Evening News Update for Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your evening news update for Wednesday, February 18, 2015:


TV Land’s Jim Gaffigan Comedy Sets Showrunner
‘Manhattan Love Story’s’ Jeff Lowell will oversee the comedy series.

Legendary TV Adds WME Vet Lauren Heller Whitney
She’ll oversee the expansion of Legendary’s TV studio as the president of scripted television.

Neil Marshall & Marc Helwig Launch Production Company, Sign Deal With Legendary Television
Neil Marshall
and his longtime agent Marc Helwig have formed a TV/film production company, Applebox Entertainment, which has signed a two-year overall deal with Legendary TV. The English-born duo will develop scripted dramas with focus on elevated genre fare and projects with worldwide appeal.

Lloyd Braun’s Whalerock Industries Re-Ups TV & Film Deals With MGM
has renewed its existing TV and film deal with Lloyd Braun’s Whalerock Industries until 2017. MGM originally inked a TV production deal and a first-look feature pact with Whalerock’s predecessor, BermanBraun, in 2013. MGM is distributing internationally Whalerock’s new unscripted series Battlebots, which will air this summer on ABC.

Marisa Tomei Inks First-Look Deal With HBO
Marisa Tomei is making a foray into TV producing with a first-look development deal at HBO. Under the one-year pact, the Oscar-winning actress will develop, produce and possibly star in projects for the pay cable network.


Richard Dreyfuss to Play Bernie Madoff in ABC Drama
ABC is teaming with Lincoln Square Productions (The Assets) for a multiple-episode drama inspired by chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross’ book The Madoff Chronicles: Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth. Richard Dreyfuss will star as Madoff, the former stockbroker and fiancier convicted of fraud in the Ponzi scheme that is considered to be the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Ben Robbins will pen the script for the drama, with Linda Berman and Joe Pichirallo on board to executive produce Madoff for ABC.

‘Strike Back’s’ Sullivan Stapleton to Co-Star in Greg Berlanti’s ‘Blindspot’
He’ll play an FBI agent opposite Jaimie Alexander in the NBC drama pilot.

Larenz Tate Boards NBC’s ‘Game of Silence’
He’ll co-star in the legal drama based on the Turkish format.

Psych Star Dulé Hill Joins CBS Legal Drama Doubt
Dulé Hill
will play a good-guy lawyer in CBS’ Doubt drama pilot.

Rockmond Dunbar To Star In NBC Pilot ‘Love Is A Four Letter Word’
Rockmond Dunbarhas booked his next series regular gig, signing on as the male lead in theNBCdrama pilot Love Is A Four Letter Word.

Stephan James To Star In Mark Burnett And Roma Downey’s NBC Pilot ‘Unveiled’
Selma co-star Stephan James is set for a lead role inUnveiled,NBC’s supernatural/spiritual drama pilot from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.

Dianne Wiest, Zoe Lister Jones Board CBS’ Comedy ‘Life in Pieces’
They join Colin Hanks and Betsy Brant in the family comedy from Justin Adler.


Ewan McGregor To Direct ‘American Pastoral’ Too After Phillip Noyce Exits
Ewan McGregor has been tapped to make his directorial feature film debut onAmerican Pastoral, the film adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning Philip Roth novel. Phillip Noyce previously was attached to direct the pic, adapted by scribe John Romano.

J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions Gets a Deal Extension From Paramount
Paramount Pictures has extended its first-look agreement with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions through July, 2018.

Jay Hernandez Joining Will Smith, Jared Leto in WB’s ‘Suicide Squad’
Jay Hernandez is in negotiations to join the cast of Warner Bros.’ comic book adaptation “Suicide Squad”.


Racked Launches First Scripted Series as Vox Media Starts Dressing Up Sites with Video
The company behind popular websites the Verge, Polygon, Curbed and Eater has launched its first scripted series, “Try Hards,” through a collaboration with comedy duo SRSLY. “Try Hards,” about young women who navigate fashion and beauty trends with characters that essentially serve as fictional members of the Racked editorial team, is designed to appeal to the site’s core demographic of young, affluent and educated women 18-34 who check in to read features on fashion, personal essays and news on wellness, beauty and celebrity.

Who needs a website? Media companies ponder becoming content providers for Facebook
Go to where the audience is — that’s the common refrain of 21st century media. Consumers are fragmented, and its up to journalists and editors to bring the news to them. Video startup NowThis News announced last week that it would take that this idea to its logical extreme by eliminating its website. Going forward, it will focus on publishing work directly to platforms like Facebook and Twitter instead of looking to drive consumers to its website.


Showtime Gives Senior Marketing Roles to Craig Platt, Emily Gould
Showtime Networks has named Craig Platt senior vice president of creative advertising and Emily Gould senior VP of consumer marketing. Both will report to Donald Buckley, Showtime’s executive vice president of program marketing, media, promotions and digital services.

Larry Jones Out as TV Land President Amid Impending Viacom Restructure
"Due to the restructuring, I will be stepping down from my role with the company," the executive wrote in a memo to staff.

Peter Chernin Says Live Sports on Web Will Be Bigger Than on TV
Live sports is heading to the Web, a move that former News Corp. President Peter Chernin called “inevitable,” and he predicted that online sports programming could actually be a bigger business than its TV counterpart.