Morning News Update for Wednesday, 7/16/14.

SCRIPTED NEWS:

ABC Family Targeting Older Women Amid Restructuring
The cable channel wants to be seen as a young-adult network instead of one that caters to families with kids. ABC Family’s median viewer is 29, which dips to 25 for original programs. Ascheim’s plan also calls for the network to de-emphasize its focus on acquired programming — which includes The Gilmore Girls, Reba and The Middle — as it hopes to even out the network’s age distribution.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/abc-family-targeting-older-women-718853

Peter Shinkoda Joins Netflix’s Marvel Drama Series ‘Daredevil’; AMC’s ‘Galantyne’ Adds Cast
Peter Shinkoda
has been tapped for a major recurring role in Netflix’s Marvel drama series Daredevil set to premiere in 2015. James Hoare and Alycia Debnam-Carey have joined the cast of AMC’s drama pilot Galyntine.
http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/peter-shinkoda-joins-netflixs-marvel-drama-series-daredevil-amcs-galantyne-adds-cast/

‘Backstrom’ Casts Rainn Wilson’s Father
Fox’s
midseason drama from "Bones" creator Hart Hanson taps the prolific Robert Forster for a two-episode stint.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/backstrom-casts-rainn-wilsons-father-719005

Leslie Hope Joins FX’s ‘Tyrant’; Raymond J. Barry In CW’s ‘The 100′
Leslie Hope
has booked a recurring role on FX’s Tyrant. Raymond J. Barry is set as a recurring on the CW’s The 100.
http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/leslie-hope-joins-fxs-tyrant-raymond-j-barry-in-cws-the-100/

‘Game of Thrones’ season 5 directors chosen
Episodes 501 and 502: Michael Slovis

Episodes 503 and 504: Mark Mylod

Episodes 505 and 506: Jeremy Podeswa

Episodes 507 and 508: Miguel Sapochnik

Episodes 509 and 510: David Nutter
http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/15/game-of-thrones-season-5-directors/

(review) Variety: USA’s ‘Rush,’ ‘Satisfaction’
USA premieres a pair of new shows this week — one squarely situated in its lighthearted wheelhouse, the other more intriguingly pushing toward new frontiers. The former is “Rush,” about a bad-boy doctor who administers to those living in L.A.’s fast lane, while the latter, “Satisfaction,” is a drama about midlife crises as seen through the prism of a strained, fracturing marriage. As such pairings go, this one is unusually metaphorical — highlighting a network that appears slightly torn between the temptation to expand and test its boundaries, and simply settling for prescribing the same familiar feel-good formula.
http://variety.com/2014/tv/reviews/tv-review-usas-rush-satisfaction-1201259353/

TCA NEWS:

Wrap: 3 TCA Takeaways: ABC Focuses on Rebuilding, Doing What It Does Best, and Diversity
ABC certainly came into Tuesday’s Television Critics Assn. press tour on Tuesday as the underdog, but it had some winning moments. Paul Lee was funny, receptive and energetic during the executive session. He was successful in sticking to several key points: what the network did get right this past year, the network’s diversity and its desire to be the home for creative people and their pet projects. The “Black-ish” panel was an exciting and open-minded talk about race and culture that kept everyone laughing and no one seemed peeved or offended (a rarity when race is spoken about at TCA).

http://www.thewrap.com/abc-focuses-on-rebuilding-doing-what-it-does-best-and-diversity/

THR: ABC Chief Praises Diversity and ‘Goldbergs,’ Talks Missing ‘Modern Family’ Companion
Paul Lee
sits down for his semiannual chat with the TV critics — and while there are lingering gripes about canceled "Trophy Wife," the conversation remains mostly forward-focused.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/abc-chief-praises-diversity-goldbergs-718680

TV Guide: Critic’s Notebook: ABC at TCA
As ABC stepped into the TCA press-tour spotlight on Tuesday, the vibe was unusually positive because of one overarching hot-button issue: diversity.
http://www.tvguide.com/News/Critics-Notebook-ABC-TCA-Matt-Roush-Selfie-1084494.aspx

John Ridley Signs Overall Deal With ABC Studios
The "12 Years a Slave" Oscar winner behind the network’s upcoming drama "American Crime" will develop new projects for the studio.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/john-ridley-signs-deal-abc-718668

FEATURE NEWS:

‘Hunger Games’ Producer Nina Jacobson Signs First-Look Deal with Fox
Fox 2000 Pictures
has signed a three-year first-look production agreement with “The Hunger Games” producer Nina Jacobson and partner Brad Simpson’s Color Force.
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/hunger-games-producer-nina-jacobson-signs-producing-deal-with-fox-2000-1201262618/

(video) ‘Big Hero 6′: Trailer for Disney and Marvel’s First Animated Project
Marvel
and Walt Disney Animation Studios have released the first full-length trailer for their upcoming animated action flick, “Big Hero 6.” The trailer finds robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada trying to convince a police officer that he was, in fact, attacked by a mysterious villain and an army of “micro-bots,” before setting off to defeat the faceless figure with the help of robot Baymax.
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/big-hero-six-movie-disney-marvel-1201262858/

NON-SCRIPTED/ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

GSN Greenlights Traveling Game Show ‘The Line’
The Game Show Network has greenlit “The Line,” a traveling game show. With its first stop July 19 in Nashville, Tenn.,, the show focuses on its contestants’ ability to win both at the end of the titular line and while waiting for their chance to get to the front.
http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/gsn-greenlights-traveling-game-show-the-line-1201262854/

‘Little Women: LA’ Renewed for Second Season by Lifetime
Season One Finale Airs July 22
http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/07/15/little-women-la-renewed-for-second-season-by-lifetime/283235/

NYT: With Likable Late-Night Hosts, NBC and ABC See Their Images Improve
What is directly quantifiable in the survey is a highly unusual jump in positive ratings for the brands of NBC and ABC over the past six months. Among over 1,200 brands the company measured between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year, NBC finished fourth and ABC fifth in terms of improving the consumer perception of their brands. “That is absolutely meaningful,” Mr. Marzilli said. “We don’t see networks making leaps like that.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/business/media/with-likable-late-night-hosts-nbc-and-abc-see-their-images-improve.html

NEW MEDIA NEWS:

(video) Bask in the Shameless Glory of Tommy Wiseau’s New Sitcom Teaser
Tommy Wiseau
, star and director of the famously bad film The Room, recently announced via his website that his original sitcom The Neighbors — a project he’s been working on since at least 2009 — will drop in September (on "Comedy TV," apparently). Wiseau made a website for the sitcom that includes the kind of description you’d expect, with lines like "This cocktail of characters always guarantee plenty of surprises," "The demographic is all inclusive," and the very specific "The Neighbors is a sitcom about the relationship between a group of neighbors who live in an apartment building."
http://splitsider.com/2014/07/bask-in-the-shameless-glory-of-tommy-wiseaus-new-sitcom-teaser/

EXECUTIVE/TALENT NEWS:

‘Scandal’ Star Scott Foley, Wife Expecting Third Child
The "Felicity" alum revealed that his wife is pregnant on Twitter.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/scandal-star-scott-foley-wife-718994

Doug Belgrad Promoted to Sony Motion Picture Group President
Studio co-chairman Amy Pascal is tapping Doug Belgrad to serve as her No. 2, working with the studios various production and partners, including Jeff Robinov, who is setting up his new venture at Sony.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/doug-belgrad-promoted-sony-motion-717743

Disney’s Maker Studios Hires AOL Exec Charles Gabriel as Chief Advertising Officer
Maker Studios,
the multichannel network company owned by Disney, has tapped Charles Gabriel — previously SVP of video sales at AOL — as chief advertising officer and EVP of global sales.
http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/disneys-maker-studios-hires-aol-exec-charles-gabriel-as-chief-advertising-officer-1201263325/

A+E Networks Establishes Research & Analytics Team; Promotes Four
A+E Networks
today announced it had promoted several execs to roles in its newly established A+E Research & Analytics Team. Marcela Tabares will be promoted to Senior Vice President, Revenue Research. Tom Pellegrino will be promoted to Senior Vice President, Brand Research. Lee Boykoff will take on the expanded role of Vice President, Digital Analytics and CRM. Julya Fridman also takes on an expanded role, as Vice President, Multiplatform & Distribution Analytics.
http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/ae-networks-establishes-research-analytics-team-promotes-four/

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

Time Warner rejects $80 billion takeover by a ‘determined’ Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox
has reportedly made an $80 billion bid for Time Warner. The New York Times reports that the bid was declined, citing "people briefed on the matter." It’s unclear if Fox will return with a higher offer, but the NYT‘s sources say Murdoch is "determined" to push ahead with the takeover and is unlikely to walk away.
http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/16/5904407/time-warner-21st-century-fox-takeover-bid-rejection

WSJ: The Secret Code to Get HBO Without Cable TV
In recent months, many big cable companies have wizened up that they might lose a slowly growing niche of cable-cutting customers. Several of them now will sell a package that include just Internet, HBO (and HBO Go) and the most basic of TV. You’re not exactly without cable TV, but you’re with much, much less of it. It’s like ordering off the secret menu at In-and-Out Burger — you have to know what to ask for: Comcast: “Internet Plus”; Time Warner Cable: “Starter TV+HBO and an Internet plan”; Verizon FiOS: “50/25 Mbps + Local News and Sports + HBO (or Showtime)”; AT&T U-Verse: “HBO Internet Plus”.
http://blogs.wsj.com/personal-technology/2014/07/15/the-secret-code-to-get-hbo-without-cable-tv/

(books) Amazon is testing “Kindle Unlimited,” an ebook subscription service for $9.99/month
Amazon is testing an ebook and audiobook subscription service called “Kindle Unlimited” that would cost $9.99 a month. According to pages that were pulled down, it will offer access to over 600,000 titles.
http://gigaom.com/2014/07/16/amazon-is-testing-kindle-unlimited-an-ebook-subscription-service-for-9-99month/

(tech) Model 3 will be Tesla Motors’ electric car for the masses
Tesla Motors
CEO and founder Elon Musk has now dropped some solid confirmation on not just the name of the upcoming fourth Tesla vehicle, but also some of its capabilities. It will be officially named the "Model 3;" it will start out retailing for about $35,000, it will be about 20 percent smaller than the current Model S, it will have a range of at least 200 miles, and it is expected to be revealed in 2016 for sale in 2017.
http://arstechnica.com/cars/2014/07/model-3-will-be-tesla-motors-electric-car-for-the-masses/

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