Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Friday, November 21, 2014:
Jenny Mollen To Write & Star In Autobiographical Comedy For ABC
Actress and author Jenny Mollen will be adapting her best-selling memoir memoir I Like You Just The Way I Am as a comedy series for ABC. Mollen is set write and to star in the project, from Sony TV and Jamie Tarses’ studio-based Fanfare Prods. I Like You Just The Way I Am chronicles Mollen’s impulsive and outrageous life in Los Angeles with pals and fellow actor husband Jason Biggs.
(sched) ‘Backstrom’, ‘Weird Loners’ & ‘The Last Man on Earth’ Get Premiere Dates + ‘Glee’ Moves to Friday
FOX is announcing premiere dates for BACKSTROM (Jan. 22), THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (March 1) and WEIRD LONERS (March 31); and returning series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR (Jan. 6), Glee (Jan. 9), THE FOLLOWING (March 2), HELL’S KITCHEN (March 3) and BONES (March 26).
FX and FXX Set Premieres for Justified’s Last Season, It’s Always Sunny and More
FX and FXX has announced January premiere dates for its returning shows, including Justified‘s last season, and the series premiere of its new comedy, Man Seeking Woman. On FX, Archer will return for its sixth season on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 10/9c. Justified’s sixth and final season will begin Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 10/9c. The following week, The Americans will return on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 10/9c. The fourth installment of American Horror Story will return on Jan. 7 for its final three episodes. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will kick off its 10th season on FXX, Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 10/9c. The Jay Baruchel comedy Man Seeking Woman will have its series premiere following Sunny at 10:30/9:30c.
THR: So How Does ‘Rush Hour’ Become a TV Show? Plus 4 Other Takeaways From Development Season
Here are five key takeaways from the 2014 development season thus far.
1. It’s all about the IP
2. A big multicam push
3. Drama writers go MIA
4. More doctors in the house
5. Big names, big demand
William Shatner Books Arc on Syfy’s ‘Haven’
William Shatner has booked a four-episode arc on Syfy’s Haven.
(sched) ABC to Air ‘Backstage With Disney on Broadway: Celebrating 20 Years’ on Sunday, December 14th
In celebration of Disney Theatrical Productions’ 20 years on Broadway, the ABC Television Network will air “Backstage with Disney on Broadway: Celebrating 20 Years,” airing SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14 at 7:00 p.m., ET and hosted by Broadway veteran Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of ABC’s Modern Family.
Fox Orders YouTube Series ‘World’s Funniest Fails’
World’s Funniest Fails (working title) bows Jan. 16, ahead of Glee. Based on YouTube channel FailArmy, each week finds a panel of comedians analyzing viral clips of people epically failing.
Jimmy Fallon, John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant’s ‘Lip Sync Battle’ Gets Spike Series Order
Spike TV is partnering with Jimmy Fallon, John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant to bring Lip Sync Battle to TV. The Viacom-owned cable network has picked up the series based on Fallon’s regular late-night bit featuring celebrities going head to head and lip synching the song of their choice in a battle for bragging rights. In addition to serving as executive producers, Fallon, Krasinski and Merchant will appear and perform on Lip Sync Battle.
‘Untying the Knot’ Renewed for Second Season by Bravo
Bravo Media today announced it has greenlit a second season of “Untying the Knot,” which follows celebrity divorce attorney and mediator Vikki Ziegler as she travels the country using her particular brand of honest, empathetic, and to-the-point communication to help couples “divorce with dignity.”
Author Douglas Kennedy to Adapt Two Novels for TV with France’s AB Groupe
Douglas Kennedy, a critically-acclaimed American novelist known for his keen eye, is set to make his TV drama debut with France’s AB Groupe and indie producer Sydney Gallonde. Kennedy will adapt two of his best-selling novels, “The Pursuit of Happiness” and “A Special Relationship.” AB Groupe, a vertically-integrated media group which runs France’s largest paybox, is co-producing, financing and handling international sales. Set in post-WWII Manhattan and amid the McCarthy era, “The Pursuit of Happiness” centers around the tumultuous love story between an outspoken young woman and an Army journalist who has just returned from the war front.
BBC2 elopes with Woman in Red
BBC2 has ordered a period drama from Wall to Wall Media based on the true story of an 18th century scandal, with Natalie Dormer set to star. The Woman in Red (1×90′) explores the scandalous story of Lady Seymour Worsley, who left her husband to elope with his best friend. It is directed by Sheree Folkson from a script by acclaimed writer David Eldridge based on author Hallie Rubenhold’s book Lady Worsley’s Whim.
Disney Expands Relationship With China’s Shanghai Media Group
Disneynature film “Born in China” will be one of the first titles to flow from an expanded relationship between the Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Media Group. Where a previous deal established a multi-year studio movie script and talent development fund, and a 2013 deal launched kids entertainment cooperation with SMG subsidiary BesTV, the new strategic relationship spans television content development, movie co-production, content distribution, and co-operation on marketing.
Disney Confirms New Zealand Shoot For ‘Pete’s Dragon’
The mixed CGI and live action film will be based at Peter Jackson’s Stone Street Studios, home of ‘The Hobbit’ films.
Marketing key to drama success says ABC’s Paul Lee
Paul Lee, the boss of US broadcast net ABC, has said that in the fragmented media landscape, breakout dramas need a marketing hook to enable them to stand out from the competition. “We live in a very, very fragmented and competitive world there are hundreds of other shows out there and hundreds of competitors so for a show to really break out it needs to be really marketable and you need to market it well,” Lee told a TV Fest Talks, part of the Edinburgh Television Festival, event in London. “That may be casting, that may be by idea or that may be by hook or that may just be by brand that fits our brand. But a show that is unmarketable is becoming increasingly difficult to succeed, by the way, on any platform.”
“We’ve seen a number of waves of reality TV that went through cable and I was a part of a lot of this when I was at BBC America and inside the Discovery group,” he said. “You saw the makeover wave go through [to broadcast] and we saw the game show waves go through. The one wave that didn’t get to broadcast is docusoap and I’m sure that there is a way to do docusoaps in big broadcast television.” He added that variety is another genre at which ABC is looking: “We haven’t seen variety recently so there are a number of different areas we are looking for,” he said.
Sarah Barnett Tapped to Lead BBC America
SundanceTV’s Sarah Barnett has been named president and general manager of BBC America, with current chief Perry Simon moving into an exclusive production deal with BBC Worldwide North America. The move comes following AMC Networks becoming co-owner of the channel.
Exec Shuffle 11/21/14: Disney Animation Execs Andrew & Jim Morris Upped, George Cheeks Takes on NBC Late Night
Comedy writer/director/producer John Hamburg is launching Particular Pictures. The company will develop TV and film projects, and has signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television.
Comcast Corporation announced that Devesh Raj has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Strategic and Financial Planning. Raj will help drive the overall growth strategy at Comcast and NBCUniversal.
Turner Broadcasting PR vet Sal Petruzzi has been promoted to the new post of Senior VP and Domestic Communications Officer.
Aaron Janus has been named Vice President, at Platinum Dunes. Previously he was Director, Production, at 20th Century Fox.
Tracey Nyberg is moving into the role of Executive Vice President, Production, Mythology Entertainment after serving as Senior Vice President, Production & Development, Temple Hill Entertainment.
Comedy Central has tapped Lu Chekowsky as senior VP of brand creative.
Beau Bryant, an agent with WME’s digital unit, is nearing a deal to become SVP Talent and Programming at Fullscreen. The YouTube multichannel network was recently purchased by Otter Media, the joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group.
Adaptive Studios Launches Comic Books Division Led By ‘Jonah Hex’, ‘Harley Quinn’ Team
Adaptive Studios is going into the graphic novels business with the launch of Adaptive Comics. The new division will produce a slate of graphic novels and comics with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray of PaperFilms. Adaptive’s first project with Palmiotti and Gray is the Western thriller Abbadon, based on an original 2011 screenplay acquired by Adaptive about a series of murders in an Old West town that could give Sodom a run for its money.