Morning News Update for Monday, April 20, 2015.

HI all! Here’s your first news update for Monday, April 20, 2015:


HBO Orders Pot Dealer Comedy ‘High Maintenance’Just in time for 4/20, HBO is adding a comedy about a weed dealer to its stash of programming. The premium cable outlet has placed a six-episode order for “High Maintenance,” a web series that will now make its way to television. The series, which follows a Brooklyn pot dealer (series co-creator Ben Sinclair) who delivers to clients with neuroses as diverse as the city, is created and written by husband-wife duo Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld. Blichfeld, Sinclair and Russell Gregory executive produce.

Wes Craven Developing ‘People Under the Stairs,’ More with UCPHorror kingpin Wes Craven has scared up several new projects, inking a first-look deal with Universal Cable Productions that includes developing television adaptation of his 1991 movie “The People Under the Stairs” and the Daryl Gregory novel “We Are All Completely Fine” for SyFy.

(from Fri) Spike TV, Jerry Bruckheimer To Develop ‘Harvest’
Spike TV
said it would partner with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Warner Horizon Television to develop the drama series “Harvest,” the latest effort by the Viacom-owned outlet to pursue original scripted fare. “Harvest” tells a story set against the illegal market for human tissue, with a cemetery cemetery caretaker forced to pair up with his criminal father to protect his daughter. “Harvest” is written by Ian Sobel and Matt Morgan.

(sched) ‘The Astronaut Wives Club’ to premiere on ABC Thursday June 18
The Astronaut Wives Club” premieres THURSDAY, JUNE 18 (8:00–9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

‘Eye Candy’ Canceled by MTV After 1 Season
has canceled drama Eye Candy after a single season

(from Fri) ‘Modern Family’s’ Vali Chandrasekaran Sets Overall Deal at 20th TV“Modern Family” co-exec producer Vali Chandrasekaran has set a two-year overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV. Deal calls for Chandrasekaran to remain with 20th TV’s “Modern Family” and transition to exec producer status in season eight. He had previously been under a deal at ABC Studios.

(from Sun) Buzfeed: These Leaked "Scandal" Photos May Have Just Revealed A Massive SpoilerIn promo images leaked online, it looks like ___ is alive.


Dominic Cooper to Star in AMC’s ‘Preacher’He’ll play Jesse Custer in the controversial comic book adaptation.


After 53 Years, It’s Time to Say Good-bye to Univision’s Sábado Gigante
longest-running program, the magically campy variety show Sábado Gigante, will end on September 19 — after airing every Saturday night for the last 53 years.


Ex-Disney chief Cook launches studioThe Walt Disney Company’s former studios chairman Dick Cook has launched a family entertainment-focused studio with the US$150 million backing of a Chinese finance group. Cook is CEO and chairman of Dick Cook Studios. The business will be based in LA. Billed as a creative content company focused exclusively on developing, producing, marketing and distributing “multi-generational family entertainment”, including live-action and animated movies, TV series, digital properties, educational media and stage productions.

Sean Bratches, Architect of ESPN Distribution Deals, To LeaveThe executive who helped buttress Walt Disney’s ESPN cable-sports juggernaut from an onslaught of recent launches of sports outlets by rival media concerns, is stepping down from the company. ESPN said Monday that Sean Bratches, its executive vice president of sales and marketing, would leave the Disney unit by the end of this year.


AdWeek: How to Sell a TV Show TodayDiscovery CEO David Zaslav says volume and the possible migration of dollars to digital will determine the success or failure of the 2015-16 upfront. "The fourth quarter was just a real volume issue for the whole industry," he says. "Volume is better now, but it’s by no means robust. With all the focus on what the pricing is, the bigger thing to watch, I think, is the volume. As an industry, we took about 10 percent less in the [2014-15] upfront and we bet on scatter, and we did OK for a couple of quarters. It wasn’t pricing. Pricing was actually mid-teens to 20 percent above upfront in scatter."

AdWeek: Pretty Little Liars Shares the Secrets of Its Social Media SuccessThe network spends a lot of time observing organic fan conversations, taking its cue from behaviors on how to develop marketing content. For example, it’s doing a crowdsourced campaign called Pretty Little Campaign to help maintain fans’ interest between seasons. Fans are submitting their own artwork, which can be used for print or social media. They’re also giving input online about where Pretty Little Liars should advertise.