Afternoon News Update for Wednesday, 5/7/14.


Fox Cancels ‘Dads’, ‘Surviving Jack’ & ‘Enlisted’, Passes On Comedy Pilots ‘Fatrick’, ‘No Place Like Home’, ‘Dead Boss’
cleaned the comedy deck today, pulling the plug on freshman series Dads, Enlisted and Surviving Jack and passing on half-hour pilots Fatrick, Dead Boss and No Place Like Home. The two Fox comedy pilots that had been considered strongest, Sober Companion and Cabot College, remain in contention as Fox is said to be mulling a change in its comedy strategy for next season, likely abandoning the two-hour comedy block, which had been struggling mightily.

Fox Cancels Greg Kinnear Drama ‘Rake’
The network pulls the plug on the drama.

TNT Orders Drama Series From Kyra Sedgwick, Ed Burns
The cable network has picked up both "Proof" and "Public Morals" to series.

TBS Orders ‘Buzzy’s,’ ‘Your Family or Mine,’ Rashida Jones Comedies to Series
The Turner-owned cable network has also greenlit comedies "Buzzy’s," "Your Family or Mine" in addition to "Angie Tribeca."

‘Key and Peele’ Bosses Tapped as Showrunners on TV Land’s Alison Brie Comedy
Ian Roberts
and Jay Martel will oversee the cabler’s Alison Brie-produced "Teachers." The web series-turned-pilot 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.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ gets more episodes for ‘epic’ season 2
The breakout supernatural-historical thriller will produce at least 15 episodes for its sophomore season, with producers currently preparing for a potential total of 18 episodes. That’s well above the 13-episode order for season one.

(sched) Season Two of ‘Witches of East End’ to Premiere July 6
The second season of Lifetime’s thrilling series Witches of East End returns this summer, beginning Sunday, July 6, at 9 pm ET/PT.

THR: TV Upfronts: Early Trends Emerge as Broadcasters Bet on Black Leads, Politics and Terror
Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson
and Katherine Heigl all will have a place on the 2014-15 schedule as the Big Four networks look to build on formulas that work.

Deadline: UPFRONTS 2014: The Success Of Cristela Alonzo & Jerrod Carmichael’s Projects And What That Says About the Pilot System
Cristela Alonzo’s
semi-autobiographical Cristela, from 20th TV and studio-based 21 Laps/Adelstein, has been a true Cinderella story. It was sold to ABC last summer with penalty. The producers, who also are behind ABC’s Last Man Standing, took the $500,000 penalty and used it to budget a presentation with ABC’s blessing. Cristela ended up filming a full-length pilot on the stage of Last Man Standing using that sitcom’s crew, led by director/co-exec producer John Pasquin. Cristela tested through the roof, with Alonzo, who has no previous acting experience, scoring higher than Tim Allen, New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel and The Crazy OnesRobin Williams.

Showrunners Wanted: Networks Grapple With Lack Of Experienced Writing Producers
It is becoming an annual tradition: after pilots are shot and delivered, there is a scramble to find showrunners. More and more newly picked up series are in a need of a seasoned showrunner every year. Bringing fresh TV talent or feature talent to TV is to be applauded. It’s the lack of showrunner talent to support their vision that is alarming.


Oxygen Media Expands Development Slate with Five Vibrant New Projects Targeting Young Women
Oxygen Media
announced today five new projects in development. The projects include “Sister Witches,” focusing on three sisters in their twenties who practice witchcraft, “Finding My Father,” following women as they put the missing pieces together and reconnect with the father they never knew; “Aunt Nikki” about six sisters back under one roof looking for a fresh start, “Love On The Line” a twist on online dating where our young romantics who have never met will have to first meet their significant other’s friends and family, and “Wantrepreneur” where millennial entrepreneurs will help guide and invest in young budding tycoons to turn their passions into successful business ventures.

A&E Orders Reality Pilot ‘The Big Brew Theory’ From Mark Wahlberg
Building on the success of “Wahlburgers,” the network has greenlit a new half-hour reality pilot produced by Mark Wahlberg and set in his native Boston. The project, which has a working title of “The Big Brew Theory,” follows four quirky and highly intelligent MIT grad students who have pooled their life savings to achieve their dream of creating a home grown micro-brewery and team up with a beautiful MIT undergrad to launch their business.

‘Vice’ Gets a Two-Season Renewal at HBO
The TV arm of the expanding media company gets additional runs set for 2015 and 2016.

NBC’s New Olympic Deal: Six-Games Strategy Includes Hopes for a U.S. Host City
With its early $7.65 billion media rights pact, NBCUniversal stands to score even bigger ratings and profits if one of the unannounced Winter or Summer Games lands on American soil.

Terry Crews Named New ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ Host
James Rowley
will join the series as an executive producer.

NBC Looks to ESPN for New Executive at ‘Today’
The hiring of Jamie Horowitz reflects the intense competition in the morning between NBC and ESPN’s sister network, ABC.

(sched) ‘NY Med’ Premieres Tuesday, June 24 at 10:00 PM/ET on ABC
Eight-Part Series Offers a One-of-a-Kind Look at the World of Doctors and Nurses.


William Shatner Signs Development Deal With Ora.TV
The actor’s "Brown Bag Wine Tasting" will join the home of Larry King and others; they also will develop and produce new original content with Internet TV network and production studio.


Seven returns to The Killing Field
Australia’s Seven Network
has ordered a series spin-off of the telemovie The Killing Field, which stars Rebecca Gibney as the leader of a task force sent to a country town to investigate the case of a missing teenage girl, only to uncover a serial killer. An in-house production, the telemovie was written by Sarah Smith and Michaeley O’Brien, directed by Samantha Lang and produced by Bill Hughes, with Gibney as coproducer.


Universal Selects Five Writers for New Fellowship
The Emerging Writers Fellowship will allow aspiring writers to pitch original ideas and meet with established Hollywood screenwriters and producers. Chandus T. Jackson, Margaret Rose Lester, Steve Martinez, Ivy Pruss and Salia Reyes will serve as fellows, working on current Universal projects and pitching original story ideas over the course of the program.


Grantland: Pilot Season Scouting Report
Next week, the four broadcast networks will descend on New York City for the upfronts, a yearly tradition in which ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox present their upcoming shows to an audience of skeptical ad buyers and an even more skeptical general public. As New York Magazine’s Josef Adalian noted this week, the portion of 18-to-49-year-olds (the much-coveted “demo” that fuels nearly every ratings conversation) watching the Big Four has atrophied from more than 50 percent in 2000 to just 30 percent today. Thankfully, for the first time in years, the Big Four all seem to be following some sort of plan.

Atlantic: Why Nobody Writes About Popular TV Shows
On television, the world of criticism and the world of viewership aren’t merely askew; they’re mostly on different planets. No self-respecting TV critic writes about NCIS: Los Angeles, ever—ever—even though the all-time most-popular episode of Game of Thrones (which is, itself, the all-time most-popular HBO show) got fewer viewers than an NCIS: LA rerun. More than other entertainment industries, TV seems to play by the rules of a peculiar Faustian bargain: Be popular and scarcely acknowledged; or be praised and scarcely watched.

Women Consider Friends’ Opinions the Most ‘Trusted Advertising’
It seems word-of-mouth means a lot when you are trying to separate a woman from her money. A Ladies’ Home Journal study found that female shoppers value peer opinions over any kind of paid placement—and the vast majority of those surveyed said the experience of someone they knew directly led to a purchase decision.

Economist: Why The Mona Lisa Stands Out
Have you ever fallen for a novel and been amazed not to find it on lists of great books? Or walked around a sculpture renowned as a classic, struggling to see what the fuss is about? So, how does a work of art come to be considered great?