Morning News Update for Thursday, 2/13/14.


Lifetime’s ‘Drop Dead Diva’ To End Run (Again) After Six Seasons
has announced that the upcoming sixth season will be the series’ last. It will launch on March 23 with a two-hour premiere.

Why TV Networks Are Interested in Adapting Online Series Again
On Jan. 22, Comedy Central premiered Broad City, from creators/stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. The show, about the misadventures of two young women in New York, began in 2009 as short online episodes. Comedy Central chose to use Jacobson and Glazer’s characters and premise but create a new show tailored to TV. Rather than use any of the existing video, they commissioned entirely new 30-minute scripts. "We thought they had a very original, authentic voice," says Kent Alterman. "Even though they were doing episodes on a shoestring, that voice really came through. That’s what suggests to us that they’re talent worth investing in."

(q&a) Atlantic: Is House of Cards TV?
Q: Do you work feeling "thank god I don’t have those constraints," or were they just never even there in your head?
Willimon: Netflix gave us a huge degree of creative control. There are still certain fundamental parameters. Our show still generally has to be around an hour because we still sell internationally to networks that will traditionally air it week-to-week with commercials sometimes. But I didn’t think about commercials or act breaks or anything like that. The biggest thing was knowing we had two seasons guaranteed. Because it meant I could think about something layered in early in Season One that might not boomerang back till the end of Season Two.


Matt Barr To Co-Star In CW Pilot ‘Identity’, Vondie Curtis-Hall In NBC’s ‘Tin Man’
Matt Barr
has been cast as the male lead opposite Ahna O’Reilly in the CW drama pilot Identity. Vondie Curtis-Hall has been cast as series regular in NBC drama pilot Tin Man, a futuristic thriller drama from feature writer Ehren Kruger.


Sony Picks Up ‘Shadow Run’ Spec by Joe Gazzam
has picked up Shadow Run, a spec from scribe Joe Gazzam. The action is put in motion when a viral attack puts lives in danger, forcing a CIA agent to enact a secret prisoner exchange of Russia’s most notorious spy for the American scientist who can create a cure. Neal Moritz, who has a first-look deal with the studio, is producing the thriller.


‘Wahlburgers’ in Talks With ‘Ted’ About Guest Appearance by Mark Wahlberg’s Teddy Bear
Producer Rasha Drachkovitch envisions an episode in which the foul-mouthed stuffed animal, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, would show up at the main Wahlburgers restaurant to harass Paul, the Wahlberg brother who runs it.


Sixth & Final Season Of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ To Stream On Netflix
After resurrecting The Killing for a final season after its cancellation by AMC, Netflix is doing the same for Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The streaming service will debut a 13-episode sixth and final installment of the animated series on March 7.


Disney launches UK production office
The Walt Disney Company has launched a UK production base to tap into the drama tax credit now available in the territory. Abbey C Studios is based at Disney’s UK office in Hammersmith, London, and will be used for upcoming ABC comedy pilot Galavant, which will shoot in the city of Bristol in a few weeks. Disney confirmed the news, first reported in UK television trade Broadcast, but said the base was only be used for Galavant.


How Comcast Buying Time Warner Cable Could Impact You — And The Entire Entertainment Industry
Comcast, already the country’s largest provider of cable television, announced that it would spend $45 billion to buy the company that is second to it in the rankings, New York-based Time Warner cable. It’s an enormous business proposition, and it comes at a time when the cable business is more unsettled than ever. And it’s a deal that brings up huge issues for consumers, even those of us who don’t get our cable from one of these two giants. In the future, how fast will we be able to access streaming services like Netflix? What does the deal mean for the future of set-top devices like the Apple TV? And while it’s easy to dream that cord-cutting and services like Aereo will bring down the cable model, is Comcast actually preparing us for a day when almost everything worth watching will migrate behind the cable paywall?

Comcast and Time Warner Cable: Forget TV, it is all about broadband
If it is allowed to gobble up its number two rival, Time Warner Cable, Philadelphia-based Comcast will become the largest broadband provider in the United States, and perhaps the largest outside China. Broadband is not only a much faster growing business, it also has higher gross margins and comes with much fewer headaches — such as paying through the nose for programming. Broadband also comes with one more thing — a virtual monopoly.

Studios’ Expansion Plans Could Make California Tax Incentives a Tougher Sell
As Los Angeles lawmakers, unions and studios prepare to make the case that California needs to beef up production incentives, they are apt to be met with an obvious counterargument: Fabled Hollywood backlots aren’t exactly shuttered and full of tumbleweeds. In fact, some are already at capacity, and others are preparing for what are ambitious, generation-long expansions. In late August, the Walt Disney Co. received the greenlight from Los Angeles County to effectively build a whole new studio lot — up to 12 soundstages on ranch property it owns near Santa Clarita.

Slate: In Defense of Binge Watching
Binge watchers are free from the pressure to be always on and constantly commenting: Nobody live-tweets their reactions to the 1996 season of The X-Files. Just as romance readers can use books to carve out private space, binge watching lets people focus on one thing for hours rather than seconds or minutes. In an era where "little ‘invisible’ chunks" of time on Snapchat and YouTube can easily absorb as much time in a week as a season of Breaking Bad, the ability to reclaim control of one’s time, to rediscover "how much time is in the day when you don’t spend it in 30-second chunks," makes binge watching an almost radical act of self-determined focus.

(q&a) ‘Scrubs’ Broadway musical: Everything you want to know, and why there won’t be a movie
Q: Where does it stand now?

Lawrence: We’re negotiating with different theater groups who will hopefully put up the money for a year to pay the composers to develop [spec songs]. Disney has nicely become a silent partner in giving the rights for us to go shop it. And the most fun thing for a theater junkie is we’ve already reached the stage that various composers have been submitting songs based on an outline that we put together for the type of stuff we would do.