Morning News Update for Wednesday, 2/26/14.


Disney to Film Marvel Netflix Series in NYC as Part of Massive New Production Deal
Disney CEO Bob Iger and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in Times Square on Wednesday that the state has carved out tax incentives valued at around $4 million to accommodate the needs of the massive multi-character series, which should consist of at minimum nearly 60 hour-long TV episodes. There will be 13 episodes devoted to each of the four main characters — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist — plus a four-to-eight episode mini-series centered on “The Defenders” team that will wrap it all together. “

‘Looking’ Renewed for Second Season by HBO
has renewed dramedy Looking for a second season.

‘Ripper Street’ Un-Canceled, Third Season To Premiere On Amazon Prime Instant Video
BBC AMERICA’s critically acclaimed drama series Ripper Street has been commissioned for a third season. From producers Tiger Aspect Productions and Lookout Point, Ripper Street will continue to be co-produced by BBC AMERICA and in a new landmark deal, Amazon has acquired UK subscription streaming rights.

El Rey Sets Debut For Orci/Kurtzman Series ‘Matador’ As March to Upfront Begins
El Rey
said it would launch “Matador,” an original, scripted action series from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, in July, just following the World Cup competition. El Rey’s first scripted series, a TV reworking of the Rodriguez film “From Dusk Till Dawn,” is slated to debut March 11. The network will in April debut “El Rey Presents: The Director’s Chair,” a ten-part series featuring interviews between Rodriguez and “the industry’s most notable directors.” John Carpenter will be among those featured in the series, which will feature hour-long episodes and will debut in April.

Deadline: PILOT SEASON 2014: The Year Of The Odd Couple Comedies
With CBS greenlighting The Odd Couple, its the perfect final entry in a string of odd-couple comedies this pilot season. While the networks have tried on and off to launch an odd male couple comedy over the past decade, including Fox’s pilot Little Brother two years ago, there hasn’t been such a concerted effort with so many pilots toplined by well-known stars like this year. Will this finally be the season that will produce a new successful odd couple comedy series?

Pilot Season Shifts Raise Writers’ Concerns About Payday Protocols
Under the terms of the Writers Guild of America contract with the major nets and studios, writers earn higher fees for penning the story and teleplay for a pilot than they do for crafting scripts for non-pilot episodes. But networks are increasingly skipping the pilot stage and going straight to series on some projects.


Taraji P. Hanson To Star In Lee Daniels’ Hip-Hop Fox Pilot ‘Empire’
Taraji P. Hanson has been tapped as the female lead opposite Terrence Howard in Empire, Fox‘s drama pilot from Lee Daniels, Danny Strong and Imagine’s Brian Grazer.

FX’s Fargo Adds Key & Peele as FBI Agents
has announced that Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele will appear on the upcoming series adaptation of the Coen Brothers masterpiece, playing Webb Pepper and Bill Budge, FBI partners.

Drew Tarver Lands A Lead In ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Spinoff
Exactly a month ago, Drew Tarver performed at CBS‘ 9th annual Diversity Showcase as a LGBT participant. The network signed him in a talent holding deal, and he has now been cast as one of the leads of How I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Dad.

Rashida Jones’ Parents, Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton, to Play Her Folks in TBS Pilot Tribeca
Rashida Jones’
real-life parents, Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton, have been tapped to play her on-screen parents in Tribeca.


FYI Network Sets First Slate, Launch Date
has set a date. The A+E-owned lifestyle network formerly known as Bio will relaunch July  7 as an "inspiration engine" for a core audience of upscale women in their early 40s. The inaugural slate will look to reflect the varied passions of its viewers, with programming devoted to fashion, food, style and design. Among the rebranded cable network’s first batch of series: The Epic Meal Show, a new twist on the popular YouTube series, and The Feed, a food comedy road show hosted by Top Chef’s Gail Simmons, The Taste’s Marcus Samuelsson and comedian Max Silvestri.


Eccho Rights Picks Up New Drama from Turkey’s Ay Yapim
Eccho Rights
has signed on as the worldwide distribution partner for the upcoming Turkish drama Kurt Seyit & Sura from Ay Yapim. The epic production is currently filming in locations from St Petersburg to Istanbul. It stars Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and Farah Zeynep Abdullah in the title roles. The love story is being adapted from a best-selling novel. It is about a dashing womanizing Lieutenant, Kurt Seyit, who falls in love with Sura, the beautiful daughter of noble Russian family.

Red Arrow takes rights to Belgian comedy
Red Arrow International
has secured worldwide rights to Safety First, a new comedy format from Shelter. The show is a feelgood comedy set in a security company. It has been a hit on Belgian free-to-air broadcaster VTM.


(books) Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley Ink Three-Book Deal for ‘High School Horror Story’ Series
is set to reimagine classic literary monsters in a high school setting. But rather than begin with television, where co-founders Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley have made their careers, DiGa is starting with books. The New York-based production company has inked a three-book deal with Macmillan Children’s Feiwel and Friends imprint for a High School Horror Story collection written by veteran YA author Chandler Baker. The first book, tentatively titled Teen Frankenstein, is expected to be published in the fall of 2015.