Afternoon News Update for Thursday, January 8, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Thursday, January 8, 2015:


‘Roots’ Miniseries Nears Green Light At History With Allen Hughes Directing
is lining up its next high-profile event miniseries a remake of one of the most celebrated TV programs of all time, blockbuster 1977 miniseries Roots. The cable network has set Allen Hughes as director and executive producer on the project, which is expected to be picked up soon. Mark Rosenthal and Larry Konner are writing the scripts for the Roots remake, an A+E Studios production in association with Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization.

‘Elementary’ EP Inks Overall Deal at CBS Television Studios
CBS is locking down Jason Tracey. The Elementary executive producer has signed a two-year overall deal with producers CBS Television Studios. Under the pact, Tracey will continue to serve as an EP on the third-year Sherlock Holmes procedural as well as develop new projects for both broadcast and cable.

‘Bob’s Burgers’ Renewed For Sixth Season
Bob’s Burgers has quietly reached a milestone very few broadcast series achieve — a sixth season. Fox has ordered a 22-episode sixth season of the show, which won its first Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program in August.

‘Happyland’ Cancelled By MTV After One Season
Happyland will not be returning to MTV as the cable network has quietly opted not to renew the hourlong series for a second season.

(review) Variety: ‘Togetherness’
On paper, “Togetherness” looks like a conventional sitcom premise: a married couple with two young kids, flanked on either side by the husband’s unemployed best friend and the wife’s zany, man-hungry sister. Yet as created by the Duplass brothers, this HBO series becomes another serialized tale of urban yuppie angst, with a lot of Woody Allen-like soul-searching and an indie-film sensibility.

(sched) ‘Game of Thrones’ season 5 premiere date revealed
will unveil its fifth season on Sunday, April 12. HBO will also launch the fourth season of Veep and the second season of Silicon Valley on the same date.

Flavorwire’s Complete Guide to 2015 Midseason TV
From the final season of Parks and Recreation to the premiere of The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore to the return of The Americans, here are 22 shows that should be on your radar.


TCA Live Blog: HBO Presentation
Follow below for live updates from the HBO presentation at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena.

Fake Stuff Out At Discovery Channel, Promises New Chief Rich Ross
Bye bye, men eaten by snakes! So long, mermaids! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Megalodons! TV critics fell deeply, madly in love with new Discovery Channel chief Rich Ross this morning at Winter TV press Tour 2015 when he said he would not continue the network’s trend of telecasting fake stuff.


Emmanuelle Chriqui Joins ‘Murder In The First’ As New Regular
Emmanuelle Chriqui
has joined the cast of TNT’s crime drama series Murder In The First as a regular for the upcoming second season opposite Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson.

‘Fargo’ Fills Out Season 2 Cast With Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson, Jean Smart, More
Nick Offerman
and Brad Garrett are also among those who will appear in the FX anthology.

Hayes MacArthur Becomes Regular On TBS Series ‘Angie Tribeca’
Hayes MacArthur
has joined TBS’ upcoming original comedy series Angie Tribeca as a regular with a one-year deal. MacArthur originally appeared as a guest star in the pilot.

‘Agents of SHIELD’ Books Edward James Olmos
In the mystery role of Robert Gonzales.


Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman Sign Production Deal With Universal
Universal Pictures
has entered into a two-year, first-look production agreement with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman’s Brownstone Prods.

New Line Picks Up Christmas Adventure Movie ‘The Naughty List’
New Line has picked up The Naughty List, a Christmas adventure pitch from writers Greg Erb and Jason Oremland. Beau Flynn will produce via his Flynn Picture Co. banner. It is described as being a high-concept action comedy with shades of Guardians of the Galaxy or Dirty Dozen and Elf centering on a group of unlikely heroes who must band together in order to save Christmas.


Showtime Renews ‘Inside Comedy,’ Books Colbert and Cranston
The series’ fourth season will also include Michael Keaton and Dan Aykroyd.

Animal Planet Greenlights ‘Matt on the Run’
In each episode of MATT ON THE RUN, the goal is to trek roughly 100 miles in the wild in just four days to conquer Mother Nature’s challenges and capture her infinite beauty.

‘Vanity Fair Confidential’ to Premiere Monday, January 19 on Investigation Discovery
Vanity Fair
is opening up its vaults to Investigation Discovery (ID). Offering unprecedented access to the magazine’s writers and editors, VANITY FAIR CONFIDENTAL takes viewers to the heart of some of the most controversial dramas in history – dramas centered at the cross section of power, wealth and celebrity. ID presents the world premiere on Monday, January 19 at 9/8c.

HBO Renews Bill Maher Show For 14th And 15th Seasons
has renewed Real Time with Bill Maher for two additional seasons of 35 episodes each, keeping him on the schedule at least through the next presidential election cycle, the network announced today at Winter TV Press Tour 2015.


Facebook reports ‘shift to video’
Facebook has reported an increasing shift towards visual content, claiming that in the past year the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the US.


Sky, Working Title TV Team On End-Of-World Drama ‘Apocalypse Slough’
Marking the beginning of increased investment in drama, Britain’s Sky 1 has ordered 10-part series Apocalypse Slough, described as an adrenaline-fueled witty epic about the end of the world. Hailing from Working Title TV and Bigballs Films, Apocalypse Slough will be directed by Michael Engler and is written by Iain Hollands. NBC Universal International Television Distribution is handling international sales with a U.S. broadcast partner expected to board the project.


Disney’s Next Acquisition Could Further Its Digital Distribution
said that a social media startup would definitely count as distribution, but he declined to say anything about whether that acquisition might be BuzzFeed. Last year, there were reports that Disney was looking to buy the company. But BuzzFeed wanted $1 billion, the story goes, and so the deal fell apart.

Disney Beats Lawsuit From ‘Home Improvement’ Creators
The Walt Disney Co.
has struck a major blow in its long-running battle with the creators of the 1990s sitcom Home Improvement. At a hearing on Wednesday, Los Angeles Superior Court judge William Highberger fully granted the ABC parent company’s motion for summary adjudication against the claims filed by Matt Williams, Carmen Finestra and David McFadzean and their affiliated production companies


Anthony Anderson to Host ‘The 46th NAACP Image Awards’
The NAACP and TV One announced today that Anthony Anderson will return for the second time as host for the 46th NAACP Image Awards. Two-Hour Star Studded Special Airs Live on Friday, February 6 on TV One at 9:00 p.m. ET (PT tape-delayed)

Jennifer Love Hewitt Expecting Baby No. 2
Jennifer Love Hewitt
and her husband, Brian Hallisay, are expecting their second child together, Us Weekly reports.

Discovery adds drama veteran
Discovery Channel
has appointed a veteran film and TV producer to help oversee the network’s scripted offering. John Goldwyn becomes an executive producer and will work closely with Rich Ross on new content following his recent appointment as Discovery president.

ITV Studios hires former C5 and Xbox exec as drama buyer
ITV Studios has recruited Kate Barnes as its head of coproduction and drama acquisition.
At ITV she will take the newly-created role of head of drama acquisitions and coproduction. She starts in the position next week and will report to Ruth Clarke, executive VP and director of global content.

ITV Studios America Appoints New VP of Production
ITV Studios America has promoted Gregg Moscot to VP of production, based in the company’s Los Angeles headquarters.

USA Names Jessica Sebastian Head of Unscripted Programming
USA Network has tapped Jessica Sebastian as president of unscripted series. Sebastian will oversee unscripted programs, heading up developing and current shows. She’ll report to Jackie de Crinis, executive vice president of original programming.


CBS Chief Leslie Moonves: ‘I Don’t Care How You Watch Our Shows’
chief Leslie Moonves defended his company’s plan to launch over-the-top service CBS All Access, saying the move is meant to make the network’s show available to as many viewers as possible. “Being the old school guy, I came up with 12 reasons why we shouldn’t do it,” Moonves said, but relented when he realized the demand for the company’s programming, including NFL games, on mobile platforms.


Women, Minority First-Time Directors Get Shaft on TV Scripted Series
In the five-year period studied (the 2009-2010 through 2013-2014 TV seasons) by the gender and ethnic diversity survey, 479 directors received their first assignment in episodic television. The study revealed that 82 percent of all first-time episodic directors during the five-year span examined were male and only 18 percent were female; 87 percent were Caucasian and only 13 percent were minority directors.

Medium: A 19-year-old college student describes how and why his demographic uses the various social media platforms
In short, many have nailed this on the head. It’s dead to us. Facebook is something we all got in middle school because it was cool but now is seen as an awkward family dinner party we can’t really leave. It’s weird and can even be annoying to have Facebook at times. That being said, if you don’t have Facebook, that’s even more weird and annoying.