Morning News Update for Tuesday, 4/15/14.


ABC President Paul Lee Signs New Contract
ABC Entertainment Group
president Paul Lee has finalized a new multi-year deal to remain at the helm of the broadcast network and its sibling ABC Studios. ABC is heading into next month’s upfronts with a top executive team in place for the next several years.

Yahoo In Talks for Comedy ‘34 and Pregnant’ from ‘Girls’ Scribe Lesley Arfin
is considering a series order for “34 and Pregnant,” a comedy from Lesley Arfin, a former writer on HBO’s “Girls” and MTV’s “Awkward.” The show is on the shortlist for Yahoo’s prospective lineup of big-budget originals, according to multiple sources, but a deal has not been signed. “34 and Pregnant” is an allusion to MTV’s “16 and Pregnant”. Arfin had previously been developing the mom-com for HBO as a digital-only comedy series for HBO Go.

TV Land Orders Darren Star Laffer ‘Younger’ Starring Hilary Duff, Sutton Foster
Darren Star’s
newest series “Younger” has found a home at TV Land. The cabler has ordered 12 episodes of the half-hour laffer, written, executive produced and directed by Star. Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar and Miriam Shor are all set to star in the series. The comedy follows 40-year-old single mother Liza (Foster) who tries to pass herself off as 26 as she prepares to re-enter the workforce. Duff will play Liza’s twenty-something co-worker Kelsey. The show will be shot in New York – a first for TV Land.

DC Comics’ ‘Scalped’ being adapted into crime noir drama by WGN America
WGN America
has put into development a television adaption of the Native American reservation-set crime comic Scalped. The crime noir series of the same name is from writer/producer Doug Jung and takes place in the fictional Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The show will chronicle the Oglala Lakota inhabitants as they balance to struggle their cultural identity with their life of organized crime, poverty, drugs, and politics.

Director Michael Fresco Re-Ups Deal With ABC Studios
ABC Studios
and ABC have inked a third consecutive deal with director-producer Michael Fresco for him to direct and executive produce a pilot next year. Fresco just completed ABC/ABC Studios’ Jeff Lowell pilot.

‘Hell on Wheels’ Alum to Topline ABC’s ‘Astronaut Wives Club’
Dominique McElligott
will star in the drama series from Stephanie Savage. McElligott will star as Louise Shepard.

Nazneen Contractor Joins Season Five of ‘Covert Affairs’
Nazneen Contractor
has been cast as a recurring guest star in USA Network’s globe-trotting hit espionage series, COVERT AFFAIRS, when it returns this summer for its fifth season.

(rumor) Hayley Atwell’s ‘Agent Carter’ rumored to be heading to ABC series pick-up
The events that happened in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and in the show last week would imply that we’d see some things happen in "Agent Carter" that would be serving a dual purpose. Another story thread that might make things interesting involves Sharon Carter. Technically speaking, she’s also Agent Carter, and Emily VanCamp is a big name in the TV world now. Could Marvel have introduced her in the film specifically so they can carry her over to the TV show and tell stories set in two different time periods?

New Date added to ‘Nashville’ Concert Tour; First Tour Dates Complete Sell-Out
The tickets for the first-ever “Nashville” Concert Tour with series stars Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio and Chris Carmack went on sale April 4 and sold out within minutes. Another date has been added for Monday, May 5 at Tower Theater in Philadelphia and tickets Go On sale April 19.


Fox Picks Up Mark Millar’s ‘Superior’ Comic Book
The comic centers on a popular and athletic 12-year-old boy who loses his social life when he is stricken by multiple sclerosis. One night, an alien monkey grants the boy one wish and he chooses to become his favorite superhero, a Superman-like character named Superior. After relishing his new life as a hero, the boy discovers that the monkey is actually a demon from Hell and he must sell his soul if he is to remain the powerful hero — or return to his original body.

SSN: 10 Must-See Movies At Tribeca Film Fest ‘14
For the next two weeks, SSN will bring you exclusive interviews, previews, and recaps from the festival. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that the Tribeca Film Festival is first and foremost a film festival. Here are this year’s 10 must-see movies.


David Lyle exits Nat Geo, new CEO installed
National Geographic Channels
is replacing CEO David Lyle with its domestic networks’ chief marketing officer Courteney Monroe.

A+E’s New FYI Adds Pair of Unscripted Pilots
The cable network — a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corp. — has added hourlong unscripted entries You’re the One and Marry Me … Today. You’re the One hails from Nerd TV and Jago Lee, John Farrar and Sarah Lazenby and follows men and women as they travel the globe in search of a lost love. Marry Me … Today is produced by 44 Blue Productions (Wahlburgers, Breaking Boston) and digital wedding leader The Knot. The project follows an ambitious groom-to-be as he surprises his girlfriend with a whirlwind day of their lives that includes both an engagement and marriage in one day.

Laura Ingraham Joining ABC News as Contributor
Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham is joining ABC News as a contributor, George Stephanopoulos said on Sunday’s “This Week.”


NBCUniversal To Launch Video Series Via Hulu, Web and VOD
is set to launch more than dozen new video series that will appear first via digital venues including including channel websites, Hulu and video-on-demand. Even though the series aren’t slated at present to air in linear fashion on, say, an NBC or a Syfy, promos will appear during various programs on the NBCU TV networks that promote the digital series. NBCU also wants to match advertisers with the various series.


AXN CE produces first Polish series
Sony Pictures Television’s AXN Central Europe has begun production of its first Polish local content.
The channel is to produce a three-part mini-series based on Swedish crime production Morden I Sandhamm, directed by Greg Zgliński and produced by Opus Films. Viveca Stens popular novels come to life in "The Sandhamn Murders", a perfect mix of Nordic crime & the beautiful surroundings of the outer Stockholm archipelago.


Anand Kini Named EVP, Strategy and Business Insights At NBCU
promoted Anand Kini to executive vice president of strategy and business insight, and said the executive would report to Steve Burke, the chief executive of the company and join the NBCUniversal Executive Committee. In this new role, Kini will assume responsibility for data-driven consumer and business insights and will continue to shape and develop NBCUniversal’s long term strategic direction.

Roselyn Sanchez, Raul Gonzalez & Laura Flores to Host the Billboard Latin Music Awards
The 2014 Billboard Latin Music Awards presented by State Farm®, the longest-running and most prestigious Latin music awards show, will be hosted by beloved TV personality, Raul Gonzalez; Puerto Rican actress, producer, model, singer and songwriter, Roselyn Sanchez; and legendary Mexican actress, singer and TV host Laura Flores.


WGA Diversity Report: Women Writers See Gains In TV, Slide On Film Side
The WGA West 2014 Hollywood Writers Report has uncovered modest gains for minority and women TV writers but on the film side employment in these circles is continuing its slide, offsetting overall gains.