Evening News Update for Wednesday, 12/18/13.


TBS To Adapt Hit Online Series ‘Jake & Amir’ As TV Comedy With Ed Helms Producing
Hit online series Jake & Amir is heading to television. TBS has put in development a comedy based on CollegeHumor’s most popular and longest-running series by comedy duo Amir Blumenfeld and Jake Hurwitz. They will co-write with another scripter duo, Mike Lisbe and Nate Reger, with Ed Helms executive producing. Jake & Amir will revolve around an odd-couple friendship between best friends and co-workers Jake (Hurwitz), the sensible “regular guy”, and Amir (Blumenfeld), the obsessive oddball. Together they must navigate the cubicles of their workplace, stand up to the corporate man and try to function with their dysfunctional co-workers, all while maintaining their shenanigans.

NRA Drama ‘Cold Dead Hands’ Being Developed by Sundance Channel
The Sundance Channel is developing, “Cold Dead Hands,” a family drama set against the backdrop of the National Rifle Association and America’s ongoing debate over the Second Amendment. The project, written and executive produced Scott Gold, will focus on Trip Thibodeaux, the fictional and polarizing head of the NRA. Thibodeaux will be forced to navigate a volatile landscape in American culture and politics, as well as crises of his own faith, when his rarefied world spirals out of control. “Cold Dead Hands” will be produced by Tony Krantz’s Flame Ventures.

Lionsgate Adapting Nick Bilton’s ‘Hatching Twitter’ for TV
announced today that it has optioned the rights to Nick Bilton’s “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal.” Allison Shearmur will exec produce the TV project, with New York Times columnist and reporter Bilton serving as scribe and producer. “‘Hatching Twitter’ will go behind the scenes of a groundbreaking Silicon Valley company in a way that’s never been captured before on television.”

David Koechner To Create & Star In Variety Sketch Comedy Pilot For NBC
David Koechner
is returning to his sketch comedy roots as the star, creator and executive producer of a one-hour variety sketch show that has received a pilot order at NBC. Koechner will executive produce the pilot with Lou Wallach and Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Alex Murray and Tim Sarkes. Universal TV’s Alternative Studio, where Wallach is under an overall deal, is producing.

Michael Rapaport To Co-Star In Ed Burns’ TNT Period Cop Drama Pilot ‘Public Morals’
Michael Rapaport has signed on to co-star opposite Ed Burns in another cable drama project, TNT pilot Public Morals, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Rapaport will play Muldoon’s partner Charlie Bullman, the muscle of the operation.

Marcia Cross Eyes TV Comeback as Fatrick’s Mother in Fox Comedy Pilot
Marcia Cross has landed the role of the mother in Fatrick, a Fox comedy pilot penned by Don’t Trust The B—-’s Nahnatchka Khan and Corey Nickerson. http://tvline.com/2013/12/18/marcia-cross-cast-fatrick-pilot-desperate-housewives/

Ray Ford Reunites With ‘Apartment 23’ Creator for Fox’s ‘Fatrick’
Nahnatchka Khan
is drawing from the Apartment 23 talent pool to cast her Fox comedy pilot Fatrick. The writer/executive producer behind the comedy about a former fat kid has tapped Ray Ford to co-star in the single-camera vehicle. Ford will play Maurice, Patrick’s best friend from childhood to the present day. He’s the only one of Patrick’s friends who knows "both Patricks."


Walden Media Hires Cameron Fay To Adapt Space Tale ‘Cosmic’
Walden Media
has set Cameron Fay to adapt the Frank Cottrel Boyce book Cosmic. The book, which has the whimsical wish fulfillment tone of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, revolves around a boy who sneaks on the first civilian trip to outer space.

Dylan Clark Joins Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films as Partner
Former Universal and Chernin Entertainment exec Dylan Clark has joined Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films banner as a partner. The move had been rumored after Pam Abdy left Bluegrass to join New Regency as president of production. Clark will oversee TV and film properties with Bluegrass.

Paul Rudd in Early Talks to Play Ant-Man in Edgar Wright’s Marvel Movie
After months of speculation, Paul Rudd has landed the lead in Marvel’sAnt-Man” and is in early talks to play Hank Pym. Representatives for Marvel and Rudd had no comment. Edgar Wright is directing the movie from a script he co-wrote with Joe Cornish, and Disney will release the film on July 31, 2015.

Lionsgate Boards BriTANick Comedy
is developing a comedy with Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher, based on a pitch from the BriTANick sketch comedy duo. McElhaney and Kocher will direct, produce and star in the project. The logline is being kept under wraps.


USA Picks Up Comedic Southern Docuseries ‘Chrisley Knows Best’
is adding a little southern charm to its reality slate, as the cabler orders “Chrisley Knows Best” to series. Halfhour program centers on self-made multimillionaire Todd Chrisley, his wife and five children who all live in Atlanta. Docuseries is angled as a family reality sitcom and will debut on March 11 on USA. Sister network E! will air encore broadcasts of the program, as well. Show is produced by Maverick TV and All3Media America.

TruTV Greenlights New Prank Show ‘Undercover Magic’
has a new trick up its sleeve. Reality series “Undercover Magic” has been picked up to series by the cabler with a 12-episode order, and will debut in summer 2014. Program will follow host Michael Carbonaro as he performs mind-blowing magic tricks on unsuspecting people, while recording the scene on a hidden camera.

Mun2 Orders MMA Competition Series From Bunim-Murray
is set to head into the MMA ring with Bunim-Murray Productions. The Hispanic cabler and Telemundo sister net has ordered 10 hourlong episodes of “Combate Americas,” slating the program for a 2014 debut. From Bunim-Murray’s Latin division (BMP Latin), “Combate Americas” is the first Spanish language Mixed Martial Arts competition reality series and will follow 10 pro Hispanic MMA fighters as they compete to win a coveted spot in the Combate Americas franchise.

CMT Ramps Up Reality Slate for 2014
has added seven new series to its unscripted slate for 2014, the network announced today. Flood of greenlights marks the most series the network has ever had in production at one time. CMT has also renewed “Dog and Beth” and “Guntucky” for new seasons, slating them for spring 2014. My Big Redneck Family; Tattoo Titans; Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Ranch; Death Valley; FNA USA; Tobacco Wars; My Dysfunctional Family.

Demi Lovato Leaving The X Factor
Another X Factor shakeup is underway. Demi Lovato, who has served as a judge on the Fox singing competition for the past two seasons, has tendered her resignation, reports People.com.


NYT: ABC Viewers Tilt Female for a Network Light on Sports
For ABC, every important ratings measure in prime time is qualified by what amounts to a footnote: “not counting sports.” About 62 percent of the ABC audience is female. (CBS is the next most female-skewed at 57 percent.) More strikingly, the top five most popular shows among women are on ABC, as well as seven of the 10 most popular. All of those shows have an audience that is more than 70 percent female. (No. 1 is “Grey’s Anatomy” with an audience just under 76 percent female.)


Red Arrow Exec Jens Richter Named FremantleMedia International CEO
Jens Richter
will join FremantleMedia International as CEO, taking up the post that was vacated in July by David Ellendery. Richter has been with Red Arrow since 2004, when the company was known as SevenOne International.

(q&a) Shine’s Rich Ross on One Year Back in TV — and What Happened at Disney
The former studio head on reality TV’s next act, what it feels like to go from buyer to seller and his advice for ousted execs (he followed it himself): "Give yourself some time to understand what worked and what didn’t work."


Ireland: Production of Pix, TV Drama, Toons Hits Record High
Spending generated by film, TV drama and animation production in Ireland has never been higher, according to figures published Wednesday by the Irish Film Board, which supports the development of the local biz. The Irish production sector pumped more than Euros 168 million ($231 million) into the local economy this year through the creation of jobs and spending on local goods and services, which is 18% up on 2012 and 42% higher than 2011. This was driven partly by the IFB’s International Production Fund, which helped bring “Ripper Street” and “Vikings” to Ireland.

Fast Company: 2013’s 20 Best Ads
Fast Company
has the top 20 ads of the year, with their respective clips, that surpassed the norm and “represent the evolving notion of what an ad is. The best ads do something useful or they tell great stories, or both. And the best work here took that mandate to a new level.”