Afternoon News Update for Thursday, 7/10/14.


Syfy Greenlights Pilot ‘The Magicians’
has greenlit a pilot of The Magicians, an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s best-selling fantasy book series which has been published in 22 countries. From Universal Cable Productions, the pilot script was written by John McNamara and Sera Gamble. Michael London and Janice Williams are set to produce. The one-hour drama follows 20-somethings who, while studying magic in New York, discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real and poses a grave danger to humanity.

(TCA) Cinemax Gives Steven Soderbergh’s ‘The Knick’ Early Season 2 Renewal
has renewed Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick for a second season. Set in downtown New York in 1900, the 10-episode The Knick centers on Knickerbocker Hospital and the surgeons, nurses and staff, who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics.

El Rey’s ‘Matador’ Renewed for Season 2 Ahead of Series Premiere
El Rey Network
has renewed new spy thriller “Matador” for season two ahead of its series premiere on July 15, the network announced Thursday. The series, produced by Roberto Orci, centers around the rise of Tony “Matador” Bravo (Gabriel Luna), a professional soccer player for the LA Riot who lives a double life as a covert operative for the CIA.

How I Met Your Dad Update: Pilot Dead, Project Alive
A source close to the How I Met Your Mother spin-off confirms that the pilot — which was rejected at CBS and subsequently shopped around to other networks — is officially dead. However, according to the insider, the project will be redeveloped by 20th TV for the 2015-2016 TV season.

Hong Chau Upped to Series Regular on NBC’s ‘A to Z’
Hong Chau
has been promoted to series regular on NBC’s forthcoming sitcom “A to Z.” Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti star in the half-hour comedy as Andrew and Zelda, a guy’s guy and girl’s girl whose meeting, subsequent relationship and ultimate breakup will be chronicled throughout the show.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar to star opposite Mark-Paul Gosselaar on ‘CSI’
Mark-Paul Gosselaar
has booked an arc on CBS’s venerable procedural—and that he’ll be playing twins named Jared Briscoe and Paul Wintrhop. One of the brothers is an unrepentant murderer about to be executed for his crimes; the other is “a real estate magnate and a pillar of the community who insists on his brother’s innocence.

‘Constantine’s’ Lucy Griffiths Exits NBC Drama
The "True Blood" alum played Liv, Constantine’s partner in crime, on the upcoming NBC take on "Hellblazer." That character will be written out and replaced by another from the source material.

(sched) Fox Sets Fall Premiere Dates
The network’s big reality experiment, "Utopia," kicks off the new schedule with a two-night premiere on Sept. 7 — kicking off a two-month roll-out for originals. Scripted series arrive over the course of the following weeks, with comedies New Girl and The Mindy Project first up (Sept. 16) and Red Band Society airing the night before. Gotham and last year’s success Sleepy Hollow bow on Monday Sept. 22.

(sched) Glee’s Final Season Episode Count (Finally) Revealed
After months of deliberations with series cocreator Ryan Murphy and 20th TV, the network has decided that the show’s sixth and final season will consist of 13 (uninterrupted) episodes.

(sched) Final Season of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Gets a Premiere Date
announced that the fifth and final season of the period drama will bow Sept. 7 and consist of eight episodes.

(review) Variety: Syfy’s ‘The Almighty Johnsons’
Occasionally, a lack of resources breeds ingenuity, and so it is with “The Almighty Johnsons,” a Syfy import from New Zealand. The out-there premise — four brothers, each of whom, upon his 21st birthday, acquires the powers of a different Norse god — yields fewer pyrotechnics than one might expect. And yet, it’s all strangely compelling and fun, if still a little half-baked.

(comic-con) ABC Takes on Comic-Con International 2014 Including ‘Resurrection’, ‘Once Upon A Time’ & ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..’ Panels
Comic-Con goers will experience the worlds of “Once Upon A Time,” “The Quest,” “Galavant,” “Resurrection” and “Toy Story That Time Forgot” in the magical ABC Castle on the Convention Center Floor, booth #4245.


Hitfix: Too many great shows, not enough spots, and some dumb choices
* The most recent seasons of "The Good Wife" and "Hannibal" brilliantly refuted the notion that the only great dramatic TV work is happening on cable; the latter was ignored altogether, while the former received several acting nominations but nothing for drama series. Meanwhile, the terrible second season of "House of Cards" got thirteen nominations, a season of "Downton Abbey" that not even the show’s more vocal fans showed much enthusiasm for got a dozen.

Variety: Tatiana Maslany to Bellamy Young: Why Do Emmys Dismiss Great Acting in Genres and Soaps?
With every Emmy announcement, there are the standard complaints about snubs. In such a fabulous year, it’s inevitable that certain things will get overlooked. Yet in the drama acting categories, there were some frustrating oversights, likely due to the fact that the shows weren’t deemed as Important with a capital I as others. Bellamy Young, who plays First Lady Mellie Grant, is one of the great success stories of the season.

Emmys Make History With First Transgender Acting Nominee
"Orange Is the New Black"
star Laverne Cox, who told THR she was on "cloud nine," scored a nomination for her stint on the Netflix dramedy.

Record 11 Black Actors & Actresses Nominated Across All Categories
A total of 11 Black actors and actresses were nominated across all acting categories — the most since 1977 when Roots racked up nine nominations for its castmembers. Last year Kerry Washington’s nom for Scandal repped the first in nearly two decades for a black actress.

The Simpsons Was Denied a Best Animated Emmy Nomination for the First Time Ever
This is the first time The Simpsonshas been left out of the Outstanding Animated Program category in 20 years — since 1994.

President Obama and Zach Galifianakis Nab Emmy Nomination for ‘Between Two Ferns’
President Barack Obama
was nominated for an Emmy on Thursday for his work with Zach Galifianakis on “Between Two Ferns.” The hilarious, fern-filled interview they made for Funny Or Die back in March was recognized in the Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program category.


TruTV Looks to Complete Makeover With Tweaked Logo, Four New Series Orders
Little more than a year after taking charge of TruTV, Chris Linn looks toward the end of 2014 as the culmination of his refresh for the Turner-owned network. Paramount to that plan is a tweaked logo and a green light for four new original unscripted series. Those series — the musical Branson Famous, bar competition The Shake Up, tutorial half-hour Hack My Life and the sporting docuseries Kart Life — are part of Linn’s personal mandate to diversify the network’s catalog.

Rosie O’Donnell Returning as ‘View’ Co-Host
After days of rumors, The View made it official, tweeting that Rosie O’Donnell would return as co-host for season 18 of the ABC daytime show.


‘Halo: Nightfall’ Recruits ’24’ Actress Christina Chong as Female Lead
Christina Chong
, who can currently be seen on “24: Live Another Day,” will play the female lead in Sergio Mimica-Gezzan’s digital feature project “Halo: Nightfall.” Chong joins TV veteran Mike Colter in the live-action project, which hails from 343 Industries, Xbox Entertainment Studios and Scott Free Productions.


BBC to scrap production quotas
The BBC is set to tear up its production quotas and start making shows for rival broadcasters, as its director general proposes an open market for programme making at the pubcaster. Tony Hall said the quota system, which ensures that half of all BBC programmes are made in-house, should end and called for a “competition revolution.”


Disney CEO Bob Iger Reveals the Future of Entertainment
For the Wall Street Journal’s 125th anniversary edition, Disney CEO Bob Iger contributed his thoughts on the future of entertainment. Iger’s formula boils down to the following: Storytelling+Customization+Social=$$$
Iger concludes, “Although I can’t predict the precise future of entertainment, I share Walt Disney’s optimism and his belief that whatever lies ahead, it will be defined by great storytelling. Just like it always has been.”


(TCA) Hitfix: July 2014 HBO Executive Session Live-Blog
Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo take the stage.
2:18 p.m. Why does HBO try to make sure not to end shows abruptly and to lead creators have warnings of ends? "We believe our agreement with our viewer is to try not to do that, particularly if there’s a narrative. I think we feel that the right thing to do is always to end with some creative integrity, so that the viewer feels satisfied and the creator feels satisfied," Lombardo says. He closes, "We’re in a different business than the networks… in terms of their advertising dollars, so it affords us that luxury and that responsibility, I think."

Jimmy Kimmel, wife Molly McNearney welcome baby girl
The 46-year-old late-night host became a father for the third time Thursday. The funnyman made the exciting announcement via Twitter: ‘Congratulations to my beautiful and very tough wife.’


CroatiaWeek: HBO to Build Studios in Dubrovnik
The Mayor of the southern Dalmatian city of Dubrovnik says that by the end of next year the largest HBO studios in this part of central and eastern Europe will be built. Andro Vlahušić says that along with the studios, a tourist theme park will also be built. “Negotiations are underway. We were in America where we agreed all the details,” Vlahušić said. HBO has been filming current hit series Game of Thrones on location in Dubrovnik for the past 3 years.

(video) Mental Floss: Jerry Seinfeld Explains A Joke
Here’s five minutes of Jerry Seinfeld explaining how he puts together a bit. While explaining the funny definitely kills the funny, it’s still interesting to see the process of a master at work.

Daredevil Set Photos and Video Emerge
According to ‘GeniusMovieMind’ the PA and Grips were telling people that the filming was for a show called "Bluff" and it took place on 115th and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd (or 7th Ave) but the signs were changed so it can read 43rd and 9th Ave. The video shows a young Matt Murdock screaming “I can’t see” and the photo shows the toxic waste truck and handful of extras.