Morning News Update for Wednesday, August 5, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your morning news update for Wednesday, August 5, 2015:


Weinstein Co., ITV Studios Board Russian Gangster Series ‘Mafiya’

Mafiya, a 10-part series written by William Nicholson, is being produced by Archery Pictures, the new U.K. banner founded last year by industry veterans Kris Thykier and Liza Marshall. Set in the Russian capital in the 1990s, Mafiya will follow a character called Misha, who goes from street trader to become one of the richest and powerful individuals in the country.

Netflix Orders Brazilian Drama Series ‘3%’

Netflix has given a series order to the futuristic drama series “3%,” which marks its first original production shot in Brazil. The series hails from Boutique Filmes and “City of God” director Cesar Charlone. The project is described as a thriller set in a world sharply divided between progress and devastation, where people are given the chance to make it to the “better side” but only 3% of the candidates succeed. Joao Miguel and Bianca Comparato star.

Reese Witherspoon & Bruna Papandrea’s Pacific Standard Inks ABC Studios Deal

Reese Witherspoonand Bruna Papandrea‘s three-year-old production company Pacific Standard is making a foray into broadcast television with an overall deal at ABC Studios.

(from Tues) CBS Adapting Norwegian Suburban Comedy ‘Side By Side’

CBShas put in development Side by Side, a single-camera comedy based on the Norwegian series of the same name (Side om Side). Veteran comedy writer-producer Donick Carywill write the adaptation, which is being produced by CBS TV Studios. Side by Side centers on a young couple that buys their dream home and gets caught between two feuding families.

(review) THR: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’

The issue that’s evident in the first two episodes that AMC made available to critics, is that not a lot of carnage happens. Fear much more of a traditional drama until the spread of the unknown virus really takes hold. Which is to say that the 90-minute first episode and the hour-long second episode are, while not actually boring, certainly less magnetic than the original.

(review) Variety: ‘Mr. Robinson’

Craig Robinson plays Craig Robinson, the lead singer-keyboardist for a funk band called Nasty Delicious, and — in a demographically desirable plot twist — teaches music to high school kids. The resulting sitcom doesn’t live up (or down) to either half of the band’s name, and seems destined to test how fast people can operate the remote after “America’s Got Talent.”


Variety: ABC’s Paul Lee: On Demand Viewing, Content Ownership Redefining Broadcast TV Economics

How much has the world changed for broadcast networks in the past five years? In discussing the state of ABC at the Television Critics Assn. press tour on Tuesday, ABC Entertainment Group chief Paul Lee noted the vast swings in programming landscape in the half-decade since he took the reins of the Alphabet.

ABC Chief Paul Lee Teases ‘Celebrity Family Feud’ Renewal

ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee stopped short of renewing “Celebrity Family Feud” Tuesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Tuesday, but just barely.

Revenge Spinoff Not Impossible, Says ABC Boss: ‘It’s a Wonderful Brand’

Revenge‘s story might not be entirely over just yet. … Maybe. Though the ABC drama wrapped its four-season run in May, there had long been speculation that it might live on in another form.

Shonda Rhimes & Pete Nowalk Tease Next Season Setups For ‘Scandal’, ‘How To Get Away With Murder’

Like water torture, TCA journos nudged Shonda Rhimes and Pete Nowalk to at least provides hints as to what will occur next season on Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder, respectively.


NBC’s ‘The Wiz’ Finds Its Dorothy

Shanice Williams has landed the role of Dorothy in NBC’s live rendition of The Wiz. The network conducted an open casting call for the starring role in its latest live musical.

David Alan Grier to Play the Cowardly Lion in NBC’s ‘The Wiz Live!’

David Alan Grier is joining NBC’s highly anticipated holiday production of “The Wiz Live!,” set for Thursday, Dec. 3.

Coach Revival Casts Kimmy Schdmit’s Andrew Ridings as Hayden’s Son

Andrew Ridings is set to play Tim Fox, the now-adult son of Nelson’s Hayden, in NBC’s forthcoming Coach revival.

Hannibal’s’ Hugh Dancy to Co-Star in Hulu’s Jason Katims Drama

He’ll play a cult leader in the 10-episode drama set to begin production in September.

Miranda Mae Mayo Joins ABC’s ‘Blood And Oil’ In Recasting

Miranda Mae Mayohas joined ABC’s new fall drama Blood And Oilas a series regular in a recasting. She’ll take over the role of Lacey Briggs, the younger daughter of Hap, played by Caitlin Carver in the pilot.

(from Tues) Jenna Dewan-Tatum Set as Lucy Lane in CBS’ ‘Supergirl’

The ‘Witches of East End’ alum will recur on the freshman drama starring Melissa Benoist.


(ratings) I Am Cait’s Audience Dropped by More Than Half in the Second Week

Whereas the premiere of Caitlyn Jenner’s reality series debuted to strong ratings for E!, snagging about 2.7 million viewers when it aired, the second week brought in less than half that — about 1.3 viewers — for a 53 percent drop.


M.L.B. Advanced Media Joins With N.H.L. in Unusual Intersport Deal

Major League Baseball Advanced Media will pay the N.H.L. $100 million annually for the right to operate the N.H.L.’s website as well as the league’s television and streaming services.


NYT: Despite 5% Increase, Disney Revenue Disappoints Analysts

The Walt Disney Company reported profit of $2.48 billion for the fiscal third quarter, translating to a higher-than-expected $1.45 a share.


Variety: Jenji Kohan Leads Band of Female Showrunners Breaking TV’s Old-School Rules

In a dynamic marketplace, a rising tide lifts all boats. And the tidal wave of television series production in the past few years has led to an unprecedented number of women serving as captains of their ships — as showrunners and auteur writer-directors of shows.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs Elected to Third Term as Academy President

Cheryl Boone Isaacs has been re-elected to a third term as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


AdWeek: ABC Finally Caps Upfront With CPM Gains

After spending the day touting its fall slate to television reporters, ABC had some additional news to break: the network has finally finished its upfront deals. A source says that CPM increases were between five and six percent.

Stratechery: Why Disney and ESPN Will Be OK

As the pay TV bundle erodes an entire slew of cable channels will whither away, their targeted content replaced by online video, particularly YouTube. Meanwhile there will be an intense competition waged by a few streaming giants — ESPN, HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video — for consumer attention and dollars. That competition will largely work in the favor of content creators, who ultimately create the differentiation that end users are willing to pay for. Said end users, though, at least those with wide-ranging tastes, may not see much gain in their pocketbooks: ESPN at $30, HBO at $15, and Netflix at $9 isn’t far off from what consumers pay today for the pay-TV bundle.