Morning News Update for Thursday, June 25, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your morning news update for Thursday, June 25, 2015:


Weinstein Company Acquiring Andy McNab Novels For Series; Antoine Fuqua In Talks To Helm Pilot
The Weinstein Company
is close to winning an auction for a series of 16 bestselling novels by Andy McNab. The intention will be to use the books into a series revolving around former British Army regiment SAS agent Nick Stone. Already, Antoine Fuqua is in early discussions to direct the pilot and be an executive producer. McNab has written 16 volumes based on Stone, who sounds like one tough guy who tries to mix covert work with life, almost like Luther if he was a British intelligence agent rather than a police detective.

HBO Orders Romantic Drama Pilot from ‘Parenthood’s’ Jason Katims

Jason Katims is adding another project to his busy slate with an HBO pilot order for a romantic drama, titled “Us.” The hourlong drama pilot is described as a sweeping examination of the often baffling, sometimes unexpected but ultimately heart-wrenching ways love and human connection can be found today through a vast web of seemingly unconnected people. “Us” hails from Universal Television and True Jack Productions.

Amazon’s Transparent Renewed for Season 3

Ahead of its season-two premiere, Amazon Studios has renewed its critically acclaimed original series Transparent for a third season. The show’s creator, Jill Soloway, has also signed an overall deal with Amazon to develop more TV projects for the streaming platform.

‘Mr. Robot’ Gets Second Season Pickup By USA Ahead Of Series Premiere
USA Network
is giving a major vote of confidence to its new series Mr. Robot. Hours before the hacking drama premieres, the network has renewed it for a second season of at least 10 episodes.

‘Mr. Robot’ Creator Sam Esmail Inks Overall Deal With Universal Cable Prods.

In his first foray into television, writer Sam Esmail wrote a spec for a brooding hacker drama, which was picked up by USA Network. In a rare feat, Esmail, a complete novice in TV, was entrusted with running his show by himself. And now, he has accomplished another first in his career, signaling a seven-figure overall deal with UCP.

(sched) ‘Scream Queens’ Casts Charisma Carpenter, Reveals Premiere Date

The show’s star, Emma Roberts, let it slip on Instagram today that the comedy will premiere on the first Tuesday of the season, September 22. In a guest starring/potential recurring role, Charisma Carpenter will play the mom of another lead on the show, Ariana Grande.

(sched) The CW Announces Fall 2015 Premiere Dates; October Launches for All Scripted Series Including ‘The Flash’ & ‘Supernatural’

The CW Network will launch its 2015-16 season in October.

The Lizzie Borden Chronicles Not Returning for Season 2

Lifetime is officially giving Lizzie Borden the ax; the Christina Ricci-led drama will not return for a second season.


Sarah Silverman to Return to ‘Masters of Sex’ for Recurring Arc

Sarah Silvermanwill return to Showtime’sMasters of Sex” for a multi-episode recurring arc on its upcoming third season.

Lili Taylor Returning To ‘American Crime’ Season 2 As Regular
American Crime is bringing back another key cast member.Lili Taylor, who recurred in Season 2, is set as a regular in the second installment of John Ridley’s ABC anthology crime drama.

‘Of Kings & Prophets’ Casts Nathaniel Parker As Regular
British actor Nathaniel Parker has been cast as a king on the new ABC drama series Of Kings And Prophets. Parker will play the series regular role of the cagey, shrewd and lethal King Achish, the King of Philistia who has been warring with King Saul (Ray Winstone) for years.

‘Gotham’ Casts James Frain As Regular, Will Play New Villain & Tigress’ Brother

Gothamwill be introducing a new formidable villainous duo in Season 2: Theo Galavan and his sister, Tabitha, who will go on to become DC Comics super-villain Tigress. James Frain has been cast in one of the two new regular roles on the Fox series.

LeBron James to Guest Star on Season 2 of Starz’s ‘Survivor’s Remorse’

LeBron Jameswill guest star on Season 2 of Starz dramedy “Survivor’s Remorse.” Chris Bauer will also reprise his role of Jimmy Flaherty for four episodes.


ABC News Wins Edward R. Murrow Award For Overall Excellence; CBS News Snags Most Trophies

The Radio Television Digital News Association announced winners of its 2015 National Edward R. Murrow Awards, recognizing outstanding work produced by radio, television and online news organizations. For the second year in a row, ABC News television and ABC News Radio both won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence at the network level.

Howard Stern Says He Is Leaving ‘AGT’, Suggests Simon Cowell As Replacement
On his radio show, Stern said that he had been asked by NBC to commit for next season. “I told them, this is my last season,” Stern said. ‘I am going though my own career evaluation right now. I’m just too f**ing busy.”


OMG! BuzzFeed Could Be Making TV Shows Soon

CEO Jonah Peretti said the company is looking at ways to make BuzzFeed TV shows, according to The Wall Street Journal. "We want to do TV, but we want to do it in a different way," said Peretti. "We resisted for a long time." Now, the company is taking a serious look at how it could produce TV shows and movies, possibly testing ideas on Facebook or YouTube first.

AdWeek: Here’s Why Consumers Love Netflix More Than Amazon and Hulu

Nielsen notes that 36 percent of U.S. households subscribe to Netflix (more than 40 million U.S. subscribers in all), with Amazon Prime (13 percent) and Hulu Plus, now known simply as Hulu (6.5 percent), lagging behind. iModerate’s data found consumers think so highly of Netflix they believe the service will ultimately replace other entertainment options. At the same time, they can’t distinguish Amazon Prime Instant Video from Amazon Prime shipping and are stymied by Hulu’s commercial load.


Disney Raises Dividend By 15%
announced that it will raise its dividend 15% to 66 cents a share, and begin paying it twice a year instead of once. "Disney delivered significant increases in revenue, net income and EPS for the first half of fiscal 2015,” CEO Bob Iger says in a statement about the dividend increase. The new dividend will be paid on July 29 to shareholders of record on July 6.

(animated) Disney XD Releases Digital Series from The Brothers Chap

Disney XD has launched the multiplatform series Two More Eggs, created by digital-animation pioneers The Brothers Chap. Mike and Matt Chapman, the duo behind the group, are best known for creating the online Homestar Runner cartoons in 2000, considered one of the earliest digital series.


Creative execs move up at Electus

Electus has made a number of promotions in its senior television creative team. Montrel McKay has been promoted from director to VP of creative development, TV, and Sean Canino moves from director to VP of creative development, unscripted TV. Raymond Galaviz has been upped from coordinator to manager of creative development and talent, while Max Levenson becomes manager of current and creative development, moving up from his previous role as executive assistant to the CEO.


Upfront 2015: CBS, ABC, NBC Start to Sell Amid Pricing Pressure

CBS, ABC and NBC have all begun to secure advance advertising commitments as part of the market for commercial time on TV. The three networks are all jockeying for increases in the CPM in the range of 2% to 5%. In 2014, CBS secured a CPM increase of 6%. ABC pressed for increases of 4% to 5%. And NBC pushed for CPM increases of between 7.5% and 8%.

Louisiana Movie, TV Industry Fears Slowdown After Limits Placed on Tax Credits
Last week, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation that caps the amount of credits the state will redeem to $180 million each year. Jay Dardenne, who authored tax credit legislation when he was state senator, also said in his statement that “it pains (him) to learn that Disney/ABC has placed a moratorium on sending new projects to Louisiana until this is resolved.” But a spokesman for Disney/ABC Television Group denied that was the case.

TechCrunch: Study shows rise in cord cutting – 8.2 percent ditched pay TV in 2014

In 2014, 8.2 percent of former pay TV subscribers surveyed by TiVo subsidiary Digitalsmiths said they ditched their service – an increase of 1.3 percent over the prior year. Meanwhile, a much larger 45.2 percent said they reduced their cable or satellite TV service during the same time frame (aka Cord Shaving).

Netflix U.S. Viewing to Surpass ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC by 2016: Analysts
If Netflix were a Nielsen-rated TV network, the No. 1 streaming service would within a year have a larger 24-hour audience than each of the major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — according to a Wall Street analyst firm.

Shopping with movie trailers
TheTakeidentifies products and places in movies so you can purchase or visit. For instance, there are dozens of products listed from Jurassic World…you can even play the trailer and product matches will pop up.

538: Here’s How Americans Spend Their Working, Relaxing and Parenting Time
The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday released the 2014 results from the American Time Use Survey. The survey offers the most detailed, up-to-date portrait of how people in the United States spend their time. Americans still spend more time watching TV than all other leisure activities combined:Americans average 5.3 hours of leisure time per day (4.8 hours on weekdays and 6.5 hours on weekends and holidays) and over half that is spent in front of the television.