Morning News Update for Monday, September 29, 2014.

Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Monday, 9/29/14:


Jenna Elfman Inks Development Deal With 20th TV To Topline New Series
Jenna Elfman
has signed a development and talent holding deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, the studio will pair the actress with a writer to develop a comedy or drama project for her to star.

(from Fri) ‘Couple Time’ Creators Sell ‘Crescent Heights’ Comedy To Fox
Fox has put in development a half-hour comedy from UCB Theatre LA regulars Allyn Rachel and Patrick Carlyle, Kapital Entertainment and 20th TV. Written/exec produced by real-life couple Rachel and Carlyle, Crescent Heights revolves around an ordinary couple who move into an apartment complex where everyone has secrets and a few are evil. Also exec producing are Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan and Tracy Katsky.

Adweek: As Genre Shows Go Mainstream, TV Execs Are Looking to Novelists for the Next Hit
TV network options on books have exploded. Publishers Lunch, a trade that tracks book industry deals, lists an ever-increasing number of television options over the last few years, with 2013 setting the record and this year looking good. And with massive success stories like Game of Thrones ruling the roost on cable, a disproportionate number of those books are genre fiction. Bill McGoldrick, head of programming for NBCUniversal’s Syfy network, says part of the appeal is the charge a reader gets from a good book with a thoroughly thought-out world.

Huffpo: ‘Outlander,’ The Wedding Episode And TV’s Sexual Revolution
has blown up a lot of the received ideas about sex on television — how it’s shot, who it’s for, who it’s made by and who it’s about. The show’s Sept. 20 episode, in which the two lead characters get married and, well, have a lot of sex, was nothing short of revolutionary in its depiction of nudity and intimacy, and in its willingness to entertain the female point of view. As Emily Nussbaum tweeted the other day, "we are living in a dirty honest TV wonderland." I agree, and this development is tremendously exciting.


(review) Hitfix: When your heroines are too bad or not bad enough: ABC’s ‘Selfie’ & NBC’s ‘Bad Judge’
One new network comedy debuting this week illustrates why the suits tend to freak out about likability, while another demonstrates the pitfalls of trying to tone down bad behavior. ABC’s "Selfie" features a heroine so obnoxious that one wishes the network had stepped in to soften her up, while NBC’s "Bad Judge" stripped away many of its heroine’s most questionable traits from the original pilot and didn’t bother replacing them with anything worth watching for.

(review) Variety: ‘Manhattan Love Story’
Granted, the show’s central device — getting to hear the innermost thoughts of the central guy and gal — is straight out of the subtitled feeling-out exchange in “Annie Hall,” but at least the show’s leads are reasonably appealing. Clearly, though, the whole Venus and Mars thing, explored via internal monologue, is not only a slim conceit, but risks becoming quickly tedious.

(review) Variety: Netflix’s ‘Peaky Blinders’
Handsome but hollow, “Peaky Blinders” is another one of those classy-looking British imports that networks and streaming services (in this case, Netflix) are using to help keep their shelves stocked.


VH1 Series ‘Hindsight’ Adds Cast
new drama series Hindsight is making several casting changes and additions after the pilot. Jessy Hodges (Enlisted), John Patrick Amedori (The Last Stand) and Drew Sidora (Step Up), along with recently announced Nick Clifford, have been tapped as series regulars and Collins Pennie (In Time) and Adam Herschman (Accepted) have booked recurring roles.

Rutger Hauer Joins ABC Fairytale Comedy ‘Galavant’
Rutger Hauer has been tapped for a recurring role on Dan Fogelman’s midseason musical fairytale comedy series Galavant. Hauer will play Kingsley, King Richard’s older, bigger and more badass brother.

Angela Kinsey Joins TBS Comedy Series ‘Your Family Or Mine’
The Office alumna Angela Kinsey is set to recur on the new TBS comedy seriesYour Family Or Mine, from creator Greg Malins, Sony TV and Jamie Tarses’ Fanfare Prods.


Wrap: 5 Reasons Why Denzel Washington’s ‘Equalizer’ Exploded at Box Office
Denzel Washington delivered in a big way at the box office this weekend with “The Equalizer.” He’s one of Hollywood’s most bankable male stars and nearly always delivers, but the $35 million opening of the gritty action saga was something special. It was the biggest opening for an R-rated movie ever in September and Washington’s biggest since “Safe House” debuted to more than $40 million in February of 2012.


FiveThirtyEight: Have Ray Rice And Roger Goodell Hurt NFL Ratings?
A poll conducted over the past week by Ipsos for Thomson Reuters found that 21 percent of women viewed the NFL less favorably, “given the manner that the NFL handled the suspension of several players regarding domestic violence and child abuse allegations.” Men were slightly more disappointed in the league’s response: 23 percent said they viewed the league less favorably, compared to 8 percent who said they viewed it more favorably. Nielsen ratings suggest even more than 92 percent of NFL fans haven’t let the incident prevent them from tuning in to games. In just two of the groups were ratings down this year: boys age 12 to 17 and women age 18 to 34. Ratings for both groups dropped by 2 percent.


Deadline: Actors, Showrunners Live-Tweeting Their Shows: The New Hollywood House Party?
Scorpion actor Robert Patrick was bent over, scowling at his smartphone, grumbling with some exasperation, “I can’t keep up! I have all this stuff and I can’t keep up.” About 40 people, including other show stars Katharine McPhee, Elyes Gabel, Jadyn Wong and Ari Stidham, had commandeered the lounge Monday night to live-tweet and otherwise post on social media about the CBS show together in a convivial communal setting. Such show-night gatherings are increasingly common across Los Angeles for programs trying to build relationships with their audiences, typically using the East Coast feed of their shows so they can reach the most people possible.

(sched) Amazon Sets Season 2 Premiere For ‘Alpha House’
Amazon Studios will be dropping all 10 episodes of the second season of Garry Trudeau’s political comedy Alpha House on Friday, Oct. 24 on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the U.S., UK and Germany.


Sky, Canal+ pounce on Panthers
Sky Atlantic
in the UK and France’s Canal+ have linked up on a new six-part crime drama. The Last Panthers (6×60′) has been developed and coproduced by Haut et Court TV and Warp Films and is based on an idea from French journalist Jerome Pierrat. The story explores an alliance between gangsters and corrupt bankers in Europe, following a daring diamond heist. Jack Thorne is writing the script with Johan Renck attached as director. Bafta winner Samantha Morton and Golden Globe winner John Hurt both star alongside French actor Tahar Rahim.

Dozen New Dramas Being Presented by BBC Worldwide
The BBC Worldwide catalogue boasts 12 new dramas and eight returning series for MIPCOM, including the new paranormal thriller Intruders. Also part of the slate is Our Zoo, based on the true story of the Mottershead family who founded Chester Zoo in the 1930s. The series stars Lee Ingleby, Liz White and Anne Reid. The Refugees, produced for Atresmedia and BBC Worldwide, is a thriller that explores the impact of a disaster on a small, rural community. Natalia Tena and Will Keen lead the cast. The Passing Bells is a drama written by Tony Jordan. It is set during WWI and is part of BBC One’s roster to mark the centenary of the war.


(opinion) Huffpo: ‘Black-ish’: Horrible Parody of Black Family Life
serves to validate the stereotypes that "keeping it real" means that all black people play the same sports, live in one type of neighborhood or that "fried, fried chicken" is a "black thing," rather than perhaps a southern thing. It questions whether the bi-racial mother is "really black" at all. Who gets to decide that?

Vox: How Friends ruined TV
Friends turned 20 last week, and that meant the usual round of nostalgic roundups and thinkpieces about the show. But missing in much of this was a key piece of information: Friends ruined the TV comedy for a good long while. And it’s only just starting to put itself back together. Okay, okay, if we’re being specific, then the executives who kept trying to copy Friends ruined the TV comedy. But what was weird about the copying of Friends is that it persists to this day, 10 years after the show went off the air. Networks can’t get it out of their heads that making a new Friends should be incredibly easy

FiveThirtyEight: Marriage Isn’t Dead — Yet
Some groups are merely delaying marriage, while others are skipping it entirely. Affluent, college-educated Americans are increasingly delaying marriage until their 30s. But they aren’t abandoning marriage altogether; in fact, they appear likely to get married at close to the same rate as past generations. For poorer and less-educated Americans, the story is different. They, too, are getting married later, but many also aren’t getting married at all.