Afternoon News Update for Friday, 6/27/14.


Spike TV Teams With Kapital Entertainment For Thriller Drama Project, Unscripted Pilot
Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment
is getting in business with Spike TV, both on the scripted and unscripted sides. The cable network, which has been ramping up scripted development, has inked a premium deal for an hourlong political thriller drama project. It will be written by Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff based on an idea by Kaplan.

Additionally, the network has entered a 3-for-1 agreement with Kapital on the reality side. Under the pact, Kaplan will develop three unscripted projects, one of which is guaranteed to go to pilot. This marks Kapital’s first formal foray into reality programming.

Mike Ostrowski Inks Overall Deal With Sony, Joins ‘The Blacklist’ As Co-EP
Underscoring the studios’ need for senior-level writer-producers, Sony Pictures TV has inked a two-year overall deal with drama writer Mike Ostrowski. This marks the first overall deal for Ostrowski, who will join Sony’s flagship broadcast drama series The Blacklist as a co-executive producer for the upcoming second season.

Sarah Chalke Joins Fox’s Backstrom as Rainn Wilson’s Ex-Fiancée
Sarah Chalke
is taking a serious detour with a major recurring role opposite Rainn Wilson in Fox’s midseason crime drama Backstrom.

(review) Variety: ‘Reckless’
Representing CBS’ latest attempt to produce a sort-of summer soap, “Reckless” mixes an ongoing storyline with a procedural element, in a slightly tawdry tale of Southern sex that — reflecting the network’s sweet spot — still doesn’t stray from the police station and courthouse. While the show masters the network’s formula, it could use a little help with chemistry.

(review) Variety: ‘Girl Meets World’
Heavily rooted in nostalgia, the generation-later sitcom “Girl Meets World” banks on the young audience the show seeks having been weaned on reruns of the original “Boy Meets World,” while sounding a simultaneous “All clear” to their parents. Tediously self-referential and sweet to the point of cloying, the show has an appealing lead in Rowan Blanchard, which, based on past performance, might be enough.

(review) Variety: ‘Vicious’
Two things become immediately clear watching PBS’ Brit-com import “Vicious”: One, the major networks wouldn’t touch it. And two, it’s too bad the show isn’t sharp enough to make them regret that bias. The taboo here isn’t that the main characters played by Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi are gay, it’s that they fall far outside the 18-49 demo. While the material is about as classy as an average Chuck Lorre show, the name and very game cast should be a potent draw for PBS’ dedicated Anglophile aud.

(sched) ‘Doctor Who’ Premiere Date Revealed
Peter Capaldi debuts as the 12th Doctor on Aug. 23 on BBC America.

Salon: “The Leftovers” reveals the limits of “concept-driven” TV
new series represents the pinnacle of–and the problem with–TV shows that revolve around a single Big Idea. Gone are the days when you could simply gather an attractive family around a living room set, feed them all snappy punch lines, and watch the big money roll in. Today, viewers must be intrigued. Cults, vampires, apocalyptic scenarios, grown men in dog suits – whatever it takes to win eyeballs. Sadly, though, most TV concepts can only drive for so long before they fall asleep at the wheel.


Overbrook Sets Annie Neal To Pen YA Adaptation ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’
Jenny Han’s
YA book To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is en route to the big screen just two months after it hit shelves. Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment has picked up rights to the NY Times bestseller about high schooler Lara Jean Song, who writes love letters to the five boys she’s ever loved and keeps them locked away in a hatbox until the day her letters are mailed, upending her real-life love life. Adapting the book will be writer Annie Neal.


Esquire Network to Air First Ever Live Television Event, ‘Running of the Bulls 2014’
Beginning Monday, July 7, American viewers can watch LIVE as participants from around the globe fill the streets of Pamplona, Spain to participate in one of the world’s most iconic cultural traditions.

Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy Leaving ‘The View’
The comedians follow Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck out the door in a year of big changes for the ABC show.


YouTube Embraces Crowdfunding
Fans can now contribute money directly to their favorite channels on YouTube, bringing crowdfunding to the world’s largest video site. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki unveiled the feature, one of several new products, during her keynote presentation at VidCon, an annual convention for the online video industry.

YouTube Stars Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart to Hit the Road With ‘#HeyUSA’
YouTube stars Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart are getting ready to hit the road and uncover America’s best-kept secrets in their new series “#HeyUSA.” “#HeyUSA” will follow the comedy duo as they visit a city per week, guided by the true experts: the locals. “#HeyUSA” was created by Billy Parks and Nick Shore of Astronauts Wanted, the transmedia production company led by former MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath.

(video) Short of the Week: ‘The Gunfighter’
Just another period western meta comedy short film featuring the mellifluous voice of Nick Offerman. Directed by Eric Kissack. Written by Kevin Tenglin.


Disney XD Orders Comedy Pilot ‘The Savages’ From ‘Kickin’ It’ Team
The male-skewing kids’ cable network has greenlighted live-action comedy pilot The Savages from Kickin’ It creator Jim O’Doherty and director Sean Lambert. The Savages follows brothers Lazlo and Russell Banks, who are forced to change their suburban lifestyle and learn the ways of high-tech treasure hunting when their mother, Rita, remarries. O’Doherty serves as executive producer, while Lambert will direct. Jason Ward is writer and also serves as executive producer.

Marvel Offers 17 Minutes of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ for Free on Imax
To promote its “Guardians of the Galaxy” — and help educate moviegoers on who its band of otherworldly misfits are — Marvel Studios will screen 17 minutes of “Guardians of the Galaxy” in select Imax theaters on July 7. The first look will take place in 150 Imax locations across North America at 7 p.m.

Daily Dot: Why we can’t stop rooting for Disney villains
It’s actually easy to admire many of the Disney villains, even at their absolute worst—some for just how much style they bring to the business of evil-doing, and others for just how committed they are to their dastardly ways. So what happens when you have a villain who’s not just a shallow one-dimensional bad guy? For this reason and more, the character of Regina from Disney and ABC’s Once Upon a Time is an especially interesting figure in the pantheon of Disney villains.


K/O Paper Products Promotes TV Exec as Production Slate Grows
Aaron Baiers
, K/O’s director of TV development, rose to the occasion by proving to be a very capable on-the-ground producer in Charleston, S.C. for the CW pilot “Identity.” That performance has earned him a promotion to veepee under K/O TV chief Heather Kadin.

Courteney Cox and Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid are engaged
Courteney Cox
and musician Johnny McDaid are engaged, the couple announced Thursday evening.

(q&a) FastCo: The Woman Behind The Funniest Shows On TV
Comedy Central’s Michele Ganeless oversees TV’s most hilarious lineup. But she’s serious about challenges like Stephen Colbert’s departure. We talked to Ganeless about developing talent and where Comedy Central goes from here.

Exec Shuffle For 6/27/14: The District, Disney, BBC Worldwide, Starz, TV Land
Vessel: Jason Kilar
has launched this new San Francisco-based digital content company, which will plans on building a multimedia service with a strong focus on video. Investors include founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
NBCUniversal: Steven O’Neill
has joined as Executive Vice President of Scripted Casting, Cable.
Cinestar Pictures: Daniel Schnider
has joined as the Head of Development & Production.
Flame Ventures, LLC: Drew Comins
has been named Executive Vice President of Production & Development.
John Wells Productions: Erin Simon has been named Coordinator, Television.
Keshet DCP: Assaf Blecher is joining Keshet DCP as Vice President of Programming & Development.
Zig Zag Productions: Peter Wyles has joined as the Head of Development.
Twitter: Janice Morris
has joined as the Head of Entertainment & Lifestyle News. Gabriel Stricker has been named Head of Media. Adam Bain has been named Head of Business Development.


TVGuide: The Research Memo That Almost Killed Seinfeld
At the time, NBC typically recruited 400 households by telephone and asked them to evaluate pilots aired over unused channels on local cable systems. A researcher then called to collect reactions. The pilot’s performance was rated as "weak" (as opposed to "good" or "moderate"). A large majority of NBC pilots received that rating, but as one veteran executive at the network recalls, "This was a weak weak."

HBR: Is Your Company Ready for the Looming Talent Drought?
Even if your firm has a healthy employee base and a strong balance sheet, chances are good that it’s about to face a significant shortage of qualified managers. We studied 47 companies, spanning all major sectors and geographies. The results were dire: Only 15% of the firms in the Americas and Asia, and less than a third of those in Europe, had enough people primed to lead them into the future. New survey and research data we have compiled show that the situation has grown even worse.