Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Tuesday, 7/22/14:
Anthony Hopkins & Evan Rachel Wood To Star In HBO Pilot ‘Westworld’, From J.J. Abrams & Jonathan Nolan
The pay cable network’s drama pilot Westworld has locked in Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Even Rachel Wood for lead roles. The project, inspired by Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi movie set at an amusement park, hails from from J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot, Jonathan Nolan, Jerry Weintraub and Warner Bros TV. It’s described as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin. Also in talks for a lead role in the pilot is James Mardsen. Nolan and Lisa Joy wrote the script and are executive producing Westworld with Abrams, Weintraub and Bryan Burk. Nolan will also direct.
Matt Piedmont To Direct AMC Comedy Pilot ‘We Hate Paul Revere’
Matt Piedmont has been tapped to direct AMC‘s half-hour comedy pilot, We Hate Paul Revere, written, executive produced and starring Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner. Production is set to begin soon on the pilot, which was greenlighted in March.
Elisabeth Rohm Joins New CBS Drama ‘Stalker’ As New Regular
Elisabeth Rohm will play a series regular on the Kevin Williamson series, which stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q as detectives from the Threat Assessment Unit who investigate cases of stalking. Rohm will Amanda, a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney who works with the Threat Assessment Unit.
Carrie Preston is returning to ‘The Good Wife’
Carrie Preston will reprise her role as fan favorite Elsbeth Tascioni in the upcoming sixth season of The Good Wife.
Covert Affairs Casts Lynn Collins as ‘Formidable’ Russian Agent
Covert Affairs has cast Lynn Collins in the recurring role of a “formidable” Russian agent who’ll continuously cross paths with Piper Perabo’s protagonist spy.
MTV’s ‘Awkward’ Star Beau Mirchoff Joins NBC’s Manson Series ‘Aquarius’
Beau Mirchoff and Ambyr Childers join the 1960s drama.
(ratings) Vulture: Understanding Under the Dome’s Underwhelming Ratings
Every episode this season has been watched by fewer viewers, while the show’s overall audience has declined sharply — by some metrics, more than 40 percent — versus last year. And while a year ago, Dome regularly beat everything else on TV Mondays, last night the show had fewer same-day viewers than ABC’s The Bachelorette, and a lower adults-18-49 rating than Fox’s MasterChef and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. Dome may not be doomed, but it’s definitely been dented.
USA’s ‘Dig’ Moves From Israel to Albuquerque Amid Gaza Strip Conflict
The miniseries, which filmed its pilot episode in Israel, moves all the way back to the U.S. just a week after violence prompted FX’s "Tyrant" to exit for Turkey.
(q&a) Guardians of the Galaxy Screenwriter Nicole Perlman Reveals What it’s Really Like to Write for Marvel
SSN: The project was developed in the Marvel writing program. How did that relationship begin?
Nicole Perlman: When I met with Marvel, they mentioned they were doing a program with four or five writers. Each writer got to choose a property that might make a good movie but Marvel was by no means 100 percent sure they wanted to make [it]. That was a perfect opportunity for me to transition into this world of “masculine” movies that I really liked.
TLC (Finally) Embraces ‘Tender Loving Care’ in Brand Refresh
The cable network has also adopted its first tagline in more than five years with a new multimillion-dollar rebranding campaign. As part of the rebranding, TLC will unveil a multimillion-dollar campaign with the tagline "Everyone needs a little TLC."
(sched) Beyoncé and Jay Z’s ‘On the Run’ HBO special to air Sept. 20
Beyoncé and Jay Z’s HBO concert special will debut Sept. 20.
White House Bypassed Obama ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Appearance Because of ‘More Serious Matters’
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that President Obama and his staff chose not to do an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday because of “more serious matters the president is dealing with on the international scene.” TMZ reported on Monday that Obama would do a segment for the show during a trek to Los Angeles.
Ashley Tisdale’s Blondie Girl Prods Inks Overall Deal With Asylum Entertainment
Under the multi-year overall production deal, High School Musical alumna Ashley Tisdale and her sister Jennifer, Blondie Girl Prods‘ VP Development and Production, will create and develop scripted and unscripted content for Asylum Entertainment.
Christina Miller Named Cartoon Network, Adult Swim President
Cartoon Network has named Christina Miller as its new president and general manager. She will also serve the same roles for Adult Swim and Boomerang. Miller fills the leadership vacancy left by Stu Snyder, who departed the network in March.
The $420 Million Question: How Much Will California Set Aside for TV, Film Tax Credits?
The bill to extend and expand California’s TV and film tax credit program has sailed through its early legislative tests, but there’s a big question remaining to be resolved before it hits Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. Still to be determined is just how much money will be set aside annually for the bill. Insiders say that it could go as high as $420 million annually — four times the current amount — over a five-year period, which would put the state on par with New York, and other states that have gutted California’s long-time dominance in film and TV production with generous tax breaks.