Afternoon News Update for Thursday, 6/19/14.


AMC Renews ‘Breaking Bad’ Spinoff ‘Better Call Saul,’ Pushes Premiere to 2015
The Breaking Bad prequel spinoff has been renewed for a 13-episode second season, bringing the total episode count to 23. Originally slated to premiere in November, the debut of the hourlong drama has been pushed back to early 2015. The second season will follow in early 2016. Better Call Saul will join The Walking Dead and Talking Dead in the first quarters of the next two years.

Michael Vartan Joins USA’s ‘Satisfaction’
The "Alias" and "Bates Motel" alum will recur on the Matt Passmore male escort drama.

‘Unauthorized Saved by the Bell’ TV Movie Heads to Lifetime
Premiering Labor Day, it will follow the off-camera experiences of the six young stars on NBC’s ’90s teen sitcom.

Vulture TV Awards: The Year’s Best Network Is FX
Success in TV isn’t just about who’s biggest, as important as raw Nielsen numbers are. Momentum matters, having a wide variety of hits can be crucial, and in a world of endless program choices, buzz is increasingly important (if sometimes overvalued). Vulture has selected the three networks (FX, NBC, The CW) we think had exceptional seasons when judged (subjectively!) on the aforementioned factors. These are not the networks with the most viewers or biggest profit margins. They’re just networks that had really good years. And we start with the network that had the best year of all.

(awards) THR: Critics’ Choice Television Awards 2014 Winners List (Updating Live)
Five series topped the nominees list heading into the ceremony: CBS’ "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Good Wife," FX’s "Fargo," Showtime’s "Masters of Sex" and HBO’s "The Normal Heart."


Alison Brie in Talks to Star in New Line’s ‘How to Be Single’
Alison Brie
is in talks to star in the New Line comedy “How to Be Single.” Lily Collins is also on board with Christian Ditter directing. Based on the Liz Tuccillo novel, the story centers on a woman living in New York and searching for love. Marc Silverstein and Abby Kohn have penned the adaptation, with Dana Fox working on the latest draft.


Beyonce Lands Series of HBO Concert Segments
"Beyonce: X10"
will feature four-minute performances from her Mrs. Carter World Tour ahead of the final episodes of "True Blood."

OWN Orders ‘Flex & Shanice’ to Series
ordered eight episodes of reality series “Flex & Shanice.” The weekly show follows husband and wife — actor Flex Alexander and ’90s pop singer Shanice — and their extended family, all who live together under one roof.


German media firm enters U.S. market with a YouTube channel
German media giant ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s Studio71, a multichannel network for online video users, is saying hallo to the U.S. market with its new YouTube channel "The Mansion." Set in West Hollywood, "The Mansion" brings YouTube superstars from Germany and the U.S. under one roof to exchange ideas, share projects and produce video content together. The program began last week.


Wired: The future of TV isn’t apps. We need all our channels in one place
If a viewer wants to see Suits, NCIS or Game of Thrones, they shouldn’t have to know whether it is carried by a USA, CBS or HBO app. It takes at least four steps to get from the Roku home screen to watching an episode of any program on Netflix, and that assumes you know what you want to watch. Then you have to start the process all over again to watch another program on another app. Now imagine if each TV channel was its own app – maybe a dream scenario for a network hoping to have a direct relationship with their viewer, but a nightmare for consumer discovery of content. This is the key flaw of an app-based TV programming system.

Netflix growth prompts threefold increase in online viewing
The growth of streaming service Netflix has lead to a “three-fold” increase in long-form video consumption in the US, according to research firm IHS Technology.

/Film: Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts Is Amazing
Last night I attended a special advance preview of Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion. The new land, which opens in Universal Studios Orlando park on July 8th 2014, is incredible. I’ll detail the land further in future posts, but for now I will say this — its much bigger than you could ever expect and contains so much entertainment, so many cool experiences, and pieces of unique merchandise and cool food options. Its truly magical.