Morning News Update for Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Tuesday, 9/2/14:


Adam Levine To Produce Autobiographical 1990s Family Comedy For NBC
Adam Levine
is taking a look back at his years as an up-and-coming rocker inKids in America, a comedy series for NBC. The single-camera project, which has received a script commitment, hails from Levine’s 222 Prods. and Universal TV where the company has a first-look deal. It is inspired by Levine’s real-life experiences and centers on an unconventional family as seen through the eyes of a teenager with the dream of becoming a rock star. Aaron Blitzstein will write the script and will executive produce with 22 Prods.’ Levine, longtime manager/producing partner Jordan Feldstein and development executive Josh Gummersall.

Lars Von Trier to Take On TV With ‘The House That Jack Built’
Lars von Trier
is returning to TV for the first time in 20 years. The filmmaker will write and direct The House That Jack Built as a high-end TV drama series. Von Trier’s producer Louise Vesth declined to reveal any details of the series except to say von Trier would start working on a script this fall and shooting was planned to start in 2016. Vesth will produce for von Trier’s Danish production company Zentropa together with executive producer and Zentropa partner Peter Aalbaek Jensen.

(from Fri) ‘The Greatest American Hero’ Gets Fox Remake With Phil Lord & Chris Miller
has given a put pilot commitment to The Greatest American Hero, a new take on the 1981 sci-fi dramedy, which is being shepherded by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Lord and Miller will executive produce the hourlong action comedy alongside Cannell’s daughter, television director Tawnia McKiernan. Written/exec produced by Rodney Rothman and produced by 20th TV, the new Greatest American Hero will chronicle inner-city teacher Isaac’s adventures after his discovery of a superhero suit that gives him superhuman abilities. Unfortunately for Isaac, he hates wearing the suit and has to learn how to use its powers by trial and error because he quickly misplaces the suit’s instructions.

(from Fri) Patrick Warburton Set to Return in The Tick
Patrick Warburton
only sported his blue antennae for one season the first go-around, but the critically acclaimed superhero parody is now being revived on Amazon. The cult-classic series is based on a comic book by Ben Edlund and was first brought to television as an animated series that enjoyed three seasons of success in the mid 1990s. In early 2002, Fox canceled Warburton’s live-action version (which also starred a pre-Lost Nestor Carbonell) after just nine episodes. Warburton recently inked a deal with Amazon and Sony to reprise his role, with Edlund producing and writing.

(from Fri) Jennifer Johnson Exiting ‘The Following’ As Showrunner, Trio Takes Over
Jennifer Johnson
, who joined the Warner Bros. TV-produced series in June as executive producer/day-to-day showrunner, is leaving. She remains at WBTV, where she is under an overall deal and very well liked, and will focus on development. WBTV has opted to promote within. Writers Brett Mahoney and Alexi Hawley have been upped to executive producers. They will co-run the Kevin Bacon-starring dark thriller alongside director Marcos Siega, the series’ long-time on-set executive producer.

ABC’s ‘Manhattan Love Story’ Enlists ‘William & Kate’ Star
Nico Evers Swindell
will recur on the freshman comedy.

Grey’s Anatomy Admits The Americans’ Annet Mahendru
The Americans‘ Annet Mahendru will turn up in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy this fall.

‘Orange Is the New Black’ star Laverne Cox to appear on ‘Faking It’
Laverne Cox
will guest star in an upcoming season-two episode of MTV’s Faking It.

Miranda Mayo Joins ‘Pretty Little Liars’; Samm Levine In ‘Selfie’
Miranda Mayo
(The Game) has been cast in a recurring role on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. Samm Levine has booked a recurring role opposite Karen Gillan and John Cho in ABC/Warner Bros TV single-camera comedy Selfie.

(preview) Hitfix: Take Me To The Pilots ’14: ABC’s ‘Fresh Off the Boat’
Desire To Watch Again: Strong. I hope ABC can figure out how to give "Fresh Off The Boat" a healthy time period and nurture it and let it grow. Unfortunately, after last year’s "Trophy Wife" fiasco and with "The Middle" and "Modern Family" both occupied as lead-ins, I’m skeptical.

‘The Wire’ is finally being remastered in HD, and it’s probably coming to HBO this week
HBO’s The Wire
, aka that show you’ve been saying for years you’ll watch because all your friends won’t shut up about it, is coming back. A marathon of this series will be broadcasted on HBO Signature weeknights at 8PM starting September 4th, "remastered in for the first time in high definition."

Wrap: 13 Fall TV Burning Questions: What’s Stephen Colbert Really Like? Can NBC Stay No. 1?
Will ABC’s Diversity Push Pay Off?
ABC is taking a simultaneously funny and serious look at race with the sitcoms “Black-ish,” “Cristela” and “Fresh Off the Boat.” Talking about race may not sound fun, but all the shows smartly acknowledge stereotypes while subverting them. Best of all, people of color are behind the camera, not just in front of it. Without American demographics changing fast, ABC may be ahead of the curve.


Tax Incentives Lure Pirates V Down Under
It’s a strong possibility the fifth edition of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise will be filmed no where near the island nations south of the continent. Instead, production will move down under to the land of Oz, thanks to a $20.2 million tax incentive from the government of Australia. Disney had previously been promised similar tax incentives to film the “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” remake in 2013, but since that project has been shelved, the tax credits were transferred to Pirates V.

THR: Box-Office Crash: What Caused Hollywood’s Miserable Summer?

It’s official: North American summer revenue barely cracks $4 billion, an eight-year low and down 15 percent from 2013. With so many entertainment options now vying for eyeballs, the fear is that summer 2014 is the start of a new reality. "You have to answer two critical questions: Do I have to see it now? And do I have to see it on the big screen?" says Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. "If the answer is ‘no’ to either, you are in trouble."


Craig Zadan, Neil Meron Adapting Celebrity Adventure Show for NBC
has given a cast-contingent series order to Better Late Than Never, a celebrity adventure reality hybrid show. The series is based on the Korean format Grandpas Over Flowers and hails from Small World IFT. Now in its second season in Korea, Grandpas Over Flowers is a reality hybrid series that follows four beloved entertainment legends on their next great adventure. Deciding that it’s "better late than never," they devise a plan to backpack across Southeast Asia. The original series was created and produced by CJE&M. (Think The Amazing Race with celebrities.)

NYT: ABC’s Bet on David Muir of ‘World News Tonight’
hopes that David Muir’s blend of youth, approachability and off-the-cuff tweets will attract young viewers to “World News Tonight.”

HGTV goes house hunting
Scripps Networks
has ordered a series for HGTV in which house-hunters knock on doors in their ideal location to convince homeowners to sell their properties within 24 hours. Sold on the Spot follows presenter Josh Temple and eager home buyers as they trawl their favourite neighbourhoods looking for homes that fit their requirements.

Nickelodeon To Delve Further Into Sports Programming
said it would move deeper into sports-themed programming for kids by launching a new primetime block on its NickToons network that will feature a mix of original and acquired longform and shortform content from the NFL, Major League Soccer and Nascar along with other shows.

(from Fri) A&E Networks Buying Minority Stake in Vice Media
A&E Networks
has agreed to pay $250 million for a 10 percent share of Vice Media, a spokesman confirmed on Friday. The deal would presumably give the digital platform for millennials the cable television channel it has been seeking.

(from Fri) Taylor Swift Joins The Voice as a Season Seven Advisor
Taylor Swift
will be joining the upcoming seventh season of the NBC competition show as an advisor. A source tells Us that Swift will serve in the same capacity that Coldplay singer Chris Martin aided the show in its sixth season


Short-Format Comedy: The Forward-Looking Comedians of Instagram and Vine
Artistically Challenged
, the first native “television” series to appear on Instagram, is a story told in 15-second episodes — 15 seconds being the maximum length of an Instagram video. I just watched the first season, all 32 episodes, in a grand total of eight minutes. The series debuted and completed its first season in July; it tells the story of Nick, an aspiring artist hoping to pass off an unsigned painting as his own while he traverses the tempestuous and surreal NY art scene and comes out on top, or at least with the majority of his limbs intact. Can a story be told in a mere 15 seconds? Can a career be built out of 15-second videos?

YouTube Will Take 5%-Plus Cut of Crowdfunding Donations
Google’s YouTube now lets creators solicit fans for donations — providing another tool for monetizing content — with the video site taking at least 5% of any coinage dropped into the virtual tip jar.


HBO Asia Finalizes Multi-Platform Launch for ‘Grace’
HBO Asia
will next month air “Grace,” its second original series made in the region. The four-part horror mini-series stars Russell Wong and Pamelyn Chee in a contemporary tale of a man who is an unfaithful but loving husband, and whose dirty secret threatens all around him.

Netflix plans German content
aims to produce an original series in Germany, according to CEO Reed Hastings. Hastings told German news magazine Der Spiegel that the company would “certainly” produce something in Germany, one of the six European markets in which it is set to launch a service in the near future.


Ted Gold Joins Spike TV As Head Of Scripted Series
As Spike TV is re-entering scripted series, the network has brought in veteran TV executive/producer Ted Gold to guide the efforts. Gold has been named to the newly created position of SVP, Scripted Original Series, Spike TV. He will lead a newly-created scripted development team and will oversee all scripted programming, reporting to Sharon Levy, EVP, Original Series.


(from Fri) California Senate Passes $330 Million in Annual Film and TV Incentives

The $1.65 billion program, which runs five years, more than triples the tax credits in an effort to retain and get back productions.

Variety to Publish Weekly TV and Film Fan Engagement Measurement Combining All Major Digital Platforms
Variety will begin publishing a new measurement of TV/film-related fan activity across all major digital platforms. Each week, ListenFirst Media will exclusively provide Variety with its new Digital Audience Ratings (DAR), which quantifies over 1 billion users’ interaction with programming that goes far beyond the Nielsen ratings or box office totals. DAR is a syndicated rating system for fan engagement with television and film, measuring how titles perform across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia, by combining them into one easy-to-understand numeric score.
(first ratings here)

(tech) Reddit to Launch Mobile App for AMAs
has made its long-awaited entry into the mobile app category with one devoted to its most popular attraction, the Ask Me Anything (AMA) interviews. The app simplifies AMAs to make them easier to read and ask questions in real time, not to mention browse other AMAs and be notified of trending interviews.

TechCrunch: Here’s What We Know So Far About The Celebrity Photo Hack
So what do we know about the celebrity photo hacks? There is a suggestion that iCloud has been “hacked”. There has been absolutely no confirmation of this from Apple. It’s highly unlikely that the “hacker” (or it may have been a group of hackers) was not able to breach Apple’s security in general, but instead targeted specific victims using a combination of social engineering, cracking the password or using Apple’s “Forgot my password” route.

Classic shows live another day, thanks to box sets
Classics are scarce on TV and Netflix, but thrive in big, expensive boxed sets. Shout! Factory, a company specializing in horror movies and old TV, has released complete sets of TV milestones such as Hill Street Bluesand popular sitcoms such as The Bob Newhart Showand The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, with Welcome Back, Kotter, The Phil Silvers Showand WKRP in Cincinnatito come later this year.