Afternoon News Update for Thursday, 6/12/14.


Fox Adapting Korean Coming-Of-Age Musical Drama With ‘Step Up 3D’ Team
, home of high-school musical dramedy Glee, has put in development Answer Me 1999, a limited series based on the Korean show Answer Me 1997, a musical coming-of-age drama about a group of friends. Step Up 3D writers Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer will write the script, with the film’s director Jon M. Chu set to helm the opening episode. All three will executive produce for FX Prods. In Answer Me 1999, the timeline moves back and forth between a group of friends’ past as high-school students in the late 1990s and their present as adults. It is described as s a musical journey through the most transformative decade of the modern era — one that catapulted us into the digital age and forever changed how we interact with each other.

Carol Mendelsohn Inks Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV
After a 14-year stint at CBS TV Studios, longtime CSI showrunner Carol Mendelsohn is moving to Sony Pictures TV with a three-year overall deal.

‘Parks and Recreation’ Producer Inks Overall Deal at Universal TV
As part of the two-year pact, Matt Murray will remain part of the NBC comedy before transitioning to creator Mike Schur’s other series, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," as co-EP.

Kevin Hench Inks Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV
Kevin Hench
, co-creator/executive producer of new ABC comedy series Cristelaand executive producer of ABC’s Tim Allen starrerLast Man Standing, has signed a two-year overall deal with the studio behind both shows, 20th Century Fox TV. Under the pact, Hench will focus on Cristela, co-created by and starring comedienne Cristela Alonso, on which he serves as showrunner.

Jerrod Carmichael Comedy To Get New Pilot At NBC
is taking another stab at one of its comedy hopefuls, the untitled presentation created by and starring up-and-coming comedian Jerrod Carmichael. The network is finalizing a deal for a new pilot, which is eyeing a quick turnaround, with NBC getting a short window after that to pick up the project to series.

(sched) Nick Jonas, Frank Grillo DirecTV Drama Series Gets New Title, Premiere Date
Nick Jonas
and Frank Grillo’s DirecTV series formerly titled “Navy St.” has been re-chistened “Kingdom” and will premiere on DirecTV’s Audience Network on Oct. 8 at 9 p.m..

USA Renews ‘Sirens’ for Second Season
The Denis Leary-produced series marks the cable network’s first original scripted comedy.

Michelle Forbes Joins Cast of A&E’s ‘The Returned’
Michelle Forbes
has joined the cast of A&E Network’s “The Returned.”The redo of French drama “Les Revanants” hails from A&E Network Studios and FremantleMedia North America.

ABC’s Alien Thriller The Whispers Makes Major Casting Change
TVLine has learned exclusively that series regular Brianna Brown — who portrayed Lena, the photojournalist wife of Barry Sloane’s character, Wes, in the pilot — has exited the series for creative reasons. The role will be recast and Brown’s scenes will be re-shot.


ABC Family Orders Hidden-Camera Prank Series ‘Freak Out’
The 14-episode unscripted show hails from "Jersey Shore" producer SallyAnn Salsano. In each episode of Freak Out, an unsuspecting mark, whose fears come to life before their eyes with elaborate special effects, intricate makeup, twisted actors and multiple cameras capturing the scenario from every angle. Every prank is deviously tailored with help from the victim’s friends and family to turn an everyday situation into someone’s scary moment, until they realize they’ve been pranked.

(sched) Fox Pulls ‘I Wanna Marry Harry,’ ‘Riot’ From Schedule
Comedy repeats move into the Tuesday block as summer’s low-rated unscripted efforts prove a nonstarter and "Harry" heads to VOD.

(ratings) ‘Duck Dynasty’ Continues to Slide
A fast-tracked sixth season kicks off with just 4.3 million viewers, half of the January opener, making it the lowest-rated return since the sophomore premiere in 2012.


(rumor) Nikki Finke: Disney’s Bob Iger To Choose His Successor Very Soon
The big boardroom story, according to my sources, is that Walt Disney Co Bob Iger has finally made the decision to name an heir apparent. So it’s between Tom Staggs, the Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and Jay Rasulo, the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Walt Disney Co.


Kerry Washington Gave A Badass Speech About Women In Hollywood
Last night Kerry Washington received the 2014 Lucy Award for Excellence in Television to celebrate her remarkable career and her breakout performance on Scandal. Shonda Rimes proudly presented her the award, calling her "brilliant and bold." Washington’s speech on women, and their role in the media, is not to be missed. You can read the full transcript at the link.

Atlantic: Benedict Cumberbatch and the Changing Face of Hollywood
In bleached-blonde, Botox-browed Hollywood, Benedict Cumberbatch is the antithesis of everything we’re supposed to find attractive. Perhaps the strange and incalculable ascendancy of Cumberbatch from a man the BBC initially didn’t think was sexy enough to play Sherlock Holmes to one of the biggest stars in the world is a sign that our culture is maturing, and no longer considers classical good looks to be paramount.

(stage) Andrew Rannells to Take Over Broadway’s ‘Hedwig’ After Neil Patrick Harris
Andrew Rannells, who starred in Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon” before going on to TV gigs in “The New Normal” and “Girls,” will take over for Neil Patrick Harris in the Tony-winning production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” with the thesp stepping into the title character’s high heels when Harris’ limited engagement ends.

The Return of Nikki Finke: “I’m posting on my own website after sitting out my non-compete for 7 soul-crushing months.”
Nikki Finke’s first post on her new eponymous website,, arrived today: “Heed this warning: my new website is not for the easily offended or ridiculously naïve.”


Old TV Series Seeing Revivals in Comicbook Form
IDW Publishing
recently restarted a series about Fox’s24,” in tandem with the network’s new limited series “24: Live Another Day.” In March, Lion Forge Comics launched a digital comic about an old favorite, NBC’sMiami Vice,” the latest in a series of comicbook partnerships with the Peacock. The networks have also recognized that comics can do more than inspire. They can also help keep a veteran property out of mothballs.

The Verge: How Beats conquered the world
The answer is a combination of branding and big sound that comes directly from the founders’ experience crafting records — and shaping artists — for a mainstream audience. "They added a brand to the space that consumer really wanted to identify with," says Benjamin Arnold, an analyst with the NPD Group. "Headphones that are equal parts functional device and fashion accessory, almost like Air Jordans."

Salon: Marvel’s secret formula: How the studio seized on American political anxieties to make itself a blockbuster machine
From "Iron Man" to "Avengers," Marvel built a cinematic empire on channeling our age of partisanship and paranoia