Evening News Update for Monday, March 30, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your evening news update for Monday, March 30, 2015:


‘Murder In The First’ Co-Creator Eric Lodal Exits TNT DramaMurder In The First executive producer Eric Lodal has left the TNT crime drama series, which he co-created and co-ran with Steven Bochco. I hear the abrupt departure happened yesterday, midway through production on the show’s upcoming second season. Veteran Bochco will continue as the sole executive producer/showrunner.

‘Mortal Instruments’ Drama ‘Shadowhunters’ Goes Straight to Series at ABC FamilyBased on the book by Cassandra Clare with ‘Helix’s’ Ed Decter set as showrunner. Shadowhunters follows 18 year old Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is, but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons.

(from Fri) Tom Wheeler Inks 2-Script Deal At Sony Pictures Television In TV ReturnAfter focusing exclusively on features for the past few years, writer Tom Wheeler is returning to television with a sizable two-script deal at Sony Pictures TV. The studio and Wheeler are already zeroing in on ideas for the two projects, both will likely be one-hour originals, one with horror elements and the other possibly touching upon science fiction.

(ratings) ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Fetches Nearly 16 Million ViewersThe 90-minute episode marks a best for a season ender.

(review) THR: ‘Younger’
In a really crowded field, a new comedy out of TV Land hardly screams “set the DVR,” so the creative successes right out of the gate with Younger are, if not surprising, then at least impressive.

(review) Variety: ‘The Dovekeepers’Designed to play as a moving adaptation of Alice Hoffman’s bestseller, “The Dovekeepers” is more of a wounded duck. Producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have made a splashy migration into scripted epics with “The Bible” and NBC’s sequel “A.D.,” but anyone who can endure this with their wits is a true survivor.

Atlantic: Downton Abbey, Casualty of a Changing WorldSome critics, like The Financial Times‘ Joe Moran, have argued that the show’s rigid class system appealed to viewers threatened by the day’s economic instability. Others have said Downton‘s uncommon attention to the downstairs members of staff was increasingly relevant to the modern-day Americans in the midst of the Occupy movements and Obama’s efforts to combat income inequality. Whatever the particular reason, Downtontook off with a time stamp dating the show to a moment of financial flux. It’s a period piece in more ways than one, which may explain why the show has experienced a slow decline in quality and a waning sense of relevance ever since.


Emmanuelle Vaugier Joins ABC’s ‘Mistresses’; Japheth Gordon & Joey Pollari Cast In ‘Take It From Us’
Emmanuelle Vaugier
has booked a six-episode guest role on the upcoming third season of ABC’s summer series Mistresses.Japheth Gordon and Joey Pollari have been cast in NBC comedy pilot Take It From Us. http://deadline.com/2015/03/emmanuelle-vaugier-joins-abcs-mistresses-japheth-gordon-joey-pollari-cast-in-take-it-from-us-1201401508/

Arrow/Flash Spinoff Enlists Arthur Darvill To Play Rip Hunter
Another superhero is joining the ranks of the CW’s Arrow/Flash spinoff. British actor Arthur Darvill is set to play Rip Hunter in the superhero team-up show, from Arrow creators Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim.

‘Flash’/’Arrow’ Spinoff Casts Its HawkgirlBroadway actress Ciara Renee joins a growing roster of heroes and villains.

‘Shades Of Blue’ Casts Newcomer Hampton Fluker As Series RegularNewcomer Hampton Fluker has landed a regular role opposite Jennifer Lopez on Shades Of Blue, NBC’s straight-to-series drama directed by Barry Levinson.

(from Fri) Ione Skye Cast in Craig Ferguson’s ABC PilotShe’ll play the love interest of the former ‘Late Late’ show host.

(from Fri) ‘Heroes’ Alum Masi Oka Returning for NBC Sequel ‘Reborn’
He’ll reprise his role as Hiro for a guest-starring arc on the event series, due in fall 2015.


Disney Developing Live-Action ‘Mulan’
is developing a live-action version of its 1998 animated movie “Mulan.” The project is based on a script by Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek focused on the Chinese warrior character Hua Mulan. The project has been set up with Chris Bender and J.C. Spink.


‘The Wiz’ Set as NBC’s Next Live Musical
In a partnership with Cirque du Soleil to air Dec. 3 before heading to Broadway.

Trevor Noah Will Succeed Jon Stewart At ‘Daily Show’
Trevor Noah
, a South African comedian with a low profile in the United States, will inherit one of the most-watched pulpits in latenight TV: Jon Stewart’s desk on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show.”

Bravo Orders New ‘Housewives’ Spinoff, Oxygen and Esquire Partner for Companion SeriesPart of the Bravo and sister channels Esquire and Oxygen’s sprawling upfront news on Monday, the network has ordered a road trip docuseries starring Atlanta alums NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak Biermann.

‘Vanity Fair Confidential’ Renewed at Investigation DiscoveryThe second season of the show, from Conde Nast Entertainment and True Entertainment, will air in 2016.

(from Fri) NBC Orders Ellen DeGeneres-Produced Docuseries ‘First Dates’The eight-episode hourlong series is based on the U.K. format. Each episode of the series will offer an "authentic" look at a variety of real first dates — all happening over one night at the same restaurant.


FremantleMedia shopping AOL’s first longform series
FremantleMedia International
has picked up right to Connected, the first longform series from web platform AOL. The 20-episode docu-drama project launches tomorrow (March 31) on AOL. Adapted from Koda Communications’ Israeli reality show Mehubarim Plus, it is set in New York and looks at American life through the interconnected lives of six individuals. The cast of characters includes an interior designer, a stand-up comic and a TV host. Each is given a camcorder and records their life for six months with the resulting footage edited into the longform show, which is described as a blend of documentary, drama and reality programming.


Disney Junior Targets Best-Seller ‘Fancy Nancy’ as Next Big Franchise
The youth-focused network has optioned the book series for an animated TV movie, series and other licensed items. The children’s picture book series geared at kids ages 2-7 was written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. The stories follow the adventures of a girl who likes to be fancy in everything, from her attire to advanced vocabulary.

(from Fri) Disney XD Orders Adventure Comedy Pilot ‘MTX!’
Disney XD
has given a pilot green light to MTX!,a live-action adventure comedy pilot starring up-and-comer Nathaniel Potvin. MTX! centers on Ryan (Potvin), a 14-year-old boy with the extraordinary ability to control technology with his mind – technopathy.


Anne Sweeney, Microsoft’s Brad Smith Join Netflix Board
said that Anne Sweeney, former co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television at the Walt Disney Co., and Brad Smith, executive VP and general counsel at Microsoft, have joined its board.

Bad Robot Taps BBC Executive to Oversee Television
J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot has tapped BBC exec Ben Stephenson to oversee its television operations.

Travel Channel Ups Brian Leonard to VP of Programming and DevelopmentThe Travel Channel has promoted Brian Leonard to the role of vice president of programming and development.

(from Fri) Russo Brothers Hire Mike Larocca as President of Production Company
A week after coming on to direct two Avengers movies for Disney/Marvel, Anthony and Joe Russo have hired veteran exec Mike Larocca as president of their Sony-based Getaway Prods.


AdWeek: Young People Watch More Than 22 Hours of Online Video a Week
A new study shows that watching content online instead of on TV is the new normal for young millennials and even younger Gen Zers. The average survey taker viewed 11.3 hours of free online video (on sites like YouTube) and 10.8 hours of subscription video (on sites like Netflix) for a staggering total of 22 hours a week. By comparison, that same survey group—1,350 people between the ages of 13 and 24—viewed an average 8.3 hours of scheduled linear TV content, according to the third annual Acumen Report. And of that, 6.4 hours happened online.

Variety: Is Cable’s ‘TV Everywhere’ Strategy Finally Poised to Take Off?In 2014, about 13% of pay-TV subscribers on average per quarter used TV Everywhere, according to Adobe Systems’ annual digital-video benchmark. While still relatively small, that was double the figure from a year prior — and 2015 may be the year TV Everywhere usage “crosses the chasm,” to climb up to 20% of all pay-TV customers, said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for Adobe Digital Index.

Deadline: Want Full California Tax Credit? Bill Says Keep The Music Scoring LocalA bill introduced in the California Assembly seeks to change the state’s pending $330 million film incentives program by requiring that more of a film project’s music scoring be performed in California to qualify for the full amount of the rebates being offered. Assembly Bill 1199 is being applauded by Musicians Local 47, but it remains to be seen if it has the backing of the MPAA or by state and local politicians.