Morning News Update for Friday, August 28, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your morning news update for Friday, August 28, 2015. Have a great weekend!

SCRIPTED NEWS:

‘Caesar’ Drama From Matt Lopez & John Glenn Gets ABC Put Pilot Commitment

Caesar, a sprawling contemporary drama from Matt Lopezand John Glenn, has landed at ABCwith a put pilot commitment. The project, which reimagines Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar in modern-day Los Angeles, is described as a tale of power, sex and revenge. Lopez will write the script. He and Glenn will executive produce. Universal TV is the studio. (http://deadline.com/2015/08/caesar-drama-series-matt-lopez-john-glenn-abc-put-pilot-1201508175/)

‘Galaxy Quest’ TV Series Takes Flight at Amazon

Amazon Studios has signed on to develop a TV series based on “Galaxy Quest.” The 1999 sci-fi movie starred Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman as actors who once appeared on a “Star Trek”-like TV series — so convincingly, in fact, the aliens who later abduct these costars don’t know the show is fake. Original director Dean Parisot, co-writer Robert Gordon and executive producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein are on board. (http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/galaxy-quest-tv-series-amazon-1201579636/)

Andrew Schneider & Diane Frolov to Helm ‘Chicago Med’ After Showrunner Shift

“Chicago Med” has found new showrunners in Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov. The duo steps in following Andrew Dettmann’s exit. (http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/andrew-schneider-diane-frolov-to-helm-chicago-med-after-showrunner-shift-1201580270/)

‘Gotham’ Exec Producer Danny Cannon Inks Overall Deal With Warner Bros. TV

Top TV director-producer Danny Cannonhas signed a new, three-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. Under the pact, Cannon will continue as executive producer/director on the studio’s Fox drama seriesGothamwhere he has been since the pilot, which he directed.

http://deadline.com/2015/08/danny-cannon-overall-deal-warner-bros-tv-gotham-1201507604/

Hulu Renews Amy Poehler’s ‘Difficult People’ for Season 2

Hulu has ordered a second season of “Difficult People.” The comedy comes from exec producers Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Tony Hernandez of Jax Media and showrunner Scott King. (http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/hulu-difficult-people-season-2-renewed-amy-poehler-1201579687/)

(animated) TBS Renews ‘American Dad’ Through 2018

TBS can’t get enough of “American Dad,” renewing the animated comedy hit about the Stan Smith clan for two more seasons. (http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/tbs-renews-american-dad-through-2018-1201579861/)

Fox’s Frankenstein Code Changes Title to Lookinglass

Fox announced that its midseason supernatural drama — about a corrupt LA County sheriff brought back to life in the body of True Blood‘s Robert Kazinsky — has officially undergone a title change. The show’s new title refers to the Lookinglass Project aka the next-gen science lab founded by Otto Goodwin (played by Adhir Kalyan) and his bioengineer twin sister, Mary (Dilshad Vadsaria). (http://tvline.com/2015/08/27/lookinglass-frankenstein-code-name-change-fox-series/)

CASTING NEWS:

‘Urban Cowboy’ Fox Pilot Casts ‘The Voice’s Bryana Salaz As Series Regular

Bryana Salaz, a contestant on last fall’s Season 7 of The Voice, has landed a series regular role opposite Alfonso Herrera and Jim Belushi in Fox‘s drama pilot Urban Cowboy, a modern, Latin music-fueled reimagining of the 1980 Paramount movie. (http://deadline.com/2015/08/urban-cowboy-bryana-salaz-the-voice-cast-fox-1201508637/)

Fresh Off the Boat: Shaquille O’Neal to Hold Court in Season 2

Fresh Off the Boat‘s latest casting is a slam-dunk: Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal will guest-star in the ABC comedy’s upcoming sophomore season. (http://tvline.com/2015/08/27/shaquile-oneal-fresh-off-the-boat-cast-season-2/)

Julie Benz Joins Hawaii Five-0 as SFPD Cop/Romantic Interest

Julie Benz is joining CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 in the recurring role of Jennifer, a detective from San Francisco who is heading up a task force modeled after Five-0. (http://tvline.com/2015/08/27/julie-benz-hawaii-five-0-season-6/)

David Alan Grier Joins NBC’s ‘The Wiz’ Live Musical

Grier joins Stephanie Mills, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and Ne-Yo in the production. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/watch-nbcs-first-promo-wiz-818288)

NEW MEDIA NEWS:

Nielsen is now tracking ratings for nearly 1,000 streaming shows

The Wall Street Journal reports that Nielsen is currently months into a program that allows it to track shows on Netflix and other services like Amazon Prime and Hulu, and it now has data on nearly 1,000 shows — including how many people watch an episode and information like age and gender. Nielsen hopes that the data it shares can help studios negotiate for higher licensing fees from services if the shows that stream online are shown to do well. (http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/27/9217403/nielsen-ratings-streaming-content-netflix-amazon-hulu)

‘The Daily Show’ Gets Ready to Go Viral

The Comedy Central news satire show has hired Baratunde Thurston to oversee digital content that it will create under Trevor Noah, the new host. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/arts/television/the-daily-show-gets-ready-to-go-viral.html)

This Past Monday, A Billion People Used Facebook In A Single Day

Facebook reached one in seven people on earth in a single day earlier this week: Over a billion people accessed Facebook this past Monday, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/a-billion-people-used-facebook-this-past-monday-1201580086/)

NON-SCRIPTED/ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

VH1 Greenlights New ‘Love & Hip Hop’ Spinoff; Renews ‘K.Michelle: My Life’

VH1 has greenlit another spinoff from its successful “Love & Hip Hop” franchise, which will be toplined by reality personalities Stevie and Joseline from “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.” The cable net has also picked up a second season of “K.Michelle: My Life,” which is set to premiere in winter 2016. (http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/stevie-and-joseline-love-and-hip-hop-spinoff-vh1-1201579783/)

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

Shakespeare drama for BBC

Russell T. Davies is penning a 90-minute television adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for UK terrestrial BBC One.

Director Steve McQueen, meanwhile, is creating a six-part drama about West Indian communities in Britain during the the late Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. McQueen’s new show will run to six hours, and comes from Rainmark Films Production, with Tracey Scoffield executive producing.

BBC One has also commissioned musical drama series Stop! In the Name of Love, which comes from Red Planet Pictures and was first revealed to be in the works at Tony Jordan’s prodco in January 2014. (http://tbivision.com/news/2015/08/russell-t-davies-writing-bbc-shakespeare-show/473361/)

Channel 4 Orders Sex-Scandal Drama ‘National Treasure’

A four-part serial drama, National Treasureexamines accusations of sexual misconduct against a fictional public figure and explores their impact on the accused and those most closely associated with him as he is brought to trial. Channel 4has ordered the timely drama that’s created by Jack Thorneand is due to air next year. (http://deadline.com/2015/08/channel-4-national-treasure-sex-scandal-murder-edinburgh-1201508888/)

BBC Two Enters Court Of ‘Versailles’ With Anglo-French Drama Pick-Up

BBC Two has taken UK rights to Anglo-French drama, Versailles. Zodiak Rightsis handling international sales on the 10-part English-language series. Set against a backdrop of power, love, betrayal and war, Versailles examines a defining period of French history. The year is 1667 and King Louis XIV is a 28-year-old monarch on the cusp of greatness. (http://deadline.com/2015/08/bbc-two-acquires-versailles-edinburgh-1201508869/)

Canada’s Space Acquires Sci-Fi Drama The Expanse

Canadian channel Space has picked up the space mystery drama The Expanse, distributed by Legendary Television Distribution, for a December premiere. The series takes place 200 years in the future after humankind has colonized the solar system and stars Thomas Jane as a hardened detective on the case of a missing young woman. (http://worldscreen.com/articles/display/52139)

ITV2 orders diverse comedies

ITV2 in the UK has commissioned a raft of diverse comedy shows to air this fall in the run-up to the Music of Black Origin Awards. (http://www.c21media.net/itv2-orders-diverse-comedies/)

EXECUTIVE/TALENT NEWS:

Open Road Ramps Up TV Biz With ABC Family Exec Hire

Open Road Filmshas named former ABC Family executive Lynn Stepanianits EVP of Television as the primarily film company begins to dip its toe in the TV waters. (http://deadline.com/2015/08/open-road-films-tv-hire-lynn-stepanian-1201508493/)

Hulu Hires NBCU’s Philip Matthys to Head Business Affairs for Original Series

Philip Matthys, who previously led deal negotiations for NBCUniversal’s cable unit, has joined Hulu as head of business affairs for original series. In his new role, Matthys will be responsible for negotiating all development and production pacts for Hulu’s slate of original series with partners. (http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/hulu-hires-nbcus-philip-matthys-to-head-business-affairs-for-original-series-1201579912/)

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

HuffPo: Netflix, Binging And Quality Control In The Age Of Peak TV

Giving creatives freedom is a good thing, but is there too much of a good thing right now? Maybe it’s just me, but when it comes to many shows, especially dramas, in the cable, pay-cable and streaming arenas, I see a trend toward laxness and a lack of energy and dynamic tension. There’s also often a lack of urgency within an episode and, most notably, over the course of a season. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/netflix-binging-and-quality-control_55df5816e4b029b3f1b1f625)

Details: Inside The Agent Raid That Changed Hollywood In One Day

When UTA raided CAA, poaching 10 top talent reps in less than 24 hours, it did more than set off a conflict that threatens to draw in every agency in town, it shined a light on a dark truth: Bankable stars, like oil, are a vanishing resource. (http://www.details.com/culture-trends/movies-tv/201509/hollywood-talent-agent-wars)

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