Afternoon News Update for Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Tuesday, January 27, 2015:


‘Togetherness’ Renewed For Season 2 By HBO
The Duplass brothers are hot at the moment, and HBO is making sure they will continue to be on its roster, renewing the duo’s couples comedy Togetherness for a second season.

(from Mon) Sony TV Buys Jamie Tarses-Produced Apocalyptic Drama ‘Ten’
Sony Pictures Television has acquired a new apocalyptic drama from Jamie Tarses. Co-created by actor-writers Matt Angel and Adam Kulbersh, “Ten” centers around 10 people who are brought back from the dead as part of an elaborate human trial. But their second chance at life soon spirals out of control, with the fate of mankind suddenly resting in their recently resurrected hands.

Craig Ferguson Inks Overall Deal With Lionsgate TV
He’ll develop both scripted and unscripted fare for the studio.

Norman Lear Plots Latino ‘One Day at a Time’ Remake
He’s in talks with producers Sony Pictures Television and Televisa USA. The original series ran for nine seasons on CBS from 1975-84 and starred Bonnie Franklin as a divorced mother who moves with her two daughters to an apartment building in Indianapolis where the family becomes friendly with the super, Schneider.

(review) Variety: Pivot’s ‘Fortitude’
Twin Peaks” meets frozen tundra in “Fortitude,” a visually arresting series whose snail’s pace and drabness starts out intriguing and, by later episodes, slides toward irritating. Pivot’s first foray into scripted drama opens with a two-hour premiere, which makes sense, since marquee star Stanley Tucci doesn’t show up until well into the second hour. Shooting in Iceland gives the proceedings an “Insomnia”-like feel, but as constructed, the show itself might actually be a cure for insomnia if things don’t pick up relatively soon.

TVBTN: CBS Predictions: At Least One Of ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ ‘Blue Bloods,’ & ‘The Good Wife’ Will Be Canceled
Previously, the Cancellation Bear predicted that one fewer veteran drama would be canceled than rookies were renewed. Three rookies renewed means two veterans likely to be canceled. CSI is the easy prediction as first to be canceled. Which veteran drama will be next? It’ll be one of Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods or The Good Wife.


Elton John, Alan Ball Musical Drama ‘Virtuoso’ Ordered to Pilot at HBO
Alan Ball will write, exec produce and direct Virtuoso, an hourlong period drama set against the complex and volatile backdrop of 18th century Vienna. Virtuoso follows a class of young musical prodigies from all over Europe at the prestigious Academy of Musical Excellence. Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, are on board to produce alongside Ball and his partner and frequent collaborator Peter Macdissi, who will also star.

(from Mon) ‘Rush Hour’ Remake, Greg Garcia’s ‘Super Clyde’ Re-Do Among CBS Pilot Pickups
is moving forward with its Rush Hour adaptation and ordering a new version of Greg Garcia’s 2013 comedy Super Clyde as well as a half-hour from Bill Wrubel. Rush Hour is an adaption of the blockbuster movie franchise. From Bill Lawrence, the TV remake follows a by-the-book Hong Kong police officer who is assigned to a case in L.A., where he’s forced to work with a cocky black LAPD officer who has no interest in a partner. Blake McCormick will co-write and executive produce the project, which hails from Warner Bros. Television

On the comedy side, CBS is back in business with Greg Garcia with a pilot greenlight for Super Clyde. Originally piloted in 2013, Super Clyde — about a meek, unassuming fast-food worker who finds his calling — had Rupert Grint attached. Super Clyde will remain a single-camera pilot and be written and exec produced by Garcia via his CBS Television Studios-based Amigos de Garcia banner.

CBS also handed out a pilot pickup for Joe Time, from Bill Wrubel and Warner Bros. Television. The multicamera comedy, marks Wrubel’s first sale since moving from 20th Century Fox Television. Joe Time revolves around family man Joe as he struggles with the fact that everyone around him is pursuing their dreams and enjoying their lives more than he is.

(from Mon) Monica Potter Starrer, Jimmy Fallon Comedy Among NBC Pilot Orders
NBC on Monday handed out pilot pickups to Sharing and its untitled Potter project from exec producer Ellen DeGeneres. Sharing is a single-camera workplace comedy about the different groups of people working side by side in a shared office space. Jeremy Bronson will pen the script and exec produce the Universal Television and Eight Million Plus comedy alongside Fallon and Rick Schwartz.

Monica Potter will star as a woman juggling her busy family life as well as her three ex-husbands, which proves to be difficult when she starts dating again.

Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer will pen the script and exec produce the Warner Bros. Television multicamera comedy. DeGeneres will exec produce via her studio-based A Very Good Production banner with her head of development Jeff Kleeman also exec producing.

(from Mon) Fox Orders Family Comedy From ‘Friends With Better Lives’ Duo
has handed out a pilot order to an untitled comedy from Dana Klein and producer Aaron Kaplan. The untitled multicamera entry, previously known as The Bad Stanleys, is described as a family comedy told from the point-of-view of a working mother who is in constant competition with her perfect, stay at home sister-in-law.

(from Mon) Amazon Orders ‘Casanova’ Drama Pilot
has given a pilot order to Casanova, an 18th century drama from The Americans writer-producer Stu Zicherman and Electus’ Ben Silverman. Casanova chronicles a little-known period in the life of one of world history’s most famous libertines and playboys. After Giacomo Casanova’s wicked escapades run afoul with the inquisitors in his native Venice, he is sent to prison. The drama focuses on what happens next — after escaping, the once-materialistic and womanizing Casanova moves to Paris with nothing, determined to start his life over.

(from Mon) ABC Orders Shondaland, Fake Empire Dramas; Chevy Chase, Dan Savage Comedies
All four pilots hail from ABC Studios.


Nick Jonas Boards Fox’s Ryan Murphy Comedy ‘Scream Queens’
Joining a cast that includes Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin and Ariana Grande.

Brianna Brown Returns To ‘Devious Maids’ As Series Regular
Original Devious Maids cast member Brianna Brown is returning to the Lifetime series as a regular, reprising her character as beautiful trophy wife Taylor Stappord.

Katie Holmes Books Major Arc on Showtime’s ‘Ray Donovan’
Playing the daughter of Ian McShane’s new character.

Jerry Ferrara To Co-Star In Starz’s ‘Power’ Season 2
Jerry Ferrara has landed a co-starring role in the upcoming second season of Starz’s drama seriesPower, from CBS TV Studios and executive producers Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Mark Canton and Randall Emmett.

Robin Givens to Star in TV One Movie ‘Mama’s Boy’
Robin Givens will star in the upcoming TV One film “Mama’s Boy,” part of the network’s anthology series “Fright Night Files.

TBS Deserted Island Comedy Pilot ‘Wrecked’ Sets Ensemble Cast
TBS pilot Wrecked, a single-camera comedy, has set its ensemble cast. Zach Cregger, Ginger Gonzaga, and Jessica Lowe amongst the leads.


New All-Female ‘Ghostbusters’ Cast Chosen
Melissa McCarthy
, who was already in talks for one of the leads, has signed on for the Paul Feig-directed reboot, and the studio is now negotiating with Kristen Wiig as well as Saturday Night Live players Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.

Disney Eyeing Chris Pratt For Indiana Jones Revival
has just started to turn its attention to reviving theIndiana Jones franchise after buying the rights from Paramount in 2013. While things are very early, the studio has set its sights on Chris Pratt as the swashbuckling archaeologist they hope to build the new franchise around.

Alcon Entertainment Buys Film Rights to Monster-Slayer Series ‘Darkmouth’
The first book in Shane Hegarty’s series will be published in the U.S. in April by HarperCollins Children’s Books. The novel follows a 12-year-old boy who must battle man-eating monsters called Legends, who invade his Dickensesque Irish town.

(video) Fox’s First ‘Fantastic Four’ Trailer Released
The first teaser trailer for Fox’s new Fantastic Four film has been released, giving audiences their first glimpse into Josh Trank’s reimagining of the classic Marvel Entertainment series.


LeBron James Prepping Game Show for NBC
is teaming with All-Star LeBron James for a game show in which everyday teams of two can compete for life-changing amounts of money. James and his Springhill Productions banner are producing the untitled game show, which is in the pilot stage. Produced by James and Andrew Glassman and his Glassman Media shingle.

Christine Connor Inks Overall Producing Deal With ABC News’ Lincoln Square Prods
ABC News
continues the expansion of its non-fiction programming group, announcing this morning that Christine Connor and her production company XCON will be joining Lincoln Square Productions in an overall deal.

TV Review: TruTV’s ‘Breaking Greenville’
As TruTV continues redefining its niche, “Breaking Greenville” seems to offer an example of the network’s direction, for good and (mostly) ill. Basically a reality sitcom the show centers on dueling newscasts in the tiny TV market of Greenville, Miss. (No. 190 out of 210 in the U.S.), a place viewed as a pit-stop by younger talent, and home by their older colleagues. While that might be a source of conflict, it’s played for laughs in a series whose reality is clouded by the participants’ eagerness to please.

(from Mon) Variety: Inside ABC’s Botched Plan to Fire Rosie Perez From ‘The View’
After O’Donnell and others pressed ABC bosses for an explanation, the network backpedaled on the plan. Among concerns, ABC worried about outrage from viewers about dropping a Latina co-host so quickly. And they had not vetted other candidates who could replace Perez.


Snapchat Launches ‘Discover’ with Partners CNN, ESPN, Comedy Central
Snapchat announced its new Discover channel Tuesday that will allow high-profile media companies to program their own channels. Media giants like CNN, ESPN, Yahoo!, Food Network, Comedy Central, People, Cosmo, and Vice are some of the inaugural partners who will create channels, producing short-form videos on their respective feeds for the app best-known for videos that disappear after a few seconds.


France 2 seeks scripted family comedy
French pubcaster France 2 is looking for a scripted family comedy format. “These are more opportunist moves than strategic ones,” France 2 director of drama Thierry Sorel told C21, “but we do currently lack family comedies, so we wouldn’t mind finding one to adapt.” So far, France 2 has just one successful family comedy series on its books, Fait Pas Ca Fait pas ça, which is currently in its seventh season.


Disney Taking Tech Firms’ Applications for Accelerator Program
Emerging tech firms can apply now for a spot in this year’s Disney Accelerator program. The program is run with the assistance of the Techstars network and is open to technology-based start-ups with a vision for making an impact on the world of media and entertainment. Participants will be offered $120,000 in investment capital along with mentor support from top Disney executives, entrepreneurs, investors and other notable business leaders from the entertainment and technology communities.

Atlantic: Why Is Disney Trying So Hard to Dilute Its Brand?
News of a Beauty and the Beast remake indicates that the corporation is less and less worried about approving unoriginal products as long as they’re guaranteed moneymakers.


Paul Pastor Named EVP Network Strategy At Discovery Channel
Paul Pastor
has been named EVP Network Strategy, Revenue and Operations for the Discovery Channel. Pastor previously served as SVP Strategy and Consumer Analytics for the Disney/ABC Television Group at Disney.

John Moryaniss Sticks with eOne Television Through 2018
John Moryaniss has signed a deal to remain CEO of eOne Television through 2018.

Sony Pictures Animation Hires Kristine Belson as President
Sony Pictures Entertainment
has hired DreamWorks Animation veteran Kristine Belson to the newly created post of president of Sony Pictures Animation.


Can CEOs Convince Wall Street That TV’s Lost Ad Dollars Will Come Back?
Media chiefs will need all of their persuasive powers to win over the Wall Street jury eager for clarity on this key question during the Q4 earnings season that unofficially kicks off this Thursday, when Viacom reports. Many investors are becoming fed up after seeing industrywide TV ad sales continue to fall — an estimated 1.4% in Q4 vs the period last year — while live viewing declined by about 15 minutes.

(tech) Apple Watch will be released in April, according to CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook just announced that the Apple Watch will begin shipping in April. Cook revealed the shipping timeframe during Apple’s quarterly earnings call with investors.

Atlantic: Are Tutors the New Waiters?
Cohen is one of what seems like a growing number of highly educated 20-somethings who have started tutoring while pursuing another career. Often this career is something in the arts, like acting or writing. Like waitering and bartending—my 90s stereotype of a wandering youth’s job of choice—being a tutor means part-time work with flexible hours. But for today’s top college graduates, it’s often easier to get part-time jobs as tutors than it is for them to work entry-level positions in food service or retail.