Morning News Update for Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your morning news update for Wednesday, July 29, 2015:


HBO Developing Paula Pell Comedy Series

Longtime Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pellhas teamed with frequent collaborator Michelle Lawler for a half-hour comedy, which has been set up at HBO. Written by Pell and Lawler and executive produced by Sue Naegle, the untitled comedy centers on a fallen Olympic figure skater who returns home to Massachusetts to confront her former bullish coach and narcissistic mother who have cashed in on her success.

Syfy Gives Straight-to-Series Order to Grindhouse Drama ‘Blood Drive’

Syfy has given a 13-episode straight-to-series order for the grindhouse-style drama Blood Drive. The series is described as a high-octane story set in a near-apocalyptic future centered on Los Angeles’ last good cop who must join a twisted and bloody cross-country death race that includes cars powered by blood and a dangerous female character who sees people as little more than fuel. From Universal Cable Productions, Blood Drive was penned by writer James Roland. John Hlavin and David Straiton will exec produce and the latter will also direct.

Tig Notaro to Star in Amazon Comedy From Louis C.K., Diablo Cody

Tig Notaro is set to star in and co-write a semiautobiographical comedy for Amazon. The untitled comedy, which has landed a pilot order at the streaming service, will be written by Notaro and Diablo Cody. Notaro and Cody will executive produce the single-camera entry alongside Louis C.K. The comedy hails from C.K.’s FX Productions-based Pig Newton banner. Dave Becky of 3 Arts and Blair Breard also are attached as executive producers.

Cindy Crawford Developing NBC Series About ’80s Modeling Wars

Cindy Crawford is developing a drama for NBC, based on the modeling world in the 1980’s. The series, tentatively titled “Icon,” marks Crawford’s television producing debut. Anne Heche and James Tupper will also serve as exec producers with Crawford and Robin Bissell who will pen the project, hailing from Universal TV. “Icon,” in very early development, revolves around the modeling wars in the ’80s that occurred between Ford Modeling Agency and Elite Model Management.

NBC Says Goodbye to ‘Welcome to Sweden’

NBC has said goodbye to “Welcome to Sweden.” Creator-star Greg Poehler has announced that NBC has ended his comedy “due to some craptastically low ratings in the U.S.”

Banshee Sets End Date: Season 4 Will Be Cinemax Drama’s Last

Banshee‘s upcoming eight-episode fourth season will be the show’s last.

Netflix’s ‘Lilyhammer’ Canceled After Three Seasons

The Steven Van Zandt drama will not return for a fourth cycle.

TV Land’s ‘The Soul Man’ to End After Season 5

The ‘Hot in Cleveland’ spinoff was a holdover from the cable network’s multicamera roots.

(sched) Amazon Sets ‘Sneaky Pete,’ ‘Casanova’ Drama Pilot Premieres

Amazon Studios next week will launch its two newest drama pilots: “Sneaky Pete,” starring Giovanni Ribisi as an ex-con from David Shore and Bryan Cranston, and period piece “Casanova,” about the famed 18th century Italian lover. Both pilots will bow on Amazon’s Instant Video service Friday, Aug. 7.


Vox: Netflix is accidentally inventing a new art form — not quite TV and not quite film

Netflix fundamentally doesn’t think about TV in terms of those episodes. It thinks about them in terms of seasons, and it encourages its creators to do so as well. I caught up with Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer, to ask him about this very thing, and he said the company increasingly thinks of its series not in terms of episodes but in terms of shows. "The first season of Bloodline is the pilot. It’s not like the first episode of Bloodline is the pilot," he told me.

Variety: TCA: Netflix Live Blog

Netflix kicks off the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Pasadena. Follow below for live updates as Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, opens the 2015 session.


Georgina Reilly, Daren Kagasoff & Matthew Del Negro To Star In ‘Paradise Pictures’ Pilot

Georgina Reilly, Daren Kagasoffand Matthew Del Negrohave signed on to star in USA’s Old Hollywood pilotParadise Pictures, written and executive produced by Suits scribe Rick Muirragui and executive produced by Suits creator/executive producer Aaron Korsh. The period drama revolves around ambitious people striving to get to the top in 1940s Hollywood.

‘Chicago Fire’ Promotes Dora Madison to Series Regular for Season 4

The ‘Friday Night Lights’ alum made her debut in April as new paramedic Jessica "Chili" Chilton.

Frank Langella To Co-Star In HBO’s LBJ Movie ‘All The Way’

Frank Langellais set to co-star opposite Bryan Cranstonin All The Way, HBO‘s adaptation of the Tony-winning Robert Schenkkan play.

Lost Alum Terry O’Quinn Joins ABC’s Secrets and Lies for Season 2

Lost alum Terry O’Quinn will play pop to Michael Ealy when ABC unspools more Secrets and Lies.

Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige Join NBC’s ‘The Wiz’

Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige are the latest singers ready to ease on down the road for NBC’s upcoming live production of “The Wiz.”


‘Shaft’ Remake Gears Up With ‘Black-ish’ Creator

New Line’s reboot of the “Shaft” franchise is gaining traction with a pair of writers on board — “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris and “The Goldbergs” executive producer Alex Barnow. New Line began developing a new “Shaft” earlier this year by acquiring the remake rights and setting up the latest version with producer John Davis.

WWE Studios Buys Brett Dalton’s ‘Resurrection of Gavin Stone’

WWE Studios has acquired worldwide rights to the faith-based comedy “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” from the Harvest Bible Chapel’s Vertical Church Films. Brett Dalton, star of ABC’s “Agents of Shield,” portrays the title character.

California Expanded Tax Credit Program Draws 254 Film Applicants

The California Film Commission has announced 254 movie projects applied for $55.2 million in tax credits under the state’s recently expanded program — underlining the strong interest in keeping production in the Golden State.


BBC names drama indie chief

BBC has promoted Luther producer Liz Kilgarriff to become its new indie drama commissioning chief. Kilgarriff will replace Polly Hill, who was promoted to drama controller to replace the LA-bound Ben Stephenson after spending six years as independent drama commissioning editor.


Mark Gordon to give MIPCOM keynote

Producer Mark Gordon will give a creative keynote at MIPCOM in October.

Major Layoffs to Hit Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity This Week as Bankruptcy Looms

Some 350 people currently work at Beverly Hills-based Relativity.


CBS Will Live-Stream Super Bowl Ads In Big Move For Media Industry

CBS intends to shake things up by live-streaming every single national ad that supports its February 7, 2016, telecast of Super Bowl 50. The maneuver is one that could have seismic ramifications for the media business, as it essentially forces the event’s big-spending sponsors to consider online impressions and TV ratings at the same time, not separately, as has been common practice.