Afternoon News Update for Thursday, February 12, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Thursday, February 12, 2015:


USA Pilot ‘Stanistan’ Not Going Forward
USA Network
has passed on drama pilot Stanistan starring Jennifer Carpenter and Jonathan Cake. Written by Andy Parker, the project, from Universal Cable Prods., marked a departure for the cable network.

David Frankel To Direct ABC’s ‘King of 7B’; ‘Daily Show’ Alum Ben Karlin Set As Showrunner
comedy “The King Of 7B” has landed Ben Karlin as showrunner. David Frankel is set to direct the pilot. The ensemble comedy follows an agoraphobic recluse, Prentiss Porter, who ventures outside for the first time in 20 years, only to find his potential soulmate moving into the building across the street.

Rob Lowe to Star in Fox Comedy Pilot ‘The Grinder’
From 20th Century Fox Television, The Grinder stars Rob Lowe as beloved TV lawyer Dean Sanderson (aka the Grinder). When his long-running hit series comes to an end, Sanderson finds himself at a crossroads in his life and decides to move back to his small hometown, thinking he has the experience to take over his family’s law firm. Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel will pen the script and executive produce alongside Nicholas Stoller. Jake Kasdan will executive produce and direct the single-camera pilot.

(from Weds) David Slade To Direct CBS Pilot ‘LFE’, David Marshall Grant To Be Showrunner
David Slade
is set to direct and executive produce CBS’ medical drama pilot LFE. Also joining the pilot as executive producer and showrunner is David Marshall Grant.

(opinion) SSN Pilot Watch 2015: The 5 CBS Pilots with Potential
SSN has gotten a sneak peek at some of the scripts that have the potential to go the distance. We’re letting you in on a little bit of insider perspective and kicking it off with a look at five CBS pilots: Rush Hour, Doubt, Unt. Tommy Johnagin, For Justice, Life in Pieces.


Robert Kirkman’s ‘Outcast’ Ordered to Series at Cinemax
is diving into the weird world of “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman, giving a series order to a paranormal drama based on his comicbook title “Outcast.” The 10-episode series will be produced for Cinemax by Fox International Channels. Patrick Fugit stars in “Outcast” as a young man who sets off to discover why he’s been possessed by demons since he was a child.

TNT’s ‘The Librarians’ Renewed for Second Season
The drama, spun off from the TV movie, will return for a second round of 10 episodes later this year.

Cinemax’s ‘Banshee’ Renewed for Fourth Season
The drama hails from executive producers Alan Ball and Greg Yaitanes.

(ratings) Fox’s ‘Empire’ Continues Unprecedented Ratings Growth
In updated national estimates from Nielsen, Fox’sEmpire” was revised upward to a 4.8 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 11.96 million viewers overall. Last week, it became the first program in the history of Nielsen’s People Meters (going back to 1991) to grow in total viewers with each of its four episodes following its premiere. And last night, it added to its record.


James Franco to Star in Hulu’s J.J. Abrams-Stephen King Kennedy Assassination Drama
James Franco has been tapped to star in Hulu’s straight-to-series J.J. Abrams-Stephen King mini 11/22/63. Based on King’s best-seller, 11/22/63 is described as a thriller in which high school English teacher Jake Epping travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. But his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, his falling in love and the past itself … which doesn’t want to be changed. Bridget Carpenter will pen the script and exec produce the drama.

Vanessa Williams Joins Fox Comedy Fantasy Life in Bossy Role
Vanessa Williams
has landed a leading role on the network’s upcoming comedy pilot.

Eric McCormack to Play Drug Dealer in Fox Dramedy ‘Studio City’
The ‘Will & Grace’ alum will star in the pilot inspired by writer Krista Vernoff’s life.

Bresha Webb Joins NBC Pilot ‘People Are Talking’, Shaun Majumder In TNT’s ‘Breed’
Bresha Webb
is set as a lead opposite Tone Bell in NBC’s multi-camera comedy pilot People Are Talking. Shaun Majumder has been cast opposite Justin Chatwin in TNT pilot Breed.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Adds Sopranos’ Drea de Matteo
Drea de Matteo
is set to guest-star on an upcoming episode of the ABC series.


ABC’s ‘Nightline’ Gets Weekly Fusion Edition
will begin broadcasting a one-hour weekly edition of ABC News’ Nightline,” the network announced Thursday. The show, which premieres on Wednesday, February 18, will be hosted by ABC News correspondent Gio Benitez and Fusion’s Kimberly Brooks. It will also feature contributions from additional ABC News and Fusion talent.


Amazon Studios Teams With Krofft Brothers On ‘Sigmund And The Sea Monsters’ Reboot
Amazon Studios is partnering with veteran producers Sid and Marty Krofft to develop a reimagined pilot of their classic ‘70s children live-action series Sigmund And The Sea Monsters. The show centered on two brothers, Johnny and Scott Stuart who discover Sigmund, a friendly young sea monster who had been thrown out by his comically dysfunctional undersea family for refusing to frighten people.


Euro nets expect Indian Summers
Broadcasters around Europe have acquired the forthcoming period saga Indian Summers, said to be UK broadcaster Channel 4’s most expensive drama ever, from All3Media International. Public broadcasters NRK in Norway, RUV in Iceland and DR in Denmark will all air the 2×90’ /8×60’ series, which is set in the tea plantations of Northern India during the summer of 1932, as British colonial rule moves into decline. Costing a reported £14m (US$21m), it stars Julie Walters alongside Henry Lloyd-Hughes. It is written by Paul Rutman and directed by Anand Tucker.


(animated) Disney XD Orders Season 2 Of ‘Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil’ Ahead Of Series Launch
After last month’s sneak preview of Star Vs. The Forces of Evil,Disney XD has ordered a second season of the toon ahead of its official March 30 launch. Eden Sher (The Middle) voices Star Butterfly, a princess who receives a powerful magic wand for her 14th birthday and is sent to live with the Diaz family on Earth. Teaming with their teenage son Marco (Adam McArthur), they navigate high school and embark on dimension-hopping adventures across the multiverse, while keeping her wand out of the clutches of archnemesis Ludo (Alan Tudyk) and his monstrous forces of evil.

Disney Agrees to Settle River Pollution Lawsuit by Taking Action at Movie Studio Lot
The Walt Disney Company
has submitted a settlement to end a six-year-old lawsuit from an environmental watchdog over water pollutant discharges at its motion picture studio lot in Burbank, California. The Mickey Mouse company is admitting no liability but has agreed to measures to prevent tainted waters in the rivers of Los Angeles.


BBC’s Susan Hogg Joins Studio Lambert
She’ll be head of drama and the president of scripted programming.

CBS Shakeup: Daytime’s Angelica McDaniel Adds TV Distribution to Duties, Hilary Estey McLoughlin Out
CBS Entertainment’s
senior vice president of daytime TV Angelica McDaniel has added TV distribution to her duties, while CBS Television Distribution’s creative affairs president Hilary Estey McLoughlin is on her way out.

Jerry Leo Upped at Bravo, Adds E! and Esquire Network Responsibilities
He’ll now oversee strategic planning and programming across all four networks.

Hacked Hollywood Mogul Amy Pascal on Sony Attack: ‘All I Did Was Get Fired’
Relationships had been less damaged than people outside Hollywood may think because it is a unique kind of town, Pascal said. “Everybody understood because we all live in this weird thing called Hollywood,” she said. “If we all actually were nice, it wouldn’t work.”


California Film Commission OKs New TV, Film Tax Credit Regulations
The California Film Commission Board of Directors on Thursday gave its blessing to draft regulations for the state’s beefed-up TV and film production tax credit program. For the first time, the program allows all new TV shows to qualify — not just on basic cable like under the current plan — as well as movies with budgets above $75 million. However, the up-to-25 percent credit applies only to the first $100 million of a movie’s costs.

TV-Writing Twitter Master Class From Javi Grill-Marxuach
Showrunners who say they want only “distinctive” voices are amateurs/posers. By ep. 13, all a showrunner wants is to not have to rewrite. It’s cruel: entry level TV writers are told they get jobs for being “a very special snowflake” when the real work is mimicry and pastiche.

NYT: How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life
Social media is so perfectly designed to manipulate our desire for approval, and that is what led to her undoing. Her tormentors were instantly congratulated as they took Justine Sacco down, bit by bit, and so they continued to do so. Their motivation was much the same as Sacco’s own — a bid for the attention of strangers — as she milled about Heathrow, hoping to amuse people she couldn’t see.