Morning News Update for Tueday, 12/3/13.


Louis CK Inks Overall Deal With FX Productions For New Series
FX Prods. has inked an overall deal with Louis CK and his company Pig Newton to develop and produce new series. The agreement is separate from Louie. That series returns for Season 4 in May 2014. Under the overall pact, Luis CK’s first, the new series will be created or supervised by Louis CK, who would have the option to write or direct any of them and will executive produce. Blair Breard, an executive producer on Louie, would also serve as a producer or executive producer, with 3 Arts Entertainment attached as producers.

Sin City TV Series in Development
The Weinstein Company is looking to grow its brand with an aggressive push to television. Proposed series include the previously announced MTV “Scream” series, ancient Egyptian detective drama Book of the Dead, martial arts adventure series Marco Polo — presumably based on the Italian merchant’s journeys throughout Asia — and a 10-episode 10 Commandments series. They are also looking at a potential 10-part TV version of The Mist, inspired by the Frank Darabont-directed film, based on Stephen King’s story. While many other scripted and non-scripted projects are in the works, the one that will probably intrigue IGN readers the most is the newly-announced Sin City TV series.

Constance Zimmer Books Arc on NBC’s ‘Growing Up Fisher’
Constance Zimmer is filling up her schedule. The busy actress has booked a recurring role on NBC’s midseason comedy Growing Up Fisher and joined USA Network’s Matt Nix pilot Complications.

(opinion) TBTN: CBS: ‘Mom,’ ‘The Crazy Ones,’ ‘The Millers’ & ‘Two And A Half Men’ Could All Be Renewed
With We Are Men yanked after just two episodes, and How I Met Your Mother in its final season, the other three rookie CBS sitcoms all have a chance at a second season.  The Millers ratings have stayed above CBS’s scripted ratings average, and Mom & The Crazy Ones ratings are close enough below that they would typically be renewed. Into that mix, there’s some chance that Two and a Half Men falls to the bear in May, an old, expensive show with otherwise passable ratings.

(opinion) TBTN: CW: ‘Reign’ & ‘The Tomorrow People’ Will Battle ‘The 100’ & ‘Star-Crossed’ For One Or Two Renewals
The Cancellation Bear long ago took The Originals off his potential menu this season. The other two Fall premiere rookies Reign & The Tomorrow People will vie for one or two remaining rookie renewals with the mid-season shows The 100 & Star-Crossed.

(opinion) TBTN: NBC: ‘The Michael J Fox Show’ Is Certain To Be Canceled
The ratings dive for The Michael J. Fox Show began some time ago, but the Cancellation Bear has finally gotten around to moving his prediction for the show down to certain to be canceled. The ratings for Parks & Recreation are certainly low enough to indicate cancelation, but it has maintained its position as NBC’s highest rated sitcom, low bar as that might be. The bear’s not got a lot of historical precedent on whether that will make a difference or not.

(awards) TV Nominees For PGA Awards Unveiled
The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today, the Television Series/Specials and Digital Series nominees that will advance in the voting process for the 25th Annual Producers Guild Awards.
The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama:
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Downton Abbey (ITV – United Kingdom; PBS – United States)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Homeland (Showtime)
House of Cards (Netflix)

The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy:
30 Rock (NBC)
Arrested Development (Netflix) – Pending Eligibility
Big Bang Theory, The (CBS)
Modern Family (ABC)


Louis Leterrier to Helm Sacha Baron Cohen Spy Comedy ‘Grimsby’ at Paramount (EXCLUSIVE)
Following the success of his film “Now You See Me,” Louis Leterrier is ready to enter the world of espionage and is on board to direct Sacha Baron Cohen’s spy-action comedy “Grimsby” for Paramount. Baron Cohen and Phil Johnston sold the film as a pitch to Paramount last August. Story follows a British black ops agent who is forced to go on the run with his long-lost brother, who is a northern English soccer hooligan.

(awards) New York Film Critics Circle Awards: ‘Fruitvale Station’ Wins Best First Film
The New York Film Critics Circle has become one of the earliest groups to vote on the year’s best performances in film. This morning’s voting is beginning now in NY.

Best Supporting Actor
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Animated Film
The Wind Rises

Best Screenplay
American Hustle

Best Cinematography
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis

Best First Film
Fruitvale Station

Best Non-fiction Film (Documentary)
Stories We Tell


‘Inside Comedy’ Renewed by Showtime for Season Three
Showtime has handed comedy fans an early holiday present, as the pay TV network greenlights a third season of docuseries “Inside Comedy.” From David Steinberg and Steve Carell, program features interviews with comedians and entertainers, exploring their career-defining moments and personal anecdotes from the comedy scene. Showtime will bow the 10-episode third season on Feb. 2.

CNN Chief Jeff Zucker: “We Need More Shows And Less Newscasts”
Zucker gave his first one-on-one interview since taking the gig last January, to Capital New York, which reported he “plans massive change at CNN.” “We’re all regurgitating the same information. I want people to say, ‘You know what? That was interesting. I hadn’t thought of that,’” Zucker said. “The goal for the next six months, is that we need more shows and less newscasts. He wants the network to attract “viewers who are watching places like Discovery and History and Nat Geo and A&E.”


Netflix To Release First Five Episodes of ‘Turbo’ Kids Series on Christmas Eve
Netflix will launch its first original series for kids, DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo FAST, on Dec. 24 at 12:01 a.m. PST. The first five episodes will be available this holiday season with additional episodes premiering throughout the year, a deviation from Netflix’s traditional approach of making an entire season’s worth of episodes of its original series available at one time.


Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is to adapt Princess Michael of Kent’s novel for television
Almost three years after Princess Michael of Kent told me that she was hoping the creator of Downton Abbey would work his magic on The Serpent and the Moon, her historical novel about royal love in Renaissance France, Lord Fellowes has agreed to turn it into a television series. Marie-Christine’s novel is based on the love triangle between the young French king Henri II, his long-suffering wife Catherine de Medici, and his older mistress, Diane de Poitiers.

BBC1 renews Citizen Khan
UK pubcaster the BBC has ordered a third season of studio sitcom Citizen Khan for its flagship channel. The 7×30′ series is being produced by BBC In-house Comedy. It is co-written by its creator Adil Ray, who also plays the lead role as a self-appointed community leader in the city of Birmingham. The show follows the ups and downs of Khan and his British-Asian family.

‘Philomena’s Jeff Pope To Pen Laurel & Hardy Biopic For BBC, Weinstein, Lookout
Jeff Pope is prepping a biopic about legendary comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. The 90-minute TV movie Stan And Ollie will reteam Pope with The Weinstein Co. It’s also a reteam for TWC with the BBC and UK production outfit Lookout Point (Ripper Street). Stan And Ollie will center on Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s 1953 UK tour. At the time, the superstars, who had made 106 films together, were facing declining popularity and a series of personal issues. The UK tour was a redeeming success until Hardy was sidelined by a heart attack.

‘Murder She Wrote,’ ‘Hart to Hart’ Writers Find New Life in China
E! Entertainment co-founder Larry Namer, CEO of Chinese production company Metan, is behind Metan Wen Zhi Ku (“Writing Mastermind”), a collective that has organized about 2,000 older writers to create content for the country. “While China’s media business is developing at a rapid pace, core skills of storytelling are lacking.” Namer has teamed with Art Eisenson and David Gittins, who head a group of writers who have penned such hits as Miami Vice, Hart to Hart and Murder, She Wrote. For many of these talents it’s a chance to reinvent their careers in the developing market. “This allows older writers to get their mojo back,” says Eisenson. “We understand television.”


Electus Hires First VP of Unscripted Television
Electus has named Jessica Sebastian, previously the senior director of development at the Style Network, as its first VP of unscripted television.


Industry Executives More Bullish on Deals, Economy, Survey Finds
EY, the new brand name used by the big accounting firm previously known as Ernst & Young, found that 68 percent of senior media and entertainment executives surveyed believe the global economy is improving, compared with only 26 percent a year ago. Another 23 percent percent believe the economy is stable, with only 4 percent saying it is modestly and 5 percent saying it is strongly declining. Deals are likely to come more into focus, with 74 percent of executives predicting M&A deal volumes to rise over the next year, 21 percent forecasting stable volume, and only 5 percent seeing a decline.

Slate: The Overlooked Books of 2013
We asked Slate writers what 2013 titles they felt were criminally underappreciated:

Women Won The Thanksgiving Box Office–Hollywood Should Make These Five Movie Franchises Next
There are a very large number of excellent series focused on female characters that would make terrific movie franchises, and some of them have dedicated female fan bases that have cherished the books for decades, and sometimes even across generations. Here are five that both take us beyond superhero comics, and that seem like they might make viable franchises for the studios with the will and energy to pursue them:
1. Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles.
2. Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper Trilogy.
3. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Sagan.
4. Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina.
5. Justin Cronin’s The Passage Series.