Afternoon News Update for Monday, 1/6/14. (Part 2: Stories from over the break)


Electus Sells Telenovela ‘Loteria’ to NBC
The Electus founder has sold telenovela Loteria to NBC, part of his studio’s three-for-one pact with the network. Ligiah Villalobos will pen the script, about a Mexican-American mogul who is killed in a suspicious car crash and has cut his kids out of his will. The question at the center of the potential series is whether the car crash was an accident or a plot by one of them to kill him.

Rashida Jones & Will McCormack Producing Nail Salon Dramedy For HBO
Rashida Jones
and Will McCormack‘s Warner Bros. TV-based Le Train Train shingle is expanding to cable with a single-camera half-hour project at HBO. The pay cable network has put in development Claws, described as a midnight-dark workplace dramedy-noir about a nail salon in Florida and the strange, dangerous women who work there. Eliot Laurence will write and co-executive produce, with Le Train Train’s Jones, McCormack exec producing and Jeff Grosvenor producing for Warner Bros. TV.

David Mamet Developing ’7 Deadly Sins’ As Limited Series for Fox
David Mamet
is turning to the Good Book, setting a deal with Fox, Lionsgate TV and 20th Century Fox TV to develop a seven-hour limited series rooted in the concepts behind the seven deadly sins. Stephen McPherson is shepherding the project with Mamet. The famed playwright and screenwriter plans to write and direct the first episode, and write at least two more segs. The themes invoked by the seven deadly sins will serve as a backdrop of a series of interconnected stories the reflect on the human condition through Mamet’s distinctive lens.

Feature Producer Basil Iwanyk Sets Up TV Series Projects At NBC, TNT & The CW
Basil Iwanyk
is making a push in series television with three drama sales to NBC, TNT and the CW for projects written by Josh Parkinson, James D. Parriott, and Eoghan O’Donnell, respectively. The NBC project hails from Sony TV, where Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Television recently had a deal. Iwanyk is executive producing all three projects with Thunder Road’s SVP Film & TV Kent Kubena. Crime family drama By The Horns at NBC, written/exec produced by Parkinson, centers on a member of a notorious south Texas crime syndicate who decides to attempt a takeover of the whole organization when he learns the 14-year-old son of the newly named boss is actually his.

Cataclysm drama Six at TNT, written/exec produced by Parriott, chronicles the aftermath of a Category 6 tornado that obliterates the majority of a small Kansas town and unearths years of horrific secrets. In sci-fi drama The Messengers at the CW, when a mysterious object crashes down to earth, a group of seemingly unconnected strangers die from the energy pulse — but then awaken again as angels of the coming Apocalypse. CBS TV Studios is producing, with O’Donnell writing/exec producing, Ted Humphrey supervising the script and also exec producing alongside Industry Entertainment’s Ava Jamshidi.

Nick Developing Kids “Crime Procedural” Comedy With Garry Marshall & Aaron Kaplan
Garry Marshall
, who ruled the sitcom world in the 1970s with hit series Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy and The Odd Couple, has teamed with prolific producer Aaron Kaplan for a multi-camera comedy project at Nickelodeon. Marshall will co-write the script with his son, director Scott Marshall, and is set to direct. The multi-camera comedy, based on an idea by Kaplan, features all kids (10 to 12 years old) playing grown-up characters in the vein of Alan Parker’s gangster musical Bugsy Malone starring young Scott Baio and Jodie Foster. Framed as a crime procedural, the sitcom centers on a male cop, his DA brother and the female judge they both have a crush on.

Fox Pilot ‘Wild Blue’ Not Going Forward
Fox has opted not to make drama pilotWild Blue, which was ordered and partially cast last season before being pushed off-cycle. The project, an upstairs/downstairs look at the working men and women aboard an aircraft carrier, had a long development history. Originally titled The Bridge, the drama from writer Taylor Elmore (Justified), producer Mark Johnson and Sony Pictures TV was bought by Fox during the 2011-12 season.

Laurie Metcalf To Star In CBS Comedy Pilot ‘The McCarthys’
Comedy veteran Laurie Metcalf is set to star opposite Jack McGee and Joey McIntyre in CBS’ new pilot for half-hour The McCarthys, from Sony TV and Will Gluck’s Olive Bridge Entertainment. The project is being retooled as a multi-camera comedy after shooting a single-camera pilot last season. For Metcalf, the casting is formally in second position to HBO’s Getting On.

Adam Goldberg Joins CBS’ Jim Gaffigan Comedy Pilot
Adam Goldberg
is set to co-star opposite Jim Gaffigan in Gaffigan’s CBS single-camera comedy pilot from Sony TV.

Nick Nolte Joins Cast of Fox’s ‘Gracepoint’ Limited Series
Nick Nolte
has joined the cast of the Fox limited series “Gracepoint,” Shine America’s redo of the much-praised ITV murder-mystery “Broadchurch.” Nolte will play a stubborn local business owner in the seaside town where a boy is murdered.

Game of Thrones illegal downloads exceed TV viewers for second year
Game of Thrones again turned out to be the most-pirated TV show of 2013, according to a report from Torrent Freak. The show was downloaded an estimated 5.9 million times, besting its proportion of conventional television viewers, which clocks in at 5.5 million. That is a 37 percent increase from 2012, when Torrent Freak estimated Game of Thrones was downloaded 4.28 million times. Illegal downloads grew about 10 percent in 2013, with 327 million unique users navigating 13.9 billion webpages that handle pirated movies and TV.

ABC Studios to Shoot ‘Galavant’ in the U.K., Benefiting from New TV Tax Credit
ABC Studios
is to shoot the pilot for its musical comedy fairytale “Galavant” in the U.K. It is ABC’s first show to take advantage of the U.K.’s new tax credit for high-end television shows.

Will Broadcast Pilot Season Paradigm Finally Be Broken & Other TV Industry Questions For 2014
Will we see a top executive shakeup at a broadcast network?
Will we finally get a breakout comedy?
Will NBC weather the midseason slump better this year?
Will cable networks’ drive to own everything they air continue?
Will the broadcast networks be able to monetize any playback beyond the first three days?

(ratings) ‘Modern Family’ Ratings Mystery: Where Is The Syndication Bump On ABC?
The latest numbers for Modern Family‘s freshman run in syndication came out. The Emmy winning ABC comedy, which airs on USA and in broadcast syndication, hit new combined highs in all key measures, including households (5.1), Adults 18-34 (3.1) and Adults 18-49 (3.1). Modern Family now ranks as the No.2 program in all of syndication among 18-49 behind The Big Bang Theory (3.4) and is No.1 in 18-34. At the same time, the season to date rankings for all broadcast programs came out, and Modern Family is averaging 5.0 in 18-49 in 18-49 through the first 12 weeks of the season. Vs. the same 12 weeks last season, Modern Family is down 21%. That despite the show’s solid start in syndication.

(review) THR: True Detective
Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are magnetic in HBO’s impressive new drama series.


‘We’re the Millers’ Director Boards New Line’s ‘Central Intelligence’ (Exclusive)
Rawson Marshall Thurber
has signed on to return to New Line to direct its spy comedy Central Intelligence. Thurber also will rewrite the script. Ed Helms is attached to star in the project, which was initially set up at Universal and was written as a spec byIke BarinholtzandDave Stassen. The story centers on an accountant who, after reconnecting with an old friend via Facebook, is thrown into the world of international espionage. Scott Stuber, Peter Principato and Paul Young are on board as producers. Helms will executive produce.


Sundance Channel Greenlights Unscripted Legal Series ‘Loredana, ESQ’
Sundance Channel
‘s latest original non-fiction series is Loredana, ESQ, a six-episode hourlong that traces the life of Loredana Nesci, a former LAPD officer-turned-lawyer as she navigates the criminal defense system and grapples with the question: What is legal and what is right? The series, from Go Go Luckey Prods, is in production and slated to premiere in March.

Real-Life ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Shops Reality TV Show
CEO Chris Grant is planning an uplifting show that sees former financier Jordan Belfort stepping in to help others who have hit rock bottom.


“Croods” To Become a Netflix TV Series
, which we already know has big plans for Internet television, is currently in production on a Netflix series based on The Croods, according to a report in Variety. The piece about DreamWorks’ TV plans says that, “DWA has yet to disclose which other characters will get their own series, though Croods is already known to be in production.” The previous news that had appeared online about a Croods series suggested that a show was in development, so Variety seems to be confirming that it’s happening now.


Israeli TV Show Based on ‘Prisoner X’ Coming to the UK
The UK’s Company Pictures has inked a format deal with Israel’s Tedy Productions and ADD Content Agency for a new program loosely focused on the story of Prisoner X, a real-life Mossad agent (Ben Zygier) who died in an Israeli prison while facing grave charges of treason. “Prisoner X,” will focus not on Zygier himself but on two women left behind when an Israeli agent disappears into solitary confinement.

Why a TV Show About Celebrity Fathers Has Enraptured China
Where Are We Going Dad? has become one of China’s most popular television shows, averaging more than 600 million viewers each week (and more than 640 million downloads online). What accounts for the show’s popularity? The show features a new generation of Chinese fathers, who, as part of the country’s burgeoning middle class, have faced more exposure to modern child-rearing techniques such as taking an active role with their children.


Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey joins Disney board
The Mouse House has appointed Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square fame to its board of directors.

Disney Stock Celebrates End of 2013 with All-Time High
The Walt Disney Co. started ringing out 2013 on a high note, with shares of the company trading at record levels on Monday after analysts upgraded its stock price. Shares rose more than 2.5% to $76.50 in early morning trading. By mid-day it was at around $76.29. Disney’s stock has gained more than 51% over last year.

Chris Williams To Co-Direct Disney Animation’s ‘Big Hero 6’ With Don Hall
Chris Williams
has joined Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Big Hero 6as director, alongside helmer Don Hall. Additionally, Roy Conli has boarded the project as producer. The stereoscopic 3D CG feature is inspired by the Marvel comic of the same name (and marks the first project of its kind since Disney acquired Marvel). The action comedy adventure follows robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who must save the city of San Francisco from a criminal plot with the help of a robot, Baymax; and Gogo, Honey Lemon, sushi chef Wasabi and fanboy Fred.


IFC Head Of Original Programming Debbie DeMontreux Exits
SVP Original Programming Debbie DeMontreux has resigned. Search is underway for a replacement.

AV Club: Today’s Best Action Movie Directors Are Working in Direct-to-Video
Direct-to-video action may be an isolated genre, but its strengths go beyond mere niche appeal. It’s a vibrant, interconnected scene that is continuing the traditions of the classic action movie without being caught up in reverence. In the process, it’s produced some of the most purely entertaining movies of the last few years—movies that often outclass their big-budget counterparts.


4.6 million Snapchat phone numbers and usernames leaked
The phone numbers and usernames of more than 4.6 million North American Snapchat users have been leaked online. SnapchatDB, an unofficial site run by an anonymous individual or group, allows open access to two files that show details of the photo-sharing app’s users alongside their location.

J.K. Rowling Developing Harry Potter Prequel For The Stage
The good news is J.K. Rowling is co-producing the show with Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender for London’s West End, but while she will work with an as-yet-unnamed writer, she won’t be writing it herself. The show will follow Harry in his early years, before he learns the truth about who he is and before life in a cupboard under the stairs became small potatoes compared to the trauma he would go through as a teenager.

Teenagers migrate from Facebook as parents send them friend requests
Comprehensive study has found teens are moving to services like Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp and are not concerned about commercial use of personal information

PR executive Justine Sacco’s insensitive tweet goes global
A communications executive for media mogul Barry Diller went from relative obscurity to global pariah after an insensitive tweet about AIDS and Africa went viral.,0,1869309.story