Morning News Update for Friday, May 8, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your morning news update for Friday, May 8, 2015:


ABC Orders Six New Dramas Including New Shonda Rhimes Series
has given the series greenlight to a half-dozen drama projects, ranging from a Biblical epic to an FBI 9/11 conspiracy vehicle to a long-con thriller from Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland shop. All six of the series hail from ABC Studios or the ABC Signature production unit.

‘The Muppets,’ Comedy from ‘Community’ Star Ken Jeong Among ABC Orders
Following six drama orders, ABC has picked up three comedy series: “The Muppets,” “The Real O’Neals” and “Dr. Ken.”

Fox Orders John Stamos Series & Post-College Comedy
John Stamos
is heading back to TV for his very own comedy on Fox. The network made its second round of series orders Thursday with Stamos’ “Grandfathered,” plus post-college laffer “The Guide to Surviving Life.” The two pickups follow Rob Lowe’s comedy “The Grinder,” which was made official at Fox earlier today, along with medical drama “Rosewood,” starring Morris Chestnut.

NBC Comedies ‘Crowded,’ ‘Superstore,’ ‘People Are Talking’ Land Series Orders
NBC has added two more comedies to its 2015-16 lineup: “Crowded,” from “Hot in Cleveland” creator Suzanne Martin, and workplace vehicle “Superstore.” Both are from Universal Television.

CW Greenlights DC Spinoff, New Julie Plec Drama; Takes Showtime’s ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’
The CW
has picked up “The Flash” and “Arrow” spinoff “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” and ordered “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the comedy pilot Showtime passed on. Plus, Julie Plec is getting another series on CW’s slate: “Cordon.”

Esquire Network Greenlights First Original Scripted Series, ‘Spotless’
has given the green light to its first-ever original scripted series, “Spotless,” the network announced on Thursday. The male-skewing channel ordered 10 episodes of the drama scheduled to air this fall. Helmed by Tandem Productions for Canal, the series is executive produced by Rola Bauer and is co-created by Ed McCardie and Corinne Marrinan. The show focuses on a troubled man whose life is turned upside down when his outlaw brother crash lands into his world. The brothers must confront dark sins of the past and very real dangers in the present.

‘Empire’ Showrunner Ilene Chaiken Inks Overall Deal with 20th Century Fox TV
Ilene Chaiken
has inked an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the multiyear pact, worth seven figures, the “Empire” showrunner will stay at the helm of the Fox hit, plus can develop her own projects for the studio.

ABC Renews ‘Castle,’ ‘Nashville,’ Marvel Duo, Shonda Rhimes TGIT Trio & More
has handed over renewals to a slew of returning series. Most shows on the bubble will be coming back including “Castle” for Season 8, “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” for Season 3, “Marvel’s Agent Carter” for Season 2 and “Nashville” for Season 4. Also returning is “Once Upon A Time” with its fifth season.

‘Orphan Black’ Renewed for Season 4
BBC America’s “Orphan Black
has been renewed for a fourth season, the cabler announced Thursday. The season will consist of ten episodes to air in 2016.

‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Spinoff Not Going Forward At ABC
ABC and Marvel have put the brakes on the proposed Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff.

ABC Cancels ‘Forever,’ ‘Cristela,’ ‘Resurrection’ & ‘The Taste’
ABC has cancelled freshman series “Forever” and “Cristela,” plus sophomore drama “Resurrection” and reality competition “The Taste.” “Last Man Standing” still awaits a decision.

CW Cancels ‘Hart of Dixie’ After 4 Seasons
“Hart of Dixie”
has been cancelled. The CW has decided not to go forward with a fifth season.


New NBC Comedy ‘People Are Talking’ Faces Recasting As It Shares Female Lead With Fox’s ‘The Guide To Surviving Life’

Ah, the dangers of second position casting. There was a lot of good upfront news for Meaghan Rath. NBC picked up to series her NBC comedy pilot People Are Talking. Several hours later, Fox did the same with Rath’s other comedy pilot, The Guide to Surviving Life. Rath plays the female lead in both projects but one of them, Fox’s single-camera The Guide to Surviving Life, has her in first position.

Dave Coulier Joins Netflix’s ‘Full House’ Reboot
Cut it out. Dave Coulier is joining Netflix’sFull House” sequel.


Disney Lands Rights to Jonathan Auxier’s ‘Night Gardener’
has bought the rights to Jonathan Auxier’s “The Night Gardener.” It will be developed by Sean Bailey’s Disney live-action group with Auxier adapting the script. Jim Whittaker will produce. Following two orphan siblings who travel to work as servants at the creepy, crumbling Windsor estate, but neither the house nor its inhabitants are quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious specter and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives.

‘Captain America’ Writers to Assemble ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Movies
Marvel has confirmed that “Captain America” writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely will write “Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1” and “Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2.”


Bill Simmons, ESPN Sever Ties: ‘Time to Move on,’ President John Skipper Says
is cutting ties will Bill Simmons, electing not to renew his contract on Friday.

WE tv, Pilgrim Studios Team Up for Opera Docuseries
WE tv and Pilgrim Studios are collaborating on the development of Love and Opera, a tentatively titled documentary series that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the world of opera.


(video) Netflix’s ‘Sense8’ Trailer Promises More Wachowski Weirdness
released the official trailer for its new thriller series, “Sense8,” on Thursday ahead of its June 5 premiere. The sci-fi show is about eight strangers around the world who are suddenly mentally linked to one another. One moment puts them into each other’s lives, secrets, and dangers.


Endemol Beyond USA Launching More Digital Networks
Following the recent launch of the ICON Network, Endemol Beyond USA has announced plans to roll out two additional digital channels. The Looksy network will focus on pop culture, debuting the scripted series Neurotica and the reality show True Internet Stories. The second network, Smasher, will center on sports and games.


Disney’s Phineas and Ferb to End in June, With 73-Hour Marathon
Phineas and Ferb‘s
lonnnng summer vacation is coming to an end. Disney XD announced on Thursday that after 126 episodes, five hour-long specials and a TV-movie, the animated series will air its final episode, “Last Day of Summer,” on Friday, June 12 at 9/8c.


Disney Names Marketer to Run Consumer Products Division
Leslie Ferraro
, who will become president of Disney Consumer Products, joined the company’s theme park business 16 years ago.

Mark Gordon, Tracy Edmonds, Gary Lucchesi Added to ‘Produced By’ Conference Lineup
Mark Gordon, Lori McCreary, Will Packer
and Arianna Bocco are among those joining the lineup of participants in the 7th Annual Produced By Conference.

Q&A: CW President Mark Pedowitz Gets Guys
The CW audience is now almost 45 percent male. What shows are most responsible for adding men?

It’s The Flash, Arrow, The 100 and Supernatural.

Had you been actively pursuing a male audience with those shows?

We recognize that when Smallville went off the air [in 2011] we lost a boatload of men. So this was a thoughtful, executed piece of a strategy to balance it out a little more.


AdWeek: 5 TV Trends That Should Shape Next Season
As the networks plan their strategies for the 2015-2016 season, here are the biggest trends from the past 12 months they’ll likely try and make their own.

Nintendo Partners with Universal Theme Parks for Rides and Attractions
, which has spent much of 2015 expanding beyond its traditional video game roots, has partnered with Universal Parks and Resorts to bring Mario, Donkey Kong and the rest of the company’s extensive collection of characters to the parks in the form of Nintendo-themed rides and character appearances.