Afternoon News Update for Friday, 11/22/13.


‘Blanco’ Gets Cinemax Pilot Order With Shiloh Fernandez Starring, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo Directing
has given a pilot greenlight to Blanco, a drama project which has cast Shiloh Fernandez as the lead. Feature director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo will direct the pilot, from Fox TV Studios and Lakeshore Entertainment. Blanco, which had been heating up at Cinemax since the summer, with the producers exploring casting and directing options, was written by Mark Rosner. It centers on Ruben, an uptown gangster — nicknamed Blanco for being a light-skinned Dominican — who uses his status as a confidential informant to turn the tables on law enforcement and build his criminal empire.

Legendary TV & Overbrook Sell Half-Hour Starring Comedian Trevor Noah To Fox
Legendary Television
has sold its second major broadcast project, this time on the comedy side. The company has teamed with James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment for a half-hour comedy at Fox, which will star top South African comedian Trevor Noah. The project, inspired by Noah’s comedy and life, is being written by Sameer Gardeezi. Noah will produce. Noah’s comedy draws on his experience growing up in Soweto as the son of a Swiss father and South African mother and reflects his observations on race and ethnicity.

Lifetime Renews ‘Witches of East End’ for Second Season
The cabbler has renewed its fantasy drama “Witches of East End” for a second season with a 13-episode order for 2014.

‘Instant Mom’ Renewed by Nickelodeon for Second Season
Nickelodeon has renewed “Instant Mom” for a second season, ordering 20 new episodes of the Tia Mowry-Hardrict-starrer for Nick at Nite and NickMom. Cabler has also ordered an additional six segs to be tacked onto the show’s first run. Multi-cam family sitcom, which debuted in September, centers on Stephanie (Mowry-Hardrict), a party girl who finds herself parenting three kids when she marries Charlie.

50 Cent to Recur on Starz Series ‘Power’
Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson has added “cast member” to his list of duties on the upcoming Starz drama “Power.” Jackson, who’s among the executive producers on the project, has signed on for a recurring role on the series, which is currently in production in New York.

Alums of Grey’s, Leverage, Gossip Girl Join Jason O’Mara in USA’s Complications
Four TV vets are entering the tangled web that is Complications, USA Network’s gritty medical drama pilot starring VegasJason O’Mara. Joining the project (from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix) as series regulars are Jessica Szohr, Beth Riesgraf, Lauren Stamile and Demetrius Grosse.

(sched) FX Unveils January 2014 Premieres for ‘Justified’, ‘Archer’ and ‘Chozen’
January 7, 2014 Justified Season 5 premieres Tuesday, 1/7 @10pm e/p. January 8, 2014 American Horror Story: Coven returns Wednesday, 1/8 @ 10pm e/p. January 13, 2014 Archer Season 5 premieres Monday, 1/13 @10pm e/p. January 13, 2014 Chozen Series premieres Monday, 1/13 @10:30pm e/p. January 2014 Anger Management Continues Thursdays @ 9:30pm e/p

(review) THR: ‘Getting On’ and ‘Ja’mie: Private School Girl’
With “Getting On” and “Ja’mie: Private School Girl,” the channel is trotting out two series trying too hard and making viewers suffer because of it.


Disney Sets Release Dates for ‘Alice In Wonderland’ Sequel, ‘The Jungle Book’
has announced the release dates for two classic tales. “Alice in Wonderland 2″ will arrive May 27, 2016 while “The Jungle Book” opens Oct. 9, 2015. Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska will return for the “Alice” sequel, which will be directed by “The Muppets” helmer James Bobin. Jon Favreau is directing the live-action its adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’sThe Jungle Book.”


Jason Blum, Mike Darnell Sell Haunted House Project to ABC
Mike Darnell
has sold his first big network project since settling into his new role at Warner Bros. TV this summer. Though the studio and the network, ABC, are keeping mum on details surrounding the pilot order, the unscripted entry will deal with haunted houses. Fittingly, Warner Horizon is in business with horror master Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions on the untitled project, with Blum attached as the potential series’ executive producer.

Katie Couric Negotiating ABC News Exit
is set to exit her role as ABC News special correspondent early as she nears a deal for an interview show on Yahoo.


Pixar Lays Off Nearly 5% of Staff
Pixar Animation Studios
has laid off less than 5% of its staff due to the delay of its upcoming film “The Good Dinosaur,” according to a company spokesperson. Earlier this year, “The Good Dinosaur” was pushed back from its original release date of May 30, 2014, to Nov. 25, 2015, leaving the award-winning company without a film in 2014.


Ryan Seacrest Prods. CEO Adam Sher to Exit
Sher will continue to work on Seacrest’s talent business and other entrepreneurial opportunities, with a new chief likely to be appointed in early 2014.

Exec Shuffle For 11/22/13: Asylum Entertainment, Endemol Beyond, APA, Tribune Company
Endemol Beyond:
Endemol has launched this new unit with an initial $40 million investment, in order to expand its digital video business in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Will Keenan has joined as President, Endemol Beyond USA, and Georg Ramme was named Managing Director, Endemol Beyond International.
ABC Signature Studios: Wei Chen has joined as Manager.
Lin Pictures: Ryan Halprin has been promoted to Creative Executive.
Permut Presentations: Chris Mangano has been promoted to Vice President, Production and Development.
Primeridian Entertainment: Betsy Smith has joined as Director, Development.
Asylum Entertainment: Joan Harrison has joined as Senior Vice President, Scripted Programming and Development.
Cap Gun Collective: William Hamm has joined as Executive Producer, Original Content, Cap Gun TV
Tigress Productions: Pete Lawrence will join as Creative Director at the start of 2014.
Lifetime: Mariana Flynn
has joined as Vice President, Non-Fiction Programming.
Oxygen Media: Brie Miranda Bryant
has been promoted to Vice President, Development and Production, Original Programming.
WEtv: Ally Lattman has joined as Vice President, Scripted Programming.


Comcast’s 2014 Rates Will Include A $1.50 “Broadcast TV Fee”
The cable giant will score some PR points next year when consumers open their monthly bills. Instead of hiking rates for “limited basic” and “digital preferred” service, Comcast will tack on a new $1.50 charge that it calls a “Broadcast TV Fee” — designed to point a finger at TV stations that demand rising retransmission consent payments.

50th anniversary of the JFK assassination
Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. As the shocked nation grieved for the popular president, more inconceivable events followed. Within hours, a new president was sworn in and within days the shooter was caught and then killed by a local businessman on live TV. Nov. 22 is filled with events to mark this dark day in American history.