Hi all! Here’s your evening news update for Wednesday, December 3, 2014:
AMC Orders Pilot for ‘Preacher’ Comic Book
AMC has given a pilot order to “Preacher,” a drama which has been adapted from the comic book series by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Rogen and Goldberg wrote the adaptation for Neal Moritz’s Original Film. That trio is exec producing through their Point Grey banner, along with showrunner Sam Catlin. The Sony Pictures Television and AMC Studios co-production was a hot property when it was shopped to cable buyers earlier this year. “Preacher” is about Jesse Custer, a preacher in a Texas town who merges with a creature that has escaped from heaven and develops the ability to make anyone do anything he says. Along with his ex-girlfriend, Tulip, and an Irish vampire named Cassidy, the three embark on a journey to find God.
UP Greenlights First Scripted Series ‘Ties That Bind’
UP network has greenlit its first original scripted series Ties That Bind (working title), a hybrid police procedural and family drama created and executive produced by Sheryl J. Anderson and Stan Spry. Production on the 10-episode series, produced by Cartel Entertainment, begins in February for a summer premiere. Ties That Bind revolves around Allison Manchester, a tough and experienced police detective in Atlanta. When she and her partner, Devin, must arrest her younger brother, Tim, for aggravated assault, her world drastically changes as Tim is convicted and sent to prison. She brings Tim’s two teenage children into her and her family’s home, joining her husband and her own teenage children Jeff and Hannah.
Max Mutchnick Inks Solo WBTV Deal, Developing ‘Quick Shots of False Hope’ for HBO
HBO is teaming with Max Mutchnick to develop his longtime friend and collaborator Laura Kightlinger’s book Quick Shots of False Hope: A Rejection Collection. The single-camera comedy follows a 1970s-era single mom and her ongoing quest to find a husband, while still sleeping with her daughter’s married father. Mutchnick and Kightlinger will pen the script and executive produce via the former’s Warner Bros. Television-based Too Mutch Ink banner.
Andy Samberg’s Lonely Island Sets First Projects at Fox
The first three, already in production, are intended for over-the-top video platforms — with the ultimate goal of becoming full half-hour series on FOX, FX, FXX, Fox International Channels or other networks. Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone helped develop the three projects, vehicle for comedians Danny Pudi, Neal Brennan and Andre Hyland, respectively. Additionally, Billy Rosenberg has been named head of development and production.
The Tyler Zone – When Tyler (Danny Pudi) moves to a new town, he finds himself in the middle of a series of supernatural occurrences. Are they really happening, or is it all in his head? Music video and commercial director Keith Schofield wrote and directed this surreal sci-fi comedy.
Home for the Weekend – Hosted by comedian Neal Brennan, Home for the Weekend is a mockumentary-style half-hour comedy following a celebrity’s return trip to his or her hometown, where pleasant strolls down memory lane can take unexpected turns and reveal surprising backstories about high-profile stars.
Topics With Andre Hyland – Comedian Andre Hyland morphs into his uniquely hilarious band of characters and interacts with an unsuspecting public. Hyland writes, directs and stars in this outrageous show.
HBO’s ‘Doll & Em’ Renewed for Season 2
HBO has renewed the comedy series starring Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells for a six-episode second season, which will feature guest stars including Ewan McGregor, Olivia Wilde, Evan Rachel Wood and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
ABC’s ‘Manhattan Love Story’ Moves to Hulu
Hulu has picked up the remaining unaired episodes of ABC’s canceled comedy Manhattan Love Story. The seven remaining episodes of the Jeff Lowell romantic comedy, starring Analeigh Tipton and Jake McDorman and from ABC Studios, will be available weekly starting Thursday via Hulu with a subscription to its premium Plus service.
Helena Bonham Carter, Rebecca Hall to Star in HBO’s Steve McQueen Drama
They’ll join Devon Terrell in the drama pilot "Codes of Conduct".
Bradley James To Play Lead In Lifetime’s ‘The Omen’ Sequel Series ‘Damien’; Shekhar Kapur To Direct
Bradley James has landed the title role in Damien, Lifetime’s straight-to-series drama follow-up to 20th Century Fox’s classic horror film The Omen.
Syfy Sets Leads for ‘The Magicians’
Jason Ralph and Sosie Bacon will star in the adaptation of Lev Grossman’s book series.
Jeffrey Donovan Joining ‘Fargo’ for Season 2; Nick Offerman Sought for Role
Jeffrey Donovan is packing his bags for “Fargo,” and Nick Offerman could be joining him. “Burn Notice” star Donovan is nearing a deal to join the second season of FX’s anthology series “Fargo,” while “Parks and Recreation” star Offerman has an offer to join the cast, though he’s not currently in negotiations.
Matthew Vaughn’s MARV Films to Adapt ‘ghostgirl’ YA Series
Matthew Vaughn and his MARV Films have picked up the movie rights to ghostgirl, a YA series by Tonya Hurley. Vaughn will produce the adaptations with marketing exec-turned-producer Valerie Van Galder. ghostgirl is a school set satire telling the tale of one Charlotte Usher, a girl who feels invisible and then one day dies after choking on a gummy bear. The books detail her new undead life and her unwillingness to let go of her very much alive high school crush.
Jonah Hill to Star in Crime Comedy ‘Arms and the Dudes’
Todd Phillips is directing the Warner Bros. project. Dudes is based on Guy Lawson’s Rolling Stone article, which follows two stoners from Miami Beach who ended up becoming arms dealers for the U.S. government.
Adam Carolla’s ‘Catch a Contractor’ Renewed for Season 3 by Spike TV
Spike TV has renewed Carolla’s reality show “Catch a Contractor” for a third season, which will premiere in summer 2015.
NEW MEDIA NEWS:
Grantland: Marco … YOLO! Why Netflix Spent $90 Million on Its (Terrible) New Series
Marco Polo, which debuts on Netflix a week from Friday, is a wildly ambitious, 10-hour season set on and around the famed Silk Road in the second half of the 13th century. Marco Polo, produced at astronomical cost (the reported price tag is $90 million) and filmed on the other side of the planet, represents Ted Sarando’s company’s biggest push to conquer the world outside of America. It’s a power play so blatant and so ballsy that there’s almost no way for the action onscreen to match what’s been going on behind it. If Netflix is thriving domestically why is it in such a frenzy about taking its shows on the road?
Australia’s Seven Orders More Winners & Losers
Channel Seven in Australia is going for another season of the hit drama Winners & Losers, which heads into production in early 2015. The series revolves around the lives of four women. The girls were "the losers" in high school. Ten years later, they realise they are really winners once they are reunited at their school reunion and afterwards, win the Oz Lotto
BBC Two buys Aussie period drama
BBC Two has acquired Australian period drama A Place to Call Home. In North America, RLJ Entertainment has acquired the first two seasons for its VOD service, Acorn TV, DVD release and distribution on public television stations in syndication. Set in rural 1950s Australia, the show is billed as “a sweeping and romantic drama of one woman’s journey to heal her soul and of a privileged family’s confrontation with a changing era”
Disney Raises Dividend By 34% Citing Record Earnings And 2015 Optimism
Disney just offered an early holiday gift to its shareholders, at a time when some are wondering whether it’s time to sell the stock which is hovering around its all-time high: The board announced a 34% increase in the annual cash dividend, raising it by 29 cents a share to $1.15 — likely a $2 billion outlay. That may surprise some investors following Disney’s 14.7% dividend increase last year.
Variety: Disney’s ABC Family Cable Network Mulling Reboot
ABC Family might look for new graphics, new programs and even a new name in 2015 as part of a proposed reboot that would make it more appealing to its millennial audience, according to a person with knowledge of the Walt Disney property’s plans. A network spokeswoman declined to offer specifics on what might be up for consideration or change.
(animated) ‘Frozen Fever’ Short to Debut in Front of Disney’s ‘Cinderella’
Disney will debut the animated short “Frozen Fever” in front of “Cinderella” on March 13, 2015. Walt Disney Animation is producing the short that brings the characters of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf from “Frozen” back to the bigscreen. In “Frozen Fever,” it’s Anna’s birthday, and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than just the party at risk.
Disneyland: The Most Instagramed Place on Earth
Instagram listed the most popular locations where users shared photos in 2014, and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., took home the top spot. Second on the list was Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, a relatively impressive accomplishment given the Dodgers only play 81 home games a year.
Parkes/MacDonald Sign New Five-Year Pact With Image Nation Abu Dhabi
Parkes/MacDonald Productions and Image Nation Abu Dhabi have signed a new deal extending their joint venture, which began in 2010 with a $10 million revolving financing fund, for another five years. As part of the new expansion, Evan Hayes has been appointed president of production at Parkes/Macdonald and will oversee the company’s large slate of feature film projects as well as supervise all aspects of production and creative development.
THR: Chris Rock Pens Blistering Essay on Hollywood’s Race Problem: "It’s a White Industry"
Writing for THR’s current issue, the ‘Top Five’ writer, director and star tackles Hollywood’s third rail as he explains what it’s really like to be black in the entertainment industry (hint: you get asked to be Huggy Bear, not Starsky or Hutch) and the "slave state" of Mexicans: "If Kevin Hart is playing 40,000 seats a night, and Jon Stewart is playing 3,000 … why does Kevin Hart have to cross over?"
END OF THE YEAR NEWS:
Top 25 viral Tumblr blogs of 2014
Tumblr in 2014 was full of art, social activism and many, many GIFs of Taylor Swift The pop star’s personal Tumblr page, beloved among the hoards of blog-dwelling teens, was just one of the top 25 most viral blogs of the year. From laughably silly to heartbreakingly serious, these are the top (unranked) blogs people followed most this year, according to Tumblr
Slate: The Overlooked Books of 2014
Slate Book Review critics suggest 27 great books you never heard about—but should’ve.
Complex: The Reverse Gentrification Of VH1
Originally an MTV sister network peddling soft rock to an older crowd, the cable channel has moved from producing generic pop culture programming to greenlighting shows that target a specifically black demographic. According to Nielsen’s 2013 State of the African-American Consumer Report, 37% of African-Americans watch TV—more than any other racial group—and the current buying power of the African-American consumer is over $1 trillion, with forecasts predicting it will reach $1.3 trillion by 2017. A different Nielsen report from 2011 states that black viewers have the highest rate of total TV usage, an average of seven hours and 12 minutes each day.
“Family Ties” star Justine Bateman, 48, returns to college for computer science degree
"I’m Justine Bateman. I’m 48. I’m a college junior at UCLA." On her “College Life” Tumblr, Justine Bateman has been documenting what it’s like to return to college later in life, and tackle a particularly challenging field–computer science.
Atlantic: The Incredible Shrinking Incomes of Young Americans
Since the Great Recession struck in 2007, the median wage for people between the ages of 25 and 34, adjusted for inflation, has fallen in every major industry except for health care. In retail, wholesale, leisure, and hospitality—which together employ more than one quarter of this age group—real wages have fallen more than 10 percent since 2007. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that most of this cohort are seeing their pay slashed, year after year. Instead it suggests that wage growth is failing to keep up with inflation, and that, as twentysomethings pass into their thirties, they are earning less than their older peers did before the recession.