Afternoon News Update for Friday, 8/8/14.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Friday, 8/8/14. Have a great weekend!


Lifetime Prepping Marilyn Monroe MiniseriesThe drama is based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s book "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" and hails from the team behind Reelz’s "The Kennedys." Stephen Kronish is on board to pen the mini, with Laurie Collyer attached to direct. The entry hails from Asylum Entertainment.

David Hoflin & Julian Works Board John Ridley’s ABC Drama ‘American Crime’
David Hoflin
and Julian Works have joined the cast of ABC midseason drama American Crime, written and exec produced by Oscar winner John Ridley.

‘Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown Joins CBS’ ‘Odd Couple’ Reboot
Oscar has found a new assistant. Community co-star Yvette Nicole Brown has been cast in CBS’ midseason comedy series The Odd Couple. Brown will play Oscar’s assistant Dani.

Zuleikha Robinson Joins ‘The Following’ As Series Regular
Homeland and Rome alumna Zuleikha Robinson is joining the Fox drama series The Following as a new regular and a pivotal character in Season 3. She will play Gwen, an ER doctor and the mother of a seven year old girl. She is also the love of FBI Agent Hardy’s (Kevin Bacon) life — and his first real chance at a family and true happiness.

John Larroquette & Cass Bugge Join HBO’s ‘The Brink’
John Larroquette
and Cass Bugge have been tapped for multi-episode arcs opposite Jack Black and Tim Robbins on HBO half-hour comedy series The Brink.

Ana Ortiz Takes Stab at Murder
Ana Ortiz
will guest-star on ABC’s upcoming drama How to Get Away With Murder.

ABC’s ‘Manhattan Love Story’ Debuts Key Art
has unveiled the key art for its new romantic comedy series “Manhattan Love Story.”

(sched) Syfy Releases Fall 2014 Schedule Including ‘Ascension’, ‘Z Nation’ & ‘Haven’ Premiere Dates
2014 Fall Programming primetime lineup will feature the highly anticipated six hour event series Ascension (November 24); the series premieres of Z Nation (September 12) and the docuseries Town of the Living Dead (October 7); the season five return of Haven (September 11) and the special 10th anniversary season of Ghost Hunters (October 8).


OWN Adapting British Web Series The Specials
: Oprah Winfrey Network has commissioned fresh episodes of the observational docuseries The Specials, about five housemates with intellectual disabilities, which was originally produced as a short-form web series in the U.K. by Kada Media. OWN is set to air 13 newly adapted episodes that follow the housemates as they support each other through major changes in their lives.

(rumor) ‘The View’ Replacement Spotlight Shifts To Nicolle Wallace, October Gonzalez After Chemistry Testing With Whoopi Goldberg And Rosie O’Donnell
Conservative political commentator Nicolle Wallace has taken the lead to become the new Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and October Gonzalez (wife of NFL star Tony) also tops the list of those expected to join Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell in September on ABC‘s The View.

Showtime to Air Dane Cook Comedy Special
Raunchy comedian Dane Cook will air the directorial debut of his stand-up event “Dane Cook Troublemaker” on Showtime this fall.


BBC’s Happy Valley to Debut on Netflix in North America
Happy Valley
, a BBC drama series, is slated to premiere exclusively on Netflix in the U.S. and Canada later this month. Happy Valley stars Sarah Lancashire as a small-town policewoman who is dealing with the aftermath of her daughter’s death. The six-part show comes from Red Production Company. It will become available on Netflix in the U.S. and Canada on Wednesday, August 20.


Fox takes intn’l rights to Tiger Mom dramedy
Fox International Channels
has taken international broadcast and distribution rights to Tiger Mom, the upcoming China-produced comedy drama. The show will debut on FIC’s Chinese entertainment channel Star Chinese Channel. Tiger Mom follows a set of parents raising their daughter in modern-day China. As their daughter struggles in school the ‘tiger’ mother and less aggressive ‘cat’ dad as they attempt to get their offspring back on track. FIC will sell it internationally and also put it out on several of its international channels.

Italy’s TV Producers Turn to Crime Series for Global SalesBoosted by the international sales success of mob series “Gomorrah,” Italy’s expanding TV production community, led by Sky Italia and shingle Cattleya, is hoping to spark a trend among buyers, much as Denmark’s “The Killing” prompted the Nordic Noir phenom. Italy’s hourlong dramas are all English-language, and two feature narratives with shady protagonists: “ZeroZeroZero,” from author Roberto Saviano, chronicles the global cocaine trade; “Diabolik” depicts a pulpy 1960s-era thief in the title role. A third, Paolo Sorrentino’sThe Young Pope,” focuses, unconventionally, on a character who becomes the first Italian-American pontiff.

(tech) Microsoft adds free TV to Xbox
Microsoft is to provide a digital TV tuner for its Xbox One gaming devices in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, enabling Xbox users in those countries to watch live TV via their game consoles. From October, Microsoft will make the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, making digital-terrestrial TV available via the USB port of the device. This will allow Xbox One users to viw free-to-air TV without the need for a cable or satellite set-top box connected through the HDMI-In port on the device.


(q&a) "Outlander" Showrunner Ron Moore On The Evolution Of TV Science FictionFast Company: How have science fiction themes, stories, and structure changed since you began writing for television?
Ron Moore: The biggest change is that sci-fi is just more accepted. The structure has also changed. It had to be episodic (where story arcs start and end in the same episode), because executives thought audiences would be lost if they missed a week, and didn’t want to worry about continuity issues in reruns. They didn’t even like two-part episodes. But shows like Lost and Buffy the Vampire Slayer showed producers and networks that people had an appetite for this kind of programming.

Exec Shuffle For 8/8/14: Open Road Films, Carnival Films, Circle of Confusion, AMC Networks, Maker Studios
Zealot Networks:
The former co-founder and CEO of Maker Studios Danny Zappin has launched a new digital media distribution company, Zealot Networks. The new venture plans to position itself as a “digital-first” media outfit that is aimed at empowering creative talent while delivering multiplatform revenue, distribution and growth opportunities.
CBS Television Distribution Group: Javier Avitia has been named Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs.
CBS Television Studios: Meghan Lyvers has joined as Senior Vice President, Drama Development.
Hearst Digital Studios: Corey Moss has joined as Senior Vice President, Production & Development.
Ritchie/Wigram Productions: Jeff Ludwig has been named Vice President.
Whalerock Industries: Aaron Ensweiler
has joined as Vice President, Film & Scripted Television.
All3Media America: Aaron Saidman has been named Executive Vice President, Production & Development.
Bodega Pictures: Scott Paskoff has joined as Vice President, Development.
Carnival Films: Danielle Dajani has joined as Head of Production. Tara Cook has joined as Development Producer. Phil Temple has been named Development Producer.
Debmar-Mercury Entertainment: Alexandra Jewett has been named Executive Vice President, Programming.
T Group Productions: Patrick McGee has joined as Senior Vice President, Development.
AMC: Stefano Agosto has been named Manager, Scripted Programming.
Discovery Life Channel: Julie Meisner Eagle
has joined as Vice President, Production & Development.
Offspring Entertainment: Meredith Ditlow has joined as Vice President, Television.
Oxygen Media: Christine Cowan has been named Vice President, Talent Development. Teri Kennedy has been named Senior Vice President, Current Production. Matt Shanfield has joined as Vice President, Development. Jean Shi has joined as Senior Director, Development. Stephanie Steele has joined as Vice President, Current Production.
SyFy: Heather Olander has joined as Senior Vice President, Alternative Programming.
VH1: Vivian Gomez has been named Director, Current Production. Ken Martinez has joined as Vice President, Current Production, East Coast. Jennifer McGovern has joined as Vice President, Development, East Coast.
Maker Studios: Gabriel Lewis has joined as Executive Vice President, Development & Strategy. Bonnie Pan has joined as Executive Vice President, Programming.


LAT: TV’s new microaudiences are shaking up the business
Now, even as the entertainment industry merges into fewer and fewer major players, we have entered a time of virtual regionalism, in which place is not defined geographically but by shared interest and aesthetic predilection, by the nodes of connection the Internet affords, and the kinds of communities it enables, as small as two like minds and as physically remote as half a world away.

(opinion) Alex Freedman: You die a brand or live long enough to become an IP
All creative endeavors need to be branded (or from an existing IP–which is merely branding in another way). And this isn’t about marketing 101, or a cynical way of looking at something creative. A good example of this evolution is Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad was described as “Mr. Chips becomes Scarface”. In the span of half a decade, it evolved into a bona fide IP. The show has spawned countless merchandising items, a Colombian remake, and an upcoming spin-off. “Brands” and “IPs” may seem like marketing terms, but it’s the reality we live in. Not because it’s the cheap way out, but because projects need to be distinctive. It’s a crowded media place.

FiveThirtyEight: Corporate America Hasn’t Been DisruptedRecent research suggests that established businesses have less and less to fear from would-be disruptors. This is partly because fewer Americans are launching businesses. It’s also that fewer of them are succeeding. The U.S. economy, in other words, has become less flexible, more risk-averse and slower to react to changing circumstances.

(books) Kim Kardashian’s next book is 352 pages of selfies
is the latest book by Kim Kardashian (she’s so far authored at least two others: Dollhouse and Kardashian Konfidential). The latest hardcover novel will reportedly feature 352 pages of Kim Kardashian selfies. As the adage goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words, so this definitely counts as a longread.