Afternoon News Update for Monday, 3/10/14.


‘Boondocks’ Creator Brings ‘Black Jesus’ to Adult Swim
The Turner-owned network has picked up a new half-hour live-action comedy series called Black Jesus from Aaron McGruder. The new half-hour live-action scripted comedy finds Jesus living in present-day Compton, Calif., on a daily mission to spread love and kindness throughout the neighborhood with the help of his small but loyal group of downtrodden followers. Newcomer Gerald "Slink" Johnson stars as Black Jesus. Charlie Murphy, Corey Holcomb and John Witherspoon round out the cast. McGruder, who created the series, will executive produce via his 5 Mutts Productions along with Mike Clattenberg and LEG’s Norman Aladjem and John Bravakis.

EOne & De Laurentiis Co. To Adapt Frederik Pohl’s Sci-Fi Classic ‘Gateway’ As TV Series
Entertainment One Television
has teamed with De Laurentiis Co. to develop and produce a drama series adaptation of Frederik Pohl’s Gateway. The project will be executive produced by De Laurentiis Co’s Martha De Laurentiis and Lorenzo De Maio along with eOne’s John Morayniss, Michael Rosenberg, and Benedict Carver. Search is underway for a writer. Gateway is set in the Heechee, a space station constructed by a long-vanished alien race, now inhabited by humans. It centers on Robinette “Rob” Broadhead, whohas traveled on a one-way ticket from Earth for the extremely dangerous mission of piloting one of thousands of abandoned alien spacecrafts on Gateway.

The Wolf Pups Of Wall Street: FtvS Adapting Book ‘Young Money’ As Drama Series
A series project at Fox TV Studios is taking an inside look into the Wall Street culture of greed and excess — this time from the vantage point of its newest recruits. FtvS has optioned journalist Kevin Roose‘s bestselling nonfiction book Young Money: Inside The Hidden World Of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits, an exposé that chronicles the lives and exploits of young Wall Street bankers after the crash of 2008. Burn Notice‘s Alfredo Barrios will write the adaptation, which will be shopped shortly. He is executive producing alongside Alan Gasmer (Vikings) and Peter Jaysen of Veritas Entertainment.

Barry Sonnenfeld Directing Fox Comedy Pilot ‘Dead Boss’
Barry Sonnenfeld
is poised to direct Fox‘s half-hour pilotDead Boss, from WBTV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment.

(sched) TNT Sets Premieres for Falling Skies Season 4, Eric Dane’s Last Ship and Sean Bean’s Legends
TNT’s The Last Ship
, a military/outbreak thriller fronted by Eric Dane (Grey’s Anatomy) and also starring Rhona Mitra and Adam Baldwin, will set sail on Sunday, June 22 at 9/8c. Season 4 of Falling Skies will lead out of The Last Ship that night, airing at 10/9c. TNT’s summer slate also features the Wednesday, Aug. 20 premiere of Legends, a drama from Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Alexander Cary and Fringe co-executive producer David Wilcox, starring Sean Bean.

(sched) ABC Family Sets Summer Premieres For Pretty Little Liars, 90210 Gals’ Mystery Girls and More
Pretty Little Liars
returns for Season 5 on June 10 at 8/7c. Chasing Life, a new series starring Italia Ricci, premieres June 10 at 9/8c. Switched at Birth returns with its summer premiere June 16 at 8/7c. The Fosters‘ summer premiere will follow at 9/8c. New comedy Young & Hungry, starring Emily Osment and executive-produced by Ashley Tisdale, premieres June 25 at 8/7c. Another new comedy, Mystery Girls, premieres June 25 at 8:30/7:30c. Starring Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling, the half-hour series follows two former TV detectives who reunite to solve real-life crimes.

Raising Hope Cancelled, to End Its Run in April
has announced that Raising Hope will end its run on April 4, with a one-hour finale.

(review) Slate: Could Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams Make a Messy, Cliché-Ridden TV Show?
Believe, NBC’s new, glossy J.J. Abrams–produced and Alfonso Cuarón–directed drama, begins in medias car chase. The grown-ups get their necks snapped, the kid gets rushed to the hospital, and Believeis off, cycling so fast through clichés that it briefly seems like they are being deployed playfully, as with Abrams’ best work, remixed in a knowing way. They are not.

(review) THR: Silicon Valley
Mike Judge has created a series that perfectly spoofs the tech industry, nerds, visionaries, geek-status and what it means to make a lot of money (or not).


ABC’s ‘Agatha’ to Co-Star ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Actor
Clancy Brown
will play Bojana Novakovic’s estranged father in the one-hour drama pilot.

Tom Verica Cast In ABC Pilot ‘How To Get Away’; Morgan Spector In NBC’s ‘Coercion’
Tom Verica
has joined the cast of ABC drama pilot How To Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. Verica will play Annalise’s husband Tom, a psychology professor who comes from a long line of academic royalty. Morgan Spector is set as a series regular in the NBC drama pilot Coercion.

Alana De La Garza To Star In ABC Pilot ‘Forever’, Mehcad Brooks Joins ‘Identity’
Alana de la Garza
has been tapped as the female lead opposite Ioan Gruffudd in ABC’s drama pilot Forever, written by Matthew Miller and directed by Brad Anderson. Mehcad Brooks has joined the CW pilot Identity, exec produced by Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci.

‘Psych’s’ James Roday Joins CBS Relationship Comedy Pilot
James Roday
has been tapped to play the male lead in “Good Session,” the CBS comedy pilot from Matt Miller and John Hamburg.

Gabourey Sidibe Reunites With Lee Daniels on Fox’s ‘Empire’
The "Precious" Oscar nominee will recur on the hip-hop family drama, which has also enlisted Trai Byers and Grace Gealey.


Lionsgate Developing ‘Epic Fail’ Film for Ed Helms
, along with Ed Helms and Nicky Weinstock, have set up the pic “Epic Fail” with Helms attached to star and Weinstock on board to produce. The pic follows an elite, but highly unorthodox, special forces team as it takes its dysfunction and excessive firepower on a desperate mission to save America. Mike Arnold and Chris Poole will write the script.

‘True Detective’s’ Erin Moriarty to Star in New Line’s ‘Crawlspace’

Following her breakout role as Woody Harrelson’s daughter in “True Detective,” Erin Moriarty has now landed the lead role in New Line’s Crawlspace.” Phil Claydon will direct with Peter Safran producing along with Rick Alvarez. Story follows a relocated family who moves into a new home where the previous inhabitants mysteriously were killed by a murderer living in the walls. Gary Dauberman penned the script.


‘Tales to Astonish’ Trailer: Marvel Makes a Documentary
Tales to Astonish is a short-form documentary series that examines the context of Marvel’s most famous recent tales. On, John Cerilli, Marvel’s VP of Content & Programming, explained the idea behind Tales to Astonish. “So many of Marvel’s stories and characters were created by storytellers—editors, writers, pencilers—who like all great artists are often influenced by events happening in the real world. In ‘Tales to Astonish,’ we now have the opportunity to explore all of these influences and, in turn, entertain a wider swath people who may or may not have known about these things, but are interested in entertainment with really compelling narratives.”

(q&a) Grantland: Welcome to the WWE Network
David Shoemaker and Bill Simmons spent the past 10 days digesting the new WWE Network, which launched on February 24 and caused a multimedia riot in the wrestling community. Q: OK, the channel launched, you signed up, you downloaded the app … what happened next? Can you walk us through the first few minutes as you slowly realized exactly what a monster it was?

Simmons: Within five minutes, we download the app and sign up … and it was like, “Whoa!” I remember thinking, So I can watch it on my iPad or my laptop, or through Apple TV, or PlayStation or Xbox, or Roku … wait, THEY SKIPPED THE MIDDLEMAN! No wonder DirecTV and Dish were so pissed! Then I found “The Vault” and the rest was history.

Machinima Raises $18 Million in Financing Deal Led by Warner Bros.
announced Monday that it has secured much-needed capital. The massive network of millennial, gamer-drive YouTube channels raised $18 million in financing, led by Warner Bros. Entertainment and with existing investors MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Capital participating.

Streaming TV Isn’t Ready for Prime Time
So you’ve done it. You’ve cut the cord. You’ve got your Netflix and your Hulu Plus and your Aereo and your cousin’s HBO GO password and a bag of popcorn. You’re comfortable with the sacrifices—honestly, mostly just ESPN—and prepared to embrace the glorious future of television. Only problem? The future of television’s not prepared for you


NYT: Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney
Owen barely communicated with my wife and me. But he opened up to the parrot from “Aladdin.”


Animation Marketing Veteran David Sameth Upped at Disney
David Sameth
has been promoted to executive vice president of marketing at Walt Disney Studios, where he’ll continue to head up campaigns for titles from Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, home of global blockbuster Frozen. He reports directly to Disney worldwide marketing chief Ricky Strauss.

Carla Hacken Takes Production President Post At Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
Carla Hacken
has been named president of production at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. Hacken, who set up a producing label at DreamWorks after a 15-year tenure as an executive at Fox 2000 and a short stay at New Regency, will start her new job March 17. She will oversee both film and TV projects for Sidney Kimmel’s company.

David Fierson Named Head of Business Operations for Anonymous Content
David Fierson
has been tapped by Anonymous Content as head of business operations for the company. Fierson comes to Anonymous from Alcon Entertainment, where he served as head of the business and legal affairs department.

Prospect Park Networks Files For Chapter 11
Their multimillion-dollar legal action against ABC over seemingly shuttered licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live continues, but Prospect Park Networks today filed for Chapter 11. Today’s move will not affect the Prospect Park management and talent company that Jeff Kwatinetz and ex-Walt Disney Studios president Richard Frank formed back in 2008. Nor will it halt their broadcast and cable productions.


Hitfix: The 25 best TV opening credit sequences of all-time
Title sequences are one of the many reasons I’m glad that HBO and other cable channels started making their own series, because "The Sopranos" et al began to rise just as the broadcast networks were starting to phase out long theme songs and credit montages. As the hourly commercial load has risen, TV producers have had to choose between dumping long credits or dumping story time. When title sequences are done well, they vastly enhance the experience and serve as an effective lure to keep watching out of reflexive loyalty.

How To Write Flawed Heroes, From The Writer Who Perfected The Art Form
Terence Winter
, writer of Oscar-nominated "Wolf of Wall Street" and The Sopranos and creator of Boardwalk Empire offers some insights into writing complicated heroes.