Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Thursday, November 6, 2014:
ABC Prepping Ali Wentworth Comedy From Bill Lawrence
ABC has handed out a script commitment to the semi-autobiographical comedy written by Ali Wentworth. The single-camera comedy will be written by Wentworth and Jackie Clarke, who co-exec produces, and supervised by Warner Bros. Television-based Bill Lawrence and his Doozer topper Jeff Ingold, who exec produce alongside Wentworth. Loosely inspired by Wentworth’s life, the family sitcom is based on Wentworth’s family, including husband and ABC News/Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos and their two children. ABC’s take centers on Ali, her husband and their two kids and examines how their home life descends into chaos. She shoots a video blog out of their apartment, and his crazy hours as a morning newsman make it so their lives never sync up.
ABC Family’s ‘Chasing Life’ Renewed for Second Season
ABC Family has renewed drama Chasing Life for a second season. An exact episode count has not yet been determined for its sophomore season. The rookie run consisted of 21 episodes.
Downton Abbey Gets Sixth Season Renewal
The U.K.’s ITV and producer Carnival Films have renewed the popular drama Downton Abbey for a sixth season, set to go into production next year.
(sched) ‘Cougar Town’ announces premiere date for final season — with a song
Better get those giant jugs of wine ready: Cougar Town has announced Jan. 6 as the premiere date for its final 13-episode season.
(sched) HBO Sets Girls and Looking Return Date, Duplass Bros. Comedy Premiere
HBO’s Girls will return for a fourth season on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015 (9/8c). That same evening, the gay dramedy Looking will make its Season 2 premiere at 10 pm. In between, at 9:30, the network will debut Togetherness, a comedy from brothers Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass that follows two couples living under the same roof outside of Los Angeles.
Has ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Lost That Loving Feeling?
"I think everybody has slept with everybody, so who else is there? I think there needs to be a resurgence in that," Dempsey told THR during a recent set visit. "It’s a teaching hospital and there’s a lot of really young talented actors out there that need an opportunity that we should be bringing them in and rotating them in as interns. I think that’s a possibility, and stirring up the hospital a bit would be a good thing. That’s why it would be nice to open it up."
Stella Maeve, Hale Appleman & Arjun Gupta Cast A Spell On ‘The Magicians’
Stella Maeve, Hale Appleman and Arjun Gupta have landed key roles in Syfy pilot The Magicians, an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s bestselling fantasy book trilogy. Produced by Universal Cable Prods, The Magicians follows 20-somethings who, while studying magic in New York, discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real and poses grave danger to humanity. Production is slated to get underway next month in New Orleans.
Rachael Leigh Cook to Star in Sci-Fi Film ‘Mindgate’
The love story is the first feature for Madrid-based Rebel Films. The sci-fi love story is in pre-production and based on a script by Spanish science-fiction novelist Juan Miguel Aguilera, who will also direct his first feature film with Mindgate. Robert Reed Altman, son of the iconoclastic director, will head photography for the film, which is scheduled to shoot in May 2015.
Mark Wahlberg & Peter Berg Are Bionic Duo On ‘Six Billion Dollar Man’
Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg are re-teaming for the feature film version of The Six Billion Dollar Man with various writers circling the project for The Weinstein Co.’s Dimension Films label. Berg will direct and Wahlberg is attached to star in the film about former astronaut Steve Austin who, after a horrific crash of an experimental plane, is saved by doctors when he is fitted with bionic replacements.
‘Star Wars Episode VII’ Reveals New Title: ‘The Force Awakens’
“Star Wars Episode VII” has a title — “The Force Awakens.” According to an announcement on the official Facebook page on Thursday, the Disney film recently completed principal photography.
(video) ‘Into The Woods’: Hot Trailer
Disney has dropped the latest trailer for its adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Broadway musical Into The Woods.
(video) Jimmy Kimmel Introduces Hologram Interviews To Late-Night TV
Jimmy Kimmel debuted late-night hologram interviews last night, with CMA Award winner Kacey Musgraves — putting an end to any remaining debate as to whether late-night shows based on the left coast have a celebrity booking edge over those based on the right. Live where you want! The country singer was live in Nashville where the CMAs were held; the show host was live from Hollywood.
NEW MEDIA NEWS:
HBO Thinks It Can Grab 5 Million Cord-Cutters With New Service
In a quarterly earnings call for parent company Time Warner, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said that the premium cable network is looking to pull in between 4 and 5 million new customers who don’t currently subscribe to cable with its new online-only offering. In October Plepler estimated that there are 10 million broadband-only households in the U.S., a cohort he called “low-hanging fruit” that could easily be persuaded to buy HBO.
BBC Worldwide Hires New Creative Director of Formats
Kate Phillips is joining BBC Worldwide in January as creative director of formats. Phillips will be working with BBC Worldwide’s extensive catalogue of more than 160 titles, among them the entertainment hits Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off, as well as scripted formats such as Luther and Orphan Black. Phillips will lead the creative positioning of new formats as well as reimagining existing formats for a contemporary audience.
Marvel Seeks to Subpoena Google Over ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Leak
The studio is hunting for the identity of a leaker.
Bunim/Murray Prods Names John P. Roberts Chief Digital Officer
Television banner Bunim/Murray Prods is ready to expand its efforts in new media, tapping John P. Roberts as chief digital officer.
Hawaii Film and TV Production Bounces Back With Incentives
In 2013, the state legislature sweetened the tax credit 5% across the board to 20% for shoots on Oahu, which attracts the bulk of production, and 25% on the neighboring islands — a move that will benefit Kauai, the Big Island and Maui. The legislature also raised the per-project cap from $8 million to $15 million. 2014 is shaping up well, with year-to-date production spend estimated at $212 million, compared to $228 million for the 2013 calendar year.
How All Those Intern Lawsuits Are Changing Hollywood
While Fox is appealing, the decision has ushered in a wave of lawsuits against the likes of Sony, Warner Bros. and Viacom. The suits are fundamentally changing the way Hollywood indoctrinates young workers, calling into question decades of tradition under the guise of apprenticeship. NBCUniversal, for example, has changed its policy and is paying its interns, and on Oct. 22 it agreed to shell out $6.4 million to resolve intern legal claims. Other companies, including Viacom, also have begun to pay all interns. Others, including Fox and its affiliated production companies, have responded by suspending internships, leading some to believe that an entertainment institution could become a victim of this generation’s changing notion of "putting in your dues."