Hi all! Here’s your evening news update for Friday, January 30, 2015. Have a great weekend!
ABC Picks Up 4 Drama Pilots
ABC added four more drama pilots, medical advocate drama The Advocate, from Sheldon Turner; Boom, the story of a modern energy boom in North Dakota, from producer Tony Krantz; The Adversaries, a legal soap from ER veteran David Zabel; and Kingmakers, a murder mystery from Revenge producer Sallie Patrick.
ABC also picked up a half a dozen comedy pilots tonight, including the NBA project, Dr. Ken starring Ken Jeong, Delores & Jermaine, Sneaky Pete, the Johnny Knoxville/Victor Fresco project, the King of 7B and a Judah Miller project.
Medical Drama ‘LFE’ Gets CBS Pilot Order
CBS, which bought some half-dozen medical shows, has given a pilot order to LFE from The Dan Jinks Co. and CBS TV Studios. Written/co-executive produced by Paul Downs Colaizzo, LFE is described as a high-octane medical procedural centering on second-year residents at New York City’s top hospital as they attempt to balance their god complexes with their humanity. Dan Jinks executive produces.
HBO Moves Ahead With ‘Lewis and Clark’ Miniseries
HBO has finally given the greenlight to pioneering miniseries Lewis and Clark. Starring Casey Affleck as Meriwether Lewis and Matthias Schoenaerts as William Clark, the pair start filming the six-part miniseries about the discovery of the American West in summer 2015. Based on Stephen E. Ambrose’s book about the famous duo, Undaunted Courage, the project has been gestating at the pay cable network for quite some time.
(from Thurs) Michael Cuesta To Direct ‘Frankenstein’ Fox Pilot
Michael Cuesta is set to direct Fox drama pilot Frankenstein, written and executive produced by Rand Ravich and executive produced by Howard Gordon.
Tone Bell Inks Talent, Script Deals at NBC
NBC has signed the Bad Judge breakout to a talent holding deal, while sibling Universal Television has inked a blind script deal with him. The comedian will be eyed for potential pilots this broadcast season, and will focus his development efforts on creating a series for the studio, which he could potentially star in, too.
Idina Menzel to Star in Comedy From Ellen DeGeneres
Idina Menzel could be making a return to television in her own series with a starring role in “Happy Time,” a comedy in development from Ellen DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production and Warner Bros. TV. The single-camera comedy follows a woman (Menzel) in the public eye who decides she’s ready to stop pretending that she’s so happy all the time. The project won’t be taken to networks until the next development cycle, pitched for the 2016-17 TV season.
‘How to Get Away With Murder’: Viola Davis Says Season 2 Is a Go
ABC’s freshman hit “How to Get Away With Murder” will be returning for a second season, according to star Viola Davis, who tweeted and posted the news on her Facebook.
AdWeek: How Fox’s Marketing Fanned the Flames of Empire, One of the Biggest New Shows in Years
"This was a show for everyone, but we knew we were going to have to sell the show to targeted audiences," Earley said. And importantly, they needed to do so without using the term "soap opera." "It’s a big, broad soap, but you don’t sell a soap as a soap, though that’s what we know that it is," he said. Instead, they played up the family drama and the music aspects, and they targeted the African-American and LGBT communities, along with the fashion world.
The result was a layered campaign that included print, radio, online, cable, broadcast and partners like Fox Sports and FX. When Earley saw Empire’s debut ratings, "we increased our spend for week two," he said. That pattern repeated itself after the second week.
Busy Philipps Joins HBO Comedy Series ‘Vice Principals’
Busy Philipps has joined Vice Principals, HBO’s 18-episode comedy series from Eastbound & Down creators Danny McBride and Jody Hill.
Fairuza Balk & Shree Crooks Join Showtime Drama ‘Ray Donovan’
Fairuza Balk and Shree Crooks have been tapped for recurring roles on the third season of Showtime drama Ray Donovan.
‘Ray Donovan’ Adds Jason Butler Harner
He’ll play Ian McShane’s character’s right-hand man.
ABC Family Reveals Casts For Comedy Pilots ‘Kevin at Work’ & ‘Tough Cookie’
Noah Reid will lead workplace comedy “Kevin at Work” as the title character. Reid is joined by newcomer Paige Spara, Matt Murray, Jordan Hinson and Punam Patel. Amy Sedaris will guest star.
“Tough Cookie” from Lauren Iungerich follows a young mother (Shoshana Bush) who’s not ready to parent her daughter (Mallory James Mahoney), but doesn’t want to be parented herself. The 30-minute laffer also stars Frankie Shaw, Arturo Del Puerto, Rick Gonzalez and Jimmy Bellinger.
(from Thurs) Anna Gunn to Co-Star in ‘Criminal Minds’ Spinoff With Gary Sinise
CBS has added “Breaking Bad” star Anna Gunn to the “Criminal Minds” spinoff.
Sony Nabs Rights To Sci-Fi Comic Book Series ‘Descender’
Sony Pictures has picked up feature film rights to Descender, which debuts March 4 from Image Comics. Josh Bratman will produce the film with Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen attached to executive produce. Descender is described as a sprawling space opera odyssey about a little boy looking for home in a universe that hates and fears him.
NEW MEDIA NEWS:
Snapchat Launching First Mobile Series Produced by Steven Spielberg’s and John Goldwyn’s Daughters
Writers Sasha Spielberg and Emily Goldwyn, the daughters of powerhouse producers Steven Spielberg and John Goldwyn, have inked a deal to produce a series for mobile social platform Snapchat. The series, called “Literally Can’t Even,” is loosely based on the girl’s own real-life experiences in Los Angeles. The duo will mine their relationship misadventures for content. The Snapchat show premieres Saturday, Jan. 31, on the mobile app’s new Discover channel, which debuted earlier this week.
This latest move sets Snapchat apart from other social media apps like Vine or Instagram, which merely host user-generated content. New episodes of “Literally Can’t Even” will run every Saturday, but will have a signature Snapchat twist: Episodes will disappear after 24 hours. Each episode will run about five minutes long.
Disney TV Animation Leads Annie Nominees With 20 Bids
While the temptation at this time of year is to focus on achievements in feature film, the Annie Awards also laud television/broadcast animation. Disney Television Animation dominated with 20 nominations, with eight going to “Disney Mickey Mouse” to lead the TV/broadcast categories. Disney’s nearest competitors were Cartoon Network with eight and studio stablemate Pixar with seven.
Exec Shuffle 1/30/15: Thinkfactory Media Launches Incufactory, Kristine Belson to Sony Pictures Animation
– Thinkfactory Media, has launched Incufactory, a new incubator division headed by EVP Adam Reed. It will offer pod deals to select established and developing executive producers and showrunners.
– Former New Line Cinema exec Dana Belcastro has moved to Alcon Entertainment as the company’s executive vice president of physical production.
– Craig Ferguson and his production company, Green Mountain West, have inked a multi-year overall television agreement with Lionsgate. Ferguson will develop and produce scripted and unscripted programming, working with Green Mountain’s president Phil Cottone and former The Late Late Show producer Michael Naidus.
Grantland: Difficult Women: The Debt Fox’s ‘Empire’ Owes to Bravo’s Reality Franchises
Empire is completely chill with you laughing at it. It allows its actors to chew scenery and throw shade with impunity. This is YOLO as network drama. But everyone who strains to call this a return to form fails to realize that the elements that make Empire so infinitely watchable have been used to great effect on TV’s never-ending chum bucket buffet: Bravo.
Viacom Layoffs Likely Coming This Quarter
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman hinted at looming layoffs at his company during a Thursday morning investors call. On Friday, the company president’s comments were confirmed to TheWrap as a warning for job-cutting in the near-to-intermediate future.
‘6 Certified’ aims to shift how veterans are pictured on film, TV
A group dedicated to the entertainment industry’s realistic representation of veterans is announcing on Friday a new seal of approval for portrayals of military men and women in films and television shows.
TVBTN: Broadcast TV Viewers: You’re Not The Customer, You’re The Product Being Sold
The laments from commenters that broadcast television networks "need to listen to their customers" typically betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between broadcast TV viewers and broadcast TV networks. Viewers are not the broadcast networks’ customers, they’re the networks’ product.
(photo essay) Boston Globe: Road to K-pop stardom
Thousands of Korean children dream of becoming household names like rapper Psy, whose 2012 “Gangnam Style” video was a global YouTube hit, often putting up with punishing schedules in the hope of one day making it big in the music industry. A recent survey of pre-teens showed that 21 percent of respondents wanted to be K-pop (Korean pop) stars when they grow up, the most popular career choice.