
http://tvline.com/2013/11/15/ncis-los-angeles-cast-michelle-trachtenberg/

(video) Hot TV Trailer: Will Ferrell’s Spoof ‘Spoils Of Babylon’
IFC‘s miniseries parody The Spoils Of Babylon chronicles the sexy and dramatic lives of the complicated Morehouse family who made their fortune in the oil business. Tobey Maguire, Tim Robbins and Kristen Wiig lead the all-star cast which also includes Jessica Alba, Will Ferrell, Jellybean Howie, Val Kilmer, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, and Steve Tom. The six-part series is produced by Funny or Die for IFC.
http://www.deadline.com/2013/11/hot-tv-trailer-will-ferrells-spoof-spoils-of-babylon/

‘The Simpsons’ Lands $750 Mil Cable Syndication, VOD Pact with FXX
Fox’s Twentieth Century Fox TV
and Twentieth TV have set a massive first-ever cable syndication and VOD sale of “The Simpsons” to FX Networks’ new outlet FXX that is worth more than the Gross Domestic Product of some small nations. With 530 episodes and counting, the sale is valued at upwards of $750 million over the life of the deal.
http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/the-simpsons-lands-750-mil-cable-vod-syndication-pact-with-fxx-1200837036/

FEATURE NEWS:

Funny Thing About 2013: 8 Comedies Will Hit $100 Million at the Box Office
What started out as very weak year for movie comedies has turned into a knee-slapper — at least at the box office. With the surprisingly resilient “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” heading for $100 million, and “Anchorman: The Legend Continues” a virtual lock to do so, eight live-action comedies will hit the century mark at the box office this year, according to Box Office Mojo. That’s a lot, at least compared to last year, when only four comedies managed the feat, and 2011, when five hit that mark.
http://www.thewrap.com/movie-comedies-box-office-the-heat-we%27er-the-millers-bad-grandpa

NON-SCRIPTED/ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

Comedy Central Picks-Up 40 Weeks of Late-Night Social Sensation ‘@Midnight’
Points! Comedy Central has picked-up the Chris Hardwick-hosted and Funny Or Die-produced late-night series “@midnight,” and will bring it back in January when “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” return from their end-of-year hiatus. The 40-week order firmly establishes “@midnight” as late-night’s newest hit and provides Comedy Central with another bona fide franchise.
http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013/11/15/comedy-central-picks-up-40-weeks-of-late-night-social-sensation-midnight/215939/

Discovery Cornering Naked Reality TV Genre With Naked Nesting Special/Pilot
Discovery Communications, intent upon owning the naked reality-TV genre, said this morning it will premiere a two-hour special/backdoor pilot, Buying Naked on TLC, on November 20. The special follows two nudist couples as they search for their dream homes.
http://www.deadline.com/2013/11/discovery-cornering-naked-reality-tv-genre-with-naked-nesting-specialpilot/

Tribune Buys ‘Celebrity Name Game’
Tribune Broadcasting has acquired Debmar-Mercury’s new game show, Celebrity Name Game, which will be hosted by Craig Ferguson. The show will air in all of Tribune’s markets, including WPIX New York, KTLA Los Angeles and WGN Chicago. In many markets the show will air in access time periods, with some 70% of the show’s clearances so far between 5 and 8 p.m.
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/496593-Exclusive_Tribune_Buys_Celebrity_Name_Game_.php

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

Bell Media Bolsters Comedy Development Slate
Bell Media
has announced the addition of five new comedy projects to its original development slate. We’re Adults Now comes from Mark McKinney and Breakthrough Entertainment, focusing on a group of 20-somethings. The Team from Rob Sheridan is a multi-camera sitcom about a rag tag group of friends. Letterkenny is based on the YouTube hit Letterkenny Problems and comes from Jared Keeso, New Metric Media and Ben Nemtin. Paul Mather is developing a scripted workplace comedy about lifelong frenemies. Method is loosely based on BravoFACT short of the same name and comes from Ilana Frank’s ICF Films.
http://worldscreen.com/articles/display/42182

ITV Renews Got Talent, X Factor
ITV has sealed a new three-year pact with Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia UK for The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
http://worldscreen.com/articles/display/42174

TWDC NEWS:

Disney Turns to Apps Like ‘Frozen’ Storybook to Get Kids into Movie Theaters
Disney
is hoping story time will mean movie time. The Mouse House has released an app for Walt Disney Studios’ animated “Frozen,” on Apple’s iTunes, that enables young readers to explore the story told in the upcoming toon before it’s released on Nov. 27. The “Frozen Storybook Deluxe” app lets users interact with the story from the perspectives of the two sisters, depending on how they flip their iPad or iPhone. The app also features original music composed for the project.
http://variety.com/2013/digital/news/disney-turns-to-apps-like-frozen-storybook-to-get-kids-into-movie-theaters-1200833254/

Pixar Founder’s Book to Offer Inside Look at Company’s History
Ed Catmull, who founded the company with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986, will detail its rise from a small money-losing computer company, through its 2006 acquisition by Disney and into the present.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/pixar-founders-book-offer-inside-656115

EXECUTIVE/TALENT NEWS:

TV Showrunner Reveals Lessons From Investing in Twitter
One of the high-flying site’s first nine backers, producer Greg Yaitanes, explains how television will evolve to mimic social media during the next five years: "Twitter and TV eventually will be thought of as one and the same."
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/twitter-investment-greg-yaitanes-reveals-655367

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

Comcast to Start Selling Movies, TV Episodes
Comcast is planning to start selling movies and episodes of TV shows through its video-on-demand service, according to reports. The cable company will offer newly-released and older movies and TV episodes from previous seasons through its VOD menu, which previously only offered titles to rent. Subscribers will be able to purchase titles from their cable box or a website and store them in the cloud, enabling them to watch that content on a TV, computer or tablet.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/comcast-start-selling-movies-tv-656354

For Hollywood’s social media managers, tweeting is a living
A strong online presence has become vital for Hollywood stars such as Channing Tatum, Zac Efron and Michelle Rodriguez, who often hire tech-savvy fans to help handle activities on social media.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-ca-mn-laquishe-wright-twitter-manager-channing-tatum-20131117,0,1084671.story

Canada studies TV unbundling
The Canadian government has instructed the country’s television regulator to study the impact on consumers of unbundling cable and satellite TV packages.
http://www.c21media.net/canada-studies-tv-unbundling/

(gaming) ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ Is Top Selling Video Game for Second Month in a Row
Rockstar Games’
Grand Theft Auto V” was the top selling videogame for the second month in a row in October, according to NPD Group, selling nearly 1.1 million units. The game, which raked in more than $800 million on its first day of release and crossed the $1 billion mark in just three days, represented 15% of revenue generated by all games sold last month.
http://variety.com/2013/biz/news/grand-theft-auto-v-is-top-selling-video-game-for-second-month-in-a-row-1200833303/