Afternoon News Update for Thursday, 7/3/14.


‘Once Upon a Time’ Finds ‘Frozen’s’ Elsa
Georgina Haig
is joining ABC’s fairy tale drama in the coveted season-four role.

Karl Yune Cast In CW’s ‘Arrow’; James Callis Joins El Rey’s ‘The Matador’
Karl Yune
has joined the cast of the CW drama Arrow. James Callis has been cast as recurring in upcoming action drama series Matador, for Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network.

Gotham Recruits Kyle Massey for Guest Stint
Actor-singer-hoofer Kyle Massey has touched down in Gotham. The Disney Channel staple (and Dancing With the Stars runner-up) has landed a guest stint on Fox’s much-hyped fall drama,

Comic-Con 2014: The Complete TV Lineup
Find out who, what and when your favorite TV series will hold court at the annual San Diego pop culture convention, set for July 24-27.


Atlantic: Hollywood Is Giving Up on Comedy
The output of comedies as a proportion of total releases at the biggest Hollywood studios is in structural decline. Blame it on the globalization of box office returns. While fewer Americans are going to the movies, it is a totally different story in many other parts of the world, where cinema is booming. But the emerging world enthusiasm for Hollywood films does not extend to comedies, or at least not relative to its love of action movies and animated films.


SundanceTV Slates Pop Culture Talk Show
new pop-culture talk show The Approval Matrix, inspired by the regular feature of the same name in New York Magazine, is scheduled to premiere next month. Comedian Neal Brennan will host the 6×30-minute show, debating and tallying up the things on everyone’s radar with a rotating panel of celebrity guests. The talk show will also feature sketches, field pieces and interviews. It premieres August 11 at 11 p.m.

‘Famous in 12’ Cancelled by The CW After Five Episodes
Famous in 12 has been pulled from the CW schedule.


MTV Picks Up YouTube Series from Comedy Writer Morgan Evans
MTV (other)
, MTV’s short-form digital content studio, ordered an eight-episode second cycle of “The Untitled Web Series That Morgan Evans Is Doing,” featuring short-form fictionalized accounts of the New York writer-actor’s life. Evans funded the 15-segment first season of the series through Kickstarter in 2011, which is available on YouTube. The series was nominated for a 2013 Writers Guild.

Amazon Narrows Gap With Netflix In Hit TV Shows, But Not Movies: Report
Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson served up a look at how Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, and Redbox Instant compare in their offerings of top 50 movies available for streaming over the last three years, and top 75 TV shows available from the last four years. Amazon “caught up significantly” to Netflix in TV, Olson says — although both trail Hulu, which is owned by the major broadcast networks. Hulu Plus had 51% of the available hit TV shows in June, an increase from 44% a year ago.


Another Season of You, Me & Them for UKTV’s Gold
has ordered a second season of You, Me & Them, the first original sitcom for the comedy channel Gold that began airing late last year. Starring Anthony Head and Eve Myles, You, Me & Them is about a couple with more than a 20-year age difference. The show comes from Hat Trick Productions. The new season, which is being created and written by Steve Turner, is due to debut next year.


Disney Channel Renews ‘I Didn’t Do It’
The half-hour comedy toplined by Olivia Holt will return for a second season.

Marvel Studios Launches Travel Site for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
In one of the more clever film promotions from a studio, Marvel has launched Galaxy Getaways online as a travel agency that introduces otherworldly destinations that will be featured in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”


The Weinstein Company Mulls TV Unit Spinoff: Report
The film-focused company is looking at spinning off its television unit as a separate entity for a potential sale or IPO, The New York Times reports. The paper cited sources as saying Harvey Weinstein is seeking a cash infusion in order to expand with one or more TV channels. NYT cited sources as saying the television unit accounts for about 40 percent of the company’s business. TWC produces more than 20 reality series including Bravo’s long-running Project Runway and its spinoffs, VH1′sMob Wives and A&E’s Cement Heads.


Here’s Some Good U.S. Economic News for Your July 4 Weekend
A series of employment reports highlight that employment is finally catching up to the broader U.S. economic recovery. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%, the lowest rate since September 2008, and the U.S. economy added a robust 288,00 jobs in June — the fifth straight month of big gains.

Top 10 US Retailers: Amazon Joins Ranks Of Walmart, Kroger For First Time Ever
has become one of the top 10 largest companies in the United States, jumping from No. 11 to No. 9 after sales increased by more than 27 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to the latest STORES/Kantar Retailers report. The e-commerce titan raked in $44 billion in sales in 2013, outpacing rivals with a staggering 17 percent growth over 12 months.

‘Seinfeld’ at 25: How the show about nothing became a huge hit
Let’s look back at some of the key markers on the road from when NBC premiered a pilot called "The Seinfeld Chronicles" — 25 years ago this Saturday, in fact — to when the show that became "Seinfeld" turned into a pop culture-altering smash.