Morning News Update for Thursday, August 21st, 2014.

Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Thursday, 8/21/14:


CBS Buys Adaptation Of British Comedy ‘Friday Night Dinner’ As Put Pilot
is looking to expand its footprint in the genre with Friday Night Dinner. Based on the Channel 4 series created by Robert Popper, the project, from Warner Bros. TV and 3 Arts Entertainment, has received a put pilot commitment from the network. It focuses on the regular dinner experience of a family each Friday night. Popper will be writing the U.S. version as part of a two-script deal he had signed with WBTV. I hear the intention is to keep the single-camera nature of the series, infused with comedy and heart in the vein of ABC’s Modern Family, though the project is still in early stages and doing it in a multi-camera format is a possibility.

Jay R. Ferguson Inks Deal With ABC Studios
Mad Men alum Jay R. Ferguson has signed a development/talent deal with ABC Studios. The pact stems from Ferguson’s casting in the studio’s comedy pilot Save the Date this past season.

(animated) Comedy Central Orders ‘@DadBoner’ Animated Pilot Based On Twitter Feed
Comedy Central
is headed to the Midwest with @DadBoner, an animated comedy project based on the popular Twitter feed and the book it spawned, Power Moves: Livin’ The American Dream, USA Style, by the feed’s writer, Mike Burns. The cable network has ordered a pilot for the project, written by Burns and Tim Long. The @DadBoner feed is penned by Karl Welzein, a fictional middle-aged Michigan man separated from his wife who loves Bob Seger. On the show, Karl Welzein has developed his own philosophy of life, indulging in dangerously generous helpings of booze, fast food, and American pride.

Nashville’s Rayna and Juliette Face the Future in New Season 3 Poster
Get your first look at series leads Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, shown in profile on the drama’s Season 3 poster.

Vulture: Halt and Catch Fire’s Renewal Is a Prime Example of the New Network Patience
At first glance, AMC’s decision to renew seems a head-scratcher. But put in the larger context of how the network has operated in the Mad Men era — and how difficult it’s been for all networks to launch new shows these day — the Halt move starts to make a little more sense. Even broadcasters have gotten hip to the new reality: NBC is bringing back summer originals such as Welcome to Sweden, The Night Shift, and Undateable, despite their decidedly so-so ratings. It knows it’s better to have a stable of semi-familiar shows with small, core fan bases than to try to start from scratch every few months.

AMC Backlash: Budget Squeezing, Producer "Bake-Offs" and Post-‘Breaking Bad’ Challenges
Some showrunners and their reps say AMC’s heavy hand in certain circumstances has caused them to avoid bringing top material to the network. In a town thirsting for buyers, even some who have reaped profit from their AMC dealings are almost rooting for failure. "They got lucky," says one agent. "But now they’re coming to the end."

Hairpin: The Great Hope of TV’s Female Crime-Stoppers
The problem with sex crimes shows is not a new one. Stories about rape that center around the search for justice suggest that narratives begin when women’s bodies are violated like objects, and end when men punish the perpetrator. In the last few years, though, television has stumbled onto a way to unsettle that kind of story, giving it pathos and resonance in the simplest possible reversal: by making all of the police women, whose mere physical presence in the narrative stands in stark, blessed contrast to the silent, still bodies of the girls whose lives and deaths they are called on to investigate.


Watch all of ‘Broad City’ Season 1 on Comedy Central’s website
If, for some strange reason, you didn’t catch the addicting "Broad City" when it aired on Comedy Central, have no fear: You can rectify that wrong RIGHT NOW because the entire first season of the show is available online.


Edinburgh: Channel 4 Orders North Korea Political Thriller By Matt Charman

Channel 4 has come forth with a quartet of commissions including North Korean political thriller Opposite Number. The 10-part action series is penned by Matt Charman. It’s produced by Mammoth Screen and hails from C4’s newly formed international drama division. Mammoth Screen and ITV Studios Global Entertainment are actively looking for an international partner on the project which kicks off when a British nuclear scientist is taken prisoner in North Korea, triggering an international crisis which itself must be kept secret.

The network also announced 90-minute political drama Coalition, which traces the rise of British Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. It hails from James Graham and will be directed by Alex Holmes and produced by Cuba Pictures.

Also on deck is E4 comedy series Chewing Gum from and starring Michaela Coel. She plays a religious Beyoncé-obsessed 22-year-old who is fast finding out that the more she learns about the world, the less she understands. The series is inspired by Coel’s award-winning one-woman play Chewing Gum Dreams which ran at the National Theatre this year.


(gaming) ‘Star Wars: Commander’ Invades Mobile Phones
Disney Interactive and Lucasfilm have launched “Star Wars: Commander,” a game for mobile devices. “Commander,” launching on Apple devices first, is a free-to-play combat strategy game in which players choose whether to fight for the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire and lead a force in epic battles.


(feature) Grantland: Lorne Again
There are plenty of producers who have had more success in movies and episodic television than Lorne Michaels yet are by no means comparably recognizable and legendary. Within the confines of entertainment, the single name “Lorne” evokes only one man; no one else has the gallery of comics and actors imitating his speech patterns or characters like Mike Myers’s Dr. Evil modeled after him.

‘300’ Producer Mark Canton Starts Mad Riot Entertainment
Mark Canton
is pushing into New York City with Mad Riot Entertainment, a movie and TV development production company. The “300” producer is serving as a partner and creative consultant for Mad Riot, which is launching with Lawrence Smith as CEO, George Davanzo as executive chairman and Dorothy Canton as president.


AFI Expands Workshop for Women Directors
The AFI Directing Workshop for Women will expand this year, with participants creating content for the web or streaming devices. This expands on the 40-year-old program, which has centered on the making of short films.

Atlantic: The Plight of the Male Plus One
I first heard the phrase 15 years ago when I attended the Emmys for the first time with my wife Jenji Kohan, long before she created Weeds or Orange Is the New Black. At dinner afterwards, someone at our table—either the boyfriend of an actress or another writer’s husband—pulled out his invitation and happily identified himself by the words printed in tiny lettering at the bottom, below the calligraphed name of the invitee, near the information about limo drop-offs: Plus One.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Raises $10.3 Million in Just 24 Hours
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge reached new heights on Wednesday by raising an astonishing $10.3 million in a single day. The ALS Association released the figure on Thursday, just a day after it touted $8.6 million in donations on Tuesday.

(tech) Google Invests in Cinematic Virtual-Reality Startup Jaunt
is taking a stake in virtual-reality technology startup Jaunt, which is building a system for 360-degree 3D viewing of movies, TV shows and videogames. According to the startup, the tech lets directors and videographers create cinematic VR experiences using the same editing and production software they already use.