Afternoon News Update for Friday, January 16, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Friday, January 16, 2015. Have a great MLK weekend!


‘Chicago Fire’ Spinoff ‘Chicago Med’ Adds To Crowded Medical Drama Field
The long-gestating medical offshoot of the Chicago Fire franchise is taking a big step toward NBC’s primetime. A planted spinoff for the project is expected to air as an episode of mothership series Chicago Fire later this season. Like Chicago PD, the new spinoff hails from Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, executive producer Matt Olmstead and executive producer Wolf, whose company Wolf Films produces Chicago Fire and Chicago PD with Universal TV.

Eva Longoria’s Company Inks Pod Deal With NBCUniversal For TV & Film
Eva Longoria’s
return to primetime TV as the star of a new comedy seriesTelenovela was one of NBC’s biggest announcements at TCA today. The project is part of a big new three-year pod deal for Longoria’s UnveliEVAble Entertainment. I hear the pact spans television as well as film and includes multiple pilot commitments as well as a series penalty on the TV side.


THR: TCA Journal No. 7: The Amazon Pilots And the Truth About Crowd Sourcing In TV
I’ve never thought the crowd-sourcing element that Amazon touted was really an influencing factor in the decision-making process. Transparent, Amazon Studio’s best series, the one that is a critical darling, appearing on countless Best-of 2014 lists and the show that just won two awards at the Golden Globes, was Amazon’s lowest rated pilot from within that batch. So, the people were wrong. Yet again.


Gary Sinise To Topline ‘Criminal Minds’ Spinoff
Gary Sinise
is back in CBS’ procedural fold as the lead of another spinoff drama, the network’s Criminal Minds planted offshoot. CBS chairman Nina Tassler was asked about the network’s approach to the new spinoff in light of the quick demise of previous attempt Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. “First lesson is do it better,” Tassler said. “Erica Messer has been part of Criminal Minds since Day 1. Having her, one of the best showrunners in the business, behind it, that’s the key difference between this spinoff and the first one.”

Sheryl Lee and Dana Ashbrook Return to ‘Twin Peaks’
Sheryl Lee
, who played both Laura Palmer and Maddy Ferguson, was given the all-clear by writer/director David Lynch to announce that she and Dana Ashbook, who played Bobby Briggs, are both part of the cast for Twin Peaks season 3.

Danielle Alonzo Out at NBC’s ‘Night Shift’
Danielle Alonzo
isn’t returning for the second season of NBC’sThe Night Shift.” Alonzo’s role as the night shift’s lone psychiatrist, Dr. Landry De La Cruz, won’t continue amid a change in creative direction on Season 2.


Annapurna, ‘Beginners’ Writer-Director Mike Mills To Team on 1970s Drama
Megan Ellison’s Annapurna
will produce 1970s drama 20th Century Women from Beginners writer-director Mike Mills. The film, tinged with punk rock and set amid the oil and fiscal crises of Jimmy Carter’s last summer in office, centers on three very different women who explore love and freedom in Santa Barbara and a boy whose worldview is altered when his mother takes in a male boarder. Ellison will produce with Anne Carey of Archer Gray and Youree Henley.


Simon Andreae Exits Fox, Corie Henson Named New Head Of Alternative
Simon Andreae
is stepping down as head of alternative programming for Fox after a year on the job. He will be succeeded by Electus’ Corie Henson, who has been named EVP of alternative entertainment, overseeing the network’s slate of unscripted programming, specials and development.

(ratings) More ‘View’ Trouble: ‘The Talk’ Wins Viewership Battle For First Time
For the first time ever, rival The Talk beat The View in total viewers. In ratings for the week ending January 11.


Disney’s Bob Iger Made $46.5M In 2014, Up 35.5%
The CEO “has driven spectacular financial performance and created significant shareholder value,” the board says in the proxy statement just filed with the SEC. Bob Iger’s package consists of a $2.5 million salary, $8.9 million in stock awards, $8.3 million in option awards, $22.8 million in non equity incentives, $2.8 million change in pension value, and $1.1 million in other compensation.


538: Directing Is Even More Of A Boys’ Club Than You May Realize
The chart linked below is not a single cohort of aspiring female directors, but the gradual decline in the share women make up of each group is indicative of the larger picture: There have only been four women nominated for best director — ever. And there’s been just one female winner in the 87-year history of the Academy Awards.

Businessweek: How Fake Sports Are Turning Man Cave Dwellers Into Millionaires
This year the daily fantasy-sports industry will collect more in entry fees than all the sports books at Vegas casinos combined.