Morning News Update for Monday, August 24, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your morning news update for Monday, August 24, 2015:


(from Fri) Shondaland, ‘Trophy Wife’ Creators Developing Divorce Comedy for ABC

Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ production company is teaming with Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins to develop half-hour Splitsville for ABC. The comedy centers on a group of single residents of a suburban cul-de-sac, who in the wake of a wave of divorces join forces to raise their kids and get through it together. Halpern and Haskins will pen the script and exec produce the comedy alongside Shondaland’s Rhimes and Beers. (

(from Fri) Cain & Abel Drama From ‘How To Make It In America’ Creator & Imagine TV Gets NBC Put Pilot Order

Imagine TVis developing a soapy family drama set in another community with a vibrant music backdrop: the Cuban exiles in Miami. NBChas given a put pilot commitment to an untitled drama from Imagine, Ian Edelmanand David Frankel. 20th Century Fox Television, where Imagine TV is based, is the studio. Written by Edelman and to be directed by Frankel, the untitled project is described as a sexy soapy Cain and Abel story told through the lives of two very different Cuban brothers and their families living in Miami. (

(from Fri) NBC Buys ‘The Bourbon Kings’, Second Kentucky Bourbon Drama This Season

NBChas bought The Bourbon Kings, a drama project from Endemol Shine Studios. It is based on the best-selling novel The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward, which Endemol Shine had acquired in a bidding situation. David Rambowill write the adaptation, a scorching family saga centered on the Bradfords, an aristocratic Kentucky family who made their fortune in the bourbon industry. Entertainment 360’s Daniel Rappaport, Ben Forkner and Marcus Blakely executive produce. (

(from Fri) ‘Talent’ Drama With Music Elements From Shaun Cassidy & The Firm Set Up At NBC

NBChas put in development Talent, a drama with elements of music, from Shaun Cassidyand Jeff Kwatinetz’s newly relaunched company The Firm. Written by Cassidy, Talent is described as a family soap that centers around a music prodigy who has a unique way of dealing with the murder of his one true love. Universal TV, where Cassidy is under an overall deal, is the studio. (

(from Fri) Fox Nabs Comedy From John & Dave Chernin With Penalty

A single-camera comedy from John Cherninand Dave Cherninhas landed at Foxwith a script commitment plus penalty. The pitch was taken directly to the networks by the Chernin brothers and 3 Arts. With Fox on board, the project has now been set up at 20th Century Fox TV. It centers on a coarse, blue-collar woman who moves to affluent Greenwich, CT to raise the outrageously spoiled kids of her wealthy sister and brother-in-law, who have fled the country to avoid prosecution for illegal activities. (

(from Fri) Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn Drama Series Gets CBS Put Pilot Commitment

DramaSawyer & Huck, a modern-day take on the classic Mark Twain characters, has landed at CBSwith a put pilot commitment. The project comes from Sony Pictures TV, Josh Bermanand CBS TV Studios. Penned by Brandon Margolisand Brandon Sonnierand to be directed by Anthony Hemingway, Sawyer & Huck is described as a reimagining of the iconic characters of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. After a murder case brings them together in St. Louis, Tom Sawyer hires his previously estranged boyhood friend Huck Finn as an investigator for his foundering one-man legal firm and together they take on cases for people who don’t have anywhere else to turn. (

(from Fri) ‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris Inks Multiyear Deal With ABC Studios

“Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris has inked an overall deal with ABC Studios. (


Marvel’s ‘Luke Cage’ Enlists Alfre Woodard

The ‘State of Affairs’ alum will play Minetta, a powerful woman in politics who impacts the life of the hero. (

‘Sleepy Hollow’ Promotes Pair to Series Regular

Lance Gross, who just joined the cast, and Zach Appelman — who was seen briefly in season two — will be full-time fixtures on the rebooted Fox drama. (

‘Empire’ Casts Gabourey Sidibe’s Love Interest for Season 2

“Empire” has cast Mo McRae to appear in season two. He will do a three-episode arc, playing a love interest for Becky (Gabourey Sidibe). (

Wilson Bethel Joins ABC’s ‘Blood & Oil’; Jackson Rathbone In MTV’s ‘Finding Carter’

Wilson Bethel has joined ABC’s new fall drama series Blood & Oilin a recurring role. Jackson Rathbone has booked a major recurring role on MTV’s Finding Carter. (

Andrew Howard & Manuel Uriza Join FX’s ‘Snowfall’ Pilot As Regulars

Andrew Howardand Manuel Urizahave landed series regular roles in FX‘s drama pilot Snowfall. (


‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Announces Lineup of Guests for Premiere Week

Colbert’s First Show to Feature Academy Award Winner George Clooney and Republican Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush, Tuesday, Sept. 8. Additional Premiere Week Guests Include Scarlett Johansson, Amy Schumer and Stephen King. (

DWTS Season 21: Bindi Irwin Revealed as First Celeb Contestant

ABC ever-so-slightly pulled the curtain back on Dancing With the Stars‘ Season 21 cast, revealing Bindi Irwin as the first celeb contestant. (


CNN’s Lizzie Kerner Promoted to VP of Current Programming

The cable news net also ups two others in the growing originals department. Jon Adler has been promoted to director of program development and Chanel Carmona has been upped to associate director. (


Media Stocks Bloodied In Widespread Global Market Selloff

Maybe it’s a rout. Maybe it’s just a correction. But whatever it is, the market downturn this morning is serious — and affects virtually every major media company. Netflix, the sector’s highest flyer, is off 9.6%, suggesting a more than $4 billion loss in its market value. (

Fall TV’s Most Interesting Ads Will Be Served by ‘Empire,’ Stephen Colbert, Neil Patrick Harris

TV networks can no longer run the same coterie of 15- and 30-second pitches and hope for the best. Zenith predicts the number of linear TV viewers will rise 3.1% this year, then fall 1.9% in 2016 and 0.9% the following year. To keep Madison Avenue interested, Big TV has to offer new ways to make the most of the audience that’s showing up. (

Techcrunch: The Future For Artists And Celebrities (And YouTubers) Is Direct Intimacy

When artists and celebrities directly interact with fans, audiences respond with higher support (in the case of the data below, financially) and exponentially higher engagement levels. We did a study among our top creators and found that — as expected — financially supportive fans engaged up to 100x more. What was interesting, though, was when creators made more posts and comments than the median, they received more than 200 percent more financial support. (

(q&a) Salon: You can’t make “Game of Thrones” on a YouTube budget: Why “it’s the best of times and the worst of times” for prestige TV

Q: How has TV done better – made more money, employed creative people, improved at the level of quality – in a way that movies, books, music and other genres haven’t?

A: Many of the people running entertainment corporations came from the television divisions: It’s a reflection of how dominant TV became. These were once movie studios who picked up television channels: Now they’re entertainment conglomerates fueled by television. And movies are a small subset of that. Television drives revenue and profit. (