Morning News Update for Monday, August 17, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your morning news update for Monday, August 17, 2015:


(from Fri) ABC Developing 20-Something Pilot with YouTube Producer Connor Hines

Connor Hines, who created the YouTube series “Local Attraction,” has a comedy pilot in the works at ABC. The series, tentatively titled “For Now,” revolves around a group of twentysomethings living in New York City. The ensembler explores dating, friendships and finding yourself. Hines is set to write, exec produce and star in the sitcom.

(from Fri) Puppet Show Comedy From Gary Janetti Gets NBC Put Pilot Commitment

An irreverent, single-camera workplace comedy from Gary Janettihas landed at NBCwith a put pilot commitment. Tentatively titledBumbleberry Lane, the project, from Warner Bros. TV where Janetti is under an overall deal, is set behind the scenes of a racially diverse, politically correct children’s puppet program where everyone and everything is incredibly, politically incorrect.

(from Fri) DC Comics Workplace Comedy Lands At NBC With Pilot Production Commitment

Powerless, a half-hour single-camera comedy from Ben Queenand Warner Bros. TV, has landed at NBCwith a pilot production commitment. Based on characters from DC Comics, Powerless is a workplace comedy set at one of the worst insurance companies in America — with the twist being that it also takes place in the universe of DC Comics. The show is about the reality of working life for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains.

(from Fri) ‘Red’ Movies Get NBC Series Adaptation

NBCis developing Red, an hourlong series based on the movie franchise. The TV adaptation hails from the films’ creative auspices — Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, and Lorenzo di Bonaventuraand Mark Vahradian, who produced both movies. Lionsgate TV is producing with Di Bonaventura Pictures Television. The TV series version will retain the core concept of the films but will be set in a more grounded and authentic world, focusing on the characters’ darkly hilarious struggles to survive civilian life as they simultaneously fight for and against the very organization that threw them out.

(from Fri) ‘Blood Will Out’ Limited Series From Walter Kirn & Sheldon Turner Set At TNT

TNTis developing Blood Will Out, an eight-hour limited series from Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein‘s Vendetta Productions and TriStar Television. Written by Turner and Walter Kirn, Blood Will Out is an adaptation of Kirn’s autobiographical book. It chronicles the 15-year friendship between Kirn and German con artist Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who went by the name Clark Rockefeller.

(from Fri) WGN America Eyes ‘Debt’ Drama Series Starring Vincent Kartheiser

WGN Americahas boughtDebt, a spec script written by Ian MacDonald, which has Mad Men alum Vincent Kartheiserset to star and Neil LaButeto direct. The project, from Endemol Shine Studios and Christina Wayne‘s Assembly Entertainment, is for straight-to-series consideration, with penalty attached. Debt centers on a man who, having lost everything important to him, decides to partner with the head of a somewhat-fraudulent collection agency and get back at the rich who steal from the poor.

(from Fri) ‘Confessions Of An Ivy League Frat Boy’ Rights Acquired By Marty Adelstein

The TV/film rights for Andrew Lohse’s best-selling memoir Confessions Of An Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth’s Hazing Abuseshas been acquired by Marty Adelstein’s Tomorrow ITV Studios. Published by St. Martin’s Press in 2014, the book is an account of sordidness and redemption by the former Dartmouth fraternity member, whose magazine interview blew the whistle on the hazing practices of the university’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.


Chicago Med Adds Jane the Virgin’s Rachel DiPillo as Series Regular

Rachel DiPillo has joined the Chicago Fire spinoff in the series-regular role of intern Dr. Sarah Reese.

Showtime’s ‘Shameless’ Casts Chris Brochu for Season 6

Showtime has cast actor Chris Brochu in the sixth season of “Shameless.”

Arturo Del Puerto Joins FX’s ‘Snowfall’ Pilot; Julian Acosta In ‘Madam Secretary’

Arturo Del Puerto (The Lottery) has booked a series regular role opposite Billy Magnussen in FX‘s drama pilot Snowfall. Julian Acosta is set for a recurring role on CBS’ Madam Secretary.

Shawn Hatosy Joins TNT Drama Pilot ‘Animal Kingdom’

Shawn Hatosyhas joined Scott Speedman and Ellen Barkin in the cast of TNT‘s drama pilot Animal Kingdom, from John Wells Prods. in association with Warner Horizon Television.


Universal to Top $2 Billion at Domestic Box Office in Record Time

Thanks to the overperformance of N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” Universal Pictures is tracking to cross the $2 billion mark at the domestic box office on Saturday, setting a new speed record in doing so. Universal’s historic climb will break Warner Bros.’ previous record of reaching $2 billion by December 25, 2009.

(D23) ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’: Colin Trevorrow Confirmed to Direct

“Jurassic World” helmer Colin Trevorrow has been confirmed as the director of “Star Wars: Episode IX,” it was announced at D23 Expo in Anaheim.


Snapchat’s GOP debate Live Story got twice as many 18- to 24-year-olds as Fox News

Forget television—young adults are watching live events on Snapchat. Almost twice as many 18- to 24-year-olds tuned into the GOP debate via Snapchat Live Story than TV. The Live Story featured curated pictures and videos, or snaps, from before, during and after the first GOP debate in Cleveland, Ohio. Snapchat editorial employees pick and choose what snaps from the debate go into the Live Story that is then presented to Snapchat users. According to Recode, Live Stories bring in 20 million views a day. The first 2016 GOP debate, hosted and exclusively broadcast on Fox News, drew a record 24 million viewers.

Comcast is about to launch a major video platform called Watchable to rival Facebook and Google

Comcast is partnering with major digital publishers like Comcast-backed Vox and Buzzfeed, lifestyle, and comedy sites like AwesomenessTV, Refinery29, and The Onion, news sites like Mic and Vice, as well as legacy brands like NBC Sports to come up with a widespread digital-video platform that will rival YouTube and Facebook’s online video efforts. It will also rival the rumored video platform Verizon is preparing to unveil.


(D23) ‘Star Wars’-Themed Lands Coming to Disney Parks

The ‘Star Wars’-themed lands will be a part of the Orlando and Anaheim Disney parks.


OWN Ups Jill Dickerson to SVP of Programming and Development

OWN has promoted Jill Dickerson to senior vice president of programming and development, the cable channel announced Friday.

Top Universal Exec Jeffrey Kirschenbaum to Exit

The long-time Universal exec will join producer Joe Roth to form Roth Kirschenbaum Films.


Atlantic: Spies, Screams, and Muppets: A Fall TV Preview

For years, analysts have pronounced the coming death of network TV, spurred by the rise of cable networks and Millennials who consume all their media online. But a funny thing happened to the “big five” networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW) last season: They produced some must-see TV. Rather than simply leaning on a mixture of procedural crime dramas, reality shows and stale sitcoms to stave off extinction, network TV produced event dramas like Empire, How to Get Away With Murder, and The Flash that drew big, consistent ratings and got huge critical buzz. The coming fall season will, as a result, see very little change, as networks double down on what may finally serve as a winning formula.

AdWeek: Which Networks’ Data Platforms Do Media Buyers Actually Like?

Now that upfront business has finally wrapped, we asked several buyers to anonymously review the networks’ individual data offerings and separate the contenders from the pretenders. To buyers, three players stand out: NBCUniversal, Viacom and Turner. They gave low marks to ABC, CBS, Discovery and A&E for supplying little more than the data they and their clients already have access to. Said one buyer: "All ABC is doing is optimizing your prime-time inventory, which you could do on your own."

LAT: Consumers want fewer TV channels and lower monthly bills – will ‘skinny’ packages work?

American TV viewers receive an average 194 channels, and most people watch only about 17 — a number that has not budged despite the proliferation of networks, according to measurement firm Nielsen. "People don’t want massive amount of choice — particularly if they have to pay for it," said Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. "Most people hate the menu at the Cheesecake Factory because there are too many selections."

NYT: Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace

The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions. At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are “unreasonably high.”