Noon News Update for Thursday, February 19, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your noon news update for Thursday, February 19, 2015:


Fox’s ‘Lucifer’ Gets Pilot Pickup; Jerry Bruckheimer, Len Wiseman Board DC Comics Take
Following a prolonged deal-making process, Fox handed out a pilot pickup for Lucifer, based on the character from The Sandman comics and its subsequent spinoff. Additionally, Jerry Bruckheimer and Len Wiseman have boarded the drama. From Californication creator Tom Kapinos, the drama centers on Lucifer, who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell and resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the beauty of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals.

THR: TV Pilot Season 2015: By the Numbers
Overall orders are down across the board: Total pickups are off 12 and nearly evenly split between comedy and drama with potentially one, maybe two more orders to come this season. Also notable: The number of projects ordered straight to series (or with a series commitment penalty) stands at four, down from a whopping 15 last season. On the studio side, ABC Studios again led the pack while 20th Century Fox was even but good enough for second place.


Liam James Cast In ABC Jenna Bans Pilot
Liam James
, who played the lead in the 2013 Sundance feature The Way, Way Back, has landed a key role in the untitled ABC/ABC Studios drama from Jenna Bans. It follows the return of a politician’s young son, Adam Warren (James), who was presumed dead after disappearing over a decade earlier.

Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’ Adds Three to Cast
Eka Darville, Erin Moriarty
and Wil Traval are joining the Krysten Ritter superhero drama.

Starz’s ‘Evil Dead’ Sequel Casts Female Lead
‘Girlfriends’ alum Jill Marie Jones will co-star opposite Bruce Campbell in the drama series.


truTV Orders Pilot for ‘Adam Ruins Everything’
has ordered a pilot for Adam Ruins Everything (working title), a half-hour investigative comedy starring comedian Adam Conover, from Los Angeles-based production company Big Breakfast. In Adam Ruins Everything, Conover explores topics and ideas many people take for granted and dispels widespread misconceptions through a combination of comedy, history, and science.

Ben Silverman’s Electus Bringing ‘Canada’s Smartest Person’ to US
Ben Silverman’s Electus
has partnered with Barracuda Television Productions and Media Headquarters to produce a United States version of “Canada’s Smartest Person.” The series, originally developed in Canada for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is a primetime competitive reality series in which contestants prove their smarts in unique challenges that go beyond trivia or IQ tests. It premiered on CBC in September last year, and became Canada’s number one new series of the fall television season.

CBS News Finalizes New Contracts With Gayle King and Charlie Rose
and Rose will continue to co-anchor ‘CBS This Morning’ amid much churn in the morning TV wars.


Hulu Lands Streaming Rights to CBS’ ‘CSI’
Marking the first time the procedural has been licensed to stream.

ABC News Launches Xbox One App in Time for Oscars
ABC News
launched a news app for Xbox One. The ABC offering is the first U.S. news app on Xbox. It offers multiple streams of live video and on-demand content ranging from original ABC News program highlights to entertainment news. During Oscars weekend, the app will offer clips and live video from ABC News’ coverage.


Acorn TV Slates U.S. Premiere of BBC’s Jamaica Inn
Acorn TV, RLJ Entertainment’s
British TV streaming service in North America, is due to debut the BBC period drama Jamaica Inn in the U.S. next month. Starring Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Matthew McNulty and Sean Harris, Jamaica Inn follows a young woman who, following her mother’s death, is forced to stay in an ominous inn with her aunt and her violent husband. The three-parter is based on the gothic novel penned by Daphne du Maurier.


DirecTV Finally Launches WatchESPN, Other Disney and ABC Internet-Video Services
subs can at long last access WatchESPN — the sports programmer’s Internet streaming-video service, launched more than four years ago — along with other Disney and ABC digital-video services. The No. 1 satcaster’s activation of the Mouse House’s TV Everywhere services follows the omnibus deal it reached with Disney/ESPN in December.

ABC notches record sales for Oscar ads
notched record sales this year of commercial time for Sunday’s 87th Annual Academy Awards show. The price of a 30-second commercial spot during the telecast reached an average of $1.95 million, up 8% from last year, according to people familiar with the sales. The lofty prices could help the network rake in more than $100 million for commercial time during the three-hour show.


Sean Cocchia Promoted to EVP, Business Operations and GM for Disney Channels Worldwide
Sean Cocchia has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Business Operations and General Manager, Disney Channels Worldwide. Cocchia’s responsibilities include oversight of Disney Channels Worldwide’s Strategy and Operations and Franchise and Brand Management groups; Disney Media Sales and Marketing; and Radio Disney. He also oversees the portfolio’s work with Disney ABC Television Group’s Finance and Distribution groups and with Walt Disney International.

CBS Taps ‘Late Late Show’ Alum to Head Talent Booking
has named Lisa Ammerman as Vice President of Talent Booking.

Viacom Restructuring Gives More Power To Doug Herzog, Cyma Zarghami
on Thursday announced a consolidation of its leadership team, giving more power to executives Doug Herzog and Cyma Zarghami, both of whom will now lead new or expanded programming groups. Herzog will head a newly-formed Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, while Zarghami will lead an expanded Viacom Kids and Family Group.

(q&a) Yahoo’s Kathy Savitt on Keeping ‘Community’ Alive, Katie Couric’s $5M Salary and Marissa Mayer’s Favorite TV Show
Q: Give us your pitch: Why should someone make a show for Yahoo?

A: We see ourselves as this connective tissue between a content creator — that might be an A-list showrunner or writer or director, sometimes it might be a network, sometimes it might be a brand — and an audience. Yahoo has spent quite a while and a lot of resources developing personalization technology that can match the right show with the right audience.


HuffPo: US TV networks speed up shows by 8% to fit more ads
US cable networks are speeding up shows in order to fit more ads into the same space. In one example an episode of classic sitcom Seinfeld was shortened from 25 minutes to less than 22, without any content being trimmed.