Afternoon News Update for Monday, 5/19/14.


Producer Carol Polakoff Rebrands Company, Expands Into TV Series With FX Projects
Filmmaker and TV producer/director Carol Polakoff is expanding her Viewerfinder banner into television with two hourlong series projects at FX, including a cyber crime drama from writer Ed Burns. She also is officially rebranding her Carol Polakoff Productions company to Viewerfinder Pictures and bringing on former Vie Entertainment exec Kristina Sorensen as VP Production & Development. Polakoff also has The Iron King at FX, an adaptation of Maurice Druon’s book series The Accursed Kings.

ABC Family’s Paranormal Drama ‘Stitchers’ Casts Its Leads
Emma Ishta
and Kyle Harris will star in the pilot from Jeffrey A. Schechter.

Veteran Actors Courtney B. Vance and Rene Auberjonois Join Season Two of ‘Masters of Sex’
Veteran actors Courtney B. Vance and Rene Auberjonois have joined the season two cast.

(video) CBS Debuts Promo for New Drama ‘Reckless’
Southern charm may not be all that it’s cracked up to be, at least in CBS’ new legal drama “Reckless.” The promo reveals two lawyers, Jamie Sawyer (Anna Wood) and Roy Rayder (Cam Gigandet), battling it out in court after Sawyer’s client, a disgraced cop, sues the Charleston, S.C. police department for sexual assault.

Rejected pilots: Look who’s out of work (for now)
Look who’s in the bread line after pilot season! Here’s who (and what projects) we will miss now that the upfronts are over.

New Yorker: The Greatness of “The Good Wife”
In the course of five seasons, “The Good Wife” has become profound. The fundamentals haven’t changed: most episodes still revolve around a single case, and there are still lots of lawyers shouting, “Objection!” But the atmosphere in which all this happens has become meditative, even existential. Increasingly, as the characters argue, plot, and struggle, they wonder, What’s the point?


How ‘Godzilla’ Defied the Experts and Tracking to Blow Away the Box Office
The remake of the iconic Japanese monster movie blew away their projections — by a jaw-dropping $20 million-plus — on its way to a spectacular $93 million No. 1 debut at the box office this weekend. But how did it happen, particularly today when every aspect of marketing and promotion data, social media and competition is measured, sliced and diced on grand and granular scales? There’s no single factor that explains the huge overperformance, but there are several that made a difference.


Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to appear in ‘Duck Dynasty’ season premiere
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal agreed to appear in the show’s sixth season premiere, which will air June 11.

Salon: How the Internet saved late-night television
Gone are the days of Johnny Carson, when Americans collectively relaxed at night with the familiarity of their favorite host. Today, not only are there more options in late night, the very idea of sitting down to watch an hour of comedy, interviews, and performances before going to bed seems somewhat archaic. With the rise of the Internet, late night has become almost more about what gets watched the next morning rather than how many people tune in the night of.


AMC’s New Drama Premieres on Tumblr — 2 Weeks Before TV
released the premiere episode of its newest drama, Halt and Catch Fire on Tumblr, and video on demand on Monday, two weeks before the show makes its broadcast debut. It’s not uncommon for TV shows to debut digitally before they appear on broadcast or cable, this is notable because it’s the first-ever TV series premiere on Tumblr. This is also the first time AMC has premiered a show on a social media platform.

Why Classic Shows Are Vanishing From Netflix
Content is getting more expensive, and sometimes the stuff IP owners want you to see isn’t the stuff you want to watch. “Netflix will spend more than $3 billion this year alone, and they’re committed to licensing more than $7 billion. The cost to produce content is higher than anything, and that’s the highest cost of all.” Networks, ultimately, want to drive live viewership—that’s where the money still is, and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos has claimed that the service “brought maybe a million viewers to AMC” in 2012. And that may mean Sony sells less Monty Python’s Flying Circus and more Drop Dead Diva.


(q&a) AdWeek: Jackie de Crinis Returns From Paradise to Take On USA’s Wider Development Mission
Can you discuss the network’s plans for comedy?

We’re sticking our toe in the water. We had a nice first foray in with Sirens and Playing House and now with the larger comedy slate we announced this month. But finding our focus and what works for our audience is still an evolution. Comedy is very tricky, but if you hit it right, it’s so universal and such an opportunity for co-viewing. Historically, most of our dramas have been infused with a great sense of humor, starting with Monk and more recently Psych. So keeping that element of our brand alive in a different genre is exciting and fun.


L.A. entertainment jobs grow 5.3% in April
Employment in Los Angeles County’s motion picture and sound recording sector grew to 126,400 jobs in April, up 6,400 jobs from the same month last year, a 5.3% increase, according to figures from that state Employment Development Department. The figures marked the fourth month this year that job growth in the L.A. County entertainment sector has increased from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. The growth in entertainment jobs was noteworthy because the category outpaced all private sector (non-farm) job growth in L.A. County, which rose 2.2% last month.

Hashtag, Selfie and Tweep Have Been Accepted Into the Dictionary
Merriam-Webster has added more than 150 words and definitions to its collegiate dictionary for 2014, with many reflecting the collision of technology and pop culture. Some of the new words include "hashtag," "selfie" and "tweep," along with new definitions for words like "catfish," which is now recognized as "a person who sets up a false social network profile for deceptive purposes."

Here’s how terrible U.S. broadband service really is
The U.S. is ranked 30th in the world in broadband speeds, behind the likes of Iceland, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Russia, and the U.K. We also pay more for much less, shelling out an average of $55 a month for broadband service, while countries with faster connections like France, Russia and the U.K. all come in at under $45 a month. Even the citizens of Hong Kong—which averages the fastest Internet speeds in the world—pay over 40 percent less than American customers, with an average cost of $31 a month for broadband service.