Morning News Update for Monday, 8/11/14.

Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Monday, 8/11/14:


(from Fri) Spike TV Developing Modern ‘Count Of Monte Cristo’
Spike TV
has put in development a project described as re-inventing the Alexandre Dumas revenge classic The Count Of Monte Cristo with a contemporary and high-octane action and political twist. It hails from Joshua D. Maurer’s City Entertainment. The project, based on an idea by Maurer, is still in early stages, and it is unclear whether it would be developed as a miniseries or limited series.

USA Network Renews ‘Suits’ for Season 5
USA Network
has renewed “Suits” for a fifth season. It will consist of 16 new episodes presumably airing next summer.

Amazon Unveils 5 Pilots Starring Adam Brody, Selma Blair, Mena Suvari – And When They’ll Premiere
has unveiled the line up for its third pilot season, which will once again utilize viewer feedback to decide what shows will receive more episodes after five pilots premiere on Aug. 28. The diverse offerings include three half-hour comedies and two hour-long thrillers.

Comedy “The Cosmopolitans,” written, produced and directed by Academy Award nominee Whit Stillman , follows a group of young Americans searching for love in Paris. “Really,” a half-hour marriage comedy from Jay Chandrasekhar, revolves around four hard-charging suburban Chicago couples trying to grasp on-to their dwindling youth. Coming-of-age comedy “Red Oaks” is directed by David Gordon Green and produced by Steven Soderbergh. It stars Craig Roberts as an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey in 1985.

Hysteria,” an hour-long drama that takes place in Texas, follows Mena Suvari returning to Austin to investigate a strange, psycho-physiological illness that manifests itself in violent fits and spreads in the community through technology. Shaun Cassidy wrote the pilot and executive produces. “Hand of God,” the TV debut of filmmaker Marc Forster, will star Ron Perlman as a powerful judge who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart.

Nashville Season 3: Deacon’s New Muse Is…
Actress-singer Brette Taylor, who plays Batman’s ill-fated mama in Fox’s Gotham pilot, is joining Nashville‘s third season in a major recurring role

Nashville Books Spy Kids Vet Alexa Vega
Alexa Vega
is joining Nashville Season 3 for a multi-episode arc.

(from Fri) Geena Davis Joins ABC’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
ABC medical dramaGrey’s Anatomy is beefing up its ranks in a major way following the recent exit of original cast member Sandra Oh. Oscar winner Geena Davis has been tapped for a major guest arc on the medical drama’s upcoming eleventh season.

(from Fri) James Marsden, Eddie Rouse & More Join HBO Drama Pilot ‘Westworld’
drama pilot Westworld continues to fill out its cast, adding X-Men veteran James Marsden and Eddie Rouse in key roles.

(video) Hot TV Trailer: ‘Houdini’
Oscar winner Adrien Brody stars as legendary illusionist Harry Houdini in Houdini, a four-hour miniseries to air on the History Channel. Kristen Connolly co-stars as Houdini’s wife, Bess, in the project from Lionsgate and A+E Studios.


(from Fri) ‘The Foundation’ Sold To Fox
The Foundation
, a project based on the BOOM! Studios comic book miniseries, has just sold to 20th Century Fox with Evan Daugherty signed to adapt. The Foundation, created by Kody Chamberlain, was originally published in 2008 and is about the Herculean efforts to stop the unpublished prophecies of Nostradamus from coming true. Ross Richie and Stephen Christy will also produce for BOOM! along with Adam Yoelin co-producing.


BET Orders Reality Series Starring Nelly, Keyshia Cole and Mann Family
is bulking up its unscripted programming. The Viacom-owned cable network has handed out series orders to docuseries starring rapper Nelly, a new entry with Keyshia Cole and one featuring Meet the Browns stars David and Tamela Mann.

‘Men in Blazers’ Soccer Duo Moving to NBC
After crossing over to the sports media mainstream during the World Cup, Roger Bennett and Michael Davies will host their own show on NBC Sports.


Coming to the Internet: Shows From CBS That You Won’t See on CBS
is working on shows that you won’t see on CBS. Instead, the plan is for you to see them on the Internet, via video services like Netflix or Amazon’s Prime Instant Video. If that happens, it means CBS will have opened up a new revenue source: In addition to selling its reruns to Netflix and its competitors, it will also be selling them brand-new shows those services can stream exclusively.


NCIS: New Orleans ‘will make $5m per ep before launch’
New CBS procedural NCIS: New Orleans is set to make the company “north of probably US$5 million an episode before the show even goes on the air” – not including advertising – largely thanks to international business. This follows a “huge international deal” for the show, CBS COO and principal financial officer Joseph Ianniello said during an investors’ call.


(animated) Nathan Fillion Guest Stars on Disney XD’s Gravity Falls
On Monday’s episode of the hit Disney XD animated series, Castle star Nathan Fillion makes a guest appearance. Fillion plays Preston Northwest, the father of local tween Pacifica — who’s an archrival of Mabel Pines (Kristen Schaal).

Amazon Blocks Pre-Sales of Disney’s ‘Maleficent,’ ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ DVDs, Blu-Rays
and Disney have locked horns in a dispute over DVD and Blu-ray disc sales, and the online retail giant is refusing to allow orders for physical copies of upcoming releases including the blockbusters “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Maleficent.” Amazon employed similar hardball tactics in a dispute with Warner Bros. earlier this year, which hung up presales of the animated hit “The LEGO Movie.”

‘Frozen’ Gets Sequel in Book Series
Random House
announced that it is publishing a Frozen chapter-book series aimed at young readers that will continue the story from the 2013 hit Disney movie.


Maker Studios Co-Founders Lisa & Ben Donovan Exit
Lisa and Ben Donovan
, siblings who were co-founders of Maker Studios, have left the company. Their departure comes just three months after Disney purchased the company.

Bloomberg Names New Head of Live TV Unit
The new head, Claudia Milne, is a veteran BBC news producer.


An Oral History Of ‘Varsity Blues’
Fifteen years later, the cast, crew and creators for “Varsity Blues” sat down to chat about how it all happened: the script that was stuck in bankruptcy, the epic race with “Friday Night Lights” to get to the theaters first, the auditions, the on-set shenanigans, the injuries and the tales only the making of a Hollywood film can provide.

Maclean’s: The End Of Neighbors
How our increasingly closed-off lives are poisoning our politics and endangering our health.