Afternoon News Update for Tuesday, September, 23, 2014

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Tuesday, 9/23/14:


NBC Buys Celebrity Pediatrician Comedy Produced By Craig Zadan & Neil Meron
has put in development a multi-camera comedy inspired by the book Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby’s First Year by Beverly Hills pediatrician, Dr. Scott W. Cohen, which he penned during his first year as a father. Written by David Bickel, the project centers around a celebrity pediatrician who is top of the line and revered at work but who is not as good practicing what he preaches with his wife and kids at home. Bickel executive produces with Storyline Entertainment’s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

Gale Anne Hurd’s ‘Hunters’ Gets Syfy Series Order
is moving forward with its Gale Anne Hurd drama Hunters. The NBCUniversal-owned cable network announced that has handed out a 13-episode series order to the drama based on Whitley Strieber’s best-selling novel Alien Hunter. The series follows a Pennsylvania detective-turned-suspect Flynn Carroll who, after his wife mysteriously goes missing, is determined to prove his innocence and find her. His search leads to evidence that dangerous alien cells are living among us, and the U.S. government has a secret organization in place to thwart their terrorist efforts. Natalie Chaidez will pen the script and executive produce alongside Hurd via the prolific producer’s Universal Cable Productions-based Valhalla Entertainment banner.

Telenovela ‘Queen of the South’ Lands Pilot Order at USA
USA Network
is adapting Arturo Perez-Reverte’s best-selling novel La Reina Del Sur (aka The Queen of the South), ordering a pilot from Fox Television Studios for the drama. The drama tells the story of Teresa Mendoza, who after her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico, is forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America. There, she teams with an unlikely figure from her past to bring down the leader of the same drug trafficking ring that has her on the run. In the process, she learns the tools of the trade and strategically positions herself to become the leader of the cartel. M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller will pen the script for the pilot and executive produce alongside David Friendly and Pancho Mansfield.


EW: Fall TV Ads Graded: Best & Worst of 2014
From ”Gotham” to ‘‘Sons of Anarchy,” James Hibberd’s annual take on promo ads that stun and stumble.,,20302134_20854860,00.html

(ratings) NYT: Fall Television Season Opens With Strong Ratings
In as big an affirmation as the television business might be able to offer that strong programming still can draw a real crowd, the 8 p.m. hour of television Monday night attracted about 50 million viewers on the four broadcast networks, with another 14 million or so watching football on ESPN.

Huffpo: Shonda Rhimes, The New York Times And Why We Really Need ‘Black-ish’
has to be more than just another pretty good sitcom. As one of the few comedies on a major network with a predominantly African-American cast, it has to navigate the issue of race in America. It can’t just be funny, it has to be astute and adept as well. The good news is that so far, it navigates that challenging territory with intelligence, wit and subversive purpose.


Michael Imperioli Boards Amazon’s Shawn Ryan Drama
has found its fourth "mad dog." Michael Imperioli has joined the cast of Amazon’s Shawn Ryan drama pilot Mad Dogs. Mad Dogs, from Sony Pictures Television, centers on four former frat brothers who travel to Belize for a reunion with their wealthy old college friend only to have their luxury vacation interrupted by murder, conspiracy and a psychotic gang lord who is out for their hides.

It’s Official: Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn to Star in ‘True Detective’
Justin Lin
will direct the first two episodes.

AMC Pilot ‘White City’ Casting: Tim Peper, Mercedes Mason & Josh Pence Join
Tim Peper
is set as the lead and Mercedes Mason and Josh Pence will co-star in White City, AMC’s geopolitical drama pilot directed and exec produced by Stephen Gaghan.

Christina Applegate to guest on Lisa Kudrow’s ‘Web Therapy’
Christina Applegate
is returning to TV with a multi-episode guest role on Lisa Kudrow’s Showtime comedy.


‘Rosie Project’ Has Lord & Miller Circling To Helm Neustadter & Weber Script
Sony Pictures
optioned screen rights to the global breakout Graeme Simsion novel The Rosie Project for Sony-based producers Matt Tolmach and Michael Costigan, and the studio now has the team of Phil Lord & Christopher Miller developing the book to potentially direct, and scribes Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber set to turn the book into a script. The Rosie Project centers on Don Tillman as he embarks upon The Wife Project, designing a questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner: a punctual, non-drinking, non-smoking female who will fit in with his regimented lifestyle. When the unorthodox and free-spirited Rosie appears on the scene, it is clear that she fits none of his selection criteria, but she still may just be the perfect match to help turn his life around.


TruTV Finally Turns Its Back on Court Roots With October’s Comedic Rebrand
In attempt to finally find a niche of its own and move away from more derivative cable reality fare, TruTV completes its long-gestating brand refresh on Oct. 27. The Turner-owned network, adopting the tagline "Way more fun," is moving heavily into the comedy space with the launch of four new TV series and the return of laugher linchpin The Carbonaro Effect.


Variety: Study Finds YouTube Is No. 1 Digital Destination for TV Shows. Wait, Really?
About 38% of 2,400 consumers surveyed claimed they visit YouTube for TV shows, versus Netflix at 33%, Hulu at 17% and Amazon Prime Instant Video at 14%, according to research firm Frank N. Magid Associates. Results of the survey, conducted in June, were reported by CNET. But how in the world can this possibly be true? The riddle may boil down to the fact that ordinary consumers may have an expansive idea of what a “TV show” is — encompassing everything from, say, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” clips to made-for-digital series like “Video Game High School.”

AT&T Targets Cord-Cutters With $39 Monthly HBO-Broadband Bundle
AT&T is trying to woo cord-cutters with a new $39-a-month bundle that comes with broadband Internet, HBO and Amazon Prime. The offer, good for 12 months of service, is only available online at the company’s website. To qualify, customers would have to reside in an area that is reached by AT&T’s U-verse fiber-optic TV and Internet service. AT&T is getting a jump-start on rivals such as Dish Network, Verizon and Sony, which are all planning over-the-top TV services that would provide a limited bundle of networks over the Internet.

Twitter Study: Actors are a TV Show’s ‘Greatest Asset’
With the new fall television season underway, Twitter is stressing to networks that the castmembers of their shows are far more powerful as a marketing tool on social media than the feeds devoted to each individual series. Shonda Rhimes’ “Scandal” is said to have generated a strong fan following thanks to the show’s creator and its actors, including Kerry Washington, live tweeting episodes.


Signal v. Noise: Some advice from Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.

What trait signified someone who was wrong a lot of the time? Someone obsessed with details that only support one point of view. If someone can’t climb out of the details, and see the bigger picture from multiple angles, they’re often wrong most of the time.

(q&a) Vulture: 3 Simpsons Showrunners Reflect on New Fans and the ‘Classic Era’ Myth
Q: Structurally, The Simpsons is like a sitcom, but culturally, it’s become an institution, expected to comment on the times. How important or unimportant is being topical?

David Mirkin: A policy that I always try to follow — and that really everybody does— is that you’re really trying to write something that’s going to be funny 20 years from the time you write it. We’re just interested in that syndication money. It’s big money; you don’t want to screw around. [Laughs.] We always think of not dating the show. And therefore it can become timeless. And that’s what classic things are. It’s not fun to see something 20 years later that’s laden with references that no longer work.