Afternoon News Update for Friday, 6/20/14.


Alexandra Cunningham Inks Development Deal With 20th Century Fox TV
After four years at Universal TV, Alexandra Cunningham is moving to 20th Century Fox TV with a one-year development deal.

Amazon Studios Names Full Cast of ‘Really’ Comedy Pilot from Jay Chandrasekhar and Jamie Tarses
Amazon Studios
announced the full cast of half-hour comedy pilot “Really,” from Jay Chandrasekhar and exec producer Jamie Tarses. The pilot — written, created and directed by Chandrasekhar, who also stars — will bow later in 2014 as part of Amazon Studio’s third pilot season “Really” centers on four hard-charging suburban Chicago couples trying to hold on to their receding youth. The pilot stars Chandrasekhar as Jed, with his wife played by Sarah Chalke. Cast also includes Selma Blair, Travis Schuldt, Hayes MacArthur, Collette Wolfe, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane and Rob Delaney.

Rosario Dawson to Star in Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’
The actress will appear opposite Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio in the Marvel series.

‘Game of Thrones’ Gethin Anthony to Play Charles Manson on NBC’s ‘Aquarius’
upcoming event series “Aquarius” has found its young Charles Manson. “Game of Thrones” actor Gethin Anthony will play the small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his “cause.” Additionally, Grey Damon and Emma Dumont have also joined the growing cast for the drama. They join David Duchovny, who will play Det. Hodiak, an L.A. police sergeant who’s tracking the young Manson. Writer John McNamara will executive produce with Duchovny along with Marty Adelstein and Melanie Greene.

‘Red Band Society’ Tour Gives Fans the Opportunity to See the New Dramedy and Raise Awareness for Four Charities
This summer, FOX hits the road with the “RED BAND SOCIETY Tour: Banding Together For Good.” On the tour, fans in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago and Atlanta (additional cities to be announced soon) may donate to one of four charities, while being the first to meet the cast and see advance screenings of the new FOX series. Fans can attend an advance screening of RED BAND SOCIETY’s first episode and interact with cast members during a post-screening Q&A, by RSVPing at

(review) THR: ‘The Last Ship’
Whatever you might think of Michael Bay at least there’s a clarity to what he does. Boom. Stuff blows up. That’s not a terrible strategy for summer television programming.


‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Sets Director
"Looper" director Rian Johnson will direct the second new film and write a treatment for the third.

Aaron Sorkin to Adapt Michael Lewis’ ‘Flash Boys’
The project marks the second Lewis book that Sorkin has tackled for Sony. Sony acquired the nonfiction book that deals with the practice of high-frequency trading on Wall Street and how it became a way to rig the system. Lewis’ book revolves around a group of men on Wall Street including Sergey Aleynikov, a one-time programmer for Goldman Sachs, and Brad Katsuyama, the founder of IEX, the Investor’s Exchange.


Legendary Entertainment Adapting ‘Dead Rising’ Video Game for Crackle
Legendary Entertainment
has sold domestic film rights for Dead Rising to Sony’s Crackle, which will premiere the 90-minute feature on its digital platform. This marks the first release from Legendary’s digital division. Tim Carter will pen the feature and will produce with Tomas Harlan under their Contradiction Films banner. Lorenzo di Bonaventura will also executive produce. Dead Rising is set during a large-scale zombie outbreak. The leads attempt to evade infection while also pursuing the root of the epidemic, which spread after a mandatory government vaccine failed to stop the outbreak.


Exec Shuffle For 6/20/14: Appian Way, Metamorphosis Music, SyFy, Miramax TV, Warner Bros. Pictures
SyFy: Nick Zigler
has been named Manager, Development & Current.
Appian Way: Michael Hampton and Nathaniel Posey have been named co-Vice Presidents. James Ward has been named Creative Executive. Spencer Beighley has also joined as a Creative Executive.
Cinedigm: Suzanna Lee has been named Director of Business Development & Strategy.
Warner Bros Pictures: Julia Spiro
has been named Creative Executive.
Irwin Entertainment: Beau Delmore has joined as Development Manager. Kinetic Content:
Parkes/MacDonald Productions: Owen Shiflett
has joined as the Head of Television.
Prospect Park: Priscilla Crowe has been named the Executive Director of Development & Current Series.
BBC America: Angela Freedman has joined as Manager, Unscripted Programming.

Variety Picks 10 Comics to Watch for 2014
Selected by a team of Variety editors based on extensive polling of the professional comedy community, the 10 Comics to Watch will be honored with a cocktail party and panel at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal: Cristela Alonzo, Pete Davidson, Fortune Feimster, Nathan Fielder, Ron Funches, Harvard Sailing Team, Grace Helbig, The Lucas Brothers, Greg Poehler, Lena Waithe.

(q&a) Variety: ‘House of Cards’: Beau Willimon on Netflix’s Rule-Breaking Creativity
Q: The overwhelming selling point I hear from artists who work with Netflix is the amount of creative freedom they give their showrunners. It seems like that is really the main attraction of the model.

A: In fact, the way I start each season is sitting down with Netflix, walking them through all that we have in store for the upcoming season. They certainly have thoughts about things and sometimes very good ideas — I’ll steal a good idea from anyone — but there’s no obligation or dictate, some corporate memo that says “you must do X, Y or Z.” So the respect goes both ways and I think that results in a healthy, creative and collaborative environment, which leads to the best work that we have to offer.


ABC Moves To Complete Upfront Deals In Weak Market
confirmed that it has largely wrapped its “upfront” ad sales, the latest broadcast outlet to acknowledge it had completed negotiations in what buyers have characterized as a tepid market. Ad buyers estimate the Walt Disney network may see its volume of advance ad commitments fall by as much as 5% to 10% in this annual market. In 2013, ABC secured between $2 billion and $2.2 billion, according to Variety estimates, which means the broadcaster of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” may have secured between $1.8 billion and $2.1 billion.

WSJ: For TV Reruns, an Existential Crisis
“New Girl”
is the only viable option for 2015, while “The Mindy Project” and “Last Man Standing” are the only comedies left for 2016 syndication. Yet all three aren’t big hits. "We’re all getting starved,” says an FX executive. "For every elite show like ‘Big Bang Theory’, there is an awful lot of mediocrity out there that won’t pull ratings." (article behind paywall)

New Yorker: TV at the Gym
On the treadmill, time turns backward, to a period when TV was something to glance at, semi-absorb, then discard. It brings back the bad old days, before the DVR, and the good old days, before a sticky layer of prestige began to coat the screen like soap residue. This may not be the ideal way to watch the finale of “Mad Men,” but there’s something to be said for retro serendipity.

Salon: World’s hottest mug shot is most depressing meme ever
The 30-year-old California man was arrested Wednesday and is currently facing five weapons charges and one gang charge. He’s also now a viral star thanks to that SCORCHING HOT mug shot the Stockton Police Department posted Wednesday. Before long, the Stockton Police Facebook page was stampeded with traffic, and Meeks and his mug shot had joined the ranks of the Old Spice Man and Ridiculously Photogenic Guy in the sexiest meme Hall of Fame. The local jail staff reports that women around the country are calling the jail where he’s being held to express their support — and leaving their numbers.