Afternoon News Update for Wednesday, 11/27/13.


ABC, HBO, BBC catch up with Jonah
Australian pubcaster ABC, HBO in the US and the UK’s BBC3 have commissioned another series from Angry Boys and We Can Be Heroes creator Chris Lilley. Laura Waters’ prodco Princess Pictures and Lilley are working on Jonah (6×30’), which follows the further adventures of the bored Tongan teenage delinquent from another Lilley series, Summer Heights High. Lilley’s Jonah character was expelled from the school at the end of the mockumentary series and sent to live with his father in Tonga. The latest series follows his life there.

BBC America Picks Up Second Season Of ‘Atlantis’
BBC America
has picked up the second season of British fantasy-adventure series Atlantis. The BBC, which originally commissioned the show inspired by Greek mythology, has already renewed it for a second season. The series follows the adventures of Jason (Jack Donnelly), Hercules (Mark Addy) and Pythagoras (Robert Emms) who battle against some of the most famous names of Greek legend, often in unexpected guises.

Melissa Ponzio To Recur On NBC’s ‘Chicago Fire’, Kevin Ryan Joins ‘Crossbones’
Melissa Ponzio
has booked a recurring role on NBC’s firefighter drama Chicago Fire. She will play Donna, a love interest to Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker).

Copper alum Kevin Ryan is set to recur on another NBC hourlong series, the upcoming Crossbones. On the pirate drama, he will play Finnegan, a heavily-tattooed, hard and solemn pirate with a scar across one eye, who becomes involved with Blackbeard (John Malkovich).

ABC’s Killer Women Targets Weeds Baddie Kate del Castillo, Mad Men’s Mrs. Draper
Killer Women doesn’t debut until Tuesday, Jan. 7, but already we’ve got casting scoop for its freshman finale. Mexican superstar Kate del Castillo will guest-star as Esmeralda Montero, the leader of a drug cartel involved in the kidnapping of someone close to Molly. In the same episode, Melinda Page Hamilton will play Hillary Barnes, a DEA Agent who joins in pursuit of the kidnappers. Previously announced Killer Women guest stars include Leverage‘s Beth Riesgraf and Under the Dome‘s Aisha Hinds.

Straight to Series: The Networks’ Big-Money Bet to Skip Pilots
, CBS and NBC have all also ordered at least one early series sans pilot. "It’s become the big thing this season," says Bela Bajaria, head of NBC-owned production studio Universal Television. While both competitive and financial pressures are at the root of the move, some small-screen execs see skipping pilots as a means to a larger end: shaking up the sclerotic system of series development that’s been in place at the networks for decades.

(video) You Can Watch the Pilot for Dan Harmon’s New Adult Swim Show Online Now
Here’s the first episode of Community creator Dan Harmon’s new show, Rick and Morty, which Adult Swim uploaded online this week ahead of its December 2nd premiere. Co-created by Harmon and Channel 101 regular Justin Roiland, Rick and Morty is a Back to the Future-esque animated sci-fi comedy featuring the voices of Chris Parnell, Sarah Chalke, Spencer Grammer, and Roiland as both lead characters.


(feature) Buzzfeed: Can Marvel Studios Change Hollywood?
Since 2008, Marvel Studios’ eight movies have grossed $5 billion in global box office, all thanks to one simple, radical invention: The mega-franchise. Can Hollywood catch up? And should they?


Xbox Video now available on the web
Microsoft’s cloud-based video service, Xbox Video, is now available via the web. Xbox Video allows users to rent or purchase video content. The catalogue, which you can browser through the site, includes more than 300,000 movies and TV episodes. Xbox Video is compatible on Xbox 360, Xbox One, the web and Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets. Support for Windows phones is also planned in future updates.


Eddie Izzard to Star in BBC Science Drama
Eddie Izzard
will star in a BBC science drama about the invention of radar as part of a slew of science program orders that the U.K. public broadcaster unveiled on Wednesday. Izzard will star as Scottish radar inventor Robert Watson-Watt in Castles In The Sky, a factual drama that will tell the story of the fight behind the invention, which saved the country in the Battle of Britain during WWII. Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) will play his wife, Margaret. Directed by Gillies MacKinnon from a script by Ian Kershaw.

Asia TV Success Stories: Korean Dramas, Asian Animation
Aside from Hong Kong’s kung fu movies, Korean dramas and Asian animation are the two genres of local content that have the most success crossing borders within Asia.


Disney Tops $4 Billion At Global Box Office For First Time
Yesterday, The Walt Disney Studios broke the $4 billion mark at the global box office for the first time in its history. The Studio previously announced it had reached a record high on November 12, when it surpassed the $3.791 billion set in 2010. In July, Disney was the first studio to reach the $1 billion domestic box office milestone for the year.


CNN: Anne Sweeney: TV president rewriting rules for digital age
Anne Sweeney
might be one of the most powerful people in television — overseeing ABC TV, ABC Studios, and Disney Channels Worldwide. But when it comes to predicting trends, her two children have always been ahead of the pack. "I’ve always said, if you want to know what the future is, ask a nine-year-old because they’re just so adept," said the 56-year-old, who Fortune named the 18th most powerful woman in business.

Obama’s Closed-Door Meeting With Top Hollywood Brass: Who Was There?
President Obama held a closed-door meeting with top Hollywood brass on Tuesday, a who’s-who of executives representing all six major movie studios and each of the broadcast TV networks — plus the MPAA, Lionsgate and host DreamWorks Animation. Of the eight companies represented, The Walt Disney Co. and NBCUniversal were the only ones with three in the private meeting. The Walt Disney Co.: Chairman-CEO Bob Iger, Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn, Disney/ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney


Should more TV shows be screened in theaters?
In the US alone, the 11 nationwide screenings of Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor that took place Monday night — after the special had aired on TV, by the way — scored a per-screen average of $13,603, performing better than The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which had a $12,300 per screen average and was shown on more than 4,000 screens. Globally, the screenings earned $10.2 million. That’s pretty huge. These results — combined with the overall buzz surrounding the sold-out screenings — also begs the question: Do we want to see more cult television screened in theaters?

George Takei’s official, totally real perfume is named "Eau My"
Designed by none other than Star Trek star George Takei himself. Set Phasers to Stunning.