Afternoon News Update for Tuesday, 8/12/14.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Tuesday, 8/12/14:


Starz Picks Up Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s TV Drama ‘One Percent’
is adding to its scripted roster, giving a straight-to-series pickup for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s TV drama The One Percent. The premium cable network has picked up 10 episodes of the drama starring Ed Helms, Hilary Swank and Ed Harris. One Percent is set in the world of organic farming. Helms will play Alfred Murphy, a member of a dysfunctional family struggling to keep their farm from financial ruin, until a bizarre twist of fate changes their lives forever. Swank will play Helms’ wife, Laura Murphy, while Harris will play the family patriarch Nathaniel Cobb. Inarritu created the drama and will direct the first two episodes of the entry, which he co-created with Alexander Dinelaris Jr., Nicolas Giacobone and Armando Bo.

Ryan Seacrest Inks Overall Deal at CBS TV Studios
Ryan Seacrest
is laying down roots at CBS. The multihyphenate’s scripted division has inked a two-year overall deal at CBS TV Studios. As part of the pact, Ryan Seacrest Productions, under scripted programming executive VP Nina Wass, will develop projects for broadcast and cable as well as streaming services. When it comes to unscripted fare, RSP will remain independent and thus able to sell across all networks.

DirecTV’s ‘Rogue’ Gets Two-Season Renewal
has renewed Rogue for a supersized third season. The drama, which stars Thandie Newton as an undercover detective searching for her son’s killer, has been picked up for 20 additional episodes — double its freshman and sophomore runs — with production starting in January. The first 10 episodes will air in spring 2015 and the remaining 10 set for 2016. Cole Hauser will also return for the subesequent seasons.

‘It’s Always Sunny’ star Kaitlin Olson to recur on ‘New Girl’
Jess’ father is returning to New Girl, and he’s bringing a fiancé with him! Kaitlin Olson is joining the Fox comedy as Ashley, the fiance of Rob Reiner’s Bob Day and the high school nemesis of Jess and Cece.

‘Justified’ star Jacob Pitts heads to ‘Elementary’
Sherlock Holmes will soon find a new ally: Justified star Jacob Pitts will guest-star in an upcoming episode of Elementary.


‘Easy A’ Writer Bert Royal to Adapt Stage Musical ’13’ for CBS Films
CBS Films
is bringing Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown‘s stage musical “13” to the big screen. Story follows a popular 13-year-old boy who moves from New York City to a small town in Indiana where his classmates look at him as if he’s from another planet. Anxious to be popular again, his scheme to win acceptance backfires and threatens to alienate his true friends. “Easy A” screenwriter Bert V. Royal is handling the stage-to-screen adaptation, which will be produced by Laurence Mark.

The screenwriter for Marvel’s possible ‘Inhumans’ movie has been revealed
Joe Robert Cole
is currently working on the script for the film. This is part of the same program that allowed Nicole Perlman to write an early draft of "Guardians Of The Galaxy," which helped Marvel see the full potential of the project. I’ll be curious to see if this one keeps picking up momentum, and how Marvel works to incorporate the Inhumans into their larger world.

‘Aquaman’ Movie Hooks Two Writers
Will Beall
, who wrote "Gangster Squad," and Kurt Johnstad, who wrote "300: Rise of an Empire," are tackling two separate scripts for Warner Bros.


ESPN to Air ‘Grantland Basketball Show’ Featuring Bill Simmons
Bill Simmons
will leave his gig as “NBA Countdown” analyst. ESPN will debut the first Grantland-branded television series, ”The Grantland Basketball Show,” featuring Simmons, on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m. ET. “The Grantland Basketball Show” will feature discussion about a variety of National Basketball Association topics, facilitated by Simmons, with a rotating group of Grantland commentators and other contributors.

Maria Menounos, Ross Mathews and Jason Kennedy to Host Panel Show ‘Live From E!’
has paired correspondents Maria Menounos, Ross Mathews, Jason Kennedy and a rotating panelist for extended roundtable series, “Live From E!.” The new version of the show, which originated on digital platforms and then moved on-air for one night a week, will now air Mondays through Wednesdays weekly at 8/7c starting Monday, Sept. 8 for a half-hour. The network also told TheWrap that with Mathews’ move to primetime for this show, his late night talk show, “Hello Ross” is not returning for a third season.

New Myx TV Dating Show ‘Bagged’ Hides the Faces of Contestants
Myx TV
has designed “Bagged” to force contestants to rely on everything but their looks. The faces of three contestants vying for one dater’s interest are hidden by masks for the duration of the date, and are only revealed at the end of the episode after a winner is chosen.


Kristen Bell, Entire ‘Veronica Mars’ Cast Returning for ‘Play It Again, Dick’ Webseries
Web series “Play It Again, Dick,” from creator Rob Thomas and following Ryan Hansen’s character Dick Casablancas, was announced in January, and now the casting that’s firmed up should be welcome news to fans. Kristen Bell will reprise her role as both Veronica Mars and a skewed version of herself.

Digital Disruption: Why BuzzFeed Is Trying to Shift Its Strategy
While many people now find their news on Facebook, it’s easy to forget that very recently they found it on Google, and will surely find it somewhere else in the not-too-distant future. The danger for media companies, then, is to focus too much on how stories are delivered and too little on what the stories say. BuzzFeed has been clear about its strategy: Publish items that people want to share on social media.


SundanceTV Names Rob Friedman as SVP of Programming and Scheduling
announced Tuesday that Rob Friedman has moved into the role of senior vice president of programming and scheduling. In his role, Friedman will be largely responsible for online content, including on-demand services and overseeing the strategic planning and scheduling for SundanceTV’s TV Everywhere.


Titanic Studios, Home to ‘Game of Thrones,’ to Add Two Stages
Titanic Studios
, the production facilities in Northern Ireland where “Game of Thrones” is shot, is to add two stages as part of a £14 million ($23.5 million) upgrade.

(gaming) Sony sells 10 million PS4s in less than 9 months
Computer Entertainment Europe President and CEO Jim Ryan announced that the PlayStation 4 has sold over 10 million units worldwide since its launch late last November. For context, it took just over 13 months for the PlayStation 3 to reach 10.53 million sales worldwide, according to earnings documents.

(tech) NYT: Simplifying the Bull: How Picasso Helps to Teach Apple’s Style
Steve Jobs established Apple University as a way to inculcate employees into Apple’s business culture and educate them about its history, particularly as the company grew and the tech business changed. Unlike many corporations, Apple runs its training in-house, year round. The full-time faculty — including instructors, writers and editors — create and teach the courses. Some faculty members come from universities like Yale; Harvard; the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford; and M.I.T., and some continue to hold positions at their schools while working for Apple.