Evening News Update for Wednesday, 3/19/14.


Sony Pictures TV To Produce Comic Book Drama Series ‘Powers’ For PlayStation
Sony’s PlayStation
video game console is the latest digital platform to enter the original programming space. Its first show will be hourlong drama Powers, based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. The series will be produced by PlayStation sibling Sony Pictures TV. Powers for PlayStation represents a brand new take on the source material, penned by Charlie Huston. Returning auspices include Circle of Confusion as well as Bendis, Oeming and Michael Dinner who will executive produce with Huston and Remi Aubuchon, along with Circle of Confusion’s David Engel, David Alpert and Lawrence Mattis.

Powers, whose order is said to be around 10 episodes, is set in a world full of people with superhuman abilities and where all of those powers are just another catalyst for mayhem and murder. The series follows Detective Christian Walker, who is in charge of protecting humans like us and investigating cases involving the God-like men and women, referred to as “powers,” who glide through the sky on lightning bolts and fire and who clash above cities in epic battle, oblivious to the mortals below.

FX Orders Billy Crystal’s ‘The Comedians’ to Series
The 13-episode comedy, co-starring Josh Gad, will debut in 2015. In The Comedians, Crystal plays a superstar veteran comedian who is reluctantly paired with Josh Gad, an edgier up-and-coming star, in an unfiltered, behind-the-scenes look at a late-night sketch comedy show where egos and generations collide. Stephnie Weir, Matt Oberg and Megan Ferguson co-star in the Fox Television Studios production. Executive producers and writers are Larry Charles, Matt Nix, Ben Wexler and Crystal, with Gad serving as producer. Charles directed the pilot.

Alison Brie to Exec Produce Web Series-Turned-TV Land Comedy ‘Teachers’
The cable network will produce a pilot with the "Community" star overseeing the project. The popular web series revolves around six elementary school teachers who are trying to mold the minds and lives of America’s youth but they don’t really seem to have their own lives together at all. From making their class help them stalk exes online to altering a grades, the teachers are changing the world one student at a time. TV Land will film Teachers as a single-camera comedy. Matt Miller and Cap Gun TV will exec produce alongside Brie, TV Land president Larry W. Jones and Keith Cox. The Katydids and Miller created the web series.

TBS Developing Stay-At-Home-Dad Comedy Produced By John Krasinski
has put in development Jackass Of All Trades, a male-lead comedy executive produced by John Krasinski. Penned and co-executive produced by first time tv writers Seth Fisher and Danny Mackey, Jackass Of All Trades centers on a devoted stay-at-home dad who, after landing his family in dire financial trouble, resorts to earning a living doing odd jobs off of Craigslist… very odd jobs. Krasinski and Alyson Seeger will executive produce through Sunday Night Prods. alongside Aperture Entertainment’s Adam Goldworm. F

Anna Fricke Inks Overall Deal With 20th TV, Joins ‘Hieroglyph’ As Showrunner
Anna Fricke has closed a new two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, she is joining the studio’s straight-to-series adventure drama Hieroglyph and will also develop new projects.

NBC Renews ‘Chicago Fire,’ ‘Chicago P.D.’ and ‘Grimm’
All three shows will return for the 2014-15 season, in addition to previously renewed The Blacklist, Parks and Recreation, The Voice and Celebrity Apprentice.

‘The Walking Dead’ Gets Off-Net Run on MyNetworkTV
Exclusive broadcast TV rights to the AMC hit go to the channel, with back-to-back episodes airing once a week in the fall.


‘Under the Dome’ Enlists Dwight Yoakam
He’ll recur on the second season of the CBS drama as a guy with ties to Dean Norris’ Big Jim.

‘Dexter’ Alum to Co-Star in ABC’s ‘Astronaut Wives Club’
Desmond Harrington
will play one of the Mercury Seven astronauts who was the first American in space.

Garret Dillahunt Tapped To Star In Amazon’s ‘Hand Of God’
Garret Dillahunt
is set to star opposite Ron Perlman in Amazon’s drama pilot Hand Of God, written by Ben Watkins and directed by Marc Forster.

‘Alias’ Star Victor Garber Joins 50 Cent’s Starz Series ‘Power’
Alias” star Victor Garber and “Lost” actress Sonya Walker will play a “Power” couple. They just signed on to Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s Starz drama debuting this summer.

CSI Finale: Treat Williams Cast as a Pioneer in Crime Scene Investigation
will get a blast from forensics science’s past when TV vet Treat Williams guest-stars in the CBS drama’s the Season 14 finale. http://tvline.com/2014/03/19/csi-season-14-finale-cast-treat-williams/


Justin Lin to Direct Crime Thriller ‘Times Square’ for Focus Features
Justin Lin
is attached to direct the crime thriller “Times Square” for Focus Features. Taylor Materne and Jacob Rubin wrote the script, which was voted to the 2012 Black List. Chernin Entertainment will produce with Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment and Far Hills Pictures. Set against the backdrop of a shady Times Square, story follows a young man whose loyalties are divided between the local crime boss who raised him and the ex-cop who swore to protect him. Lin will produce with his Perfect Storm partner Troy Craig Poon and Chernin Entertainment, while Stone Douglass will executive produce.


Nat Geo Explores Six New Series While Emphasizing Returning Slate
Many TV networks emphasize their slate of new series during upfront presentations, but National Geographic Channel made sure to play up its returning programs with equal zest. Nat Geo will boast ten returning series, along with six new series and a slate of five events or specials. Returning series are: “Brain Games,” “None of the Above,” “Alaska State Troopers,” “Building Wild,” “Drugs Inc.,” “The Legend of Mick Dodge,” “Life Below Zero,” “Life Below Zero: The Thaw,” “Ultimate Survival Alaska” and “Wicked Tuna.”


‘Frozen’ Sells 3.2 Million Blu-ray, DVD Units in First Day
Underscoring the popularity of Frozen, Disney said Wednesday that it has sold 3.2 million units of the movie on Blu-ray and DVD on March 18, its first day of sales. The company believes it will be one the biggest titles released in home entertainment in the last decade. Following its debut on digital HD and digital 3D on Feb. 25, it quickly became the fastest-selling digital release of all time, according to the studio.


A&E Network Ups Scheduling Exec Mark Apter
A&E Network
has promoted Mark Apter to the post of SVP Program Planning & Acquisitions, where he will lead the network’s scheduling team.


Sundance Institute Makes Bold Expansion Into TV
After 30 years of nurturing indie filmmakers, the Sundance Institute is making a bold expansion into TV. The institute is launching a lab that will include support for writers and creators of series for television and online platforms. The debut Sundance Institute Episodic Story Lab will be held in the fall at the Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah. Both drama and comedy writing will be supported at the lab, which has been organized under the leadership of Michelle Satter, founding director of the institute’s feature film program.


Variety: TV Subscriptions Down; Will Cord-Cutting Get Worse?
Dish Network founder and chairman Charlie Ergen is one of the few industry leaders who’s been vocal about a looming crisis. “We’re losing a whole generation of individuals who aren’t going to buy into (the pay-TV) model because they only want one particular show or they want to watch the show wherever they can or they want to watch it on their schedule, and so that generation is not signing up to satellite or cable or phone video today,” he told analysts on Dish’s earnings call last month.

SSN: 7 Podcasts Screenwriters Should Add to Their Playlist
These free podcasts below offer tips and industry insight from credited writers who can give you the inside track to conquering the obstacles of this profession. Below, SSN ranks the preeminent podcasts that offer the best insight and education for screenwriters. http://www.studiosystemnews.com/ssn-a-list-the-7-preeminent-podcasts-screenwriters-should-add-to-their-playlist/

(gaming) Yahoo Will Now Distribute Games, Too, With Yahoo Games Network
Ten months after its acquisition of gaming infrastructure startup PlayerScale, Yahoo has launched a gaming distribution portal, the Yahoo Games Network. It will attempt to rival the likes of Facebook, which just today announced at the Game Developers Conference that 375 million people play Facebook Games on mobile and in-browser each month. Y