Morning News Update for Tuesday, 1/14/14.


Netflix Orders ‘Marco Polo’ to Series
The drama, created by John Fusco, was originally developed for Starz and will premiere in late 2014. "Kon-Tiki" directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg will direct alongside Dan Minahan, who also will exec produce.

FX Orders Zach Galifianakis-Fronted Comedy Pilot Co-Written By Louis C.K.
has ordered a comedy pilot created by and starring funnyman Zach Galifianakis that he’ll co-write with Louis C.K., creator and star of its Emmy-winning Louie. The pilot order marks the first venture in FX’s recently announced overall deal with C.K. and his production company Pig Newton.

Lisa Kudrow’s ‘Web Therapy’ Renewed at Showtime

The adaptation of the web series from Kudrow and executive producer Dan Bucatinsky will return to the cable network for a fourth season. Season four will consist of 10 episodes; a premiere will be announced at a later date.

‘Justified’ Ending After Next Season
The next season of Justified will be its last.

Michael Cera, John Hawkes Join FX’s Charlie Kaufman Pilot
Michael Cera
and John Hawkes have been signed to star in the FX comedy pilot “How and Why” from Charlie Kaufman. “Why” revolves around a brilliant man who understands nuclear physics but is clueless about how life works. Kaufman will write and direct the FX Prods. half-hour pilot, set to begin lensing in the spring.

Fox’s Abolishment Of Pilot Season: Practical Guide To How Will It Work
Going forward, Fox will not make series pickups based on one episode, as has been the pilot season tradition. Also like cable, Fox plans to commission backup scripts and set up small writers rooms while work on the pilot is going on — as it is currently doing with The Middle Manand Gotham — to get a detailed road map for the series before proceeding with an episodic order.

(TCAs) FX Executive Session with John Landgraf Press Tour Live-Blog

Is this business model working? "Not purely," Langraf says, which is why they’re putting such an emphasis on non-linear services and an ad model on that services. He says that they’ve been bailed out by ownership of content, calling it nice to have "more certain long-tail revenue." He feels "bullish" about the business "even though the advertising business is stressed right now."

‘The Walking Dead’, Series Ownership and Television’s Biggest Threat To Quality Programming
The reason the separation of studio and network is so important is because it gives the creative team behind the show an entity that fights for their best interest. The studio producing a series can act as a buffer to the demands and notes of the airing network that has only one goal: Nielsen ratings. But as more and more networks such as AMC move to a model of owning all the shows they air, it could end up hurting television in the long run.


Miramax Takes Another Step Toward Production, Giving Zanne Devine Exec Veep Stripes
, which last year set a deal with Bob and Harvey Weinstein to spearhead new productions from the library they built, hired vet Zanne Devine to be exec veep of production and development. She will acquire, produce and develop film and TV projects for the library driven company.

(rumor) Marvel Eyeing JOHNNY DEPP For ‘Dr. Strange’
Johnny Depp
has taken a meeting with Marvel to discuss taking on the role of Dr. Strange. The 50-year-old actor is a comic book fan, and is said to be very interested in jumping onto the Marvel machine. To be clear, this would have no bearing on Marvel’s Phase 2 plans, or The Avengers: Age of Ultron. This is strictly Phase 3 stuff, with Marvel initially eyeing 2016 as the year to unleash Dr. Strange on mainstream audiences.


Tamron Hall in Talks to Join NBC’s Today
Tamron Hall
is serious talks with NBC News to become a co-host on the third hour of the Today show. People familiar with the discussions tell TV Guide Magazine that Hall will be added to the current line-up of Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Willie Geist.

Bravo sets docu-series ‘Online Dating Rituals of the American Male’
is holding up the magnifying glass to OKCupid, Tinder, and the rest of the usual suspects in the wild modern world of digital romance. This March the network will launch Online Dating Rituals of the American Male, a new docu-series which will explore the world of cyber courtships from the male perspective. The program aims to pull back the curtain on the culture of online dating by following Internet romances from the earliest stages of browsing and communicating to the anxiety-inducing dates with potential matches (who may or may not actually look like their profile photos).


YouTube launches daily show to help you find the best videos
There’s a lot of stuff to watch on YouTube, and the site is hoping to help you sort through the clutter with the newly launched series YouTube Nation. The five minute-long show will air daily at 9PM EST, and is hosted by Jacob Soboroff, formerly of Huffpost Live, and produced by Dreamworks Animation. The first episode highlights everything from a new football series from Grantland to a skydiving world record attempt. The episodes are also bundled in a playlist alongside the videos they highlight.


(tech) Why Google just paid $3 billion for a thermostat company
is perhaps the best known of a growing number of startups who are betting on strong demand for Internet-connected household devices. Some researchers have suggested that this isn’t just a multi-billion dollar opportunity; it’s a multi-trillion dollar opportunity. Aside from any revenue Google might gain from sales of Nest products directly, these devices potentially provide Google with more data and insight into user habits at home and, just as importantly, create a more robust device ecosystem.

Netflix and SVOD will drive billion dollar industry growth
Up to 50 million homes globally by the end of 2014 will have two or more separate pay TV subscriptions, according to new research by Deloitte. In its annual Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions, Deloitte predicted that the subscriptions – spurred by SVOD services, including the likes of Netflix – will generate additional revenues of around US$5 billion per year. An additional 10 million homes are tipped to receive premium programming as part of a subscription to another service, such as broadband.

Net neutrality is half-dead: Court strikes down FCC’s anti-blocking rules
The Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality rules were partially struck down today by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which said the Commission did not properly justify its anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules. Those rules in the Open Internet Order, adopted in 2010, forbid ISPs from blocking services or charging content providers for access to the network. Verizon challenged the entire order and got a big victory in today’s ruling. While it could still be appealed to the Supreme Court, the order today would allow pay-for-prioritization deals that could let Verizon or other ISPs charge companies like Netflix for a faster path to consumers.