Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Friday, December 5, 2014:
TruTV Orders ‘Those Who Can’t’ As First Scripted Comedy Pilot
TruTV has ordered its first full-fledged scripted comedy pilot, Those Who Can’t (working title), created by and starring the Denver-based comedy troupe The Grawlix. The project, from Thank You, Brain! Prods and 3 Arts Entertainment, is set in Denver. It follows three dysfunctional high school teachers – played by Grawlix members Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy – who are as screwed-up as the kids they teach. When an entitled bully decides to make their lives miserable, they go to ridiculous lengths to exact revenge. Those Who Can’t was originally set up at Amazon and eventually was put in turnaround and picked up by TruTV,
John Wells To Produce Hip-Hop Drama Inspired By Kenny Wormald For CW
The CW has put in development an hourlong drama from John Wells Prods. and Warner Bros. TV loosely inspired by the life of actor-dancer Kenny Wormald who played the lead in the recent Footloose feature remake. Written by playwright Andrew Hinderaker, the untitled project is described as “Entourage meets 30 Feet From Stardom”. It is a peek behind the curtain of Hollywood’s hip-hop dance scene, centering on a top-flight back-up dancer who dreams of becoming a choreographer.
(sched) ‘Battle Creek’ To Air Sundays 10 PM, ‘CSI: Cyber’ Gets ‘Stalker’s Wednesday Slot
CBS has now scheduled its two new midseason drama series, Vince Gilligan-David Shore’s Battle Creekand CSI: Cyber. At the upfront in May, CBS announced that the latest CSI spinoff spinoff Cyber will share the Sunday 10 PM slot with the mothership CSI series. That has now changed — Battle Creek will air in the Sunday slot starting March 1, two weeks after the CSI finale. The cyber crime drama will premiere on March 4, replacing Stalker. By then, the freshman drama will have aired 17 episodes of its 20-episode first season. It is unclear where and the remaining three will run. The only remaining CBS midseason scheduling question is where new comedy Odd Couple, which appears Thursday-bound, will go. Will the network give it the best comedy lead-in on TV, slotting it behind The Big Bang Theory?
(review) Variety: ‘The Librarians’
Although TNT has discussed exploring edgier fare, its decision to elevate “The Librarian” movies, which starred Noah Wyle, into a series in which he’ll occasionally appear represents a throwback to the network’s broad popcorn-oriented approach. The two-hour launch could have been spawned in the ’80s or ’90s, back when “Indiana Jones” knockoffs were all the rage. That’s not to say “Librarians” isn’t sporadically fun, but there’s just not a particularly strong incentive to check it out.
‘Ugly Betty’ alum Ana Ortiz to appear in multiple episodes of ‘Marry Me’
Ana Ortiz has signed on to play a recurring character on the NBC romantic comedy.
‘True Detective’ Adds Ronnie Gene Blevins, Emily Rios & Timothy V. Murphy; TBS Vacation Pilot Adds 2
The Bridge co-star Emily Rios and Ronnie Gene Blevins (Kingdom) have booked arcs on the upcoming second season of HBO’s True Detective. Timothy V. Murphy (Sons Of Anarchy) also has been booked for the first episode of Season 2.
Ashley Gerasimovich (We Need To Talk About Kevin) and Liam Carroll (The Neighbors) have joined the cast of TBS’ untitled vacation comedy pilot from Jason Jones and Samantha Bee.
Imogen Poots, Luke Wilson Nearing Deals to Star in Cameron Crowe’s ‘Roadies’
Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are executive producers on the Showtime pilot. Imogen Poots and Luke Wilson are nearing deals to star in Cameron Crowe‘s Showtime pilot “Roadies.” “Roadies” will follow the day-to-day life of the unsung crew members of a successful rock and roll tour. The pilot will be an hour, the potential series would be a half-hour.
Grantland: Theories of Everything: Why ‘Interstellar,’ ‘The Imitation Game,’ and the Year’s Other Science-Driven Movies Can’t Stop Explaining Themselves
The kind of scientific enthusiasm that would have earned a person a swirlie in the ’90s is now a component of every conversation. Apple and Microsoft turned casual users into tech geeks, politicians publicly debate climate change, John Green made a killing on YouTube explaining the periodic table, and Twitter collectively turned its attention to a European robot landing on a comet. This is the world in which Neil deGrasse Tyson is a celebrity. People are smarter and savvier than they were when Jurassic Park conquered imaginations. They’re also dying for informed pop culture.
Netflix Producing Nina Simone Documentary from Liz Garbus, Set for 2015
Netflix has teamed with studio RadicalMedia to produce “What Happened, Miss Simone?”, a documentary about the legendary singer and pianist from filmmaker Liz Garbus slated to debut worldwide on the streamer in 2015.
THR: Eaten by an Anaconda? What’s Behind the Rise in Go-Wrong TV
Discovery’s ‘Eaten Alive,’ which airs Sunday, is the latest stunt for a network that has been "getting 10 or 15 stunt pitches a week" since Nik Wallenda’s Grand Canyon walk last year. High-stakes premises represent the next iteration of event TV. Specials like Eaten Alive stand to deliver Discovery ratings spikes and one-off buzz.
NEW MEDIA NEWS:
LAT: Older viewers also abandoning TV in favor of phone, computer
People in the U.S. are watching more digital video as traditional TV viewing declines, and it’s not just young people driving the trend, according to a new report from Nielsen. The measurement firm said Wednesday that the amount of time spent watching video on computers and smartphones each day among those age 55 and up increased 55% in the third quarter, compared with the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, traditional TV viewing among that demographic didn’t change in the quarter.
The Kumars at No. 42 Heads to Comedy Central Asia
Comedy Central Asia is slated to broadcast all seven seasons of The Kumars at No. 42, a British sitcom/chat show from Hat Trick Productions. The Kumars at No. 42 follows the adventures of a dysfunctional suburban immigrant family.
Caracol TV Ramps up Film Production
Colombian broadcaster Caracol TV is ramping up film production and international production services in the light of new film incentives from the government. “Caracol TV has the infrastructure to sustain film production; we operate 12 sound stages,” said managing director of production Felipe Boshell who leads Caracol Productions, which has produced a glut of telenovelas, reality series, mini-series and game shows over the years. “We want to operate on two fronts: Produce low-budget mainstream Colombian films with local producers, and provide production services to foreign films and TV movies shooting in Colombia, and in some cases come in as co-producers.”
Frozen Fun comes to the Disneyland Resort starting December 20
Long-awaited details of the Frozen additions to Disney California Adventure and Disneyland. DCA’s version of "Frozen Fun" is based on the wildly popular promotion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, but with a few tweaks. The biggest change is Olaf’s Snow Fest, which appears to be a much larger copy of Florida’s popular, but very low-capacity offering. In addition to the snow play area, Olaf’s Snow Fest features a snow slide, and an meet-and-greet opportunity with the snowman himself.
Exec Shuffle for 12/5/14: Jasmine Madatian to DreamWorks, Kevan Turen to Phantom Four & More
Universal Pictures has tapped Michael Wise as SVP and Chief Technology Officer. Wise will oversee tech strategies and operations for the studio, working with SVP-CIO Steve Lapinski to handle IT issues for the film group.
Jasmine Madatian is now Executive Vice President, Communications, at DreamWorks Studios.
David S. Goyer is growing his film and TV production company Phantom Four. He’s hired Kevin Turen as president.
Margaret O’Brien has been appointed to the newly created position of EVP Corporate Development at eOne. She will beresponsible for overseeing the company’s M&A activities. O’Brien joined eOne in 2008.
E!’s head of digital John Najarian is now EVP, News and Digital for the network, taking on oversight of the News division and E! News series.
E! head of marketing Jen Neal has been named EVP, Marketing for E! Entertainment and Esquire Network, adding oversight of brand strategy and marketing for Esquire Network to her existing responsibilities.
Tony Maxwell has been tapped as Senior Vice President, Promotional Creative & Strategy at Nickelodeon Group.
Soon after Evan Shapiro is moving to NBCUniversal as EVP Digital Enterprises.
is now Chief Executive Officer at Showyou in San Francisco.
END OF THE YEAR NEWS:
Salon: The year in TV: How 2014 remade the workplace comedy
The enduring mythos of the workplace show — from what is widely considered to be the first workplace show, “Hill Street Blues,” through to “ER” and “The Newsroom” — is that work can be your family, your friends, your religion and your sustenance. Two of the best shows of this year are comedies that take this fraught setting and subvert it, in ways that are both very funny and surprisingly heartwarming. Both “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Archer” look deceptively commonplace. But unlike those other shows, both “Archer” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” go out of their way to expose their insular, codependent ensembles as totally bananas; only crazy people would be this invested in their work.
HuffPo: The Top 10 TV Shows Of 2014
"The Americans," FX
"Happy Valley," Netflix/BBC
"Jane the Virgin," CW
"Orange Is the New Black," Netflix
"Penny Dreadful," Showtime
"Rectify," Sundance Channel
"Review," Comedy Central
"You’re the Worst," FX
AdWeek: Here Are the Top TV Advertisers of 2014
Ace Metrix released its brands of the year finalists today. The best-of list breaks out the most effective marketers across 23 industries and 85 categories. Ace Metrix will officially announce the 2014 winners on Jan. 7.
(music) Here Are Your 2015 Grammy Nominees
On CBS This Morning, Pharrell Williams and Ed Sheeran announced the first few categories in a daylong rollout of the 2015 Grammy nominations.
U.S. Studios Calling on Foreign Composers as Globalization Grows
Filmmakers once turned primarily to American composers to score their movies. Today, the landscape could hardly be more different. Ten of the past 12 Oscar winners for best score were born outside the U.S., and many of this year’s awards-buzz movies feature music by composers from Europe or Latin America. Some observers suggest that Oscar’s final-five list for best score might have no American composers on it for the first time in Academy history.
Mashable: 2014 may be best year for job gains since 1999, millennials lead the charge
U.S. employers hired at the strongest pace in nearly three years in November, adding 321,000 jobs. It’s the latest sign that the United States is outperforming other major economies by growing steadily, and generating consistently healthy job gains. The U.S. Labor Department says the unemployment rate remained at a six-year low of 5.8%. And 44,000 more jobs were added in September and October than the government previously estimated.
Dish: Why Is Divorce In Decline?
Earlier this week, Claire Cain Miller ran the numbers: About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary, up from about 65 percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s. Those who married in the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce, according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist.