Morning News Update for Wednesday, 5/21/14.


Bill Hader To Create & Star In HBO Series
Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader has signed an exclusive development deal with HBO to create and star in a new series for the premium cable network. It hasn’t been determined yet whether the series would be half-hour or hourlong.

Showtime Developing Legal Comedy From ‘Spy’s’ Simeon Goulden
"Control Alt Delete"
hails from Fox 21 and producers Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope and Jason Winer. The comedy centers on four smart-ass workaholic associates in a "white shoe" law firm who are feverishly trying to move up the corporate ladder while avoiding becoming the next victim of the office serial killer. Goulden created and will write the script and exec produce.

TNT Developing Planted Major Crimes Spin-Off to Star The Closer Vet Jon Tenney
could be spinning off the spin-off! The cable net is developing a planted offshoot of Major Crimes (itself a descendant of The Closer) that would focus on franchise vet Jon Tenney‘s FBI agent character. Tenney, as well as a handful of new characters — including Special Operations Bureau commander Ann McGinnis, described as a modern-day Annie Oakley — will be featured in the seventh episode of Major Crimes‘ upcoming third season (bowing June 9).

Girls: Community’s Gillian Jacobs Nabs Recurring Role In Season 4
Gillian Jacobs
will recur in the upcoming fourth season of Girls. Fresh off the cancellation of Community, the former Britta Perry will play Mimi-Rose Howard, making her first appearance in Episode 5 – which is curiously titled “Mimi-Rose.”

Chloe Sevigny Joins the Kyle Chandler Netflix Drama
Chloe Sevigny has joined Netflix’s upcoming untitled family thriller in a recurring role. The drama comes from the creators of Damages and stars Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini and Norbert Leo Butz as three siblings whose secrets resurface when their "black sheep" older brother (Ben Medelsohn) returns home.

Major Crimes: Azita Ghanizada and The Closer’s ‘Dick Tracy’ Cop Season 3 Roles
Alphas alumna Azita Ghanizada and Review‘s Andrew Daly are among the guest stars on tap for Season 3 of TNT’s Major Crimes.

(sched) Remaining ‘Enlisted’ episodes to air in June
Enlisted was one of the Upfronts’ most-lamented casualties, but Fox is making good on its promise to run four unaired episodes. The network confirms new episodes will premiere Sundays at 7 p.m. ET, starting June 1. Which means you can mourn the show again after the finale on June 22.

(review) Variety: ‘The Normal Heart’
A meticulously cast adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play about the early days of the AIDS epidemic, directed with equal passion (and a characteristic lack of subtlety) by Ryan Murphy. Anchored by Mark Ruffalo’s forceful performance as Kramer’s angry alter ego, the movie is big, loud, messy and emotional — a fitting bookend to 2003’s “Angels in America.”


NPR’s ‘Snap Judgment’ Inks TV Deal With Kapital Entertainment
hourlong radio program Snap Judgment, created, hosted and executive produced by Glynn Washington and executive produced by Mark Ristich, has signed a first-look deal with Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment to explore a TV series based on the the stories featured on the radio show. Snap Judgment presents personal stories using raw, musical narrative to create storytelling with a beat.


Fox Signs ‘Burning Love’ Duo to Digital Development Deal
Fox Broadcasting Co.
is adding to its lineup of producers charged with creating the next generation of TV series for 21st Century Fox-owned networks via digital platforms. Jonathan Stern and Keith Quinn, who count the Yahoo comedy series “Burning Love” among the programs they’ve migrated to TV (on E!), join a roster that already includes Andy Samberg comedy troupe Lonely Island, drama production hub Wigs and animation factory ADHD.

Netflix to Focus on Adding Exclusive, Highly Rated Content, CFO Says
Speaking at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston, David Wells said the streaming service will expand its library by focusing on highly rated and exclusive titles.

Netflix plans major European expansion for late 2014
is planning a “significant expansion” in Europe later this year, with launches lined up for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Confirming its growth plans, Netflix said that broadband users in these countries will be able to subscribe to Netflix from “late 2014” and instantly watch a curated selection of local, Hollywood and global TV series and movies.


Disney Channel’s Jessie Renewed for Fourth Season
The popular kids’ show Jessie is set to return to Disney Channel for a fourth season next year, with production slated to start this summer.

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: J.J. Abrams Offers Fans a Chance to Be in Movie
In a video from Abu Dhabi, the director introduces a charity initiative in which donors are entered for a chance to visit the set and appear in the highly-anticipated film.


Stacey Snider’s Looming Exit Underscores Time of Uncertainty at Dreamworks
is in a precarious position. More than two months ago, CEO Stacey Snider informed partner Steven Spielberg — and telegraphed to Hollywood — that she would be leaving the company when her contract expires at year’s end. Spielberg has barely begun to have internal discussions about a potential successor, and so far has not warmed to or interviewed any candidates.

Skydance TV Taps Jake Rose as Head of Production
Sony Pictures TV vet Jake Rose has joined Skydance Television as exec VP of production. Rose will oversee all production for the company, which is revving a slate of comedy and drama series as well as longform fare.


‘Scandal,’ Angie Harmon, Wanda Sykes Honored at Gracie Awards
Bellamy Young
accepted the Gracie for her show “Scandal” and read a few words from series creator Shonda Rhimes, who was unable to attend.

Half of TV viewing to be on-demand by 2020, predicts Ericsson
By 2020 consumer TV viewing habits will be made up of 50% live, linear viewing and 50% on-demand or time-shifted programming, according to research by Ericsson.

(tech) Facebook announces TV Show and Music ID app updates for iOS and Android
Facebook will unveil a new service today that can identify television shows and music playing in the background. The new software, which will be available via an updated App Store app on iPhone and a Google Play app on Android, will work in tandem with your smartphone hardware’s microphone. Facebook is said to be integrating the feature so Facebook users can more easily share what music they are listening to or what TV show they are currently watching to their Timelines.