Evening News Update for Tuesday, 12/17/13.


NBC Officially Orders ‘Bible’ Follow-Up Miniseries
Today, NBC greenlighted the 12-hour miniseries titled “A.D.” for a spring 2015 debut. Simon Block is attached to “A.D.” as scribe. Cast and director have yet to be announced.

Discovery Orders ‘The West’ From Robert Redford
Discovery Channel
has ordered a new series, The West, from Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn’s Sundance Productions. The West will focus on the wilderness, frontier lawlessness, and bloodshed of the 40 years between the end of the American Civil War until after the turn of the 20th Century. From Jesse James and Crazy Horse to Wyatt Earp and Buffalo Bill, the characters at the center of this violent, blood-soaked period in American history are explored. Each episode of THE WEST will follow the stories and struggles of the West’s most infamous outlaws as they fight for their land and identity.

Lifetime Adapting Brian Stelter’s ‘Top of the Morning’ as Telepic
is developing a telepic adaptation of Brian Stelter’s book “Top of the Morning.” Released in April, “Top of the Morning” is billed as an inside look to the “cutthroat world of morning TV,” centering on the rivalry between NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The book chronicles the intrigue surrounding the ouster of Ann Curry as “Today” co-anchor in 2012 as the NBC’s stalwart began to lose the ratings race to “GMA.” Telepic will be exec produced by Liz Gately and Tony DiSanto and their DiGa Vision banner.

Pivot Acquires Fan Favorites ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer ‘ and ‘Veronica Mars’
, Participant Media’s TV network targeting Millennials (18-34), today announced it has acquired all episodes of scripted series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars. They will join the programming roster as a ‘BUFFY AND VERONICA POWER HOURS’ block, celebrating the iconic, smart and powerful women at the center of each show.

‘Galavant’ Pilot Casts Lead, 3 Other Roles
Joshua Sasse
has landed the lead in ABC’s single-camera pilot Galavant, a comedy fairytale written by Dan Fogelman, with Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken writing the music. Also cast in the project, produced by ABC Studios, are Karen David, Mallory Jansen and Luke Youngblood. Galavant centers on handsome Prince Galavant (Sasse) — a classic once-upon-a-time hero, complete with sword, horse, great hair, courage, mad skills (like dragon-slaying and helping the poor) — and his quest for revenge over the evil King Richard who stole his one true love, the beautiful Madalena (Janesen).

Annie Mumolo Joins NBC’s ‘About A Boy’; Diane Neal Boards Starz’s ‘Power’
Annie Mumolo has joined NBC‘s midseason comedy series About A Boy in a major recurring role. Mumolo will play Laurie, the wife of Will’s best friend Andy (Al Madrigal). The role was played in the pilot by Anjelah Johnson.

Diane Neal has been tapped for a recurring role on the new Starz drama series Power. Neal will play the polished, professional and hyper-intelligent Cynthia Sheridan, who works for Vogue magazine and is also working with Ghost and his club to host a blowout party for her boss.

Ashley Williams Set As Female Lead In CBS’ Jim Gaffigan Comedy Pilot
Ashley Williams is set to star opposite Jim Gaffigan in Gaffigan’s CBS single-camera comedy pilot. Williams will play Jim’s wife Jeannie, a super-wife and super-mom, possessing a seemingly unlimited storehouse of energy, encouragement, patience and good humor.

Grey’s Anatomy Star Chandra Wilson Scrubs In for General Hospital
Chandra Wilson
is stopping by General Hospital for a guest appearance.

(video) Watch Showtime’s ‘Penny Dreadful’ Teaser Trailer
The “psychosexual thriller” stars Josh Hartnett, Eva Green and Timothy Dalton and is produced by John Logan’s Desert Wolf Productions and Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris of Neal Street. Juan Antonio Bayona helmed the first two episodes.


Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Teams With Story Mining & Supply On ‘Vicious’ Deal
Story Mining & Supply Co has teamed with Scott Free to acquire rights to the V.E. Schwab novel Vicious. SM&SC’s Jeffrey Sharp and production president Evan Hayes will produce with Ridley Scott and Michael Schaefer, along with Allison Gillogly. Vicious is about two ambitious pre-med students who discover that under the right conditions, a person can develop extraordinary supernatural abilities. Once they move from theoretical to experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Warners Bros. Bringing ‘Gilligan’s Island’ to Big Screen With Josh Gad
Warner Bros. is about to go on a fateful trip. The studio is putting into motion a big-screen version ofGilligan’s Island, the classic 1960s television comedy, that will serve as a vehicle for Josh Gad. Gad will write the script with Benji SamitandDan Hernandez.

Relativity Signs First-Look Deal with ‘Wedding Crashers’ Producer
Andrew Panayand his Panay Films have signed a first-look deal with Relativity. Panay, who made his name in the comedy sphere, is segueing from Disney where he produced such films as Old DogsandWhen In Rome.

Disney Announces "Moana," Set For a 2018 Release
In the wake of another successful hit for Disney, it looks like we may be entering another Disney Golden Age. In fact, Disney has announced their next major animated film under the Walt Disney Studios name, Moana (Mo-AH-na). "The main character will be Moana Waialiki, a sea voyaging enthusiast, and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. The film will also include demi-gods and spirits taken from real mythology"

Could Movies Ever Be Released the Beyonce Way?
By surprising fans — and the industry — with a massively successful album release that had no advanced promotion or pre-buzz backing it, Beyonce has shaken up the music biz in a single weekend. Studios should also take notes and consider whether the sneak-attack release strategy could ever work for them. Hollywood’s majors have long complained that marketing costs are getting higher with each new release — averaging around $150 million for a summer tentpole. Those costs could be curbed by surprising audiences with a film.


(ratings) Nielsen: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ edged out ‘American Idol’ in ’13
Interesting bit of news from Nielsen’s annual Top Ten list, released Tuesday morning: "Dancing With the Stars" edged out "American Idol" as TV’s most viewed unscripted show last season. "NCIS" remained TV’s top draw overall.

GSN Orders ‘It Takes A Church’ to Series
has greenlit matchmaking series “It Takes A Church,” slating the competition program for a mid-2014 debut. With Natalie Grant serving as host, each episode of “Church” features members of a Christian congregation as they compete to help an unattached fellow parishioner find their match. GSN ordered eight episodes of the show from Authentic Entertainment.

‘Jim Rome On Showtime’ Season 3 Debuts January 15
The Showtime sports talk series returns for a third season with new episodes on Wednesday, January 15 at 10 PM.


(gaming) Star Wars: Attack Squadrons is Disney’s free-to-play space combat game
announced today that it is working on a free-to-play online space combat Star Wars game titled Star Wars: Attack Squadrons. The game features player-versus-player combat, allowing pilots to fight in free for all 16-player death matches, take part in team dogfights or play in a base defense mode.

Powell to Head Disney Australia After Veteran Cracknell Retires
Catherine Powell
will succeed John Cracknell as managing director of Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand.


Shine America Appoints ‘Dance Moms’ Alum Mike Aho as SVP, Factual Entertainment
Mike Aho has been named senior vice president, factual entertainment at producer and distributor Shine America. In his new gig, Aho will lead the company’s docu-series development and production efforts, identifying original stories for the U.S. market that can also be formatted internationally.

Sundance Institute Selects 12 Projects For January Screenwriters Lab
The Buried Life
by Joan Stein Schimke and Averie Storck (co-writers/co-directors); The Father’s Shadow (Brazil) by Gabriela Amaral Almeida (writer/director); Lynch (U.S.A.) by Nicole Riegel (writer); Manchild (U.S.A.) by Ryan Koo (writer/director); Night Comes On (U.S.A.) by Jordana Spiro (co-writer/director) and Angelica Nwandu (co-writer); Park (Greece) by Sofia Exarchou (writer/director); Patti Cake$ (U.S.A.) by Geremy Jasper (writer/director); Stranger with a Camera (U.S.A./Northern Ireland) by Oorlagh George (writer/director); Swiss Army Man (U.S.A.) by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (co-writers/co-directors); Ten Thousand Happiness (U.S.A./China) by Johnny Ma (writer/director); We the Animals (U.S.A.) Jeremiah Zagar (co-writer/director) and Dan Kitrosser (co-writer); Weather Talk (Chile) by Marcella Said (writer/director).


Vulture: It Was a Good Year for Women on TV
Easily the biggest TV story of the year is the rise of Scandal. Kerry Washington is THE face of exciting network television, and Scandal surrounds her with a dazzling Lady Macbeth, a budding torture expert, and a terrorist mother — and those are just SOME of the women.

20th Century Fox Breaks Ground on Theme Park Business with First Resort in Malaysia
Twentieth Century Fox
has broken ground on its first theme park in Malaysia, appropriately named Twentieth Century Fox World. When it opens in 2016, the park will feature more than 25 rides based on the studio’s franchises, including “Rio,” “Alien vs. Predator,” “Planet of the Apes” and “Night at the Museum,” along with themed restaurant and merchandise outlets. The Malaysian resort is expected to be the first of several 20th Century Fox Worlds the studio will build through its consumer products arm as the company expands into the theme park biz.

(comics) ‘The Illegitimates’: Peek into the first issues of ‘SNL’ star Taran Killam’s comic book debut
Taran Killam
is venturing into the world of pen and ink with his debut comic book The Illegitimates (which hits stores on Wednesday). Here’s the hilarious premise (co-penned by Marc Andreyko): After the death of a James Bond-esque super-spy named Jack Steele, a secret organization turns to five of Steele’s bastard children — sired by the women he haphazardly romanced during his adventures – to form a new spy team.

‘Privacy’ is Dictionary.com’s word of the year
Last month The Oxford University Press dubbed"selfie" the word of 2013, and now Dictionary.com is going in a completely different direction for its choice. The popular online dictionary picked "privacy" as for its coveted "word of the year" honors, a decision it says was fueled by myriad news stories that focused on privacy.