Afternoon News Update for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon update for Wednesday, November 26, 2014. Have a great Thanksgiving!


Deadline: Networks Scale Back, Bet On Remakes & Medical Dramas This Development Season
Broadcast networks often say at the beginning of a development season that they intend to buy less so they can focus only on projects they really believe in only to be caught up in the buying frenzy and end up again with a large volume. This year, they seem to have kept their word. There was a noticeable retreat among the nets, with fewer big bidding wars and mind-boggling commitments. With many of television’s proven showrunners tied to series (or off doing movies like J.J. Abrams), there was some sense of quiet panic among drama executives, especially early in the buying season. The shortage of available big-name drama writing talent was at least in part responsible for the reversed pattern this season, with comedy buying done first and drama pitching, which traditionally wraps before comedy, lingering well into October, putting pressure on getting hourlong scripts finished and ready for pilot pickup consideration by end of December.

Atlantic: The Lois Lane Problem: Enough With Clueless TV Sidekicks
Iris is the victim of what I like to call the Laurel Lance-Will Tippin Wet Blanket Syndrome. Named after characters from Arrow and Alias, respectively, this unfortunate phenomenon describes supporting characters who begin their series as possible love interests and/or best friends, but are kept in the dark about important information for no good reason. These characters, as a result, end up making the hero’s life more difficult, which attracts viewer disapproval—and sometimes even hate—instead of sympathy toward them.

Hitfix: 10 Burning Questions for Returning Fall TV Shows — Answered
As part of our fall TV preview, Dan and I came up with 10 Burning Questions For Returning Fall TV Shows. It seemed like a good time to revisit those questions to see how various shows made out.

Can ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ maintain its momentum?

As strong as "SHIELD" became in the weeks immediately following the series-altering developments of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," it’s been even better this fall. The returning characters all have more clearly defined roles and arcs and the show has brought in a host of terrific new characters. On the whole, "SHIELD" is a vastly more confident, purposeful and fun show than it was at this time last year.

NYO: ‘Hello Ladies,’ ‘The Comeback’ and the Rise of HBO’s New ‘Annoyinghero’ Archetype
Annoyingheroes are privileged narcissists with whiny, reedy voices and a million paper cuts worth of tiny, itsy bitsy grievances that they’d like you to take care of, please. But the most repugnant quality of them all? Annoyingheroes universally desire upward mobility, and their naked ambition can seem at times more obscene than the bare breasts we’re used to seeing on HBO.

Variety: A Serious Thought About NBC Comedy: It May No Longer Belong On NBC
The market for NBC’s brand of comedy seems to have grown more niche. Little wonder that “Mulaney,” “The Mindy Project” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” – all productions of NBCUniversal’s Universal Television – have found their way to rival Fox, which specializes in catering to an audience that is slightly younger and more male. A comedy from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock seems likely to gain an audience on a service with subscribers who are a) savvy enough to latch on the practice of watching original content via video streaming and b) have enough disposable income to do so.

Buzzfeed: How ABC’s “Black-ish” Became America’s No. 1 New Comedy
“I was up at night like, Oh my god! What have I done? What have I done? Oh my god, I’ve ruined myself!” Kenya Barris said. “And then that’s when I stupidly read the internet stuff and I’m like, Oh my god! They hate me. They hate me! This was all before it even came on. I thought I had ruined my family’s opportunity. But I’ve never seen a network get behind a show with as much fearlessness as they have. Luckily, we worked and they’re continuing to let us — they’re even actually pushing us. ‘What’s the Black-ish take on this?’”


‘Game of Thrones’ Alum Nabs Key Role in CBS’ ‘Zoo’
Nonso Anozie has boarded the network’s summer drama starring James Wolk.


Fox Green Light Starts ‘Independence Day’ Sequel Countdown
Top brass at 20th Century Fox got some work done this week, giving a green light to the long-awaited Independence Day sequel. The film has been slotted for a May production start, and the studio now will move to close Roland Emmerich’s directing deal.


Hulu renews original gameshow
On-demand and streaming service Hulu has renewed its original gameshow series Money Where Your Mouth Is. The show is produced by US indie Believe Entertainment Group. Billed as a ‘gameshow for the man’s man’, the show has friends going head-to-head over ‘man knowledge’ trivia rounds to win items from one another. It is presented by stand-up comic and radio host Jay Mohr.

CBS Taps ‘The Talk’ and Guest Hosts To Fill ‘Late Late Show’
Comedian Drew Carey will hold forth on “The Late Late Show” the week of January 5th – the first after Ferguson’s departure – and then return for another run the week of March 2, just before James Corden takes the reins. Other guest hosts will include filmmaker Judd Apatow, actor Will Arnett, comedian Wayne Brady, comedian Jim Gaffigan, comedian Billy Gardell, actor Sean Hayes. comedian Thomas Lennon, musician John Mayer and actor Kunal Nayyar. CBS’ “The Talk” will broadcast what the network called “original after-dark editions” from its own set for five days starting Monday, January 12.

(ratings) “Dancing with the Stars” had its best finale in 4 seasons
Alfonso Ribeiro’s ballroom victory was watched by 15.8 million as the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” star beat “Duck Dynasty’sSadie Robertson.


Paul Schrader Preps Web Series ‘Life on the Other Side’
An an illustration of talent’s diaspora from conventional movies, legendary helmer-scribe Paul Schrader (“Taxi Driver,” “American Gigolo”) is prepping a 10-episode web-series, “Life on the Other Side,” each seg 10-minutes long, inspired by the episodic structure of “La Dolce Vita,” Schrader confirmed at Argentina’s Mar del Plata Festival. “I don’t think anything about cinema in the last 100 years applies anymore. Not how we make films, not how we watch them, finance them, or pay for them.”

Why Time Inc. Is Going Big on Branded Video
This month, Entertainment Weekly introduced Lightbulb, a new web series sponsored by Glade that features one-on-one interviews with actors and other creative types. While Lightbulb is officially an EW product, episodes will be pushed out across multiple Time Inc. brands, including People, InStyle and Essence, depending on the content.


Grantchester Renewed for Second Season by ITV
has commissioned a second season of Grantchester, based on the novels of James Runcie. The period mystery drama stars James Norton and Robson Green and tells the story of a crime-fighting clergyman and his police inspector partner in crime. Daisy Coulam, who was responsible for adapting the first series based on Runcie’s novels, will work on the new scripts from the stories within the second Grantchester Mysteries novel

Oz crime series wins funding
Four Australian TV dramas have received funding from federal agency Screen Australia. Essential Media & Entertainment will produce Jack Irish (6×60’) for pubcaster ABC. The series stars Guy Pearce as a former criminal lawyer who spends his days as a part-time investigator, debt collector, apprentice cabinet maker, punter and sometime lover. DCD Rights is the international sales rep. A US version of the crime saga based on Peter Temple’s novels is being produced by Chernin Entertainment in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television for the Fox network.

Shine Australia is producing Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door for the Seven Network. The project chronicles the life of the singer and composer who died from AIDS complications in 1992, aged 48. Endemol Worldwide Distribution, whose parent company is merging with Shine, will handle international sales.

The second season of The Code will follow two brothers (Dan Spielman, Ashley Zuckerman) who face the prospect of being extradited to the US unless they help security forces entrap one of the most elusive players on the darknet. DCD Rights sells foreign rights.

Matchbox Pictures’ The Family Law is based on Chinese-Australian Benjamin Law’s memoir of growing up in a small town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Matchbox parent NBCUniversal is the international distributor.


Disney Pairs Up With Turner to Promote TCM and Great Movie Ride
The Turner Classic Movies cable channel is joining with two divisions of the Walt Disney Company for an agreement, to be announced on Wednesday, that underlines how media giants are increasingly collaborating on content-marketing efforts. Walt Disney Studios will provide TCM with vintage movies, cartoons, documentaries and episodes of TV series like “Disneyland” and “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” for a periodic programming block on the channel under the banner of “Treasures From the Disney Vault.”

Disney Television Animation executives attribute their current hot streak to turning DTA into a more talent-friendly place
It’s been an interesting month for the folks at Disney Television Animation as this division of The Walt Disney Company celebrated its 30th anniversary. So there have been parties and presentations as the talented artists & writers who actually created many of these beloved animated series looked back on the show that started it all. Mind you, Disney Television Animation has been on something of a roll since February of 2008. Which is when "Phineas and Ferb," the Emmy Award-winning animated series began running on Disney Channel. And why is that exactly? According to David Wright, Vice President of Casting for Disney Television Animation, this cable channel’s winning streak began because DTA has made a conscious effort to be seen as a talent-friendly place.