Morning News Update for Thursday, March 19, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your first news update for Thursday, March 19, 2015:


‘The Walking Dead’s Greg Nicotero Inks New Deal With AMC

Greg Nicotero, executive producer of The Walking Dead and its upcoming companion series, has signed a new overall deal with AMC. Under the rich two-year pact, he will continue as executive producer and director on both series while also developing new projects for the network.

Keith Gordon Inks Deal With A+E Studios
On the heels of directing the opening episode of A&E’s direct-to-series drama The Returned, Keith Gordonhas signed a development deal with A+E Studios, which is behind the supernatural series. It includes a blind script commitment for Gordon who would write, direct and produce the potential pilot.

(from Wed) ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Renewed for 18-Episode Season 3 by FOX
Sleepy Hollow has been renewed for a third season by FOX. Clifton Campbell (“The Glades” creator) will takeover as showrunner, stepping in for Mark Goffman.

(from Wed) Amazon Greenlights Second Season of Original Drama ‘Bosch’
The show had the biggest debut weekend of any Amazon original series and is the most watched title on Prime Instant Video in its first four weeks.

FastCo: Anatomy Of A Hit: Why Everyone Watched—And Talked About—"Empire"
"We are doing it on purpose, and it is something that we identified earlier on. I try not to be too analytical, but you have to be somewhat analytical and look at what’s working and how the medium of television has evolved, and one of the first things I said as a principle is you have to make the audience gasp at least three times an episode—maybe more," Chaiken says.

Vulture: The Empire Effect: What We’ve Learned From Its Phenomenal First Season (and What We Still Don’t Know)
After chatting with several of those industry insiders, as well as Empire executive producer/showrunner Ilene Chaiken, we came away with four major lessons to be drawn from its success — and three as-yet unanswered questions about its future.

Vulture: The Remarkable Rise of Empire, in 7 Charts
The story of just how massive a hit Empire is after only one season, as told through seven Cookie-powered infographics.


Nacar Zadegan & Lyndon Smith Join ‘Extant’ As Recurring
Necar Zadegan
(Girlfriends Guide To Divorce) and Lyndon Smith (Parenthood) are the latest cast additions for the upcoming second season of CBS summer drama series Extant.

Esai Morales Joins Cast of El Rey Network’s ‘From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series’
El Rey Network
and Miramax announced that Esai Morales has joined the sophomore season of Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series”.

Ruth Negga Lands Female Lead In AMC Pilot ‘Preacher’Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Ruth Neggahas been cast as the female lead in Preacher,AMC’s drama pilot based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s cult 1990s comic.


Screenwriter Annie Neal To Solve ‘Agatha’ For Paramount Pictures
ScreenwriterAnnie Neal is re-writing Agathaat Paramount. The project originated as a spec screenplay by Allison Schroeder which the studio purchased in March 2013. Disruption Entertainment’s Mary Parent and Cale Boyter are still producing the project along with BenderSpink’s Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and JC Spink. The spec script for Agatha is described as an action adventure in the spirit of Sherlock Holmes meets Romancing the Stone.

‘Crash Ryan’ Comic Book Movie in Development
Producer Ryan Heppe has acquired movie rights to the 1984 Marvel Comics series “Crash Ryan” created by Ron Harris. The story takes place in an alternate 1935 in a world of super airplanes and giant flying airports. Crash Ryan is a pilot caught up in the battle between the heroic United Airmen and the forces of evil, led by a masked world conqueror who calls himself “The Doom.” David Cowper has been tapped to co-write with Heppe.

Sony, Amy Pascal Making ‘Little Women’ Remake, Sarah Polley Adapting
is in talks to adapt Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel.


Mr. T Lands Home Improvement Show ‘I Pity the Tool’
Becoming the latest celebrity-focused renovation series on DIY.


Rob Schneider Shops Self-Financed Sitcom ‘Real Rob’ at MipTV
Rob Schneider
is going the indie auteur route with his latest sitcom, “Real Rob.” The comedian has self-financed eight half-hour episodes that will be shopped by Toronto-based Tricon Films and Television to international buyers at next month’s MipTV conference in Cannes. Series revolves around the comedian’s life as an entertainer, father of a toddler and husband of a younger Mexican woman, Patricia Azarcoya, who has an independent career as an television producer. Schneider and Azarcoya co-wrote the episodes, with Schneider directing and producing.


Kermit Talks to Kids in Disney Junior’s ‘Muppet Moments’
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear star in Disney Junior’s “Muppet Moments,” a series of shorts on Disney Channel. The show, intended for kids age 2 to 7, is a series of conversations between the Muppets and young kids about topics like “apologies,” “favorite foods” and “manners.” The first four shorts will premiere April 3 on Disney Channel.

Disney Channel Developing Mo’ne Davis Movie ‘Throw Like Mo’
Thirteen-year-old Mo’ne Davis made history in August 2014 as the first female to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series. Now Disney Channel is developing Throw Like Mo, a biographical original movie, that will tell the sports prodigy’s inspiring story.


(q&a) (video) NYT: Corner Office: Nancy Dubuc of A&E: Mixing Doers, Thinkers and Feelers
“There are very few black-and-white truths in management or in business, but one that I have found is that people either hire people who are smarter than them or people hire people they can control. Another pattern I’ve seen is that managers will sometimes complain that one of their employees is difficult to manage. But those difficult people also tend to be the best performers.”

(q&a) Variety: Ken Jeong Says He’ll Never Leave ‘Community,’ No Matter What
I’ll never leave “Community,” no matter what. You’re either a lifer or you’re not. I’ve just learned so much. If we come back, I’ve got so much to learn. This show has been a huge influence on me and what I’ve done in my other projects.


Verge: The Cord Cutter: calculate what it would cost to get all of your TV online
With services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and HBO Now, 2015 is the year we can finally say goodbye to our cable TV subscriptions. But how much will it cost you to cut the cord — and what channels will you be leaving behind to do so?

(opinion) AdWeek: TV Viewers Only Care About 4 Adjectives: Funny, Interesting, Gripping or Cool

The average consumer is not thinking about whether it’s scripted or unscripted, user-generated or premium. They care that it’s funny, interesting, gripping or cool. Brands need to recognize the power of those four adjectives, and take risks alongside today’s leading content creators. Contrary to what most of Madison Avenue wants to believe, consumers don’t always want their viewing experience interrupted by clunky and sometimes irrelevant ads, nor do they want to be thrown out of their immersion by disrespectful plays for their attention. But just as much, advertisers should not want to be the brand responsible for disrupting the narrative flow.

(longread) Stratechery: The Changing – and Unchanging – Structure of TV
In the old model the billing unit was the “home”, no matter how many people might live there. With mobile devices, though, it becomes possible, even preferable, to deliver content to individuals. And, by definition, there are a lot more individuals than homes. The problem for content creators is that, as noted previously, they have never developed the capabilities to deal with consumers directly; cable companies were always their intermediaries. These factors make Apple (and later, Google, Amazon, etc.) a particularly attractive partner for content companies. Apple can provide access to individuals; Apple is one of the few companies that has successfully gotten young people to pay for content; and Apple is experienced at managing the customer relationship.