Afternoon News Update for Wednesday, 3/26/14.


AMC’s Upfront Slate: First Comedy Pilot, Chris Carter Drama, More
The network has ordered its first comedy pilot, handing out an order to We Hate Paul Revere and officially putting into development Area 51, from Chris Carter and Gale Anne Hurd. Additionally, the cabler has inked Sons of Anarchy’s Dave Erickson to co-write and exec produce its Walking Dead companion series. Written, executive produced and starring Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner, We Hate Paul Revere tells the story of brothers Hugh and Ebenezer Moody and their struggle to find their place and the recognition they believe they deserve as they live in the shadow of history in colonial Boston. On the drama side, the network is developing seven projects from producers including David Shore, Jeff Pinkner, Alexander Woo and Chris Carter.

AMC Pushes Into Scripted Comedy With First Order
AMC is developing a scripted comedy based on Andrea Abbate’s play Random Acts. Abbate will write and executive produce the single-camera comedy alongside Todd Holland and Karey Burke of Dark Toy Entertainment and Kenton Allen of Big Talk Productions. The comedy revolves around Katie and Lisa, single girls in their early 30s who work through issues with relationships, family, and growing up. As contract killers in Echo Park, Katie and Lisa work through issues with drug lords, crooked cops and unpaid debts.

(upfronts) E! Slate: More Kardashians, ‘Rich Kids,’ Lance Bass and ‘Gucci’ Miniseries
The cable network home to the Kardashians has put into development Gucci, a miniseries turning the lens on the famous fashion family from sibling studio Universal Cable Productions, writer Sal Stabile (Revenge) and EP Warren Littlefield.

E! has also renewed "Rich Kids" for a second season and is developing a spinoff, while also adding a Hamptons-set spinoff of the Kardashians’ "Take" franchise. Also among its development slate are six specials and docuseries featuring Diane Von Furstenberg, Christina Milian and two live shows, among others.

El Rey Renews ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ for Second Season
Robert Rodriguez’s
cable network greenlights a 13-episode sophomore run after three episodes.

Shane Brennan Inks New Overall Deal With CBS TV Studios
NCIS: Los Angeles executive producer/showrunner Shane Brennan has signed a new two-year overall deal with the studio behind the hit CBS crime drama. Under the pact, Brennan will continue to run NCIS: LA as he has done since the series’ 2009 launch.

(sched) NBC Slots ‘Undateable,’ ‘Night Shift’ and ‘Crossbones’
Medical drama The Night Shift will premiere Tuesday, May 27 at 10 p.m., while Bill Lawrence’s Undateable will air back-to-back episodes beginning Thursday, May 29 at 9 p.m. Crossbones, starring John Malkovich as Blackbeard, will premiere on Friday, May 30 at 10 p.m. Acquired series Taxi Brooklyn, starring Chyler Leigh, debuts Wednesday, June 25 at 10 p.m. Half-hour comedy Welcome to Sweden from Greg Poehler premieres Thursday, July 10 at 9 p.m., followed by Working the Engels at 9:30 p.m.

(sched) Fox Sets Launch for Faux Prince Harry Dating Series, Shifts ‘Gang Related’
has set its summer schedule, which includes a new dating series called I Wanna Marry "Harry" and a shift for Gang Related. I Wanna Marry "Harry", which pits 12 single American women competing for "Prince Harry’s" affections, will launch Tuesday, May 27 at 8 p.m. The Steve Carell-produced Riot (formerly Slideshow) will debut Tuesday, May 13 at 9 p.m. Scripted drama Gang Related will now receive debut on Thursday, May 22 at 9 p.m. Also on the network’s schedule: Surviving Jack (Thursday, March 27 at 9:30 p.m.) and 24: Live Another Day (Monday, May 5 at 8 p.m.). Fox indicates that Enlisted, whose last original airs April 11, will return to the schedule.


‘Angel’s’ Amy Acker to Play ‘Agents of SHIELD’s’ Mysterious Cello Player
We’ll go deeper into Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) past when Amy Acker guest stars on ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.” Acker will play Audrey, who Marvel fans refer to as “the cellist,” on at least one episode. Fans first heard of the cello player in “The Avengers” movie, a woman who he previously dated and was the love of his life.

CBS’ How I Met Your Dad Adds Crazy Ones Actress as Lead Character’s New BFF
Tiya Sircar
has been cast as Juliet in CBS’ How I Met Your Mother spin-off’s pilot. Sircar’s part, the sexy and flamboyant bestie of Sally (played by Greta Gerwig), also is the role from which which Smash alum Krysta Rodriguez was let go after the table read.


‘Tomb Raider’ Writers to Adapt ‘Young Merlin’ for Disney
Patrick Massett
and John Zinman, the scribes who wrote Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, have been tapped to pen the adaptation of The Lost Years of Merlin, the YA book series written by T.A. Barron. Gil Netter (Life of Pi, The Blind Side) is producing. Disney’s movie adaptation is being titled Young Merlin at this stage. The books centered on a teen who will one day be the powerful mage who sits at the right hand of King Arthur. But first he has many lessons to master, including how to temper his darker leanings and his pride.

’22 Jump Street’ Scribe to Pen DreamWorks’ ‘Heist’
Oren Uziel
has been set to pen the DreamWorks thriller “Heist” with “Need For Speed” helmer Scott Waugh directing. Steve Zaillian and Waugh are producing with Zaillian’s Film Rites partner Garrett Basch exec producing. The original draft’s plot followed a man recruiting his brother to help him on a risky robbery, but this new version from Uziel may take different direction.

‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ Will Set Up Sinister Six Sequel
With two more “Amazing Spider-Man” sequels slated for 2016 and 2018, it’s only fitting that the upcoming Spidey pic “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ will introduce the villains for The Sinister Six movie. “At the tail end of this movie we set up some of the other characters that will probably end up being in the Sinister Six,” Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal told EW. Meanwhile, producer Avi Arad spilled details about the Venom movie and the titular villain’s moral ambiguousness to SFX a few weeks ago. Drew Goddard is writing The Sinister Six movie, while Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinker are penning the Venom film.


AMC Developing Late-Night Series With Kevin Smith, ‘Comic Book Men’ Renewed
The network looks to further its relationship with the filmmaker, ordering a pilot based on Kevin Smith and collaborator Ralph Garman’s "Hollywood Babble-On" podcast and developing a new unscripted vehicle for comic collector Robert Bruce.

Lifetime Renews ‘Kim of Queens’ for Second Season
The cable network has renewed the show for a 10-episode second season set to premiere on Tuesday, June 17th, at 10/9c.

Showtime Orders Morgan Spurlock Series ‘Seven Deadly Sins’
The network has ordered the series “Seven Deadly Sins,” which will be hosted and produced by Morgan Spurlock. The series, which has received an order for seven episodes — one for every deadly sin — is billed as a “stylized documentary series” that will “take an in-depth look at the weird and darkly comic world of sin.” “Seven Deadly Sins” will premiere June 19 at 11 p.m.

‘Jersey Shore,’ ‘Party Down South’ Producer 495 Productions Acquired by FremantleMedia
The production company that brought the world “Jersey Shore” and “Party Down South” has a new owner. “American Idol” producers FremantleMedia has acquired a majority stake in 495 Productions, further strengthening its North American operation. 495 was founded in 2006 by SallyAnn Salsano.

Joey Fatone to Lead New Unscripted Series on Hub Network
Parents Just Don’t Understand
, a new unscripted series led by ‘N Sync’s Joey Fatone, marks the latest efforts from Hub Network to provide more programming that is suitable for co-viewing. The series gives real kids and their parents the chance to find out what it feels like to be in the other person’s shoes. Kids will experience their parents’ busy, over-scheduled lives, while parents get to spend a day seeing what pressures their children are experiencing. The 22-episode series is produced by Endemol’s 51 Minds Entertainment.


Legendary Television Taps Noah Greenshner as VP, Scripted Development
Legendary Television
has hired Noah Greenshner as Vice President, Scripted Development. Greenshner previously worked at Closed on Mondays, a sister company to graphic novel publisher Oni Press. In his new capacity, Greenshner will identify branded material and IP for Legendary, as well as further develop internal projects for the company.

Wrap: Who Has TV Greenlight Power in Hollywood? A Broadcast Network Guide
Every decision to put a show on the air comes with hours of deliberation with people above and below the chief. So we talked with the heads of ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS and individuals from the various studios that pitch them to see how the decisions of what you’ll be watching next September are made — and who are the players behind those decisions.

Patrick Dempsey’s Mother Amanda Dies of Cancer
Patrick Dempsey’s mother Amanda died Monday after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 79. Amanda had been diagnosed with the cancer in 1997 and had fought off multiple occurrences of it since then. The Grey’s Anatomy star and his sisters, Mary and Alicia, partnered with Central Maine Medical Center, where Amanda was treated, to establish The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in Lewiston, Maine, six years ago.

Devious Maids’ Grant Show and Katherine LaNasa Welcome Daughter
Devious Maids star Grant Show and his wife Katherine LaNasa, welcomed a baby girl on Tuesday.

Arrest Warrant Issued for Scandal’s Columbus Short
An arrest warrant has been issued for Scandal star Columbus Short because of a bar fight he was involved in earlier this month. Short, 31, has been charged with felony aggravated battery stemming from a March 15 altercation in which he allegedly punched a man at an engagement party. The charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in state prison. Short’s bond is set at $50,000.

Willow Bay to Head USC Annenberg School of Journalism
Journalist Willow Bay has been named as the director of the School of Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.


(feature) FastCo: Building The Next Pixar
Some of Pixar’s most illustrious alums, steeped for decades in Pixar’s potent creative culture, reveal how they apply the company’s philosophies of success to their own ventures — and you can, too.

THR: A TV Director’s Open Letter to Anne Sweeney: It’s All About the Shoes
Forget the Disney executive suite. A director’s chair is the most powerful place in television — just as long as you follow these simple guidelines from Bruce Leddy ("Cougar Town").