Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Wednesday, November 19, 2014:
Netflix Revives ‘Longmire’
A&E’s older-skewing drama gets a fourth season on the streamer. Capping off a few months of talks about an afterlife for the Warner Horizon Television production, the new season will premiere on the streamer in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
‘Luther’ Revived for Two-Part BBC Mini in 2015
BBC America has revived the drama starring Idris Elba for a two-part miniseries set to air in 2015. Elba will reprise his role as the murder detective whose mind can’t always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions. Series creator Neil Cross will write the two hourlong episodes in the mini, a co-production with BBC Drama Production and BBC America.
Lifetime Greenlights ‘Michelle Knight Story’ Movie, Casts Ariel Castro Role
Lifetime is moving forward with The Michelle Knight Story , an original movie about the ordeal of the 21-year-old Ohio single mom who becomes the first victim of kidnapper Ariel Castro.Major Crimes‘ Raymond Cruz has been cast as Castro in the movie, from Sony Pictures TV, which has received a formal green light. Written by Stephen Tolkin, The Michelle Knight Story explores the true story of Knight whose life was forever changed by a chance encounter with Castro who abducted her on August 22, 2002 in Cleveland and held her as his prisoner in his home for over 11 years.
(sched) ABC Schedules ‘American Crime,’ ‘Secrets and Lies’
The 10-episode drama Secrets and Lies will debut on Sunday, March 1, with a two-hour debut from 9 to 11 p.m. before moving into its regular 9-10 p.m. slot the following week. The 11-episode American Crime will take over the Thursday 10 p.m. slot currently occupied by How to Get Away With Murder starting March 5. Murder will wrap up its breakout freshman season with a two-hour season finale on Feb. 26.
(sched) Fox’s ‘Empire’ Nabs Post-‘American Idol’ Slot
Empire will bow after a one-hour American Idol premiere. Both series launch a new Fox Wednesday on Jan. 7, with Idol kicking off its 14th cycle at 8 p.m. and musical drama Empire starting at 9 p.m. It’s not immediately clear what the new Wednesday means for current occupant ‘Red Band Society’.
Paris Barclay to Executive Produce and Direct the Pilot for ‘The Bastard Executioner’
Barclay To Helm The Pilot Created and Written by Kurt Sutter. The Bastard Executioner is a period drama that tells the story of a warrior knight in King Edward II’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. But when that violence finds him again he is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all.
TV Land Pulls ‘Cosby Show’ Repeats
Controversy over the star’s current sex abuse scandal prompts an immediate pull-back from the vintage-skewing net.
Chris Diamantopoulos Joins HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’; Ashley Zukerman In Syfy Mini ‘Childhood’s End’
Chris Diamantopoulos has landed a recurring role in HBO comedySilicon Valley. Ashley Zukerman is set for a lead role in Syfy’s Childhood’s End, a six-hour miniseries based on Arthur C. Clarke’s classic to premiere in 2015.
Hugh Laurie Lands Veep Role — Could He Be the New Title Character?
Hugh Laurie was spotted filming a scene today by Baltimore Media Blog, and HBO has that he’ll indeed appear in the Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy when it returns with fresh episodes next year.
Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’ Series: Krysten Ritter, Alexandra Daddario, Teresa Palmer & Jessica De Gouw Testing For Lead
Marvel is assembling a field of actresses invited to test for the lead of the company’s straight-to-series Jessica Jones drama for Netflix. I hear it includes Krysten Ritter, Alexandra Daddario, Teresa Palmer and Jessica De Gouw. I also heard two names mentioned as being in consideration for the male lead Luke Cage: Lance Gross and Mike Colter.
‘Forever’ enlists Billy Baldwin for guest spot
Billy Baldwin has landed a guest-starring role on ABC’s Forever.
Warner Bros. Developing ‘American Pain’ Movie with Greg Berlanti
Warner Bros. is developing a movie about illegal painkiller trafficking, buying movie rights to John Temple’s upcoming book “American Pain.” Warner-based Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter are producing for Berlanti’s company. “Dallas Buyers Club” writer Melisa Wallack has been hired to write the screenplay. The book chronicles the recent rise and fall of a painkiller trafficking ring, named after the American Pain clinic in Florida.
‘Pirates’ Scribe Tapped By Team Downey To Fit Steve McQueen Treasure Hunt Tale ‘Yucatan’ For Robert Downey Jr
Warner Bros. and Team Downey have set Oscar-nominated scribe Terry Rossio to write Yucatan, a potential star vehicle for Robert Downey Jr that is based on a 1700-page treatment written by iconic actor Steve McQueen in the late 1960s as a star vehicle for himself.
‘Dragonriders of Pern’ Movie Lands a Writer
Warner Bros. has hired author-screenwriter Sarah Cornwell to adapt the first installment of Dragonriders of Pern, the 22-volume fantasy book series by Anne McCaffrey. The first novel, Dragonflight, centers on Lessa, a young girl who is the only one to survive the assassination of her family, which rules a part of the planet Pern. She disguises herself as a lowly servant in the house of the new ruler but when her telepathic abilities prove to be far stronger than she believed, Lessa finds herself on a journey that will restore the ancient tradition of dragon-riding and uncover the secret history of the planet.
Warner Bros. Taps Peter Straughan to Adapt ‘Goldfinch’
Warner Bros. and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment have tapped Peter Straughan to adapt Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Goldfinch.” Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and Ratner are producing. The story, which takes place over two decades, follows a 13-year-old boy who loses his mother in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He survives the explosion, steals the Carel Fabritius painting the Goldfinch, gets taken in by an Upper East Side family and eventually reunites with his father, an alcoholic gambling addict who takes him to Las Vegas.
Larry Wilmore’s Comedy Central Series Retitled ‘The Nightly Show’
In an interview with The New York Times, Wilmore said that name change was to avoid "brand confusion". The new series was retitled The Nightly Show and will premiere on Jan. 19
Disney/ABC Inks Licensing Deal With Canadian Streamer Shomi
The licensing deal covers mostly family and kids film and TV titles, including Disney classics like 102 Dalmations, Muppets Treasure Island and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The agreement also encompasses ABC, ABC Family and ABC Studios titles as Shomi grabs the exclusive streaming rights to the popular TV series Scandal and Revenge.
YouTube Taps Netflix’s Kelly Merryman for Top Content Job
Netflix is losing a top executive for content acquisition to YouTube, according to sources. Kelly Merryman, who has led the charge building the subscription VOD service’s content libraries across its rapidly growing global footprint for the past seven years, has been named VP of content partnerships at the Google-owned company.
Scott Foley, Wife Welcome Baby Boy
Scott Foley and his wife, actress Marika Dominczyk, are proud parents to a baby boy, Us Weekly reports.
Atlantic: The Topics Dystopian Films Won’t Touch
Yet with the upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, poised to be the biggest film of the year, it’s just as worthwhile to consider what these films don’t seem to fear. While recent dystopias warn youth about over-reliance on computers, totalitarian rule, class warfare, pandemic panics and global warming, very few ask audiences to think deeply about sexism and racism. These dystopian adaptations ask their young audiences to imagine that race and gender issues have been partially overcome in the future, while general human suffering has somehow increased. The results feel false, and undercut the films’ attempts to comment on the present day.