Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Wednesday, February 18, 2015:
Amazon Greenlights 5 Series, Renews ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ for Season 2
Amazon Studios ordered five new original series — including alternate-history thriller “The Man in the High Castle” and dark comedy “Mad Dogs” — and renewed drama “Mozart in the Jungle” for a second season.
(review) Variety: ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’
In commercial terms, there’s some smart writing in this fish-out-of-water premise, which bears a more-than-passing thematic resemblance to the 1999 movie “Blast From the Past.” But there are also irritating sitcom-like elements, and a nothing-special quality as the show progresses.
Albert Tsai Cast In ABC Pilot ‘Dr. Ken’
Trophy Wife breakout Albert Tsai has been cast oppositeKen Jeong in another ABC comedy project, Joeng’s pilot Dr. Ken, from Sony TV and ABC Studios.
Studio 8 Buys Spec On Long Imprisoned Detroit Drug Dealer/Informant ‘White Boy Rick’
Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 has acquired White Boy Rick, a spec script by Logan and Noah Miller that is inspired by the story of Richard Wershe Jr. At the age of 14, Wershe became an undercover informant for local and federal law enforcement agencies in the mid-80s, and grew in that role enough to establish himself as a major drug dealer.
Live Boxing Returns to CBS After 15-Year Hiatus
The most-watched network will carry up to eight fights this year, with more events possible on CBS Sports Network.
Tom Colicchio Named MSNBC’s First Food Correspondent
MSNBC has tapped Tom Colicchio as its first-ever food correspondent across all platforms.
NEW MEDIA NEWS:
Fusion to Launch ‘Outpost’ Miniseries on Snapchat
Fusion will premiere the Snapchat miniseries, “Outpost,” on February 25th, the network plans to announce Wednesday. The action-adventure series will air on Fusion’s Discover platform internationally every Wednesday for the next seven weeks before debuting on Fusion TV later this year. The series takes viewers to “unique places, telling untold stories from some of the most exciting destinations around the world,” the network said. In addition to the Snapchat series, Fusion has begun producing minute-long news updates — dubbed “News in a Snap”.
NBC is bringing live streaming to (some) iOS and Android users
An update for the NBC’s iOS and Android apps introduce live streaming, although this will require users to log in with credentials from their TV provider and will only be available in markets where NBC owns the local station.
Adam Sandler Moves ‘Ridiculous Six’ To Netflix
Adam Sandler, who moved his ensemble comedy TheRidiculous Six from Sony to Paramount, has relocated the film to Netflix as one of the pictures in his groundbreaking deal. The film is now set to begin production in New Mexico through Happy Madison Production, and production will start in February in Santa Fe and the surrounding areas.
Netflix pre-buys Jamie Dornan war film
Netflix has acquired exclusive rights to Jadotville, a war film set during an African siege in 1961 starring Jamie Dornan. Jadotville follows the siege of 150 Irish UN soldiers by 3,000 Congolese troops led by French and Belgian mercenaries acting on behalf of mining companies.
ORPHAN BLACK’s Evelyne Brochu Talks About Leading a Team of Spies on CBC’s X COMPANY
With CBC’s new World War II-set spy series, X COMPANY, the name Aurora Luft may become equally as synonymous in this league of characters inspired by the true stories of women who boldly defied traditional gender norms of their time. Played by Evelyne Brochu, Luft is a half German-Jewish, half French-Canadian journalist who is recruited to join the Allies’ top-secret espionage organization based at Camp X. Brought to you by FLASHPOINT co-creators Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern, premieres on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. on CBC.
TV One promotes originals exec
TV One has promoted one of its executives to oversee originals and productions. Robyn Greene Arrington becomes VP of original programming and production and will be based in New York, reporting to D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s senior VP of original programming and production.
Gaumont ups LA duo
Hemlock Grove producer and distributor Gaumont International Television has upped two of its execs based in LA. Roman Viaris, who was head of finance, becomes chief financial officer. Meanwhile, Tim Farish becomes head of marketing and publicity.
Michael Greco Named EVP Programming And Research At Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel has promoted Michael Greco to EVP programming and research. In his expanded role, Greco will oversee program strategy and long and short term planning for Discovery Channel’s primetime, daytime and late night programming.
Tom Brunelle & Brad Wollack Exit Chelsea Handler’s Company Borderline Amazing
Chelsea Handler is parting ways with longtime collaborators Tom Brunelle and Brad Wollack, her partners at the comedienne’s Borderline Amazing. Both have exited as Handler is overhauling the executive ranks of her production company.
Sony Sets Pictures, Games Among Growth Drivers; Plans Aggressive Investment
Sony laid out its mid-term corporate strategy for 2015-2017 this afternoon in Tokyo, setting a target of more than 10% return on equity, and operating income of over 500B yen ($4.2B) for the fiscal year 2017. Specifically in the film unit, Sony is talking a lot about TV. The division will focus on “expanding the audience for its Media Networks business by growing ratings and increasing its channel offering, strengthening its television production business, and improving margins in its motion picture business.”