Afternoon News Update for Friday, April 10, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your afternoon news update for Friday, April 10, 2015. Have a great weekend!


Flu Pandemic Event Series In Works At Fox With Nina Jacobson Producing
has put in development Aftermath, a limited event series from Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson and feature writing duo Ryan Belenzon and Jeffrey Gelber. Aftermath is set in the wake of a worldwide flu pandemic. Former CDC virologist, Nathan Taggat, is forced to investigate the strange pathogenic suicide of a John Doe, who may hold the key to stopping a high-level government conspiracy.

CW Orders Comedy Series ‘Significant Mother’ for SummerOriginally developed for its digital platform Seed, the comedy centers on budding Portland restaurateur Nate (Josh Zuckerman), whose world is turned upside down when he comes back from a business trip to find that his lothario best friend and roommate, Jimmy, is now dating his recently separated mother, Lydia (Krista Allen). The comedy hails from writers Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith, who exec produce alongside Tripp Reed and Les Morgenstein. The half-hour is produced by Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios.

‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ TV Movie in Development at FoxA remake of cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is in the works at Fox, only this time it may be coming to TV. The 2-hour, cast-contingent special is currently in development at Fox 21 TV Studios with Kenny Ortega — who will be directing and choreographing the movie — Gail Berman and Lou Adler, who produced the original movie in 1975.

ABC Family Gives Pilot Orders To Comedy ‘Gorgeous Morons’ & Drama ‘Beyond’
ABC Family
has greenlighted two pilots — comedyGorgeous Morons and supernatural drama Beyond, executive produced by Heroes creator Tim Kring. The multi-camera Gorgeous Morons, from prolific writer-producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, former The Office head writer Danny Chun and ABC Signature, was one of the biggest comedy sales during the 2013-14 broadcast development season.

‘Veep’ Creator Armando Iannucci Departing: David Mandel in as Showrunner
creator Armando Iannucci is leaving his show after four seasons. David Mandel will step in as showrunner.

Director-Producer Joe Chappelle Inks Overall Deal With Wolf Films & Uni TVChicago Fire executive producer-director Joe Chappelle has signed an overall with the companies behind the successful NBC drama series, Dick Wolf’s Wolf Films and Universal TV.

ITV Inks First-Look Producer Pod Deal With Hoodlum
ITV Studios America
has announced a first-look producer pod deal with production company Hoodlum for scripted television series in the U.S. Since being founding in 1999 by Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield, Hoodlum has striven to offer multiplatform content.

(from Thurs) Pivot Renews First Scripted Drama ‘Fortitude’ for Season 2
has been picked up for a second season. Pivot and Sky Atlantic announced the Season 2 renewal Thursday.

(review) Variety: Logo’s ‘Cucumber’ and ‘Banana’Two separate series, “Cucumber” and “Banana,” which function independently but also feature overlapping and crossover characters. An hour and a half-hour, respectively, both shows are watchable and fun, with one focusing on a middle-aged guy and the other a group of twentysomethings. For Logo, it’s a clear step up in class.


Michael De Luca Finalizes First-Look at Universal, Overseeing ‘Fifty Shades’
Michael De Luca
has finalized a three-year first-look deal to produce movies for Universal Pictures and will produce the next two “Fifty Shades of Grey” films.


Bunim/Murray recruits Boy George
Bunim/Murray Productions
has lined up UK pop star Boy George for its next reality series. The show will follow the Karma Chameleon singer’s move from London to LA and is being developed alongside his manager Paul Kemsley and producer Cindy Cowan.

(ratings) AdWeek: 2 Popular Fox News Shows Are Beating Their Broadcast Competition
Fox & Friends, which airs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. EDT, and Special Report with Bret Baier, which airs at 6 p.m. EDT, are beating their broadcast morning and evening competitors in several top 20 markets across the country.


Red Arrow creates drama venture with Andy Serkis
Red Arrow Entertainment
is creating a high-end drama initiative with Lord of the Rings actor Andy Serkis. Red Arrow and Serkis’ company The Imaginarium Studios are creating a production unit that will develop TV drama for the international market. Red Arrow International will handle all projects from the venture on the international market.

Prison Drama Locked Up Part of Imagina’s MIPTV LineupDistributor Imagina International Sales is set to present the prison drama Locked Up, among other new productions. Locked Up (Vis a Vis) is a Globomedia production due to air on Spain’s Antena 3. It follows the story of Macarena, a young woman sent to prison for a fiscal offense who finds herself involved in an unexpected thriller. The company has also secured the period drama Royal Hospital (Hospital Real), from Ficción Producciones for Televisión de Galicia, about the impossible love between a doctor from the aristocracy and a commoner nurse in the 18th century.

Backup Films Unveils Neil Marshall TV Series ‘Britannia’Paris-based financier and producer Backup Films has unveiled its first ever English language TV series with British filmmaker Neil Marshall’s Britannia. The series, which Backup will be shopping at Mip next week, charts the Roman invasion of what would become Great Britain in 43 A.D. and the rise of iconic female warrior Boudicca.

maxdome Closes Deal for Disney/ABC TitlesThe German VOD portal maxdome has entered into a pact with The Walt Disney Company that provides it access to a range of blockbuster films and new seasons of hit series, episodes of which will be made available one day after their first run. The agreement provides maxdome subscribers new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, Criminal Minds and Devious Maids one week before they are broadcast on free TV. New series from ABC Studios will be added to the maxdome package each month.


Starz Promotes Eric Becker, Shannon Buck, Colleen Curtis
has promoted Eric Becker to senior VP of corporate communications, Shannon Buck to senior VP of programming publicity and Colleen Curtis to senior VP of consumer and digital publicity.

Jim Berk Resigns as CEO of Participant Media After Strategic ReviewAfter eight years as CEO of Participant Media, Jim Berk has resigned from the company, effective immediately. Participant founder Jeff Skoll will act as interim CEO as the company searches for Berk’s replacement.

Sony TV Names Wayne Goldstein SVP
Wayne Goldstein
has been promoted to senior VP international research for Sony Pictures Television.

Exec Shuffle for 4/10/15: The CAA/UTA Shake-Up, IM360 to Produce VR Content & More from Annapurna Pictures, Endemol Shine
– Ryan Seacrest Production’s
unscripted division will partner with international reality powerhouse Endemol Shine, with the deal expected to close in winter 2015.
– David Kaminow will be the new president of marketing for Annapurna Pictures.
Red Wagon Entertainment’s Co Heads Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher today announced the promotion of Charlie Morrison to Vice President.
– Cable startup Layer3 TV has named Lindsay Gardner their chief content officer.


(from Thurs) Deadline: The Price Of Success: Hit Shows Bracing For Cast Exits & Untimely CancellationsWhile Vampire Diaries has already been renewed for next season, there are other veteran series whose renewal is entangled with talent negotiations as their stars’ contracts expire at the end of this season. That includes ABC drama Castle and its leading duo Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic; Fox drama Bones and its stars, David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel; and fellow CBS crime procedural Criminal Minds.

SSN: Forget Indie Film — How Indie TV Is Changing the Content Landscape and Producers Are Getting Pilots MadeIn television, the traditional process of getting a pilot made is still the norm, but there are more channels, more online platforms, and more opportunities for writers and producers to get their project made than ever before. Going the independent route and shooting the pilot yourself is one option, and the stigma of making a pilot DIY-style is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

AdAge: Let the Bloodletting Begin — What TV Can Learn from ‘Game of Thrones’The battle for eyeballs — and advertising dollars — is a drama worthy of "Game of Thrones." The powerful, entrenched dynasties of TV’s past are fighting desperately to keep what was theirs. It’s an environment where allegiances are always shifting, and the line between friend and enemy is never clearly marked.