Hi all! Here’s your evening news update for Friday, January 9, 2015. Have a great weekend!
‘Minority Report’ Gets Fox Pilot Order
One of the highest profile pitches this season, Minority Report,continues to sail through the development season with an early pilot order. Fox has given the green light to the project, from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Godzilla writer Max Borenstein, which the network bought preemptively in September with a big put pilot commitment that had a $1 million penalty attached. Kevin Falls has come on board as showrunner on the project.
‘Warrior’ Magical Drama Gets NBC Pilot Order
NBC has given the green light to Warrior, written/executive produced by David DiGilio and exec produced by Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald. The project, from Universal TV, is set in a grounded, contemporary multicultural and sometimes magical milieu where a damaged heroine works undercover with physical and spiritual guidance from a mysterious martial arts master to bring down an international crime lord.
‘Wet Hot American Summer’ A Go As Netflix Limited Series; Original Cast To Return
David Wain’s long quest to get a follow-up to his cult 2001 feature comedy Wet Hot American Summeroff the ground is officially over. Filming has started this week on an 8-episode limited series for Netflix based on the film, with virtually its entire ensemble cast returning. Wain and Michael Showalter, who wrote the movie, created the limited series, with Wain reprising directing duties. The two are executive producing alongside the film’s producer Howard Bernstein, Jonathan Stern and Peter Principato.
Gail Berman Developing Newspaper Drama ‘Park Row’
Gail Berman has set up her first project with new banner The Jackal Group. The joint venture with Fox Network Groups will team with Robert Rodat to develop newspaper drama Park Row. Set in the world of yellow journalism in New York in the 1890s, Park Row follows the newspaper circulation wars between the two most powerful media titans of the day — Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. It follows Pulitzer, Hearst, their families, mistresses, friends, enemies and reporters who, with the modern media weapons of sensationalism, spectacle and self-promotion, chronicled the sex, violence, brutality and corruption of the day, selling a lot of newspapers and making a lot of money.
Guillermo del Toro Plots ‘A Killing on Carnival Row’ as Amazon Series
Guillermo del Toro is returning to A Killing on Carnival Row. The long-in-the-works fantasy project, however, will no longer be a feature but is in development as a television series to be called Carnival Row. Legendary acquired the script this past year for del Toro and will develop Carnival Row with Amazon Studios. Del Toro will co-write a pilot version of the feature script with Travis Beacham and Rene Echevarria. He will direct the pilot. Del Toro and Gary Ungar will exec produce the series.
(sched) A&E Sets ‘Bates Motel,’ ‘The Returned’ Premiere Dates
A&E’s new drama series “The Returned” will premiere on March 9 immediately following the Season 3 premiere of “Bates Motel.”
(sched) Drama ‘Fortitude’ to Premiere Thursday, January 29 on Pivot
Pivot announced today that Fortitude, the network’s first original scripted drama will premiere Thursday, January 29 at 10:00 pm ET. The 12-part one-hour series, starring Stanley Tucci, Richard Dormer and Michael Gambon, airs Thursdays at 10:00 pm with encores every Friday at 10:00pm ET.
(review) Variety: ‘Eye Candy’
Among the burdens of shows associated with MTV is a need to feel youthful and occasionally on the cutting edge. The drama “Eye Candy” falls well short of those marching orders, casting Victoria Justice as a young hacker trying to find her missing sister, and simultaneously hunted by a sadistic predator. Basically, it’s Nancy Drew meets “Stalker” (nearly rivaling that CBS show in terms of grisly killings).
(review) THR: ‘Babylon’
Babylon seemed to be tackling serious issues of hazing, internal politics, PTSD and infidelity in a strangely riveting brew. And yet, SundanceTV says this about it: "This fish out of water story hilariously shows the clash of cultures and age, the embrace of transparency and technology as well as the real underbelly of the relationship between media and government."
To which I would say, yes to all except the "hilariously" part, because that’s not doing Babylon any justice. This is a series worth tracking down and watching. If you laugh, that’s a bonus.
History’s ‘Texas Rising’ to Bow on TV and in Theaters
The first episode of the miniseries will be shown in about 900 theaters ahead of the TV premiere.
THR: TCA Journal No. 3: We Don’t Clap
We don’t clap. "I get applause usually," Queen Latifah said today, stepping on stage during the HBO session. Said Len Amato, president of HBO Films: "They don’t do that here." No, we don’t. It’s not in our code of conduct, but it’s rigorously discouraged that any member of the Television Critics Association clap at these sessions. Sometimes non-members clap. And they get the death stare. Sometimes members clap and they are usually given a talking to so it doesn’t happen again. This has been the deal for years and years.
Tom Bateman, Richard E Grant To Star In ITV’s Action-Drama ‘Jekyll & Hyde’
ITV has busily been commissioning ambitious period dramas over the past few months with Jekyll & Hyde among them. The 10-part action adventure drama was announced in November and has now found its lead in Tom Bateman. He’ll play Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original doctor with the dual personality. Richard E Grant and Natalie Gumede are also starring.
Jane the Virgin Lands Spanish Pop Star David Bisbal for Guest Spot
Spanish pop phenom David Bisbal will play himself in an upcoming episode of The CW’s rookie comedy.
Snoop Dogg to Guest on Fox’s ‘Empire’ as Himself
Fox has just closed a deal with Snoop Dogg for the rapper to play himself in a guest starring role on new hit drama “Empire.”
‘Girl Meets World’ Stars Set For Two Disney Channel Original Movies
“Girl Meets World” stars Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter are both adding Disney Channel original telepics to their resumes. Blanchard will star in live-action adventure/comedy “Invisible Sister.” Blanchard will play a girl whose science project takes a wrong turn, causing her popular sister to become completely invisible. Carpenter has landed the leading role in “Further Adventures in Babysitting”. The big city-set TV movie is inspired by the 1980s film “Adventures in Babysitting.”
Dan Fogelman Sets ‘Honeymoon With Harry’ With Bradley Cooper And Robert De Niro Circling
New Line has hired Dan Fogelman to redraft the comedy as a star vehicle for Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
Michael C. Hall Joins Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Remake
Michael C. Hall is set to join the cast of Disney’s remake of “Pete’s Dragon.” Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard and Wes Bentley are also on board, with newcomer Oakes Fegley set as the title character. David Lowery will direct from a script he wrote with Toby Halbrooks.
Viola Davis Nearing Multi-Picture Deal to Play Amanda Waller in ‘Suicide Squad,’ Other DC Comics Movies
Two-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis is nearing a multi-picture deal to play Amanda Waller in Warner Bros.’ DC Comics Universe, starting with a key supporting role in David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad.”
‘The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore’ announces its cast of contributors
The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore has revealed the identities of the correspondents who will support host Larry Wilmore when the topical comedy show premieres later this month. Joining Wilmore will be Bollywood actress and culture reporter Shenaz Treasury. The Nightly Show‘s panel will also feature New York City-based standup comedians Ricky Velez and Mike Yard.
Pivot Greenlights ‘Secret Lives of Americans’
Pivot, Participant Media’s television network, today announced a greenlight for the groundbreaking docu-series “Secret Lives of Americans.” The series takes an unflinching look at individuals’ lives as they expose powerful secrets to the most influential people in their lives. The series will premiere this summer.
Pop Unveils 4 Projects in Development as it Revs Up for Rebrand on Wednesday, January 14
Pop, previously known as TVGN, will officially rebrand on Jan. 14, 2015, and today announced four new projects in development that embrace the network’s brand promise of celebrating the fun of being a fan. The projects include a comedic, candid interview series with celebrities recounting how they lost their virginity, from executive producers Morgan Spurlock and John Stamos; a docu-series starring top syndicated and Z100 radio host Elvis Duran; a reality series pairing celebrities and inventors to create and launch a product line; and a stage comedy series with talent recounting their worst or most embarrassing life moments.
Discovery Is Fast-Tracking Its Own Spin on Serial
With the runaway success of WBEZ Chicago’s true crime podcast Serial, it’s been a race among entertainment networks to see who can turn out a homebrewed spin on the hit audio program—and it looks like crime network Investigation Discovery (ID) is the winner. Discovery exec Henry Schleiff shared details with Adweek about the upcoming podcast, which ID is fast-tracking for a spring launch, even though nearly everything about it—including the subject and host—remains up in the air. The idea for the podcast, Schleiff admitted, was inspired by Serial’s success.
Jane Featherstone To Exit Kudos As CEO
Jane Featherstone has announced she is leaving the newly formed Endemol Shine Group as CEO of Kudos this May. She has been Kudos CEO since 2011. Also leaving the Endemol Shine Group is Princess Productions founder Henrietta Conrad.
Exec Shuffle 12/9/15: Mark Gordon Splits With ABC Studios, Charles King Forms MACRO & More
Charles King has left William Morris Endeavor to form MACRO, a startup that will focus on developing content for multicultural audiences.
Steve Richards, a 19-year veteran of Silver Pictures, has left to start Endurance Media.
Writer-director-producer Rick Bieber and financier Ken Clark have joined forces to form Minds I Cinema, an indie film production company.
Marketing exec JP Richards has stepped into his new post leading digital marketing at Warner Bros.,after a stint at Universal.
After a stellar summer for 20th Century Fox, Kieran Breen has been upped to President of International Marketing.
Angela and Catherine Paura joined Alcon Entertainment as co-presidents of worldwide marketing.
Black Bear Pictures is expanding. President/CEO Teddy Schwarzman named as president and COO Dan Steinman.
Discovery Channel president Rich Ross announced that he’s named HBO vet John Hoffman as Executive Vice President of Documentaries and Specials. Discovery Channel has also tapped John Goldwyn as an executive producer for scripted programming.
Benjamin “BJ” Elias, who played a major role in expanding Fox Networks’ TV Everywhere apps and sites, has been upped to SVP Distribution of the division.
Millennials More Into Netflix Than Broadcast or Cable TV
This shouldn’t come as a shock: About half of consumers aged 13-34 say their Netflix subscriptions are very valuable — more than those who said the same about broadcast or cable TV, according to a new study. About 51% of millennials consider subscription to Netflix “very valuable,” compared with 42% for broadcast channels and 36% for cable TV, according to a study commissioned by NATPE and the Consumer Electronics Association,
The best year for jobs since 1999
The December jobs report is a mixed bag — a solid payrolls figure, but declining wages and labor force participation. But here’s one bit of encouraging news: 2014 was the best year for job creation since 1999. In 2014, employers added nearly 3 million jobs, just shy of 1999’s 3.1 million.