Afternoon News Update for Wednesday, 6/4/14.


Bryan Cranston Developing ‘Dangerous Book for Boys’ TV Series
Bryan Cranston’s Moon Shot Entertainment
is getting down to business in developing television projects through his Moon Shot Entertainment banner. The “Breaking Bad” star’s company has optioned the rights to Conn and Hal Iggulden’s “The Dangerous Book for Boys” with plans to develop it as a comedy series. Series will follow three boys as they use their imaginations to navigate growing up without a father. Cranston is working on the project with Moon Shot exec James Degus.

AMC Adapting Novel ‘The Son’ As Drama Series With ‘Hemlock Grove’ Creators
is developing The Son, a drama series based on the best-selling 2013 novel by Philipp Meyer. The Son, produced by Sonar Entertainment, is a multi-generational epic telling the story of America’s birth as a superpower through the bloody rise and fall of one Texas oil empire. The project, originally intended as an event series, sparked interest from multiple networks.

Producer Elizabeth Guber Stephen Signs Deal With Fox TV Studios, Sets 2 Projects
Fox Television Studios
has inked a first-look deal with veteran TV and film producer Elizabeth Guber Stephen, who will develop and produce cable projects through her Gables Media banner. Under the deal, Stephen and FtvS have set two projects. One is hourlong USA drama series Timeline, from best-selling author Jennifer Lynn Barnes, about a female astronaut who, upon returning to Earth from a six-month mission, discovers that someone has altered her past and, in effect, rewritten her entire life.

Set up at Fox and based on the 2011 film from writer-director-producers Aaron Salgado and Jaydee Freixas, Magic City Memoirs follows three wealthy, influential families whose patriarchs came to Miami 30 years ago as Cuban refugees, and whose sons are now facing the fallout from the secrets their fathers have harbored in order to obtain the “American dream.” The pilot is written by Liz Benjamin.

HBO Developing Darren Aronofsky’s Post-Apocalyptic Drama MaddAddam
has put into development another literary adaptation — this one helmed by Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky. MaddAddam is based on three Margaret Atwood novels – Oryx and Crake, Year of the Flood and MaddAddam — and takes place in the mid-21st century, where corporations hold the power governments once wielded and genetic modification is the norm. The action takes place before and after a cataclysmic event that decimates the world’s population. Aronofsky will executive-produce the drama through his Protozoa Pictures production company.

Kourtney Kang Inks New Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV
Kourtney Kang is staying at 20th Century Fox TV with a new overall deal. Under the two-year pact, Kang will join the studio’s new ABC comedy series Fresh Off The Boat as co-executive producer and develop new projects.

Comedy Central Adapting Web Sensation ‘BriTANick’
will star Nick Kocher and Brian McElhaney as fictional best friends in a farcical series of adventures based on their real lives. In the pilot, Nick fakes his own death to get out of a relationship as Brian tries to buy his way back into one. Kocher and McElhaney will pen the script for the Brillstein Entertainment entry and executive produce alongside Dakota Pictures’ Troy Miller, who will also direct.

‘Penny Dreadful’ Renewed for Second Season at ShowtimeThe cabler has picked up 10 new episodes — up two from its freshman run — for 2015.

‘Homeland’ Adds Laila Robins, Corey Stoll for Season 4Robins boards as a series regular, while "The Strain" star Stoll will guest star.

‘Cougar Town’ actor to captain Syfy’s new space adventure
Cougar Town actor Brian Van Holt is boarding Syfy’s Ascension. Holt is joining the cast of the limited series space thriller, which also stars Battlestar Galactica‘s Tricia Helfer


Bill Condon to Direct Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Film For Disney
With the recent release of “Maleficent,” which grossed more than $170 million worldwide in its opening weekend, Disney is working fast on its next live-action fairytale adaptation. Bill Condon is set to direct a live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” for the Disney. Evan Spiliotopoulos is writing the script with Mandeville Films producing.

Josh Trank to Direct ‘Star Wars’ Stand-Alone Film
The "Chronicle" director is currently helming the new "Fantastic Four" film for Fox.


Lifetime Orders Teen Fashion Competition ‘Threads’ From ‘Project Runway’ ProducersThe cable network has also greenlighted "Born in the Wild," "Girlfriend Intervention" and "Kosher Soul," in addition to putting three projects into development.

ABC Sets New Dating Series ‘Bachelor in Paradise’
has announced a new series, “Bachelor in Paradise,” branched off of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” From the creator of “The Bachelor,” the series will gather “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette’s” fan favorites and villains as they get another chance at finding love. For seven weeks, the group will live together in Mexico as they explore new relationships, either falling in love or going through renewed heartbreak.


BBC’s ‘Happy Valley’ Concludes Strong Run; Is It The Next ‘Broadchurch’?
Six-part BBC One crime drama Happy Valley hails from Sally Wainwright, the prolific UK TV writer and BAFTA-winning creator of Last Tango In Halifax. The series that has had Britain all abuzz over the past month and a half came to its climactic concludsion Tuesday night and drew 6.18M viewers for a 28% share. The contemporary show is being called the best drama of the year and Wainwright has said there is potential for a second season. There is no deal for the first season to air in the U.S. as yet, but it’s easily the kind that could turn up on BBC America or PBS.


Disney Channel Orders Comedy Pilot ‘Growing Up And Down’
Disney Channel
is staying in the family for the leads of its newest pilot, Growing Up And Down, which has been given green light. Raini Rodriguez and Adam Irigoyen will topline the family comedy as adult parents who suddenly and inexplicably are transformed into teenagers again. Cecilia Balagot and Noah Centineo co-star as their teenage kids, who now must navigate high school with their parents. Barry Wernick and Steve Leff wrote the pilot, production on which will begin in August.

Disney Infinity 2.0 Announces Maleficent and Merida as Playable Characters
Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes revealed a few new characters, both good and evil, to their lineup. Most prominently, we have the almighty Maleficent from the movie of the same name. Also, the red-headed princess, Merida, makes her debut as a playable character too.


CW Vet Kevin Levy Promoted to Program Planning and Scheduling SVP
The CW
has promoted network veteran Kevin Levy to senior vice president of program planning and scheduling. In the elevated role, Levy will continue to report to network president Mark Pedowitz. Levy is responsible for the strategic planning and scheduling of all programming across The CW’s schedule. He is also manages the acquisitions of movies and specials.

Lionsgate TV Exec VP Chris Selak Signs New Multi-Year Deal
Chris Selak
, Lionsgate’s executive vice president of television, has signed a new multi-year agreement.

Marty Adelstein Sets Joint Venture With ITV Studios US To Launch Tomorrow ITV Studios
ITV Studios US Group
has finalized a joint venture agreement with Marty Adelstein to launch Tomorrow ITV Studios, a scripted studio under the umbrella of ITV Studios US Group. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Tomorrow ITV Studios will develop and produce drama and comedy projects, distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

J.J. Jamieson Set As Head Of Production Of South Shore & Televisa USAVeteran TV executive and producer and writer J.J. Jamieson has been named head of production for both Televisa USA and South Shore Television, the U.S. joint venture of Grupo Televisa and Lionsgate. He will report to Televisa USA Chief Creative Officer Michael Garcia and Lionsgate EVP of Television Chris Selak.

Sony’s Foster Driver Joins Disney as Creative Executive
Columbia Pictures creative executive Foster Driver is leaving his position at the studio to become a creative executive at Disney,. Driver is considered a bright young executive with strong relationships around town. He joins Disney’s live-action team spearheaded by production president Sean Bailey.


These TV Series Had the Biggest Reach on Twitter Last Season
According to a recent Nielsen report, many TV series engaged their fans beyond simply watching from week to week. Critically acclaimed shows in particular, like AMC’s Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead reached millions of their fans on Twitter throughout their seasons. The following chart from statistics company Statista illustrates the top reaching TV shows on Twitter from September 2013 to May 2014

TV Upfronts: NBC, Fox, CBS Begin Making Ad Sales
, NBC and Fox have all begun lining up advertising sales. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, NBC is enjoying increased prices and interest. Fox is experiencing lower increases in CPM than last year, when it sought increases of 5 to 7 percent. CBS has likewise begun “writing business,” though no specifics are yet available.

Record 497 Projects Apply for California’s Film and TV Tax CreditsTwenty-three projects were initially chosen by lottery, and the final list of approved projects will be announced July 1.

Salon: ABC’s “Fresh off the Boat” could be a disaster for Asian AmericansIt could also be the first Asian American sitcom to find huge mainstream success. To the other Asian Americans and well-meaning progressives who will be tuning in? Be easy on this show, at least at first. It may take awhile to find its voice, and it will probably make mistakes. It’s a cultural minefield out there – Eddie Huang can’t be the voice for every Asian American, and he shouldn’t try to be. It’s hard enough for Huang to be himself.

Internet Ads Poised to Top Television Within Seven Years: Study
PwC’s 15th annual report, released June 4, reveals that TV advertising will generate $173.7 billion worldwide in 2014 and grow to $214.7 billion in 2018. During the same period, Internet advertising will grow from $133 billion to $194.5 billion. PwC does not prognosticate beyond five years, but its research indicates a 5.5 percent compound annual growth rate for TV advertising compared with 10.7 percent for the Internet, suggesting the latter will pass the former as early as 2020 — marking a sea change that will come about fairly quickly. As recently as 2010, revenue from TV advertising was more than twice that from Web ads.