Morning News Update for Friday, 12/13/13.


Machinima Pilot ‘Enormous’ Finds Its Cast
Ceren Lee,Erica GimpelandSteve Brand are starring in Enormous, a live-action web series adaptation of the Image Comics comic book series being made by Machinima. BenDavid Grabinskiis directing the pilot. Created by Tim Danieland artistMehdi Cheggour, the story is set in a world where humanity is under attack from gigantic monsters. Grabinski wrote the script with Andre Ovredal.


Sony Sets Spider-Man Spinoffs ‘Venom,’ ‘Sinister Six’ With New “Franchise Brain Trust”
Sony Pictures Entertainment
, in association with Marvel Entertainment, announced it will make movies on Spidey villains Venom and The Sinister Six. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to collaborate on overseeing the developing story over several films that will be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach.

Ed Helms Firing Up ‘The Naked Gun’ Reboot for Paramount
Detective Frank Drebin is coming back with Ed Helms on board to portray Leslie Nielsen’s character in Paramount’s reboot of “The Naked Gun” comedy franchise. The studio has tapped the scripting team of Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant — best known for the “Night at the Museum” and “Reno 911″ franchises, to write the screenplay.


MSNBC orders bank robbery doc series
MSNBC has ordered Heist, a three-part doc series about America’s most notorious bank robbers and bank robberies. The 3x60mins series has been produced by Tom Jennings’ 1895 Films. It profiles the criminals and heists and has interviews with witnesses and law enforcement officers and drama reconstructions.


Crackle puts comedians back in cars
Sony Pictures’ Television’s
online video service Crackle has ordered another six episodes of Jerry Seinfeld’s series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

YouTube rounds up the biggest videos of 2013
2013 is almost over, which means it’s time for self-reflection — and Jean-Claude Van Damme, of course. His "epic splits" video is just one of many YouTube’s compiled as the top trending videos on the service during the year. That’s different from the most-viewed list, and perhaps even more interesting because it tracks views, shares, and searches from users, which has led to some seemingly unlikely videos making the list.


ITV okays serial killer drama
UK broadcaster ITV has commissioned a four-part drama based around a missing persons unit, charged with tracking down serial killers. Chasing Shadows, written and produced by Rob Williams (DCI Banks, Holby City), will be produced by the ITV Studios drama team. The 4×60’ series will consist of two self-contained two-part stories.


Beyonce’s Secret Album Shoots to No. 1 on iTunes
Who needs promotion? Not Beyonce, apparently. The pop songstress’ new self-titled surprise album is No. 1 on iTunes just hours after its unannounced, exclusive release on the music-buying platform. That’s pretty impressive considering that many people went to bed last night not even knowing that Beyonce had a new album. The album was first unveiled around 9 p.m. PT Thursday night. It was quietly uploaded to iTunes.

Time: The Most Popular Book Among Critics in 2013
While a quick glance at lists from some notable publications promises a smorgasbord of fiction, one title appeared with remarkable consistency. That book? Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers. In fact, critics from all these publications, with the exception of Slate, placed Kushner’s second novel among their notable books of the year. The novel “tells the story of Reno, a young woman striving for success in a man’s world of land-speed racing, the gritty 1970s New York art scene and (eventually) radical politics in Italy — three disparate settings brilliantly realized in Kushner’s vivid prose.”