Evening News Update for Friday, April 24, 2015

Hi all! Here’s your evening news update for Friday, April 24. Have a great weekend!


Kristin Newman Inks Overall Deal With ABC Studios
ABC Studios
has closed a two-year overall deal with comedy writer-producer Kristin Newman, executive producer/showrunner of the studio’s ABC comedy pilot Delores and Jermaine, which has been garnering promising early buzz.

‘The Carmichael Show’ Sets ‘New Girl’ Producer as ShowrunnerComedy writer and producer Danielle Sanchez-Witzel has inked an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the new two-year pact, she will exec produce and serve as showrunner on NBC’sThe Carmichael Show” for 20th and Universal Television.

(review) Variety: ‘Wayward Pines’Perfectly suited to a 10-part limited run, this Fox show has capitalized on its concentrated approach to cast the project to the hilt, with the disclaimer that viewers shouldn’t become too attached to anyone. All told, it’s a solid TV version of summer popcorn fare.


(rumor) Bleeding Cool: Benedict Cumberbatch To Appear In Netflix’s Iron Fist As Doctor Strange?It is planned that the character of Doctor Strange will make an appearance in Marvel’s Netflix shows. Specifically Iron Fist. Whether he will be played by Benedict Cumberbatch, or will be shown in a way that doesn’t need such a high profile actor to be on set, I don’t know. But odds are that the Cumberbatch will at least do the voice.


FYI Orders Spouse-Swap Series ‘The Seven Year Switch’
has greenlighted The Seven Year Switch, an eight-episode series in which married couples “bravely” put their marriage on the line by shacking up with a “new partner” for a couple weeks. Production is underway for the series to premiere this summer. http://deadline.com/2015/04/fyi-seven-year-switch-series-spouse-swap-marriage-1201415817/


First Feature From YouTube’s Wong Fu Productions Set For Vimeo ReleasePopular Youtube outfit Wong Fu Productions’ first feature film, Everything Before Us, will be released worldwide June 3 exclusively on Vimeo on Demand. The directorial debut of Wong Fu founders Philip Wang and Wesley Chan, Everything Before Us is a science fiction/romantic drama set in a world in which one’s romantic history is documented and scored like a credit rating, which accumulates over the course of one’s life.

Steve Buscemi to Sit on AOL’s ‘Park Bench’ for Second Season
is bringing back “Park Bench,” featuring thesp Steve Buscemi kibitzing with celebs and regular New Yorkers, for a second season. In season 2, Buscemi is slated to chat up guests including musician Elvis Costello, John Oliver, Amber Tamblyn, Robert Smigel, Jim Jarmusch and David Blaine.

Verge: Netflix doesn’t own its shows, but that could change soon
Going forward, Netflix is making ownership of shows a priority. In an interview withBloomberg Business, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the streaming service will own a large number of the 20 or more shows that will launch on the service next year. "We’ve continued to expand our creative role on the shows," Hastings told Bloomberg Business. "Now we’re taking on ownership and production."


(animated) Disney XD Renews Penn Zero
Disney XD has ordered a second season of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero, which will see Adam DeVine, Alfred Molina and Larry Wilmore returning to the voice cast.

Disney CEO Bob Iger on list of Times 100 Most Influential People
Time is once again hosting the list of the 100 most influential people on their website. For a twist, each honoree is introduced by one of their peers. Disney CEO Bob Iger makes the list and introduced by fellow media mogul Rupert Murdoch.


NBC Taps DreamWorks Veteran Chip Sullivan as Top PR Exec
has hired DreamWorks veteran Chip Sullivan as its top communications exec.

Rose Byrne launches all-female production company
Rose Byrne
, along with The Last Impresario director Gracie Otto, theater and opera director Shannon Murphy, emerging producer Jessica Carrera, and actor Krew Boylan, recently formed a new production company, The Dollhouse Collective. “The core aim is to develop theatre, film and television together and tell stories with a strong female presence,” Otto told ScreenDaily.

Exec Shuffle for 4/24/15: Dick Cook Studio Launches, CAA Snags Mosaic Assistants, STX News
– Dick Cook
is launching Dick Cook Studios, a new media company. The new venture will focus “on the production, marketing and distribution of multi-generational family entertainment including live-action and animated motion pictures as well as television, digital/mobile product, video games, stage plays and related licensing.”
Leftfield Entertainment, founded by Montgomery in 2013, houses Leftfield Pictures, Sirens Media, Loud TV and Outpost Entertainment has launched a new production company, Riot Creative. Stephanie Angelideswill serve as president to develop television programming with a focus on digital platforms.
BET Networkshas picked Zola Mashariki as their new EVP and head of original programming. She will handle scripted and unscripted programming and development as well as casting for the cable network, reporting to BET Networks president of programming Stephen Hill.
Susan Kesser is the new VP of Media Relations at FX Networks, she was previously Executive Director, Publicity at Warner Bros. Television.
Bilai Joa Silar is the new SVP of programming and production for NBC Universo in Miami where he was previously stationed as VP of content for Discovery U.S. Hispanic Networks.
Fox Broadcasting has nabbedAriff Sidi to be their new senior VP of digital products and platforms.
– Reality and scripted production company DiGa named Michael Maniaci as Director of Programming and Development.
Nancy Tellem, previously the President, Xbox Entertainment Studios is now the Executive Chairman, Chief Media Officer at Interlude, a start-up focused on interactive music videos founded in 2010 by the Israeli rock star Yoni Bloch.


Time: Cable’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad YearIn 2013-2014, the industry spent $33 million on lobbying alone—more than it spent in the entire previous decade—and divvied out millions more in campaign contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.With those sorts of connections—judicial, monetary, and personal—what could go wrong? A lot, it turns out. And almost anything that could, did.

Charter Prepares To Pounce On Time Warner CableYou shouldn’t be surprised by multiple reports this afternoon that Charter Communications is beginning to craft a bid for Time Warner Cable now that Comcast has left it at the altar. “Obviously, we’d be interested,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge told analysts in February when asked whether he’d step up if Comcast’s $45 billion deal collapsed.

(music) NYT: A Rapid Rise for Shawn Mendes, in Tune With Social MediaHis path to music stardom has run through Vine. This week, Mr. Mendes, a clean-cut 11th grader from Pickering, Ontario, impressed an awful lot of people in the music industry. His debut album, “Handwritten” (Island), opened at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. In the process, Mr. Mendes has come to symbolize the rapid changes in how new artists are bubbling up through the Internet and social media, and how the music business assimilates them.

IATSE and producers reach a new dealThe union representing Hollywood’s technical workers has reached an agreement with the studios on a new three-year contract.

(longread) Stratechery: Facebook and the Feed
Advertisers care above all about attention, and there’s no question that television is losing it both to alternative video services like Netflix but also to digital services, especially Facebook. Last year the average user gave Facebook over 40 minutes of attention a day (and another 20 minutes to Instagram), and that number continues to grow. It’s not inconceivable that, at some point in the relatively near future, it is Facebook that is the default advertising medium, commanding dollars that exceed its already dominant share of attention.