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


Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Silverman Sell Interracial Rom-Com to ABC
Electus, with Whoopi Goldberg and Principato-Young, has sold a comedy spec script to ABC entitled Iman & Andy. The half-hour focuses on the romance of two 20-something interracial coworkers who work at a Huffington Post-like online magazine that have been happily dating in secret for months. Their dating bliss is quickly put into a tailspin when their new editor-in-chief arrives on the scene, exposes them as a couple and forces them to team up on a relationship advice vlog. The single-camera entry is written by Angela Ruhinda, with Goldberg and Tom Leonardis of Whoop Inc as well as Electus’ Jimmy Fox, Silverman and Principato-Young Entertainment attached as executive producers.

HBO Developing Comedy from Diablo Cody, Oprah Winfrey
Diablo Cody
and Oprah Winfrey have set a comedy project at HBO based on Dr. Julie Holland’s forthcoming book “Moody Bitches.” The laffer will lift from the psychiatrist’s source material and expose “the truth about the drugs you’re taking, the sex you’re not having, the sleep you’re missing and what’s really making you crazy,” as the book’s extended title says. Cody will write the pilot script and exec produce alongside Winfrey. Harpo Films will produce the comedy.

Comedy Central Orders Asylum Comedy Pilot From Nick Turner & Lee Rubenstein
Comedy Central
has greenlighted Crazy House, a single-camera comedy pilot written and co-executive produced by stand-up comedians Nick Turner and Lee Rubenstein. The project revolves around two friends who, after accidentally sending their boss into a coma via an office prank, successfully plead insanity and are sentenced to an asylum.

‘Family Guy’ EP/Co-Showrunner Steve Callaghan Inks Overall Deal With 20th TV
Family Guy veteran Steve Callaghan has signed a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, his second overall pact with the studio that produces the long running animated series. Under the new deal, Callaghan will continue his duties as executive producer/co-showrunner of the 12th season of Family Guy, alongside Rich Appel.

Marley Shelton To Topline Lifetime Pilot ‘The Lottery’; Noah Bean In Syfy’s ‘12 Monkeys’
Marley Shelton (Eleventh Hour) is set as the lead in Lifetime’s dystopian-future drama pilot The Lottery, written by Timothy J. Sexton and directed by Danny Cannon. The series centers on Dr. Alison Scott (Shelton), the brilliant fertility specialist whose breakthrough in fertilizing 100 viable eggs may have life-and-death consequences she could not have anticipated.

Noah Bean is reuniting with his Nikita co-star Aaron Stanford in 12 Monkeys, Syfy‘s drama pilot based on the 1995 Terry Gilliam movie. Also joining the pilot is Emmy winner Željko Ivanek (Damages), who will guest star.

Elizabeth Rohm & J.R. Ramirez Join Starz’s ‘Power’; Rachel Blanchard In FX’s ‘Fargo’
Elizabeth Rohm
andJ.R. Ramirez have joined the cast of Starz’s drama seriesPower, about wealthy New York City nightclub owner James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), who wants to build an empire and turn the club into a Fortune 500 business.

Rachel Blanchard (Flight Of The Conchords) has been cast in a recurring role inFargo, FX‘s first limited series. Blanchard will play Kitty Nygaard, sister-in-law to Martin Freeman’s Lester Nygaard.

(sched) Syfy Sets Return Dates for Lost Girl, Being Human, Plus the Premieres of Helix and Bitten
Syfy will ring in the new year with more than a half-dozen big premieres — Helix, which follows a team of CDC scientists (led by The 4400‘s Billy Campbell) who travel to a remote high-tech research facility to investigate a possible outbreak, will debut Friday, Jan. 10 at 10/9c, with two episodes. On Monday, Jan. 13 starting at 8pm, Syfy will bust out back-to-back-to-back scripted dramas: Season 4 of Lost Girl, Season 4 of Being Human and then the premiere of Bitten, a Canadian-produced series based on the Women of the Otherworld novels and starring Vandervoort as the lone female werewolf in existence.


Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Producing DC Entertainment’s ‘Sleeper’ for Warner Bros.
Warner Bros
. is ramping up development of “Sleeper,” a long-in-development DC Entertainment property that’s set up with producers Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Jennifer Todd. The studio has brought on the writing team of Shawn Ryan and David Wiener to pen the adaptation. “Sleeper” — set in noir universe where a few people are spontaneously developing superpowers — follows Holden Carver, a man who can absorb pain and pass it on to others, as he infiltrates a criminal organization on behalf of a law enforcement agency.


Comedy Central Renews ‘Adam Devine’s House Party’
The stand-up series hybrid Adam Devine’s House Party has been renewed for a second season, with eight episodes ordered to air in 2014. The first season currently airs at 12:30 AM Thursdays and center’s on Devine’s massive party in an LA mansion, with up-and-coming comedians stopping by to perform stand-up sets on a backyard stage. Each episode mixes scripted storylines with stand-up.

MTV Cancels Talk Show ‘Nikki & Sara Live’
The late-night series from Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer will not return after two seasons.


(stage) Disney Looks Beyond the Magic Kingdom for Broadway Prospects
As underscored by the recent movement on a couple of projects — including a developing stage version of “The Princess Bride” and a play adaptation of “Shakespeare in Love” gearing up for a 2014 West End bow — the company’s legit slate is showing the kind of broad range that matches up philosophically with the increasing diversity of the larger Disney portfolio.


Disney CEO Bob Iger Shares His Approach to Leadership at UCLA Awards Gala
Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, shared a secret at the end of an interview Thursday evening in Beverly Hills, where he was presented with the John Wooden Global Leadership Award by Judy Olian, Dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Iger said it starts with a great team and then it is about finding ways to keep them in the “relentless pursuit of perfection and winning “the right way.” That means working hard and being creative but never putting the integrity of the company on the line.

Another NBC Universal Shakeup: Syfy Films Upended as Execs Exit
Syfy Films — a joint venture between Syfy and Universal — is getting a shake-up. Gregory Noveck, senior vp at Syfy Films, as well as director of development, Joshua Banta, are leaving as parent NBCU refocuses its plan for the division.