Morning News Update for Friday, 8/1/14.

Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Friday, 8/1/14:


Daniel Petrie, Jr. To Cast Spell On Hallmark’s ‘Good Witch’ As EP & Showrunner
Daniel Petrie, Jr.
will be serving as the executive producer and showrunner of Hallmark Channel‘s 10-episode original scripted series, The Good Witch, based on the network’s telefilm franchise. Series will air in the first quarter of 2015, following the debut of the seventh movie in the franchise, The Good Witch’s Wonder on October 25. The Good Witch stars Catherine Bell as the raven-haired enchantress Cassie Nightingale.

NBC’s ‘Undateable’ Renewed for Second Season
The Bill Lawrence comedy was a rare standout this summer, averaging 2.8 million viewers on Thursdays. The renewal is for 10 episodes, down three from season one.

David Zayas To Play Mobster Sal Maroni In ‘Gotham’
David Zayas
is joining the cast of Fox‘s Batman prequel drama series Gotham as a recurring. He will play DC Comics character Mob Boss Salvatore Maroni, one of the city’s most dangerous gangsters.

Arrow Casts NYPD Blue Alum as Felicity’s Mom
NYPD Blue alum Charlotte Ross has been tapped to play the mother of Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) on Arrow,

(review) Variety: ‘Partners’
Every bit as generic as its title, “Partners” is the latest big-name-toplined (Kelsey Grammer, Martin Lawrence) throwback, courtesy of Debmar-Mercury’s 10/90 model. The show itself is practically an afterthought, inasmuch as it’s designed to feel like an instant rerun — something that can help fill the sitcom-starved syndication pipeline. But yikes, watching these two comedy veterans trying to keep such a leaky, woefully flat vehicle afloat is more depressing than nostalgic.

(review) THR: ‘The Knick’
A bold, stylishly directed period medical drama powered by the winning duo of director Steven Soderbergh and star Clive Owen. It’s a serious work of television that is angling to dramatize numerous weighty subjects, and isn’t overly concerned with distracting the audience with shiny objects in the process. Viewers must have a real willingness to see blood and muck, not to mention the ability to stomach the sexism and racism on display in the story.


‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Rockets to $11.2M Thursday Night
The galactic superhero tentpole scores the top Thursday night of the year, besting the $10.2 million earned in early April by fellow Marvel title "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Guardians’ Thursday night performance dramatically ups the ante for the movie, which had been tracking to debut in the $65 million to $70 million range.


Bravo to Bring Real Housewives of Melbourne to U.S. Audiences
Bravo Media
has acquired The Real Housewives of Melbourne, which is the Australian iteration of the channel’s hit Real Housewives franchise, to air in the U.S. starting August 3. The 12-episode series features six successful Melbourne socialites.


China Mulls Limit on Imported TV Shows Online
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television in China is said to be considering imposing quotas on the amount of imported TV programs shown on video websites.


Exec Shuffle For 8/1/14: Showtime, E!, Endemol Beyond USA, Fox International Productions, Netflix
CBS Studios International: Javier Avitla
has been named Executive Vice President, Legal & Business Affairs.
DreamWorks Animation: Ann Daly
has been named President.
Fox International Productions: Michael Andreen
has joined as Senior Vice President, Production.
Jupiter Entertainment: Melanie Reardon has joined as Senior Director, Development.
Offspring Entertainment: Meredith Ditlow has joined as Vice President, Development.
E!: Betsy Slenzak has been named Director, Series Development & Original Programming. Julie St. Aubin has been named Director, Series Development & Original Programming.
Showtime: Jessie Dicovitsky has been named Manager, Original Programming.

Netflix: Peter Friedlander has been promoted to Vice President, Original Series.

Former MTV Chief Judy McGrath Joins Amazon Board, Boosting Its Content Expertise
The long-time MTV Networks CEO will have a ringside seat at the transformation of media and retailing. Amazon reports in an SEC filing this morning that Judy McGrath was elected to the board yesterday, and appointed to the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee, effective October 1. She joins Amazon as the e-retailer steps up its investments in content creation, including video productions from its Amazon Studios.

David Singh Joining 20th Century Fox After Leaving Sony Marketing
David Singh
, who has worked in creative advertising at both Disney and most recently at Sony Pictures Entertainment, is going to 20th Century Fox after leaving Sony two weeks ago. He is expected to be named exec vp of creative advertising working under Marc Weinstock, head of domestic marketing.


THR: Who Is the New Denzel? Hollywood Struggles to Launch Next Black Stars
As the first generation of global black movie stars ages out of leading-man roles, the heirs apparent to Will Smith, 45; Denzel Washington, 59; and Eddie Murphy, 53, have not established themselves at the box office. "We haven’t really done enough to cultivate the next generation. It’s one thing to appear in a movie here or there, but it’s another to really build a rich career."

(tech) The Typo iPhone keyboard is back again after lawsuit, but maybe not for long
Seacrest redesigned the keyboard and is now taking pre-orders for the Typo 2. The new model features a backlight, battery indicator and lock key, but otherwise looks strikingly similar to the original. Shipping is scheduled for mid-September – assuming BlackBerry doesn’t have another injunction in place by then.
(link to purchase: