Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Wednesday, 9/10/14:
Arms Dealing Drama ‘Runner’ Gets Fox Cast-Contingent Pilot Order
Fox has given an off-cycle cast-contingent pilot order to drama, Runner, from Sander/Moses Prods., Peter Horton and 20th Century Fox TV. Based on the Turkish series Son, Runner is to guns what Traffic was to drugs and delves into the traditionally masculine world of arms dealing through the unexpected lens of a woman. It centers on Lauren Marks who, after a simple twist of fate, learns that her husband is not the person she believed him to be. Faced with the harsh reality that her life is forever changed, she goes on a truth-seeking journey that entrenches her in a U.S./Mexican war over weapons and terrorism. Michael Cooney wrote the pilot script, with Horton directing as well as exec producing alongside Ian Sander and Kim Moses. Jon Cowan executive produces and serves as showrunner.
NBC Buys Suburban New Jersey Comedy
Blogging in suburbia, that is the subject of a single-camera comedy from writers Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley and producer David Janollari. The project, from Universal TV, where Janollari and Cragg & Bradley are under overall deals, has sold to NBC. Inspired by Cragg and Bradley’s personal observations of their own family lives, it centers on a pop science blogger and his wife who move from Manhattan and single life to New Jersey and married/family life. There, he begins writing about his suburban friends and neighbors on the cul-de-sac in the style of an anthropologist who’s stumbled on an undiscovered tribe.
NBC Developing Pub Quiz Comedy From Chris Moynihan
NBC has handed out a script commitment to an untitled comedy from Chris Moynihan set against a weekly pub quiz. American Dreams alum Jonathan Prince is on board to executive produce the multicamera comedy about a group of millennials who team up once a week to compete in their local pub quiz. Moynihan will pen the script and executive produce the Universal Television comedy.
CBS Gives Pilot Order to Stephen King Adaption From Greg Berlanti and Seth Grahame Smith
CBS is tapping the work of Stephen King for programming inspiration again. The network has given a put-pilot order to another King adaptation, this time from Greg Berlanti and Seth Grahame-Smith. The one-hour drama project, “The Things They Left Behind,” is based on King’s short story and follows an unlikely pair of investigators carrying out the unfinished business of the dead. Berlanti Productions is producing in association with Warner Bros. Television, with Berlanti, David Katzenberg and Sara Schechter executive producing. Grahame-Smith is writing as well as executive producing.
Televisa USA Acquires Anne Rice’s Steamy ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Novels
Call it the Fifty Shades of Grey effect. Televisa USA has acquired the English-language television and digital rights to Anne Rice’s bestselling The Sleeping Beauty series of erotic novels. Rice will executive produce with Oscar-nominated producer Rachel Winter; Endemol North America Co-Chairman-CEO Charlie Corwin; and former CAA motion picture literary agent-turned-producer Jessica Matthews. The books, which feature very detailed sex scenes, follow a beautiful young princess who is awakened from her long sleep, but in a much more provocative way than the traditional fairytale. And that’s where her journey to find herself begins.
Dating Site Ashley Madison Backs TV Drama About Cheating Spouses
Adultery site Ashley Madison is hooking up with TV. Canadian producer marblemedia and U.S. partner Out East Entertainment are set to produce a scripted drama inspired by the users of the site, who privately reveal why they want to — or have had — affairs. "There’s a whole new story to tell about the mind of the cheating man and woman," Biderman says, as the in-development drama will explore the taboo world of extramarital affairs in the digital age and how they evolve. The series will be executive produced by Biderman, Hornburg, Mark Bishop, Steven Marrs and Alex Hertzberg.
‘Instant Mom’ Renewed for Third Season by Nick at Nite
Instant Mom has been renewed for a 20-episode third season.
(review) Variety: ‘Z Nation’
No limit exists on zombie shows (although perhaps one should be imposed), but since “The Walking Dead” is out there — with a companion spinoff in the works — a new entry really ought to unearth something new. From that perspective, Syfy’s “Z Nation” has more guts than brains, essentially trotting out an old-fashioned wagon-train western, with a hardy band running a zombie gantlet trying to reach California. Along the way, the show serves up one doozy of a twist, and otherwise a lot of slavering, mindless flesh-eaters chasing our intrepid heroes. Think of it as the fast-food alternative to “Dead’s” more-flavorful dish.
Zachary Quinto, Brian Cox Board NBC’s ‘The Slap’
Joining Peter Sarsgaard and Mary-Louise Parker in the miniseries
‘About a Boy’ taps Chris Diamantopoulos as Fiona’s love interest
Chris Diamantopoulos will appear in at least two episodes as a love interest for Minnie Driver’s needy single mom.
Modern Family Plans Sleepover With Kristen Johnston
Kristen Johnston will be crashing on an upcoming episode of Modern Family and has landed a plum Season 6 role as Mitchell’s law firm colleague.
‘Saturday Night Live’: Chris Pratt to Host Season 40 Premiere
Sarah Silverman, Ariana Grande and Maroon 5 also tapped
NEW MEDIA NEWS:
Sony’s Cloud-Based TV Service Strikes Big Deal With Viacom
Viacom has agreed to let Sony’s forthcoming cloud-based TV service to carry 22 Viacom networks upon launch, the companies announced on Wednesday. The deal is the first of its kind for Viacom, a telecommunications giant that owns networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and TV Land. Sony’s cloud-based TV service will offer subscribers internet-based live TV and video on demand from major programmers.
Sky Living orders Timothy Spall poltergeist drama
BSkyB has ordered a new three-part poltergeist drama, as the pay TV broadcaster continues to ramp up investment in original content. The Enfield Haunting has just entered production in the UK. The three-parter is based on the Guy Lyon Mayfair non-fiction book about the ‘Enfield Poltergeist case’. The case, and subsequent investigation, followed a serious of mysterious events that occurred in a house in the north London town in the late 1970s. UK indie producer Eleven Film is making the dramatisation of the paranormal events and investigation into them. Timothy Spall and Mathew Macfayden will both star in the new drama.
(q&a) Deadline: Fox’s Dana Walden & Gary Newman On Juggling 2 Jobs, Their Plans & More ’24’
DEADLINE: A month into the job, what has been harder — buying or selling?
DANA WALDEN: I think it has been an interesting season so far. There are so many shows in production; I think our head of research said there are 400 shows in production right now. So a lot of writers are working, and it’s been a bit of a slow development season.
Sony Entertainment CEO Talks Studio Consolidation, Summer Box-Office Crash
Asked about TV production trends, he said dramas sell particularly well abroad these days, often allowing a show to be at break-even from the start. Comedy, meanwhile, doesn’t travel well, even to the U.K., he said. But Sony has done well selling formats into foreign markets, Lynton highlighted.
Disney, Marvel Movie Marketing Executive Asad Ayaz Promoted
Asad Ayaz has been appointed executive vice president, marketing, at Walt Disney Studios. Ayaz is the marketing brand lead for theatrical releases from Disney Live Action, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm, and his promotion comes as the studio enjoys impressive success at the box office. He’ll continue to report to Disney president of worldwide marketing Ricky Strauss.
THR: What DreamWorks’ Stacey Snider Means for Fox
As Spielberg’s partner preps for a move to a suddenly red-hot studio, one insider asks: "Why do we need her?" as she comes, one says, only with a "keep the good times rolling" agenda.
(gaming) ‘Destiny’ Tops $500 Million in First Day Sales for Activision
“Destiny” has taken off for Activision, generating over $500 million in sales to retailers worldwide before the game’s launch this week. The figure makes the title the largest launch of a new video game franchise in history. In the game, players take the role of guardians who protect the last human city on Earth.
Four reasons why TV Everywhere isn’t ready for prime time: A simple look at a complex problem
But for all of its considerable progress, most of the chatter surrounding TV Everywhere (TVE) is tinged with disappointment, with the pay TV industry still struggling to create a universal, consumer-friendly system for authenticating paid subscribers, not to mention educate a consumer base that’s still mostly unaware that the initiative even exists. Measuring audiences across platforms is still a big issue. And ad-delivery management is getting better, thanks to services like Freewheel, but it’s still not fully baked.
Atlantic: On Repeat: Why We Watch Movies and Shows Over and Over and Over
Pop culture is a relentless machine of newness and manufactured surprise. And yet, I have spent 100 hours of my life watching a movie I could perform verbatim in my living room. Why do we spend so much time with stories whose endings we already know? The most durable theories fit roughly into four categories: habits, addictions, rituals, and status-quo bias.