Morning News Update for Thursday, 6/5/14.


Co-Creator Christopher Lloyd Returns To ‘Modern Family’ After Closing New 20th Deal
Emmy-winning comedy series Modern Family will continue with both of its dads in place. After difficult negotiations, the show’s co-creator/executive producer/co-showrunner Christopher Lloyd, who had been without a contract since the end of last season, late last night closed a complex new overall deal with Modern Family producer 20th Century Fox TV.

Harry Hamlin, Rachel Nichols Join USA’s ‘Rush’
"Dracula’s" Victoria Smurfit and "Justified’s" Jesse Luken will guest-star on the summer medical drama.

‘Desperate Housewives,’ ‘Numb3rs’ Alums Book ABC Family Drama Pilots
Doug Savant
and Diane Farr have joined "Recovery Road" and "Stitchers," respectively.

Pilots ‘Red Oaks’ & ‘Stitchers’ Add Regulars
Ennis Esmer
has been cast in Amazon Studios’ single-camera comedy pilot Red Oaks, exec produced by Steven Soderbergh and exec produced/directed by David Gordon Green. Minni Jo Mazzola has been cast in ABC Family drama pilot Stitchers.

(review) Variety: ‘Murder in the First’
When Steven Bochco created “Murder One” nearly 20 years ago, the concept — a series following a single murder trial over an entire season — seemed bold and ahead of its time. Today, TV is teeming with similar fare as TNT introduces “Murder in the First,” which traces a murder investigation over 10 episodes. The previewed hours establish the series as crisp and watchable, while perhaps shrewdly shifting and expanding the earlier show’s lens from defense attorneys to the detectives assigned the case.


BBC3 To Raise The Undead For Horror Game Show ‘I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse’
BBC Three
has commissioned I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse, a seven-part hourlong horror/game show that will trap eight contestants inside a shopping mall, surrounded by the walking dead. The contestants must live by their wits, make difficult decisions, and use urban survival tactics to avoid the lethal bite of a zombie.


Tony To Joins Lucasfilm as Head of Production, Development
Former Walt Disney Studios executive Tony To has joined Lucasfilm as head of production and development. He reports to Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. To will now oversee all live-action and animation production as Lucasfilm has six new films and several TV projects in various stages of development on its slate.


Flavorwire: The All-Time Worst NBC Promo Photos
After NBC announced its upcoming fall programming, all most of us could do was laugh at the promotional photos that introduced shows like Bad Judge and State of Affairs. NBC is becoming known for its awful promo art, which is often terribly photoshopped, decidedly unsubtle, hilariously unsexy, and just plain ridiculous. While you shouldn’t judge a show by its promotional art, it’s impossible not to laugh at these.

Businessweek: Hollywood Goes Looking for Discount Superheroes and Finds the 1980s
Hollywood studios, eager to replicate the success of Disney’s (DIS) Marvel movies are reinvigorating a crowd of kids’ television franchises from the 1980s and 1990s. They aren’t as timeless or as powerful as Batman and Captain America, but they are remembered by many and probably cost far less to license.

AFI Students Increasingly Turning to TV as the Goal, Not the Consolation Prize
With lower pay and more jobs, TV has always seemed a more attainable career goal. But the next generation is increasingly making television their primary ambition, not the consolation prize, and the American Film Institute is on the front lines of the cultural shift.

Atlantic: The Forgotten Bliss of Feeling Loyal to a TV Network
The joy I get from NBC’s old peacock promos reminds me of what’s lost now that everyone watches what they want, whenever they want, however they want. Today, with so many devices, channels, and time-warp technologies, it’s the content that’s on demand and we are the programmers. Observing my 15-year-old son Asher flick and flip from one entertaining distraction to the next on his phone or laptop, it’s clear he relishes having so much power over his viewing choices. But it’s also no wonder there’s not much wonder in his eyes. In a world of endlessly streaming content, there is little sense of anticipation. Or loyalty.