Afternoon News Update for September, 24, 2014.

Shanah Tovah all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Wednesday, 9/24/14:


Zachary Levi To Produce & Potentially Star In NBC Musical Comedy Produced By Eva Longoria
Zachary Levi
is eyeing a return to NBC as the star of a new series project he is executive producing with Eva Longoria. The half-hour single-camera comedy, Tuned, would showcase Levi’s musical skills. Written by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont, Tuned is described as a musical half-hour about an ambitious New Yorker — a role intended for Levi — whose life is upended by sudden musical hallucinations. While these vivid hallucinations threaten to completely derail his enviable life, he’ll eventually realize that they might lead him on a more fulfilling journey. Hails from Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and Universal TV.

NBC Rebooting 80s Movie ‘Real Genius’ as Comedy Series
Val Kilmer‘s 1985 satire film “Real Genius” is being rebooted as a comedy series for NBC. The project comes from Adam Sandler‘s Happy Madison Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment and Sony TV whose subsidiary TriStar Pictures produced the film. NBC is giving the project a script commitment plus penalty. The TV reboot of “Real Genius” will be a workplace comedy, set in the present-day and centering around the relationship between two co-workers with incompatible personalities. Craig DiGregorio wrote the script along with David King.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Scott Gold Sells Third TV Drama
Scott Gold
has now sold his third drama script. Lifetime has picked up a script for The Lion and the Lamb, a drama about a notorious drug cop who busts an all-American college student for pot and "flips" her into becoming a narc. Gold will pen the script and executive produce the A+E Studios drama alongside Marc Schmuger. Alexandra Loewy will produce the drama.

Lauren Gussis Inks Overall Deal With CBS TV Studios
Lauren Gussis
has signed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios to develop projects for broadcast and cable.


(review) THR: ‘Black-ish’
One of the more intriguing shows of the new fall season is ABC’s Black-ish, a sitcom that’s both funny and about something. Or, in this case, things. So few comedies actually have a point of view or something to say — they’re about friends hanging out or some contrived situation. In Black-ish, created by Kenya Barris and Anthony Anderson, a lot of attention has been paid to the fact that this is a show about an African-American family and the African-American experience. Well, that’s true in a sense, but as Barris and Anderson have said, it started out as a show about parents who succeed at doing what all parents want to do: give their children a better life than their own.

(review) Variety: ‘How to Get Away With Murder’
Viola Davis is such a commanding screen presence that her involvement alone should pique interest in “How to Get Away With Murder,” the cherry on top of ABC’s Thursday-night all-Shonda Rhimes sundae. Fast-paced and frothy, with a demographic nod to the twentysomething crowd, the question is whether Rhimes and company can replicate her “Scandal”-ous past with a show that has yet to fully reveal itself.


‘Rizzoli & Isles’ star Sasha Alexander lands major arc on ‘Shameless’
Sasha Alexander
has landed a major multi-episode guest-starring role on Shameless’ upcoming fifth season.

‘The Goldbergs’ Enlists Noah Munck for ‘Naked’ Role
The ‘iCarly’ star will recur on ABC’s sophomore comedy

‘Walking Dead’ Adds ‘Go On’ Alum in New Mystery Role
Details on just whom Tyler James Williams is playing are being kept under wraps, but his character is named Noah.


Universal Taps ‘Annabelle’ Writer for Sci-Fi ‘Crime of the Century’
Gary Dauberman
has come on board sci-fi pic “Crime of the Century” for Universal Pictures. The project has been in development since 2011, when it optioned a pitch from producer Chris Morgan based on an original idea by Daniel Kunka and Dan Trachtenberg. The logline for “Crime of the Century” is under wraps, but has been described in the past as a group of thieves using time travel. Trachtenberg is attached to direct.

‘Game Of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer To Star In ‘Patient Zero’ For Screen Gems
Natalie Dormer
has been set to star in Patient Zero, the Screen Gems action thriller that Stefan Ruzowitzky will direct from a script written by Mike Le. Vincent Newman is producing. Patient Zero focuses on an unprecedented global pandemic that causes the evolution of a new species. An aggressive form of rabies turns the infected into predators, addicted to violence.


‘Big Brother’ Renewed for Seasons 17 and 18
Consider the next two summers booked.

New Lifetime Series ‘Prison Wives Club’ to Debut Tuesday October 28 at 10PM
The new hour-long series premieres Tuesday, October 28, at 10p ET/PT. Prison Wives Club follows four women living with their decisions to fall in love with and remain married to convicted felons.


Vox: Here’s why millions of Americans are binge-watching Korean dramas
has become one of the leading distributors of international content in the United States since its 2009 launch. DF says its total monthly unique viewers — which includes syndication partners like Hulu and YouTube — quadrupled from 2012 to 2013, growing from 2.5 million to 10 million. And it just keeps growing, currently sitting at 20 million. 85 percent of DramaFever’s audience, Park said, is non-Asian, with 45 percent being Caucasian and 25 percent being Latino. "All types of ethnicities," Park told me, "are seeking out foreign content" because it "speaks to them more than … traditional television."

How Big Data Helped ABC Redesign the Second Screen Experience
When ABC became the first network to launch an app on Apple’s iPad, it had to essentially guess how viewers wanted to interact with its shows on mobile devices. Four years later, Big Data has provided a clearer picture and factors heavily into the redesign of ABC’s WATCH app, relaunching today. “Streaming of live events is more and more part of what people are doing,” Albert Cheng said. “This is a way for us to grow the category that incorporates more of what we do.”


Amazon Media Chief Bill Carr Resigns
Bill Carr,’s
head of digital music and video, is leaving the e-commerce company after 15 years.

FX’s John Landgraf Predicts ‘Bumpy’ Ride For TV Industry At HRTS Panel
FX Networks CEO John Landgraf predicted a “bumpy half-decade to decade” for the TV industry, as it seeks to adjust to new means of delivery and metrics, during the Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s State of the Industry annual luncheon Wednesday. “I’m struggling … to figure out how to reinvent what we do,” Landgraf said, noting that while linear channels remain “the dominant force in television today,” there’s an inevitability to the existing framework eventually being overtaken by the greater efficiency of the Internet as a delivery system.

(feature) THR: CBS’ Leslie Moonves: Wall Street Hero, "Pushover" at Home, Future Ambassador?
Hollywood’s $67 million-a-year man opens up about life at work and at home — Peter Pan costumes and ‘Jersey Boys’ sing-alongs with his son — as wife Julie Chen warns: "If you cross him … you’re dead to him"

Eric Newman Forms Grand Electric With StudioCanal Backing
Producer Eric Newman has formed Grand Electric, a new shingle that starts with a multi-year co-venture with StudioCanal that will enable him to acquire, develop and produce films for the European and U.S. markets. The company will be based in Los Angeles, and StudioCanal will be the financier, foreign sales entity and direct distributor in its stronghold territories.


FiveThirtyEight: Americans Aren’t Getting Married Anymore
The Pew Research Center on Wednesday came out with a big report on the decline of marriage in the United States. A record 1 in 5 Americans 25 or older have never been married, up from 1 in 10 in 1960. The report is full of interesting tidbits. The gender gap is widening: Men are less likely than women to get married. And so is the racial one: More than a third of African-Americans 25 and older have never been married versus a quarter of Hispanics and about a sixth of whites.