Hi all! Here’s your evening news update for Thursday, March 12, 2015:
Gale Anne Hurd-Henry Bromell Drama ‘Falling Water’ Nabs USA Pilot Order
USA Network has handed out a pilot order to drama Falling Water, co-created and co-written by the late Henry Bromell. Falling Water was co-written and co-created by Bromell and Blake Masters. The duo co-wrote the script before Bromell’s unexpected passing in 2013 following a heart attack. From Universal Cable Productions and executive produced by Gale Anne Hurd and her studio-based Valhalla banner, Falling Water is described as a mind-bending thriller intersecting reality and unconscious thoughts. The drama, which is being exec produced and directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, tells the story of three unrelated people who slowly realize that they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream.
Mythology Entertainment Inks First-Look Deal With 20th Century Fox TV & Fox 21
Feature producer Mythology Entertainment is stepping up its TV efforts, signing a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV and its cable division Fox 21 TV Studios to produce broadcast, cable, and digital scripted series. The three-year old production banner is beefing up its in-house staff with the hiring of former Lifetime exec Julia Gunn as EVP Television and Temple Hill Entertainment’s Tracey Nyberg as EVP Film.
CBS Officially Renews Three Comedies
‘2 Broke Girls’ as well as ‘Mike and Molly’ and ‘Mom’ will all be back for the 2015-16 season.
Syfy’s ’12 Monkeys’ Renewed for Season 2 With New Showrunners
Showrunner Natalie Chaidez will exit for the network’s ‘Hunters.’ 12 Monkeys executive producers Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett — who created the Syfy show — will take over as showrunners on the series.
NBC Drama ‘Odyssey’ Changes Title to ‘American Odyssey’
NBC has changed the name of its upcoming drama “Odyssey,” less than a month before it premieres. The network declined to comment on the reason for the change, but a source close to the show tells Variety the new title, “American Odyssey,” better reflects the journey undertaken by lead character.
D.B. Woodside, Rachael Harris Join Fox Drama Pilot ‘Lucifer’
24 star D.B. Woodside and Rachael Harris have landed series regular roles in Fox’s comic book drama pilot Lucifer.
Cristin Milioti Joins FX ‘Fargo’ Miniseries
How I Met Your Mother alumna Cristin Milioti is set for a role opposite Patrick Wilson and Ted Danson in the second installment of the Fargo miniseries.
Amber Valletta Joins ABC Drama Pilot ‘Boom’; Duo Added To Comedy ‘Dr. Ken’
Amber Valletta is set to co-star opposite Chace Crawford and Don Johnson in ABC drama pilot Boom. Jonathan Slavin and Krista Marie Yu have been cast opposite Ken Jeong in the ABC comedy pilot Dr. Ken.
James Roday To Star In ABC Molyneux Comedy Pilot, Inks Blind Script Deal
Psych star James Roday is set as the male lead opposite Melanie Griffith in ABC’s untitled Molyneux comedy pilot (aka The Brainy Bunch).
‘Gossip Girl’ Alum to Play Creepy Murderer in ABC Pilot
Ed Westwick is the latest actor to board ABC anthology L.A. Crime.
Anna Deavere Smith to Co-Star in NBC’s ‘Problem Child’
The ‘Nurse Jackie’ star has booked her follow-up role.
Kristen Hager To Star In ABC Pilot ‘Adversaries’
Being Human alumna Kristen Hager has landed the female lead opposite Terry O’Quinn in ABC drama pilot The Adversaries. Also cast in the project, from writer/executive producer David Zabel and ABC Studios, is Christine Evangelista (Chicago Fire).
Christina Milian Joins Cast of Hulu Original Latino Series ‘East Los High’
Singer and actress Christina Milian has signed onto star in the third season of Hulu’s original series “East Los High.”
Jennifer Carpenter To Co-Star In CBS Pilot ‘Limitless’
Dexter alumna Jennifer Carpenter is set as the female lead opposite Jake McDorman in CBS’ drama pilot Limitless.
(from Wed) Kyle Bornheimer, Kevin Pollak to Co-Star in CBS’ ‘Angel From Hell’
The comedy pilot stars ‘Glee’s’ Jane Lynch.
(from Wed) Tyler Labine to Co-Star in CBS Comedy Pilot
He’ll play a fun-loving guy in the project from ‘Modern Family”s Dan O’Shannon.
(from Wed) Melissa Leo Boards CBS Drama ‘LFE’
Marking her latest TV gig following Fox’s upcoming ‘Wayward Pines.‘
Kerry Washington to Star as Anita Hill in HBO Movie ‘Confirmation’
Oscar nominee Susannah Grant will pen the script for the TV movie.
(obvious) ‘Frozen 2’ in the Works, Disney Confirms
Kristen Bell and Josh Gad celebrated the announcement of the ‘Frozen’ sequel on Thursday morning.
‘Star Wars: Episode VIII,’ Gareth Edwards’ Standalone Film Get Release Dates
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” will be written and directed by Rian Johnson and will be released on May 26, 2017, while Gareth Edwards‘ standalone film set in the “Star Wars” universe will be titled “Star Wars: Rogue One” and released on Dec. 16, 2016, Disney announced during a call with investors on Thursday.
(from Wed) Paramount Pictures Undergoes Round of Layoffs
The studio laid off 30-40 employees as part of Viacom’s current restructuring.
Andy Samberg to Host the 2015 Emmys
The ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ star and ‘SNL’ alum will emcee the Sept. 20 telecast on Fox.
NBC Nabs New Fitness Competition From ‘Biggest Loser’ Creator
The title for the 10-episode order, S.T.R.O.N.G. (Start to Realize Our Natural Greatness), is a bit of a mouthful — though it is very much in line with the mantras echoed in the halls of Crossfit boxes, SoulCycles and yoga studios across the country. Produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with 25/7 Productions, the series will be casting everyday people looking to get into better shape.
ITV to Pay Up to $1.2 Billion for ‘The Voice’ Producer
The acquisition of Talpa Media, established by John de Mol, the “Big Brother” creator, is the latest move by the British broadcaster to bolster its content and sell shows globally.
Transgender Teen Activist Lands TLC Reality Show
The network will chronicle 14-year-old Jazz Jennings’ family and daily life.
Kathy Griffin Flees ‘Fashion Police’ After Seven Episodes
"I discovered that my style does not fit with the creative direction of the show and now it’s time to move on."
TruTV Renews Four Series, Orders New Unscripted Comedy
TruTV has given the greenlight to four returning unscripted series, “Hack My Life,” “How To Be A Grown Up,” “Barmageddon” and “truTV Top Funniest.” The cabler has also ordered 10 half-hour episodes of new unscripted show, “Six Degrees of Everything,” a fast-paced comedic show that proves anything can be connected in six degrees.
‘Queens of Drama’ Original Reality Series Premieres Sunday April 26 on POP
Girl power reigns supreme as six former daytime and primetime soap stars take control of their careers to produce and star in a new serialized drama, in the series premiere of QUEENS OF DRAMA on Pop, Sunday, April 26, at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT, immediately following the network’s exclusive live broadcast of the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
NEW MEDIA NEWS:
HuffPo: Netflix continues to crush cable TV
The number of U.S. households that have broadband Internet but don’t subscribe to TV grew to more than 10.5 million in the third quarter of 2014, up 16 percent over the same period in 2012. By comparison, there are 95.2 million people in the U.S. who subscribe to the top 13 pay-TV providers.
NYT: Nielsen Charts Reach of Video Streaming
Netflix, which counts 40 million paid subscribers in the United States, ranked at the top in terms of penetration, with about 36 percent of households subscribing to the service in November. Amazon Prime came next at 13 percent during the same period, followed by Hulu Plus at 6.5 percent.
More than 20% of US broadband users are ‘cord cheaters’
More than 20% of adult US broadband users that stream content from SVOD services are ‘cord cheaters’ – accessing those services using the account name and password of someone that does not live in the same household – according to new research.
ITV Encore Acquires Jordskott
ITV Encore has acquired the critically acclaimed Nordic mystery thriller Jordskott, a contemporary thriller about a mother’s obsession with solving the mystery of her child’s disappearance.
Pernel to remake BBC One drama
France’s Pernel Media has acquired remake rights to Key Mellor’s BBC One drama series In the Club. The BBC recently ordered a second season of the 6x60mins series from Mellor’s indie, Rollem Productions. The drama follows six women facing the struggles of pregnancy that form close bonds together as they move towards parenthood.
Disney/ABC Forges New, Expanded Deal with Yahoo
The pact will include a Yahoo segment on ‘GMA,’ ABC entertainment shows on Yahoo and content from Katie Couric on ABC News. Disney/ABC will create and deploy exclusive clips from entertainment content on ABC and ABC Family. For instance, on Thursday the site featured a sneak peak of Scandal and stars Scott Foley and Tony Goldwyn interviewing each other.
Walt Disney Company Shareholders Re-Elect All 10 Board of Directors
Walt Disney Company shareholders re-elected all 10 of the company’s Board of Directors on Thursday during an annual meeting at The Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco.
Disney Expands On-Screen Smoking Ban to Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm
“We are extending our policy to prohibit smoking in movies across the board: Marvel, Lucas, Pixar and Disney films,” Iger said, after being prompted by a critical care nurse in the crowd — who is also a Disney shareholder — during the lengthy Q&A period.
CBS Ups Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i to SVP of Entertainment Diversity & Communications
CBS Entertainment promoted Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i on Thursday to Senior Vice President, Entertainment Diversity & Communications. The veteran TV executive will be tasked with expanding the division’s diversity initiatives and developing new programs to recruit, nurture and hire a broad array of talent to work in front of and behind the camera.
Broadcasters must move to ‘more sophisticated’ business models, says RTL chief
Free-to-air broadcasters need to move away from ad-funded to “more sophisticated” business models, according to RTL Group co-CEO Guillaume de Posch. “We used to have broad, general entertainment channels – we need now to go nicher and nicher,” said de Posch, claiming that going niche, moving from linear to-non linear and developing new business models are three “major shifts” occurring in the TV industry.