Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Friday, March 6, 2015:
HBO Developing Psychological Drama from ‘Entourage,’ ‘In Treatment’ Producers
HBO has put into development the drama series Wish, adapted from Israeli series entitled Beit Ha’Mishalot (House of Wishes). A serialized anthology, Wish delves into the deepest realms of the human psyche, wrestling with concepts of perception, reality, memory, delusion and morality as it explores its characters’ greatest needs, desires and fears. The HBO adaptation hails from CBS Television Studios, with Merritt Johnson set as writer of the project as well as executive producer, alongside Entourage’s Doug Ellin and Teri Weinberg, Jim Lefkowitz, Bruce Rubenstein, Shirly Brener and creator Haim Bouzaglo.
(sched) NBC Yanks ‘Allegiance,’ Moves ‘The Slap’
The Slap moves into the 10 p.m. hour — pushing Allegiance off of the schedule, essentially canceling the low-rated freshman.
(kids) Disney Channel Orders ‘Best Friends Whenever’ Series Starring Landry Bender
On the heels of giving a straight-to-series order to aJessie spinoff featuring young actors from the departing mothership comedy, Disney Channel has ordered comedy series Best Friends Whenever starring Landry Bender from Crash & Berstein. Created by Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas, Best Friends Whenever centers on teenagers Shelby and Cyd, who when a science experiment goes wrong, become unstuck in time, leaping forward and backward whenever they want…and sometimes even when they don’t.
(review) Flavorwire: ABC’s ‘American Crime’ Is an Ambitious Exploration of Race Relations
If ABC is seeking the title of best network of the 2014-15 season, then American Crime is just the show it needs to push it over the edge. Unlike plenty of other attempts at “prestige drama,” the show’s prestige comes naturally with the material, making it an easy addition to the Golden Age of Television.
‘True Blood’s Rutina Wesley To Star In ‘Broad Squad’, More ABC Pilots Add Cast
Rutina Wesley has been cast as one of the four leads in ABC’s period female-cop procedural drama pilot Broad Squad. Lenny Platt has joined the cast of ABC drama pilot The Adversaries. Newcomer Elvy Yost has booked a regular role in ABC drama pilot The Catch.
Parminder Nagra Cast In ABC Pilot ‘The Kingmakers’
The Blacklist alumna Parminder Nagra has joined the cast of the ABC drama pilot The Kingmakers.
Matthew Lillard To Star In ‘Problem Child’ NBC Pilot
Matthew Lillard is set as the male lead opposite Erinn Hayes in Problem Child, NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot.
‘Gotham’s’ Jada Pinkett Smith Says She Won’t Be Back for Season 2
The actress says she only signed a year deal for the Fox Batman origin story.
Octavia Spencer to Play God in Lionsgate’s Adaptation of ‘The Shack’
Octavia Spencer is in final negotiations to play God in Lionsgate’s adaptation of the bestselling novel “The Shack.” Stuart Hazeldine is directing the pic with Gil Netter producing through Netter Productions along with Brad Cummings.
NBC Appoints Andrew Lack as Head of Its News Division
Mr. Lack led the division from 1993 to 2001 but is returning to a unit engulfed in turmoil since the crisis involving its news anchor, Brian Williams.
Talpa Media USA Shopping ‘The Big Picture’ Interactive Game Show
John de Mol’s Talpa Media is bringing to the U.S. another reality series after a successful initial run in his native the Netherlands. The Big Picture, which will be taken out shortly by Talpa Media USA, is an interactive studio-based game show. In the 12-round trivia contest, a player has to identify a succession of pictures that appear on a large screen, with the cash prize going up to $1 million for the 12th photo.
Euston Films, Veritas To Bring Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad To TV
Euston Films’ Kate Harwood has joined forces with Alan Gasmer and Peter Jaysen of Veritas Entertainment to bring a series of Tana French-penned murder mysteries to the international television market. The novels each follow a different case and include overlapping characters who are alternately in the forefront or the background of the main story. In The Woods centers on a pair of detectives investigating the murder of a 12-year-old girl; The Likeness is about a young female detective who goes undercover to solve a murder in an elite college town; and Faithful Place advances a supporting character from The Likeness to center stage as a detective discovering dark secrets from his past.
‘Red Band Society’ Italian Redo Lights Ratings Fire in Italy
Proving markets differ for format makeovers, “Braccialetti Rossi,” the Italian redo of Spain’s childrens hospital ward drama “The Red Band Society,” is punching standout ratings: 6.47 million viewers and a 23.3% audience share.
Disney Pledges $1 Million to United Negro College Fund
The Walt Disney Company announced a $1 million commitment to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) on Friday.
Pivot Promotes Exec Jennie Morris
Pivot has promoted exec Jennie Morris to executive vice president of acquisitions, research and network operations.
Exec Shuffle 3/6/15: Republic Records & IM Global’s New Film Venture, Johnny Galecki’s Shingle Hires Andrew Haas & More
– Skydance Productions has brought on Anne Globe to be its first Chief Marketing Officer.
– Discovery Communications has hired vet TV executive Marc Graboff as President, Global Business & Legal Affairs, Production Management and Studios.
– Katherine Nelson will move to Syfy and Chillerfrom NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment sister Esquire Network.
– FX publicity vet Dominic Pagone has been uppsed to the newly created position of SVP Communications for FX Networks.
– Endemol Shine International LA-based EVP of Sales & Acquisitions, Matt Creasey, will lead distribution operations across the Americas, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
– ABC News named Cecilia Vega and Tom Llamas anchors of the weekend edition of “World News Tonight.”
– Political reporter Jeff Zeleny has left ABC News to join CNN as its senior Washington correspondent.
Returning TV Series to Receive $90 Million in Next Round of California Credits
Returning TV series will receive the lion’s share of allocations — $90 million of the $100 million available — in the next round of the California film and TV tax credit program before the commission launches its expanded program. California Film Commission director Amy Lemisch made the disclosure Thursday.
Los Angeles Lags in Drama Pilot Production But California Hopes for 2016 Rebound
As of this week, of the 42 pilot and straight-to-series orders from the five broadcast nets that have settled on shooting locations, Los Angeles has landed eight projects, compared to seven for New York. Vancouver has seven pilots setting up shop. Chicago is home to four, counting the “Chicago Med” planted spinoff episode of NBC’s “Chicago Fire” franchise. Atlanta and Toronto both have three projects.