Afternoon News Update for Tuesday, 2/18/14.


CBS Orders ‘CSI’ Spinoff From Creator Anthony Zuiker
The back-door pilot is inspired by Mary Aiken and her work as a cyber-psychologist and will be written by "CSI" creators Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn and Ann Donahue. The spinoff explores technology, as we know it, and how it has amplified human behavior to the point where faceless criminals are committing crimes at global proportions with a touch of a button. Avery Ryan, special agent in charge at the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI in Quantico, VA, is tasked to solve high-octane crimes that start in the mind, live on-line, and play out into the real world.

NBC Orders More Scripts for Drama Prospect ‘Conception’
is putting more effort into the development of mystery drama prospect “Conception.” Peacock has ordered three more scripts and has assembled a small writers room for the Universal TV project penned by John Glenn and Lars Jacobson. David Janollari is exec producing with Glenn and Jacobson. “Conception” turns on a mystery involving modern-day cases of immaculate conception and how those children are destined to change the world. The pilot has not been shot.

HBO Renews ‘Getting On’ for Second Season
The comedy from "Big Love’s" Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer will continue on after fellow freshman half-hours "Hello Ladies" and "Family Tree" were canceled.


Jon Heder To Star In Fox’s Ricky Blitt Comedy Pilot
Jon Heder
is set to star opposite Jane Kaczmarek and David James Elliott in Fox’s half-hour pilot from writer Ricky Blitt and producers Johnny Galecki and Stephen McPherson.

Charlie Rowe, Rebecca Rittenhouse & Zoe Levin Cast In Fox’s ‘Red Band Society’
Charlie Rowe, Rebecca Rittenhouse
and Zoe Levin are set to co-star opposite Octavia Spencer in Fox’s drama project Red Band Society, from Amblin Television and ABC Studios. Rowe will play Leo, the leader of sorts of the group of teens who has osteosarcoma. Levin plays another teen, the beautiful and smart but mean Kara, a head cheerleader who finds herself in the hospital pediatrics ward after she passes out during a practice. Rittenhouse plays Nurse Brittany, a new hire on the pediatric ward.

Christine Woods To Star In NBC Comedy Pilot ‘Two To Go’
Christine Woods
has been tapped as the female lead in NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Two To Go, from Universal TV and studio-based David Janollari Entertainment and Jason Bateman‘s Aggregate.

Kal Penn Boards CBS’ Vince Gilligan/David Shore Drama ‘Battle Creek’
The "We Are Men" and "How I Met Your Mother" alum will play a local detective and reunite with his former "House" boss.

Malcolm Barrett In NBC Pilot ‘Mission Control’; Paige Turco In CBS’ ‘NCIS’ Spinoff
Better Off Ted alum Malcolm Barrett has been cast in NBC’s comedy pilot Mission Control, a Universal TV-produced comedy from executive producers Adam McKay and Will Ferrell in the tone of Anchorman. Paige Turco has been set as a recurring opposite Scott Bakula in CBS’ NCIS planted spinoff, Executive produced by NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg and star Mark Harmon, the spinoff is set at the NCIS New Orleans office, which handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle.

Karen Gillan To Topline ABC Comedy Pilot ‘Selfie’, Julie Anne Robinson To Direct
Karen Gillan
has been cast as the lead in ABC/Warner Bros. TV single-camera comedy pilot Selfie. Julie Anne Robinson is set to direct the pilot from Suburgatory creator/executive producer Emily Kapnek.

‘Dollhouse’ Alum to Co-Star in WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’
Olivia Williams
will play series lead John Benjamin Hickey’s wife in the World War II atomic bomb drama from Sam Shaw.


Warner Bros. Promotes Racheline Benveniste to Production Exec
Warner Bros.
has upped Racheline Benveniste to production executive. She has been with the studio for a year and half after working at Phoenix Pictures and Paramount as an assistant.

J. Michael Straczynski Options Harlan Ellison’s Classic Sci-Fi Story ‘Repent, Harlequin!’
Iconic sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison has allowed a film to be developed based on Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktock Man, the seminal story he published in Galaxy magazine in 1965. Ellison has granted an option directly to J. Michael Straczynski. Straczynski sees the cautionary tale as especially relevant in a post-Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street environment, or even Edward Snowden, in a story of a man who goes against the system and must pay the price for his actions.

Robert Kirkman to Produce Sci Fi Thriller ‘Air’
is producing Air, a sci-fi thriller. Christian Cantamessa wrote the script with Chris Pasetto and will make his feature directorial debut with the low-budget pic. Kirkman will produce with David Alpert, the Circle of Confusion partner that also exec produces Walking Dead. The story is set in an underground cryogenic facility after a nuclear fall-out renders the atmosphere unbreathable. Air centers on its two custodial workers who take care of the cryogenically sleeping personnel that are to re-establish society but they struggle to preserve their own sanity and lives while maintaining the extremely fragile environment of the last livable place on earth.


A&E to Debut Boston Working Class Docudrama From Mark Wahlberg
relationship with Mark Wahlberg is growing stronger, as the cabler announces a premiere date for another reality show from the multihyphenate star titled “Breaking Boston.” Docudrama follows a group of four blue-collar women in their twenties trying to break the cycle of their peers in a town where education, employment and opportunities are hard to come by. Each one of the working class women has already hit their personal rock bottom with destructive relationships or bad choices, but are leaning on one another and looking for a way out. A&E will debut the unscripted program on March 13.

WWE’s ‘Raw’ and ‘Smackdown’ Poised to Switch TV Networks
WWE is shopping its programs “Raw” and “Smackdown” to other networks after NBCUniversal has allowed its contract for the shows to expire over the weekend.


Watch Kimmel deliver the entire sports report for ABC’s L.A. affiliate.


(q&a) Vulture: In Conversation: Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels
Q: When you’re auditioning for new cast members now, do you look for anything different from what you did in earlier seasons?

A: No, it’s almost always the same. It’s somebody that you think is original and never someone who reminds you of somebody else. And you’re always looking for the sense of humor. There are a lot of very good comedy performers with very little sense of humor. It’s skill, and they’ve learned it in the same way that a magician learns tricks. They’re fine, too, but we need a different thing. It’s better if they can create comedy as opposed to execute comedy.

NBC Universal, FX Chiefs Call for Increased Anti-Piracy Measures
Internet gatekeepers like Google may have made strides to combat content piracy, but there’s room for improvement. That was the message from Rick Cotton, senior counselor of IP protection at NBC Universal, and John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks, at a keynote conversation Tuesday at the inaugural Digital Entertainment World conference in Los Angeles.


Verge: Inside The Most Scandalous Social Network
The secrets have all been posted by your friends, though you’ll never know which friend: Secret is "anonymish." It’s a feed of gossip created by the contacts in your iPhone, but labeled only as being from a "friend" or "friend of a friend." Secret is Facebook as a masquerade ball, Twitter without the self-promotion, Google+’s private sharing done right. It’s the curiosity gap as a social network, and it also serves as a critique of all the others. Elsewhere you are inauthentic and dull, it seems to say. Secret is a place to be yourself.

Guardian: Facebook made my teenager into an ad. What parent would ever ‘like’ that?
If your child “likes” a company that advertises on Facebook, or if she “checks in” at a restaurant, or uses an app associated with that company, her image may appear next to a custom ad for the business in the News Feed and elsewhere, with text suggesting that she endorses that business.