Morning News Update for Monday, 8/4/14.

Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Monday, 8/4/14:


Nickelodeon Orders ‘School of Rock’ Show Straight to Series
School of Rock,” a 2003 Paramount Pictures comedy directed by Richard Linklater and starring Jack Black, is set to become a new musical comedy series on Nickelodeon next year. The network announced on Monday that is has partnered with Paramount TV and ordered 13 episodes straight to series, with Linklater and Scott Rudin executive producing. Writers Jim Armogida and Steve Armogida will serve as executive producers and showrunners.

(from Fri) ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Ellen Pompeo Developing ABC Family Drama
Ellen Pompeo
is teaming with ABC Family to adapt Rachel Carey’s 2013 novel Debt. Debt is a satire of the 2008 financial meltdown in New York. It follows Lillian, a woman in her 20s, who works as an SAT tutor to try to pay off her college loans and explores how everyone she knows — even her tutee’s billionaire father — is in somebody’s debt. Debt hails from ABC Signature, ABC Studios’ cable-focused boutique division banner. A writer is not yet attached.

(from Fri) NBC Developing Family Comedy From Joe Wengert, Ed Helms & Claudia Lonow
has put in development Big Kids, a half-hour comedy project from longtime Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre performer Joe Wengert and UCB alum Ed Helms. Loosely based on Wengert’s life, Big Kids centers on Andy, a young professional with a messiah complex who is constantly trying to control and “fix” his little sister and their young, blue-collar parents. Wengert will write the script and co-executive produce for Universal TV. Claudia Lonow will executive produce and serve as showrunner.

(from Fri) ‘CSI: Cyber’ Casts ‘Ally McBeal’ Alum Peter MacNicol
Peter MacNicol has signed on as a regular on CBS’ upcoming drama “CSI: Cyber.”

(preview) Hitfix: Take Me To The Pilots ’14: FOX’s ‘Red Band Society’
There’s a lot of snarky, reference-based humor, but then there’s also a lot of effective earnestness and it helps that so much of the young cast comes across as freshly scrubbed, unaffected and likable. Oh and the hospital set is terrific, practically a character on its own, as the cliche goes. Given the similarities to "Glee" and several other properties, "Red Band Society" is a bit over-pleased with its own audacity and there are Big Questions we probably aren’t supposed to ask, but eventually will ask if the entertainment stops being diverting. But this is still a pilot with a lot of upside.

(review) Salon: “The Lottery”: Lifetime’s dystopian disaster tries to reverse-engineer prestige TV
, which has mastered a specific genre of woman-in-trouble made-for-TV redemption story, is trying a lot of things all at once. But “The Lottery,” their attempt to jump on the apocalypse bandwagon, is both a bad fit for Lifetime and just plain bad. It shows just how hard it is to reverse-engineer your way to prestige TV.

(review) HuffPo: ‘Outlander’: A Gorgeous If Rocky Trip To Scotland
As is the case with "Game of Thrones," you don’t have to be a fan of the best-selling "Outlander" books to find things to enjoy in the TV version of the tale. At first, one of the virtues of "Outlander" is the linearity and focus of the tale, even though it does involve time travel. There are times when "Outlander" shows glimmerings of that vitality and emotional depth, and if we’re lucky, this earnest drama will keep heading in that direction.

(from Fri) ABC’s ‘Nashville’ Plans Two Live Performances During Season 3 Premiere
ABC’s “Nashville” will make television history by bringing live music performances into its upcoming Season 3 return episode. While the episode will be predominately pre-taped, there will be two live performances integrated into the storyline. Taking place on the show’s Bluebird Café set, Will Lexington (Chris Carmack) will be singing “If It’s Love,” which was written by The Striking Matches. And Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten) will sing “I Know How To Love You Now,” which he co-wrote with Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Deana Carter.

‘Big Bang Theory’ Stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki & Kaley Cuoco Close Big New Deals
Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki
and Kaley Cuoco have agreed to new three-year contracts. I hear the trio are in the long-rumored Friends salary territory, scoring paychecks of $1 million per episode for the 72 episodes the show is slated to produce in Seasons 8-10. What’s more, I hear the door has been left open to a potential 11th season. I also hear that the complex deals go well beyond per-episode fees and also include larger pieces of the show, signing bonuses, production deals and advances towards the back-end — perks associated with talent deals on shows as big as Big Bang.


‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Astounds With $160.4 Mil Global Debut
“The Guardians of the Galaxy”
touched down with a dazzling $94 million this weekend, proving that Marvel is the new gold standard for movie brands. That set a new record for an August domestic debut, easily trumping the $69.3 million bow of 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum,” and scoring the third biggest stateside opening of the year.

Fox Signs ‘Apes’ Director Matt Reeves to Overall Deal
Twentieth Century Fox
is going into the Matt Reeves business for the long haul, signing the “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” director to an overall deal at the studio.


Ray Lewis, Spike TV Team for ‘Coaching Bad’ Series
The eight-episode unscripted series will explore how coaches deal with anger management and bow in 2015.

Katz goes on Escape crime spree
Female-skewing US broadcast network Escape has stocked up on more than 500 episodes of true crime factual series ahead of its launch later this summer. The network is part of Katz Broadcasting, a fledgling company established by current Bounce TV founder and former Turner Broadcasting executive Jonathan Katz, who serves as president and CEO. The new channel will target women aged between 25-54 with a mixture of off-net series and movies, focusing on stories that feature “heroines and heroes that slip away from pursuit or peril.”


(video) Disney Launches The Muppets Digital Series
is launching a new digital series starring the Muppets to promote this month’s release of “The Muppets Most Wanted” on all homevideo formats. The six-part series called “Disney Drive-On with the Muppets,” launches Aug. 1, with new installments launched each Friday that include the characters interacting with celebrities on the Burbank studio lot.

AOL Studios Chief Gabriel Lewis Exits, Nate Hayden Tapped to Run Originals

AOL named Nate Hayden VP of originals and branded entertainment, following the departure of AOL Studios head Gabriel Lewis. Hayden now oversees AOL’s content creation and premium original programming.


BBC Two Adds New Drama Series to Fall Lineup
This autumn, BBC Two is slated to begin airing Intruders, an original paranormal thriller from writer and exec producer Glen Morgan. Set in the U.S., Intruders tells the story of a secret society pursuing immortality by hiding in the bodies of other people. John Simm will star alongside Mira Sorvino, James Frain, Tory Kittles and Millie Brown.


Marvel Studios President Addresses Lack of Female-Led Movies
"I hope we do it sooner rather than later," said Kevin Feige about the possibility of a female superhero being given the spotlight.


(opinion) NewYorker: The Scourge of “Relatability”
…To demand that a work be “relatable” expresses a different expectation: that the work itself be somehow accommodating to, or reflective of, the experience of the reader or viewer. The reader or viewer remains passive in the face of the book or movie or play: she expects the work to be done for her. If the concept of identification suggested that an individual experiences a work as a mirror in which he might recognize himself, the notion of relatability implies that the work in question serves like a selfie: a flattering confirmation of an individual’s solipsism.