Afternoon News Update for Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Wednesday, January 7, 2015:


George Clooney-Peter Tolan Showbiz Drama Lands at Showtime
has won the bidding war for George Clooney’s showbiz drama The Studio. The premium cable network has handed out a script commitment with hefty penalty attached. From Sony Pictures Television, The Studio tells the story of a movie studio in the early 1990s, when the studios were being bought up by conglomerates and corporate culture crashed head-on into Hollywood’s excesses. The two men running the show’s central studio are described as best friends who struggle to maintain their humanity while they stockpile power, fight off irrelevance, and mercilessly f— over anyone who gets in their way — including each other. Peter Tolan will pen the script and exec produce via his SPT-based Fedora Entertainment banner. Bennett Miller, Clooney and Grant Heslov will also exec produce.

HBO Developing ‘Monty Clift’ Biopic Starring Matt Bomer
Matt Bomer
will return to the premium cable network as the star of biopic Monty Clift. HBO is developing the film about the actor, hiring writers Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias to rewrite the script by Christopher Lovick. The story centers on the complicated life of Clift (Bomer), who finds himself deeply involved with a young Elizabeth Taylor following the filming of A Place in the Sun.

Comedy Central Cancels ‘Brickleberry’ After Three Seasons
The new year will not be ringing in any new episodes of “Brickleberry.” Comedy Central is not moving forward on another season of the adult cartoon.


Netflix content chief talks ratings, ‘Arrested Development’ future and show resurrection
The January Television Critics Association press tour kicked off on Wednesday (January 7) morning in Pasadena with only the second appearance from Netflix and the first executive session with Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.

Vox: Netflix’s refusal to say how many people watch its shows is the future of TV
All Netflix cares about is whether it can get you to pay a subscription fee for its content. If you’re paying only to watch one of its original programs in particular, then, paradoxically, that program becomes even more valuable. If, say, Marco Poloonly has 200,000 viewers (a massively small audience for a network or cable show), but every one of those viewers is only watching Marco Polo, then a renewal still makes sense. That scenario is obviously unlikely, but it’s the most extreme example of how the service handles questions of renewal and cancellation differently from a traditional network. But this also speaks to the danger of the Netflix way of thinking — or, really, the modern television way of thinking. Because when it comes right down to it, what Netflix and a lot of places (including many traditional cable networks) are saying is that the idea of a show is more valuable than the show itself.


‘Justified’: ‘Kingdom’s’ Jonathan Tucker Joins the Final Season
will appear in the FX drama’s final five episodes

John Travolta Set as Robert Shapiro in FX’s ‘American Crime Story: People v. O.J. Simpson’
Marking his first TV role since “Welcome Back, Kotter.

Elizabeth Banks, Nathan Lane returning to ‘Modern Family’
Modern Family will once again feature two familiar spices: Sal and Pepper. Elizabeth Banks and Nathan Lane are slated to return to the ABC family comedy.

‘Hawaii Five-0′ lands Jon Lovitz
Hawaii Five-0
continues to beef up its guest casting with funnyman Jon Lovitz.

MTV’s ‘Shannara’ Casts ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ Star
Ivana Baquero
will play Eretria.


Relativity Bags Sci-Fi Spec ‘Sam & Liz: A Killer Love Story’
Relativity has acquired Sam & Liz: A Killer Love Story, an action sci-fi spec script by Feed The Devil scribe Matt Altman. Jon Shestack and Jim Wedaa are aboard to produce. The logline: Sam is an average guy working a 9 to 5 job that he hates, wishing for a more exciting life. When he meets gorgeous thrill-seeker Liz, he gets more more than he bargained for. Together they go on a wild ride discovering that nothing they know about themselves is true and their connection to each other has surprising and deadly consequences.


Neil deGrasse Tyson To Host NatGeo’s First-Ever Late Night Show
Neil deGrasse Tyson is set to host the first-ever late night show for National Geographic. Based on the widely popular astrophysicist Tyson’s podcast, and launching off the success of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” “Star Talk” will premiere in April.

LL Cool J to host Spike’s ‘Lip Sync Battle’
LL Cool J
has signed on to host the show, which will feature celebrities going head-to-head, each lip-syncing a song of their choice.

Marvel & ESPN Films Announce First Collaboration with Feature Documentary ‘1 of 1 – Genesis’ and Short Film Series ‘1 of 1 – Origins’
Marvel Entertainment
and ESPN Films are proud to announce the feature-length documentary “1 of 1 – Genesis” and short film series “1 of 1 – Origins,” two all-new projects combining the powerful storytelling sensibilities of these two entertainment leaders for the very first time. Both the documentary and the short film series will provide viewers a unique look at some of the world’s most successful athletes by mixing the award-winning non-fiction style of ESPN Films with classic Marvel comic book art, design and creative animation to truly bring a unique perspective to the journeys of these key figures.

Nat Geo Picks Up ‘Port Protection’, Renews ‘Life Below Zero’ & ‘Wicked Tuna: North Vs. South’, Sets ‘Wicked Tuna’ Return
National Geographic Channel has renewed Wicked Tuna: North vs Southfor a second season to film in early 2015 and Life Below Zerofor a third to premiere on April 9. Additionally, the cable network has picked up another Arctic series from the producers of Life Below Zero, Port Protection, and has set a February 15 premiere date for Season 4 ofWicked Tuna.


BitTorrent to Distribute David Cross’ ‘Hits’
David Cross’
directorial debut Hits will be distributed by BitTorrent Bundle in the program’s first feature film deal. The comedy, which premiered at Sundance in January 2014, will be released on Feb. 13, 2015, as a pay-what-you-want BitTorrent Bundle. Fans will also be able set their own pricing in theaters at pay-what-you-want screenings in theatrical markets throughout the U.S. and Canada.

TechCrunch: Is YouTube The Yahoo Of 2015?
For the first time in a decade, YouTube’s dominance as the destination for video content is being challenged by rivals like Facebook.


‘Terminator: Genisys’ Writers Sign First-Look Deal With Skydance
Laeta Kalogridis
and Patrick Lussier will also consult on the company’s many projects.


‘Scandal,’ DC Shows Among PaleyFest 2015 Lineup
Set to return to the Dolby Theatre and run March 6-13, the television festival will feature nights with the casts of ABC’s Shonda Rhimes political thriller Scandal as well as The CW’s hot one-two DC Comics punch Arrow and The Flash. Also joining the lineup is CBS’ veteran critical darling The Good Wife.

NBC Has Sold 95% of Super Bowl Ads and Says $4.5 Million Per :30 ‘Is a Steal’
Seth Winter
, evp of sales and marketing for NBC Sports Group and NBCUniversal News Group, reported during a conference call today that the Super Bowl XLIX host has sold 95 percent of its TV inventory to date, a rate faster than the last time the network hosted the big game in 2012. The sales success comes in spite of the fact that each 30-second slot for the Feb. 1 game is going for a record $4.4 to $4.5 million, depending on how many spots the brand is buying.