Afternoon News Update for Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Wednesday, April 8, 2015:


Liz Gateley Joins Lifetime as EVP and Head of Programming“Teen Wolf” producer and veteran reality programmer Liz Gateley has joined Lifetime as EVP and head of programming. The new position fills the void created when general manager and EVP Robert Sharenow’s role was expanded to oversee Lifetime and A&E Network. Gateley will oversee all content creation for Lifetime and their affiliated brands including the film, scripted series and non-fiction teams.

AMC Narrows Field Of Pilot Contenders; Scripts Headed To Producer MeetingsHere are the projects in contention. They include dramas from Brad Pitt’s company Plan B, House creator David Shore, Paul Giamatti and Hemlock Grove creators Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy, as well as comedies from the Preacher duo of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and Silicon Valley co-creators John Altschuler & Dave Krinsky.

Last Man on Earth Scores Super-Quick Season 2 Renewal at FoxPhil’s going to need a bigger toilet pool. Fox has renewed The Last Man on Earth for a second season.

(sched) ABC Adds ‘Whispers,’ ‘500 Questions,’ ‘Celebrity Family Feud’ to Summer Slate
is adding drama series “The Whispers” and three unscripted series to a summer lineup that will also feature the return of “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise.” The new unscripted series are “500 Questions,” a rapid-fire quiz show exec produced by Mark Burnett; “Celebrity Family Feud,” hosted by Steve Harvey; and “BattleBots,” a robot-competition series from Lloyd Braun’s Whalerock Industries. Also returning are dramas “Mistresses” and “Rookie Blue” and reality skeins “Celebrity Wife Swap” and “Extreme Weight Loss.”

(sched) ‘Girl Meets World’ Season 2 Sets May Premiere
Disney Channel
has set Monday, May 11 as the season 2 premiere date of “Boy Meets World” spinoff “Girl Meets World.”

(sched) FX Sets ‘Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll’ Premiere, Louis C.K. Special, Other Summer Bows
Denis Leary
has an official return date to FX. The co-creator, writer and star of the cable net’s firefighter dramaRescue Me has the same roles in Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, which FX today set for a July 16 premiere.

(review) THR: ‘Daredevil’…And that’s the issue I had with Daredevil. Because it’s on Netflix, it has the capacity to be something greater, untethered to ratings. But ultimately it’s very purple in its prose, yearning to be film noir, but — lacking the writing or grit to achieve that — playing more like hokey blood porn.


Diego Luna Set to Star in Amazon Studios’ Casanova Pilot
Jean Pierre Jeunet
is directing the pilot, which tells the story of a little-known period in the life of of 18th century playboy Giacomo Casanova. The project is executive produced by Stu Zicherman, who also wrote the script, and Electus’ Ben Silverman. Sarah Caplan serves as co-executive producer.

American Horror Story Vet Kathy Bates Checks Into Hotel
It’s Bates’ Hotel. American Horror Story staple Kathy Bates has joined the upcoming Hotel-themed edition in a rather pivotal role.

‘The Good Wife’s’ Mamie Gummer Joins WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’
WGN America
just dropped a pretty big casting bomb: Mamie Gummer has been cast in a recurring role on the second season of drama “Manhattan.”

‘Graceland’ Recruits ‘Blacklist’ Alum for Recurring Role
Peter Stormare
has been tapped for a recurring role on the upcoming third season of USA’s Graceland.


Disney Developing Live-Action ‘Pinocchio’ Movie
is developing a live-action version of “Pinocchio” with Peter Hedges on board to write the story that’s loosely based on the studio’s 1940 animated movie.

Mark Millar Partners with Lorenzo di Bonaventura for ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ AdaptationMeetings are underway with writers to adapt the material. Jupiter’s Legacy takes a multigenerational approach to tell a story of the offspring of superheroes who haven’t lived up to the standards of their parents, who first got their powers in the ’20s after the discovery of a mysterious island.


E4 adds US drama, sci-fi
Channel 4 in the UK has picked up US drama Empire for its youth-skewing network E4 and has also commissioned Aliens (6×60’), a sci-fi comedy drama set in a world where extra-terrestrials are amongst us but are forced to live behind a huge wall in a segregated community, in 2016. Written by Fintan Ryan (In The Flesh), the series is produced by Clerkenwell Films (Misfits) and will begin filming later this year.

Django Being Reimagined for TV
Atlantique Productions
and Cattleya have entered into a co-development and co-production deal to turn the classic movie Django and novel Suspiria De Profundis into TV series. The cult Western Django will be developed as an English-language TV drama. The film was first released in 1966 and there have been countless sequels and homages, including Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.

Suspiria De Profundis is inspired by the 19th-century English writer Thomas De Quincey’s eponymous book, which was made into the classic Italian horror film Suspiria in 1977 by Dario Argento. Argento will serve as the series’ artistic supervisor. It is being adapted as an English-language period horror series, in which De Quincey is the lead character.

ITV Commissions Season Nine of LewisA ninth season of the drama Lewis has been ordered by ITV, with Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox reprising their roles. Lewis is a British television detective drama produced for ITV.

Turkish drama on Fox sales slate
Fox International Channel Content Sales
is taking a trio of Turkish drama series to Cannes as part of its MIPTV slate. In Love Again (Aşk Yeniden), romantic novellaThat is My Life(O Hayat Benim) and rom-com Cherry Season (Kiraz Mevsimi) are among key new titles on the FICCS slate. In Love Again is a 19×90-95mins contemporary drama, while That is My Life is a 61×100-150mins is a female-skewed drama. The 50×80-120mins Cherry Season, follows the tangled lives and loves of a fashion designer and her friends. FICCS has Latin American rights to the latter.

Mip 2015: High-End Dramas Replace Reality TVIn the 1990s, after “Survivor,” “Pop Idol” and “Big Brother” galvanized Europe’s TV biz, the Next Big Thing was assumed to be a juggernaut reality format. Now, for Europe, it’s the next high-end drama. All over Europe, as Cannes’ Mip TV market will underscore, pay TV operators (Canal Plus and Sky), broadcasters (Italy’s Mediaset, Spain’s Atresmedia), and some of its mightiest film-TV production companies (France’s Studiocanal, Germany’s Constantin) are either moving into English-language drama or amping up production.


(rumor) Apple reportedly at odds with Disney over which channels will be included in upcoming TV serviceThe report claims that Apple does not want to offer all of Disney’s channels on its service in an effort to keep the subscription price down for customers. Disney, however, is pushing Apple to offer the majority of its channels. Disney is insisting that Apple pay full freight for all of its channels, which in turn would make the service more expensive for the user. Apple is reportedly aiming to offer its web TV service at $30-$40 a month.

Disney Junior Orders New Mickey Mouse Animated Series
‘Mickey and the Roadster Racers’
will debut in 2017.


Chachi Senior Joins Spike TV as SVP of Original SeriesThe former Ardaban CEO will oversee the non-scripted development team in his new role.

(q&a) THR: ‘Daredevil’ Boss on Netflix’s "PG-15" Series, Connecting to Marvel’s ABC Universe and Beyond
Q: The action in Daredevil is brutal and sometimes hard to watch. Were there any restrictions on that from Netflix and/or Marvel?

A: Netflix was fine, much like HBO, Showtime or Starz. There are no classic standards of practice like there are on network television. They are fine going for the more mature audience. There is, however, some self-regulation on my side and Marvel’s side. None of us wanted to take this to an R-rated show.


New Mexico Boosts Film and TV Tax IncentiveNew Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation that will allow a production to “pre-assign” its tax rebate to a third party, a move that state film officials say will make it easier for production companies to obtain financing or the greenlight for their projects. The legislation will also sweeten the state’s existing 30% incentive by extending it to standalone pilot episodes. It also expands the definition of qualified facilities to include outdoor movie ranches, enabling producers to claim the credit for work performed there.

Slate: How Black-ish Earned the Right to Call Itself Black-ishThis is what Black-ish does often, and usually well: It unabashedly twists, expands, flips, and contorts our ideas about race, class, and gender. It offers a non-PC but honest look at what it can feel like to be black in America today.

‘Fresh Off The Boat’ Creator Eddie Huang Continues To Trash His ABC Comedy
Eddie Huang
continues to complain that his edgy memoir Fresh Off The Boat got turned into an ABC sitcom. After this week’s episode, Huang took to Twitter to savage the series again, announcing he does not watch the program he now calls “unrecognizable.”