Morning News Update for Monday, December 8, 2014.

Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Monday, December 8, 2014:


Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis to Star in Ryan Murphy’s Fox Horror-Comedy Series
Fox’s Ryan Murphy
comedy horror anthology has cast its first two leading ladies. American Horror Story’s Emma Roberts and horror icon Jamie Lee Curtis will star in Scream Queens. The 15-episode hourlong comedy will premiere in fall 2015, with season one revolving around a college campus that’s rocked by a series of murders. New settings and storylines will be featured in subsequent seasons of the anthology series.


Maggie Siff To Co-Star In Showtime Pilot ‘Billions’
Sons of Anarchy‘s Maggie Siff has quickly lined up her next series gig — playing the female lead opposite Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis in the Showtime drama pilot Billions.

‘Carrie Diaries’ Favorite to Star in MTV’s ‘Shannara’

Austin Butler
has nabbed the male lead in the drama based on Terry Brooks’ best-selling book series.

Mark Hamill Joins ‘The Flash’ as The Trickster
Mark Hamill
will be reprising another memorable role — that of The Trickster (aka James Jesse), a villain from The Flash’s rogues gallery.

‘Leftovers’ Shakes Up Supporting Cast For Season 2 As Series Moves To New Locale
A large portion of the fourteen regular cast members in Season 1 — virtually all in supporting roles — won’t be returning in Season 2 as the series is undergoing a creative reboot, moving the setting from the fictional town of Mapleton, New York to a new location.

Wynn Everett Joins TNT Pilot ‘Lumen’; ‘True Detective’ Adds 2
Wynn Everett
has been tapped for a lead role in TNT drama pilot Lumen, written by Chris Black and directed by Joe Johnson. In Lumen, the famous author of a best-selling series of fantasy books suddenly disappears, and a family of four finds themselves transported to the mystical alternate world that inspired her work. Everett will play the author, Helen Royce. Lumen hails from TNT Original Productions, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, Full Fathom Five and ABC Signature Studios. Filming begins in January in New Zealand.


Sony Buys Sci-Fi Drama ‘Passengers’ from ‘Doctor Strange’ Writer
Sony Pictures
has bought the rights to sci-fiction drama “Passengers,” written by Jon Spaihts. Neal Moritz and Ori Marmur will produce through Moritz’s Original Film banner along Michael Maher for Start Media and Stephen Hamel of Company Films. Spaihts’ script is set on a spacecraft in the future with thousands of passengers making an interstellar voyage to a new planet. One passenger awakens from cryogenic sleep 90 years before anyone else, then awakens a female passenger.

(awards) Boston Critics Name ‘Boyhood’ Best Picture
The Richard Linklater-directed film won five awards in total.

(awards) L.A. Film Critics Name ‘Boyhood’ Best Picture
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association chose Tom Hardy as its best actor for ‘Locke’.

(awards) New York Film Critics Online Name ‘Boyhood’ Best Picture
The group also gave acting awards to Eddie Redmayne and Marion Cotillard.


Dancing With the Stars Judge To Exit
Dancing With the Stars
will step forward without a key player, should the ABC reality series make it to Season 21. Len Goodman told reporters over the weekend that his days at the judges’ dais will end after Dancing‘s upcoming springtime run — and E News! has since confirmed the exit.


IAC puts CollegeHumor up for sale
is reportedly looking to sell its stake in comedy video site CollegeHumor following a spate of recent deals in the online content space. According to a Fortune report, IAC is looking for around US$100 million for the business and is talking to potential buyers, having bought a 51% controlling stake in CollegeHumour back in 2006 for a reported US$20 million. In January of this year, multimedia entertainment studio Electus, which is an operating business of IAC, formed Electus Digital, uniting IAC’s CollegeHumor Media and select Electus digital and studio properties.

Hollywood Tracks Social Media Chatter to Target Hit Films
To help studio marketers get back ahead of their customers, United Talent Agency and Rentrak, an entertainment data company, are introducing a service called PreAct. It joins an array of Hollywood upstarts peddling “social listening,” a growing field that uses algorithms to slice and dice chatter on social media. PreAct begins unusually early. It closely monitors marketing efforts at least a year before opening weekend. At any moment, studios using the service can log in to a portal and receive various charts that detail how consumers are responding to promotional efforts.


Sensitive Skin Renewed in Canada
The dramedy Sensitive Skin has received a second season order from Bell Media’s The Movie Network and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central, with Kim Cattrall returning as executive producer and star.


‘Fargo’ wins HitFix’s 3rd Annual Television Critics’ Poll
We have a surprise winner in this year’s HitFix Television Critics’ Poll. But then, pretty much any winner would have been surprising this year:

1. Fargo
2. The Good Wife

3. Game of Thrones

4. Transparent

5. True Detective

6. The Americans

7. Mad Men

8. Orange is the New Black

9. (tie) Louie

9. (tie) Broad City

Vulture: The 10 Best TV Shows of 2014
1. Hannibal (NBC)
2. Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
3. Private Violence (HBO)
4. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
5. The Missing (Starz)
6. The Americans (FX)
7. Mad Men (AMC)
8. True Detective (HBO)
9. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Fox)
10. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (PBS)

Vox: Watch these 10 shows and feel good about the future of cable comedy
Here are not one, not two, but 10 great new cable and streaming comedies from the year just passed:
Benched (USA)
Bojack Horseman (Netflix)

Broad City (Comedy Central)
Looking (HBO)
Married (FX)
Playing House (USA)
Review with Forrest MacNeil (Comedy Central)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon)
You’re the Worst (FX)

Vox: The Wicked and The Divine was the best comic book of 2014
The Wicked + The Divine
has a great idea at the core of its mythology: gods have an expiration date. In the world Kieron Gillen’s built, gods like Minerva, Baal, and Lucifer live for two years, die, and come back 90 years later. The rules are simple, and they set the psychology of the book. With two years to live, the gods do what anyone would — live like celebrities and rock stars. There’s no point in bettering themselves, or putting the time into a goal they’ll never finish. So gods become celebrities with expiration dates.


TV Ad Sales Will Suffer In 2015 As Buyers Move Dollars To Digital, Forecasters Warn
Next year looks pretty good for worldwide ad sales, although not so much for U.S. television, two leading forecasting firms will report at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. ZenithOptimedia expects global sales to increase 4.9% to $545 billion, while Magna Global is a tad more conservative projecting a 4.8% increase to $536 billion. The growth rates are lower than this year’s 5.5%. But 2015 still looks strong considering that it won’t have the boosts we saw in 2014 from the Winter Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, and the U.S. mid-term elections. Advertisers are excited by digital and mobile platforms — spending on digital will match TV in the U.S. next year, Magna says.