Morning News Update for Monday, September 28, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your Morning News Update for Monday, September 28, 2015:


NBC Explores Masculinity With ‘Manhood’ Comedy

NBC has put in development Manhood, a comedy from writers Jay Baxter & Shaun Zaken, veteran comedy showrunner Rob Long and producer David Janollari. Co-written and executive produced by Baxter and Zaken, Manhood looks at what it means to be a man today, when the gender lines have never been blurrier. It centers on three men who explore different sides of masculinity in a weekly men’s group meeting, where they cry, beat drums and fire-walk to find the answer.

(from Fri) Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters’ Company Sells Drama To ABC, Hires Executive

Marvel’s Agent Carter executive producers/showrunners Michele Fazekasand Tara Buttershave sold their first project under the pod deal the duo inked at ABC Studios this year.The Death Of Eva Sofia Valdez, which has landed at ABC, was written by Cuban-American playwright Charise Castro Smith. It is a sexy revenge drama with a supernatural twist about a Cuban-American family on the rise as they navigate multiple business ventures in Miami, familial rivalries and dark secrets from the past that come back to haunt them. Overseeing the project for the Fazekas & Butters production banner is Robert Atwood, who joined the company in May as VP Television Development.

(from Fri) Fox Buys Spy Comedy From Adam Pally & Paul Lieberstein

Adam Pally‘s Clone Wolf Productions and Paul Liebersteinhave set up a half-hour comedy at Fox. It marks the first project sold under Clone Wolf’s two-year overall deal with ABC Studios, which will produce the show for Fox. Lieberstein will co-write the spy comedy with Upright Citizens Brigade’s Jon Gabrus, who potentially could star. Details about the plot are scarce, but the show is described as a comedic take on the spy genre.

(from Fri) Televisa USA Adapting Murder Mystery Series ‘Gran Hotel’

Televisa USA and production partner Lantica Media are developing an English-language version of the popular Spanish series Gran Hotel, with Stephen Kronish adapting the script. The series, which centers on a young man investigating the disappearance of his sister in Havana’s Gran Hotel in pre-Castro Cuba, is being shot at Lantica’s Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios.

(from Fri) TNT Orders Drama Pilot ‘Robbers’ From ‘Justified’ Trio

TNT has picked up to pilot Robbers. Based on Christopher Cook’s 2000 debut novel, the drama tells the story of two "running buddies" on a crime spree across Texas, the girl who is the complication and the cop who is after them all. Cook and Michael Dinner will pen the script. Dinner exec produces alongside Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly’s Timberman/Beverly banner. Sony Pictures Television will produce.

(from Fri) Jason Bateman To Topline, Produce & Direct ‘Ozark’ Drama Series For MRC

Jason Batemanis returning to television as the star, executive producer and director ofOzark, a new series for MRCand Aggregate. Bateman is taking a dramatic turn with the hourlong Ozark, created by rising feature writer Bill Dubuque. Details about the project are being kept under wraps but it’s said to take place in the dark and dangerous world of drug-money laundering.

(from Fri) ABC Renews ‘Mistresses’ For Season 4

The primetime soap will return in 2016 sans stars Jennifer Esposito and Jason George.

Wrap: 7 Biggest Surprising and Unsurprising Takeaways From TV Premiere Week

TheWrap looks at what surprised us and what didn’t this premiere week.


Amber Rose to Guest-Star on Black-ish

Amber Roseis strutting her way to Black-ish. The model will appear in an upcoming episode as Dominique, a past love interest of Charlie’s (Deon Cole). After Charlie gets stuck baby-sitting Dre’s (Anthony Anderson) kids, Dominique comes back into the picture.

Tim Matheson & Camila Banus Join FX Drama Pilot ‘Snowfall’

Tim Mathesonand Camila Banushave booked roles in Snowfall, FX’s drama pilot directed by John Singleton. Set in the early 1980s at the beginning of a crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles.

Alan Cumming to Star in Showtime Dark Comedy ‘Florent’

Cumming will star in the project, which is entered on colorful New York restaurateur Florent Morellet, who opened a restaurant in the Meatpacking District in the ’80s. ‘The Good Wife’ star originally set up the project at Sundance Channel last year.

Timothy Olyphant to Cameo in Fox’s ‘The Grinder’

The ‘Justified’ alum will play himself in the Rob Lowe-Fred Savage comedy.

‘Gotham’ Casts ‘Looking’ Alum as DC Comics Villain

Fox’s “Gotham” has tapped “Looking” star Raul Castillo to play DC Comics villain Eduardo Flamingo.


Netflix and Amazon content spend to hit US$9bn

Ampere Analysis says Netflix will up its programming spend from US$5 billion to US$6 billion over the next couple of years. It will, however, actually reduce spend on acquired fare with the increase coming from budget allocated to original programming. Netflix wants to spend 50% of its content budget on originals, Ampere noted, adding that the amount it devotes to acquisitions could start falling from 2017.

SNL Producer Sets Up Latino-Focused Digital Studio

Broadway Video, producer of Saturday Night Live and Portlandia, among other shows, is launching a digital studio to create content for Latino audiences. Más Mejor will tap into the resources of Telemundo Enterprises for the distribution, monetization and social activation of its content. Those enlisted to produce content for Más Mejor include SNL alums Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen and Vine star David Lopez.


CBS to Air 2016 Tony Awards

CBS will broadcast the 2016 Tony Awards ceremony live, the network announced Monday. Nominations for the annual theater awards will be announced on April 29, with the awards ceremony airing on June 5, 2016.

Viacom Goes Big With Trevor Noah’s Daily Show Debut, Which Will Air on All Its Networks

Comedy Central is giving Trevor Noah the biggest platform possible when he makes his Daily Show hosting debut on Monday: Parent company Viacom will simulcast his first episode across all its major networks. The show will air simultaneously on Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, Nick at Nite, MTV2, CMT, TV Land, Centric, Logo, MTVU and VH1 Classic, among others.


Sky Arts gets Occupied

Sky Arts in the UK has picked up the Franco-Norwegian political thriller Occupied from Zodiak Rights. The 10×45’ show examines what happens to a nation when it is under a silk-glove occupation – where Russia controls the country and oil resources but otherwise life continues as normal. The series is based on an original idea from Scandi writer Jo Nesbø and will premiere on TV2 Norway on October 4 and Arte later in November.

AB falls for Israeli comedy format

French broadcaster and producer AB Groupe has acquired an Israeli comedy format about a woman trying to find love for her sister. Date Blind is from Dori Media Group and tells the story of a bride-to-be and her attempts to find a boyfriend for her younger sister to bring to the wedding.

Rai, Spotnitz, Hoffman meet Medicis

Italian pubcaster Rai has ordered an eight-part drama starring Richard Madden and Dustin Hoffman from European producer Lux Vide and Frank Spotnitz’s Big Light Productions. Medici: Masters of Florence will chronicle the rise of the Medici family. The show has been created by Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer, with Sergio Mimica-Gezzan directing.

iPlayer pots snooker comedy drama

The BBC iPlayer has commissioned its first original comedy drama film from the writing team behind A Young Doctor’s Notebook. The UK pubcaster’s on-demand service has greenlit The Rack Pack, from Endemol Shine Group-owned prodco Zeppotron, which will be released in early December. Starring Luke Treadaway and Will Merrick and directed by Brian Welsh, the story focuses on the UK snooker scene of the 1970s and 1980s when the players became household names and the world championship final drew a television audience of 18.5 million.


Disneyland’s ‘Star Wars’ Addition Prompts Ride Closures

Disneyland park resort officials announced Friday that several popular rides will close to make room for the highly anticipated “Star Wars”-themed land. The Fantasmic! show, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes, Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island and all four stations along the Disneyland Railroad will temporarily close for a year.


EPIX Hires Ben Tappan In Programming, Amazon Adds Gina Kwon In Comedy

As it became an original series player with the pickup of its first two series, Graves and Berlin Station, EPIX is beefing up its development team. Ben Tappan, former SVP at Landscape Entertainment, has been hired as VP for Scripted Programming, reporting to EVP original programming Jocelyn Diaz.

Amazon has added Gina Kwon as an executive in its comedy department. Kwon is an independent film producer who has worked with such indie directors such as Miguel Arteta, Miranda July, Zoe Cassavetes and Michel Franco.

Epic Pictures Taps Robin Jones As Development & Production Exec

Genre production, finance, and distribution studio Epic Pictures Group has announced the hiring of Robin Jonesas its new Development and Production Executive.


Vox: The Black-ish season premiere was the best episode of TV this week

(Every Sunday, we pick a new episode of the week. The episode of the week for Sept. 20 through Sept. 26, 2015, is the season premiere of Black-ish, entitled "THE Word.") It’s rare that an episode of television can tackle an important topic and find a way to demonize no one, while staying funny. "THE Word" works because it’s not an episode with answers; it’s one with questions. That makes all the difference.

NYT: Brands Woo Millennials With a Wink, an Emoji or Whatever It Takes

Marketers are resorting to emojis, outrageous stunts and elaborate events to reach a demographic that has little tolerance for traditional advertising.

The Average American Worker Earns Less Today Than 40 Years Ago

It’s not just unemployment that matters. Many full-time workers take home less money, after inflation, than in decades.