Afternoon News Update for Monday, 7/28/14.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Monday, 7/28/14.


ABC Family Developing Fantasy Series ‘Londen’s Calling’
ABC Family
has optioned up-and-coming writer Brigitte Hales’ spec pilot “Londen’s Calling” and put the series into development. Jonathan Krauss will serve as executive producer of “Londen’s Calling.” Series will follow 20-year-old protagonist Londen, who believes she is traveling between our world and a dark dystopia that may be a figment of her twisted imagination. She sets out to uncover the truth about which world is actually real as she helps to rescue others who seem to be trapped in the darkness with her.

USA Orders ‘Colony’ Pilot From Carlton Cuse
USA Network
announced the pilot pick-up of the Carlton Cuse alien drama “Colony,” about a family trying to stay together as the entire human race is threatened. The drama was written by Cuse, as well as Ryan Condal. Set in a futuristic Los Angeles, it finds humans occupied by outside intruders. Some collaborate in hopes of better treatment, while others rebel and suffer. “Colony,” a co-production between Legendary Television and Universal Cable Productions, joins the USA drama pilot pick-ups “Stanistan” and “Mr. Robot,” which are also working titles.

(from Fri) AMC Gives Pilot Order To Geopolitical Drama Set In Afghanistan From Chris Mundy & Tom Freston
continues to explore new places and genres with a pilot order to White City, a geopolitical drama focused on Western diplomats and journalists living in Afghanistan. The project, produced by AMC Studios, comes from co-writers and co-executive producers Nick McDonell and John Dempsey. Executive producers are Chris Mundy and Tom Freston.

Nat Faxon & Jim Rash Ink Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV
Nat Faxon
and Jim Rash have signed a two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures TV. This marks the first overall TV pact for the Oscar-winning writing duo. Under the agreement, Faxon and Rash will develop and produce series projects with Kevin Walsh, their film and TV producing partner at the trio’s B Story banner.

Cuba Gooding Jr., Michael Madsen & Keith David Join Comedy Central Series ‘Big Time In Hollywood, FL’
Cuba Gooding Jr
, Michael Madsen and Keith David have joined the cast of Comedy Central’s new scripted series Big Time In Hollywood, FL, produced by Ben Stiller‘s Red Hour and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

Tara Lynne Barr Joins NBC’s ‘Aquarius’; Kahyun Kim In ‘Mysteries Of Laura’
Tara Lynne Barr
has booked a recurring role in NBC‘s upcoming series Aquarius. Newcomer Kahyun Kimhas been cast as a recurringin NBC drama The Mysteries Of Laura.

Lea Michele Rides to FX’s ‘Sons of Anarchy’
The actress will appear in one episode of the FX biker drama’s final season.

‘Veep’ Star Heads to ‘New Girl’
Reid Scott
will make a cameo during the Sept. 16 season premiere of the Fox comedy.

Mary-Louise Parker to Join ‘The Blacklist’ in Season 2
announced she’ll be guest starring in the crime-drama’s Season 2 premiere.

(from Fri) Mary-Louise Parker, Peter Sarsgaard to star in provactive NBC miniseries
has enlisted two acclaimed actors to star in its provocative upcoming miniseries The Slap. The network has signed Mary-Louise Parker and Peter Sarsgaard will headline the complex family drama about what happens after a man slaps another couple’s misbehaving child. NBC has ordered eight episodes of the event series from writer Jon Robin Baitz and director Lisa Cholodenko.

(sched) CBS Pushes ‘Extant’ to 10 p.m.
The Halle Berry drama, which has been soft in live-plus-same-day ratings, will now have a lead-in from a "Criminal Minds" repeat on Wednesday.

(ratings) ‘Manhattan’ Attracts 1.8 Million Total Viewers
"Manhattan" amassed 1.8 Million Total Viewers, 609,000 Adults 25-54 and 459,000 Adults 18-49, across WGN America.

(opinion) Buzzfeed: What To Watch (Or Avoid) On TV Next Season
BuzzFeed Entertainment staffers unite to break down the 201415 season’s new broadcast offerings. What hits airwaves to the American public could be drastically different from what we’ve seen. So, it’s very possible our initial opinions upon seeing final review copies of these pilots closer to air could change.


(rumor) Joaquin Phoenix Eyed to Star in Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’
The rumor mill regarding “Doctor Strange” has reached a fever pitch and the actor who has been mentioned most often for the coveted superhero role is none other than three-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix. While insiders caution there is no deal in place yet, multiple sources say Phoenix is in consideration and has had discussions about the movie..

Expendables 3 Leaks Online, 100K+ Copies Down in Hours
The Expendables 3, featuring every action hero known to man, was set for an August 15 debut but has appeared online in near DVD quality. In just 12 hours, more than 100,000 copies have been downloaded.


‘Impact Wrestling’ Canceled by Spike TV
TMZ Sports is reporting that Spike TV is not renewing its contract with TNA.

(from Fri) Comedy Central Renews ‘Drunk History’ and ‘Nathan For You’
The former web series and Mr. "Dumb Starbucks" himself will return for third seasons on the cable network in 2015.

(from Fri) Charmed’s Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs Reunite for Reality Show
Shannen Doherty
and Holly Marie Combs are reuniting for a road trip reality show on Great American Country, the cable channel announced Friday. Off the Map with Shannen & Holly will consist of six episodes and is slated to premiere in 2015.


Need More Sarah Palin? Right-Wing Firebrand Launches Online TV Channel
Can’t get enough Sarah Palin? That’s a thing of the past. The right-wing firebrand on Sunday launched her own online video channel at, part of a new, subscription-based platform called TAPP founded by two prominent former TV executives. The paid-subscription channel will include videos and “commentary on important issues facing the nation” by the former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, according to the news release. Palin will serve as executive editor and, of course, chief talent.


Red Band Society Being Adapted for Russia, Ukraine
and ABK Production are working on a new treatment of the series The Red Band Society for Channel One in Russia and STB in Ukraine to air in 2015.

Ticket Sales, TV Drive Revenue for Gaumont
Film and TV were strong sectors for the French mini-major, which produces NBC’s "Hannibal" and Netflix’s "Hemlock Grove." Gaumont, which has increased production, launched a U.S. television division and acquired an animation studio in recent years, have focused on a diverse slate of English and French-language productions in film and television.


LAT: Disneyland’s Legends of Frontierland a fun dose of wacky live action
Welcome to the Legends of Frontierland, Disneyland’s wacky new live-action role-playing game running daily inside the theme park. Legends of Frontierland pits guest against guest in a battle for control of a fictional town — in this instance one that’s set inside Disneyland’s vision of the Old West. Disney has been rapidly adding game-like experiences to its parks. Legends of Frontierland, which runs at least through Labor Day, is one of two games brought to the 59-year-old Anaheim resort this summer. The scavenger-hunt-like Adventure Trading Company opens Aug. 1 in neighboring Adventureland.


Universal Exec Scott Bernstein Exits to Become a Producer
He will now serve in a producer capacity on "Straight Outta Compton," "Ride Along 2" and "Mama 2."


‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2′ Release Set for July 28, 2017
has slated the “Guardians of the Galaxy” sequel for July 28, 2017, the studio announced on Saturday at Comic-Con. James Gunn will return to write and direct the followup. Gunn and Chris Pratt announced the news in a mock video sent in from London that closed off this evening’s Marvel panel.

(animated) Marvel announces new ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ animated series
Marvel Animation
unveiled the newest addition to its growing lineup of animated series: Guardians of the Galaxy.

Sam Raimi writing ‘Evil Dead’ TV series
Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead
series could be coming to TV. In a surprise appearance at San Diego Comic Con, Raimi announced that he and his brother Ivan are writing a show based on the franchise, and that it will star Bruce Campbell.

Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams in talks for The Last of Us movie
Maisie Williams
, known for her role as Arya Stark, the best character in Game of Thrones, is in talks to play Ellie in The Last of Us film, according to reports from the Screen Gems panel at San Diego Comic-Con. The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The player controls Joel escorting the young Ellie across a post-apocalyptic United States that has been ravaged by infection. Naughty Dog’s creative director and writer Neil Druckmann will pen the script.

(animated) Disney XD Renews Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Avengers Assemble
Disney XD
officially announced two animated series based on Marvel Comics characters have been given second season renewals. Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Marvel’s Avengers Assemble both return with new episodes this fall on Disney XD’s "Marvel Universe" block.


L.A. Officials Probe Shakedown Claims On Downtown Shoots
The producers had paid FilmLA more than $1,600 in permit fees, but downtown developer Tim Gilmore wanted them to pay him, too. His location agent, Richard Wynn, had sent the shoot’s location manager, Jeff McSpadden, a contract and a letter demanding $12,000 for the right to film in the street and on the sidewalk outside the café — both public spaces.

(gaming) The Secret of Minecraft
Briefly, for the uninitiated: Minecraft is a video game, first released in 2009 as a buggy prototype by a solo Swedish programmer named Markus Persson. The complete game was released in 2011, and in the years since, Minecraft has matured, expanded, and sold tens of millions of copies. I am obsessed with this game and what it has achieved. If you are a writer, a cartoonist, a filmmaker, a designer—really, anyone who aspires to engage human brains, particularly young ones—I think you should be, too.