Morning News Update for Tuesday, 11/19/13.


Billy Ray Adapting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘Last Tycoon’ As HBO Drama Series
Billy Ray
is set to write and direct The Last Tycoon, an HBO drama series project based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final unfinished novel. Chris Keyser is attached as showrunner to the project, which hails from Sony Pictures TV and landed at HBO with penalty. The Last Tycoon centers on Monroe Stahr, Hollywood’s first wunderkind studio executive in the 1930′s as he climbs to the height of power pitting him against his mentor and current head of the studio Pat Brady. With Stahr as a focal point, the series delves into the true violence, sex and towering ambition of Hollywood in the 30′s. Ray and Keyser executive produce with Perri Kipperman, Josh Maurer, David Stern and Alix Witlin.

CW Developing Drama About Sleeper Terrorist Cell At Top New York University
The CW is putting its youthful stamp on the subject of terrorism with an untitled project from Memphis Beat creators Liz W. Garcia and Joshua Harto and producer Bill Haber. Described as Alias meets Homeland, the untitled drama centers on a young female FBI agent with the New York City Joint Terrorism Task Force whose undercover assignment at a prestigious New York university becomes the focus of the entire agency when she discovers a vital terrorist cell hiding in plain sight. Garcia and Harto are writing the script and will exec produce with Haber for Warner Bros. TV and Haber’s Ostar Prods.

NBC Buys Hospital Comedy From ‘Awkward’s Erin Ehrlich & David Janollari
The untitled Erin Ehrlich project, written by Ehrlich, is an ensemble comedy about a group of young 20-something nursing students and the doctors, hospital staff and patents they encounter on their way to becoming full-fledged nurses at St. Genevieve’s Hospital (“Saint G’s”). The show follows their ups and downs as they are just starting out in their careers, and like most young adults, are struggling to figure out who they are, while trying to find love and establish friendships, but with the added pressure of saving lives. Ehrlich exec produces with David Janollari for the NBC comedy produced by Universal TV.

Fox Buys Comedy From Amanda Lund, Matt Gourley, Jack Black & Diablo Cody
has put in development Wunderland, a workplace comedy written by Amanda Lund and Matt Gourley, with Diablo Cody supervising and Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite producing for 20th Century Fox TV. Co-created by Lund and Gourley, Wunderland explores the minutiae behind the scenes of America’s most beloved (fictional) theme park. Cody is executive producing with Electric Dynamite’s Black and Priyanka Mattoo.

MTV picks up 10 more episodes of ‘Awkward’
Well, this could get Awkward. And we mean that in a good way. MTV has picked up season 3′s back 10 episodes, so just in case you were worried, there’s plenty more awkwardness coming your way.

(opinion) TBTN: FOX: ‘Raising Hope’ Is Certain To Be Canceled
Last Spring, Raising Hope was renewed for its current, fourth, season, during which it will reach the 88 episode level that seems to be the minimum these days for extra profitable stripped syndication. That doesn’t mean that this had to be its final season, were its ratings good, it could have evaded the Cancellation Bear for years. Unfortunately for the show, its fractional premiere ratings on Friday make it certain to be canceled this season.

(opinion) TBTN: NBC: Could The Cancellation Bear Devour The Entire NBC Thursday Line Up?
The ratings of the remaining members of NBC’s Thursday line up (Parks & Recreation, Parenthood, Sean Saves The World, and The Michael J Fox Show) are "look away" awful, even for NBC. Could the cancellation bear devour the entire NBC Thursday line up? The cancellation bear judges it unlikely to happen. While he may take down one of the two veterans (Parks & Recreation, Parenthood), at this point he doesn’t think it’s likely he can get both of them. With the mid-season and Spring premieres yet to come, it’s possible that some upside surprises may change that prediction.

(opinion) TBTN: CW: ‘The Tomorrow People’ Is A "Toss Up" For Renewal Or Cancellation
Sadly for the show’s prospects, its last 3 weeks’ 0.6 ratings have dropped it into the relative ratings range that indicates the show could be either canceled or renewed by season end. So, the Cancellation Bear has adjusted his prediction for it to "toss up" between cancellation and renewal.


Lake Bell To Star In Rom-Com ‘Man Up’ Opposite Simon Pegg; ‘Inbetweeners’ Ben Palmer To Direct
Lake Bell
is set to star opposite Simon Pegg in Big Talk Productions and Studio Canal’s Man Up. The romantic comedy centers on single gal Nancy (Bell), who’s mistaken for a stranger’s blind date en route to her parents’ anniversary, leading to her finally finding the perfect boyfriend. Tess Morris penned the script which made the 2011 Brit List, a UK-centric riff on the Black List. Pegg and Nira Park will produce Man Up for their Big Talk banner (Shaun of the Dead, Attack the Block) and have set British TV and film helmer Ben Palmer to direct.


(review) Variety: ‘Bill Cosby: Far From Finished’
Bill Cosby’s
debut on Comedy Central is something of an occasion, and clearly one the legendary comic himself feels obligated to address right up front, reassuring audiences that just because of the venue, he will not curse. What he will do, as he has for 50 years, is gently and to all appearances effortlessly tickle an audience with seemingly universal truths. There’s admittedly nostalgia in seeing Cosby perform again after a 30-year TV standup special hiatus, but he still delivers some of the old wonderfulness.


Apple TV Gets ‘SNL’ Clips and More with Yahoo and PBS Channels
Apple TV
has added channels for Yahoo and PBS, bringing full episodes of some PBS shows as well as short-form videos from Yahoo’s collection of “Saturday Night Live” clips, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and other programming to the Internet set-top.


Russell T Davies Is Coming Back To TV With The Follow-Up To "Queer As Folk"
Russell T Davies is coming back to UK TV with two new drama series "exploring 21st century gay life". Cucumber is an eight-part series of hour-long episodes for Channel 4, while Banana will focus on the younger characters from the parent show, and broadcast eight 30 minute episodes on E4. The project had originally been in development for Showtime in the US, before Davies returned to the UK.

AsiaPac Drama Flies High
Drama series from Australia, Korea and the Philippines have been gaining popularity across Asia and in markets around the world.


Simon Barry And Stephen Hegyes Launch Production Company Reality Distortion Field
The genre-focused company will work to develop original TV series and features for the domestic and international market. Continuum creator-showrunner Simon Barry and Brightlight founder Stephen Hegyes said their Vancouver-based Reality Distortion Field will seek out projects with layered mysteries, smart mythologies, expansive worlds and heady sociopolitical themes.

Lifetime Appoints Mariana Flynn Vice Prez of Nonfiction Programming
Mariana Flynn
has joined Lifetime’s unscripted department as vice president of nonfiction programming. Flynn reports to senior veep of nonfiction Eli Lehrer, and is based in Lifetime’s Los Angeles office.

Ex-Maker Studios Exec Tapped As President Of Endemol Beyond USA
Will Keenan
has been named President, Endemol Beyond USA, effective immediately, Endemol North America announced today. In his role, Keenan will oversee the launch of the newly created digital venture in the U.S. He reports to Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin, co-CEOs and Chairmen, Endemol North America.

NYT: Hollywood Studios Facing Upheaval at Highest Levels
A rolling realignment, seemingly change for change’s sake, has knocked out executives and producers at several major studios.