Afternoon News Update for Friday, 1/17/14.


Marvel’s ‘Agent Carter’: Hayley Atwell, Writers, Showrunners Confirmed for ABC Drama
"Reaper" creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, showrunners on the network’s upcoming drama "Resurrection," will oversee the potential series. "Captain America" duo Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely penned the script.

Fox Picks Up Dramas ‘Red Band Society,’ ‘Runner’ With Eye Toward Series Commitments
Red Band Society
, which received a script commitment in November, explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. The depth of the unexpected friendships allows them to survive the challenges of growing up under such intense circumstances. It’s based on the acclaimed Spanish series Polseres Vermelles. Margaret Nagle will pen the script and executive produce the Amblin Television and ABC Studios entry.

Runner is based on the Turkish series Son and hails from writer Michael Cooney, with Peter Horton directing and exec producing the 20th Century Fox entry alongside Ian Sander and Kim Moses. The drama, which is to guns what Traffic was to drugs, centers on the traditionally masculine world of arms dealing through the unexpected lens of a woman. After a simple twist of fate, Lauren Marks learns her husband is not the person she believed him to be. Faced with the harsh reality that her life is forever changed, she goes on a truth-seeking journey that entrenches her in a U.S.-Mexican war over weapons and terrorism.

Tyler Ritter To Play The Lead In CBS Comedy Pilot ‘The McCarthys’
Tyler Ritter
has been cast as the lead in CBS’ new pilot for The McCarthys, from Sony TV and Will Gluck’s Olive Bridge Entertainment. The comedy is being retooled as multi-camera after shooting a single-camera pilot last season. Written/co-executive produced by Brian Gallivan, The McCarthys revolves around a big, sports-crazed Irish Catholic clan in Boston and the gay son (Ritter) whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family.

‘Thor’ star Jaimie Alexander to Guest-Star on ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’
Jaimie Alexander is set to bring her Thor character, Lady Sif, to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

(sched) ABC Replaces ‘Killer Women’ With ‘Mind Games’
The network also announces a Pixar special and sets premiere dates for "Dancing With the Stars" and "The Black Box."


David Mackenzie to Head Warner Bros.’ ‘Mission’
Warner Bros
. has selected David Mackenzie to go to Colombia for “The Mission” and is in talks with the British helmer to come on board the action-thriller. Producers are Scott Z. Burns and Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Mackenzie will direct from a script by Peter Landesman with a rewrite by Peter Craig. The story centers on a U.S. Special Advisor who devotes six years of his life to save 15 hostages being held by the guerrilla group FARC. Cut loose from Embassy control, he teams with a Colombian intelligence agent to pull off the daring rescue.

Why Were There So Many Great Movies in 2013? An Economic Explanation
Ben Fritz, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, says something is fundamentally changing in Hollywood that could produce a lot more years like 2013. The economics of great films are getting easier thanks to higher contributions from independent producers and lower upfront wages: The surfeit of high-quality choices is the result of two intersecting trends: more independent financiers willing to back mid-budget "prestige" dramas, and tightened purse strings throughout Hollywood. These budget constraints have made A-list actors and directors more willing to work on such movies for relatively small upfront paychecks.


Discovery Renews ‘Devils Ride’ for Third Season

The show, set in the world of motorcycle clubs in San Diego, is set to return Feb. 3.


Disney XD Sets ‘Kickin’ It’ Season 4 Return Date
“Kickin’ It”
will return to Disney XD for its fourth season on Monday, Feb. 17 at 6/5c. Leo Howard, Mateo Arias and Dylan Riley star on the series, which follows the misadventures of friends and karate students.


Exec Shuffle For 1/17/14: Fox Animation, Universal Cable Prods., Viacom, Allison Shearmur Prods., Miramax
Electric Ray: Karl Warner
and Sony Pictures Television have partnered to launch this London-based production company. Warner will serve as Managing Director.
CBS Corporation: Josie Thomas has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer.
CBS Television Studios: Lori Erickson has been promoted to Manager, Casting.
Disney Channel: Heather Curtis
has joined as Director, Current Series.
Disney Channels U.S.: Dana Green has been named Vice President, Communications.
FX Networks: Kevin Wandell has been promoted to Director, Development.
Fox Animation: Andrea Miloro has been promoted to Senior Vice President.
Fox Broadcasting Company: Nicole Nicholas has been promoted to Manager, Alternative Entertainment.
Sony Pictures Television: Jordan Feiner was named Vice President, Current Programming.
Universal Cable Productions: Richard M. Rothstein was named Head, Current Programming.
Allison Shearmur Productions: Stephen Meinen has been promoted to Vice President.
Atlas Entertainment: Topher Rhys-Lawrence has been promoted to Creative Executive.
Benaroya Pictures: Ben Sachs has been promoted to President.
Endemol Studios: Chris Dickie has been promoted to Manager, Development.
Naegle Ink: Kit Giordano has joined as Vice President, Development, Ali Krug has been named Manager, Development, and Jessica Held has come aboard as Coordinator.

HBO’s CEO Doesn’t Care That You Are Sharing Your HBO Go Password

“It’s not that we’re unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business,” HBO CEO Richard Plepler said. It is, in many ways, a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers,” he said, noting that it could potentially lead to more subscribers in the future.

“We’re in the business of creating addicts,” he said at a BuzzFeed Brews event in New York.

Ellen DeGeneres and Mark Harmon Voted America’s Favorite TV Personalities

For the second year in a row, the talk show icon topped the list of America’s favorite TV personalities and actors, which was released by The Harris Poll on Friday. Coming in second was NCIS star Mark Harmon, with The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart in third. Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory and The Tonight Show host Jay Leno were four and five, respectively, and Stephen Colbert, Tom Selleck, Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams and Steve Harvey rounded up the top 10.

Zodiak shuffles development team
Brent Burnette
has taken up the role of senior VP of development at the company and will manage the development slate and create new character-driven docuseries and formats. Burnette was most recently VP of current series and development at Magilla, where he worked on shows for cable networks including Animal Planet, Discovery and TLC. Meanwhile, Neil Regan has been promoted to senior VP of development and current series, with a remit to develop and manage new projects.


Critics Choice Movie Awards: ’12 Years a Slave’ Wins Best Picture; Blanchett, McConaughey Win Acting Awards
“12 Years a Slave”
was named the best film of 2013 on Thursday at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, a nationally televised awards show put on by the Broadcast Film Critics Association less than 12 hours after Academy Award nominations were announced.