Morning News Update for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Tuesday, October 21, 2014:


Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara to Star in First Scripted Series on Cabler Pop
The planned remodel for cabler TVGN will include a scripted comedy series starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara. The half-hour “Schitt’s Creek” will debut early next year as part of the relaunch of TVGN as Pop, which is billed as catering to pop culture fanatics. The series distribbed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment will run concurrently on Canada’s CBC. The loafers stars Levy as a former video store magnate who loses his fortune, forcing his family to move to the small town that he once bought as a joke for his son. O’Hara plays his actress wife. Levy created the series with his son, Daniel Levy, who co-stars with Chris Elliott and Annie Murphy.

EW: Amazingly, no fall shows have been canceled yet — here’s why
We’ve gone an entire month into the fall TV season without a single canceled show. That’s amazing. Industry insiders cite some factors at play. DVR, as usual, gets some of the blame/credit. Networks are taking longer to evaluate given the steep amount of time-shifted viewing going on. Some of the bombing comedies are tanking in hour-long blocks, which makes it tougher to cancel one without axing both. But another significant factor, from what I’m hearing, is that there is a lack of confidence this year in the midseason replacement shows. In other words, networks fear that a time period might only get worse if they switch to the next show in the dugout, so they’re holding off for now.

CBS to Launch Retro Digital Channel Focused on Pop Culture, History
The CBS O&O group is finally developing its ample digital subchannel real estate, partnering with Weigel Broadcasting to launch an outlet devoted to vintage TV and pop culture. The channel dubbed Decades aims to stand apart from other retro-TV services by offering wrap-around programming designed to highlight the overall theme of the day’s program slate. Billed as “the ultimate TV time capsule,” Decades will allow CBS to make use of its vast library of TV series, telepics and movies, which range from “I Love Lucy” to “Cheers” to “Beverly Hills, 90210,” as well as the archives of CBS News, “Entertainment Tonight” and other in-house resources.

(opinion) TVBTN: FOX Predictions: ‘Mulaney’ Is Canceled, Don’t Fall For The PR Jedi Mind Trick
It’s that simple. Whether they remain on the air to burn off their episodes is irrelevant to the Cancellation Bear, and their future.

(opinion) TVBTN: NBC Predictions: ‘A to Z’ Is Certain To Be Canceled
A to Z
is certain to be canceled. The Mysteries Of Laura continues to hang in the "toss up" range.

(opinion) TVBTN: ABC Predictions: ‘Forever’ Is Likely To Be Canceled
For a 10pm show, Forever ratings didn’t start that badly. A 1.7 rating for its Tuesday timeslot premiere (after Nielsen restatement), could have kept it alive. But last week’s episode drew just a 1.1 rating, less than 60% of ABC’s scripted average for the week.


Christian Slater to Headline USA Crime Drama Mr. Robot
Christian Slater
has landed the title role in USA Network’s cyber-crime pilot, Mr. Robot, which centers on a mysterious anarchist (Slater) who recruits a brilliant cyber security engineer (Rami Malek) into an underground hacker organization intent on bringing down corporate America.

‘Scandal’ Taps ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Favorite as Abby’s Ex-Husband
Michael Trucco
will play the never-before-seen Charles Putney.

Lucas Hedges & Penn Badgley Join ‘The Slap’ Miniseries On NBC; ‘Full Circle’ Sets Cast
NBC’s The Slap
is rounding out its cast. Lucas Hedges has signed on as a regular and Penn Badgley is set as a recurring in the 8-episode miniseries starring Peter Sarsgaard and Mary Louise-Parker.


Roma Downey to Host and Produce TLC Series Examining Divine Intervention
has tapped Roma Downey to host and produce a six-part series examining the stories of people who believe they have experienced divine intervention in life-threatening situations. The program will blend interviews with the individuals and recreations of the events in question. Downey is producing through her LightWorkers Media banner.

Bill Simmons Reveals First Guest for Debut of ESPN’s ‘Grantland Basketball Hour’
Bill Simmons
has returned from his ESPN suspension in time to debut his new series, “The Grantland Basketball Hour”. The series, from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center as one of the first TV extensions of Exit 31 — which combined ESPN Films, Grantland and FiveThirtyEight under one umbrella – will air up to 18 one-hour, primetime episodes throughout the NBA regular season, playoffs and Finals. “The Grantland Basketball Hour” will film in front of a studio audience.

ABC announces return of Barbara Walters’ ‘Most Fascinating People’
announced today that Walters will return in December with Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014. Among those on this year’s list are Chelsea Handler, newly minted Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris, Scarlett Johansson, and Oprah Winfrey. The other six figures, who will also be interviewed on the show, are expected to be announced soon.


Netflix’s content streaming obligations grow by US$1.6 billion
Netflix’s content streaming obligations grew by US$1.6 billion in the first nine months of 2014, due to multi-year commitments linked to its latest European launches and the expansion of its original programming efforts.
In its latest quarterly report, Netflix said that its streaming content obligations had grown from US$7.3 billion as of December 31, 2013 to US$8.9 billion as of September 30, 2014.


Korean TV Hit ‘Full House’ to Be Remade in China
“Full House,”
the 2004 TV drama that made stars of Korean singer Rain and actress Song Hye-kyo, is to get a Chinese-language remake. The show is to be produced by Korea’s Group Eight and Asia Media Holding. The original show, itself adapted from a romantic graphic novel of the same title, played for 16 episodes on KBS and presented a testy three-way love triangle involving a screenwriter, an actor and a jilted friend, a home that should not have been sold off and a fake marriage that surprisingly blossomed. “Full House” has already been remade for four different Asian markets: the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia.

Henry Rollins to Star in Comedy-Horror Miniseries ‘He Never Died’
Henry Rollins
is attached to star in a miniseries spinoff of the recently completed indie horror-comedy feature “He Never Died.” Toronto-based 108 Media began shopping the miniseries earlier this month at Mipcom. The TV project will see Rollins sink his teeth deeper into the role of Jack, the immortal, bloodthirsty outcast at the center of the feature, which was lensed in Toronto. “He Never Died” writer-director Jason Krawczyk, producer Zach Hagen of Alternate Ending Studio and producers David Miller and Adrienne Stern are also attached to the series.


Guardians of the Galaxy’s ‘Awesome Mix Vol. 1’ to get official release on cassette
Guardians of the Galaxy
made a mix tape a major plot point, and now it’s time to turn that plot point into an actual product that one can buy and play on … a boombox I guess? Billboard is reporting that Disney will re-release the soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy on an actual cassette tape on November 17.


IFC Expands Original Programming Team
has expanded its programming team to bolster a growing roster of original series. Christine Lubrano has been promoted to senior VP of original programming, overseeing all development and creative efforts for scripted series, live events and specials. She had been veep of current series. IFC has appointed Maura Madden and Jeff Meyerson as VPs of original programming, and Sachi Ezura has joined the net as director of original programming. All three will report to Lubrano.

Variety: How Showtime President David Nevins Took the Network to New Heights
recognized David Nevins’ success earlier this year, promoting him from entertainment president to a newly created post as Showtime Networks president, and expanding his purview under chairman-CEO Matt Blank. That move was a clear sign that Nevins, 48, is on a path to eventually take the reins from Blank, who will mark his 20th year as CEO in February. For now, all Moonves will say is that CBS Corp. intends to keep Nevins “at this company for a very long time.”

The Tracking Board: The 2014 Young and Hungry List Is Out.
Tracking Board has the list of the top 100 writers on the verge, voted on by Hollywood’s most influential players.

The Adweek 50: Meet the Real Movers and Shakers Behind the World’s Top Brands
The Adweek 50 honors those executives who help their bosses bedazzle Wall Street and investors.
No. 2, Ted Sarandos, Chief content officer, Netflix
No. 6, Michael Lombardo, President of programming, HBO
No. 12, David Levy/Donna Speciale, President, Turner Broadcasting / President, ad sales, Turner Broadcasting
No. 14, Robert Kyncl, Vp, global head of content, Google/YouTube
No. 16, Kent Alterman, President, content development and original programming, Comedy Central
No. 17, Network Television Ad Sales Chiefs (Jo Ann Ross / CBS, Geri Wang / ABC, Linda Yaccarino / NBC, Toby Byrne / Fox)
No. 19, Ed Erhardt, President, global customer marketing and sales, ESPN
No. 20, Chris McCumber, President, USA Network
No. 30, Joel Stillerman, Head of programming, AMC Networks
No. 32, Eddy Moretti, Chief creative officer, Vice Media
No. 36, Dawn Ostroff, President, Condé Nast Entertainment