The Morning Update for Friday, October 16, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your Morning Update for Friday, October 16, 2015. Have a great weekend!


Dan Jinks Company Sets 2 Dramas At CBS

The Dan Jinks Company has sold two more dramas to CBS through CBS TV Studios where the company is based — a medical drama with a strong investigative angle from writer David Ramboand thriller Stayfrom Luke Schelhaas.

Ryan Seacrest Producing 20-Something Comedy ‘Squad Goals’ for CBS

Ryan Seacrest will serve as an exec producer on “Squad Goals,” a timely, multi-camera, hybrid sitcom that is in development at CBS. The potential series is an ensemble comedy about a group of late 20-something friends who met in college and realize it’s time to finally grow up. “Squad Goals” hails from 30-something scribes Lindsey Rosin and Aaron Karo, who penned the script.

HBO Greenlights Comedy Series ‘Insecure’ from YouTube Star Issa Rae

HBO has handed a series order to “Insecure,” a comedy created by YouTube star Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore. The 30-minute laffer will star Rae, who is also a co-exec producer and writer on the series. “Insecure” follows the friendship of two modern day black women, and all of their uncomfortable experiences and racy tribulations.

FX Gives Series Order to Donald Glover Comedy ‘Atlanta’

FX has given a series order to a comedy created by and starring “Donald Glover. “Atlanta” revolves around two cousins on their way up in Atlanta’s rap music scene. The half-hour series has a 10-episode order from FX for premiere next year. Glover is exec producing with Paul Simms for FX Prods.

‘Faking It’ Showrunner Carter Covington Sets 2 New Comedy Projects At MTV

Carter Covington has sold two new half-hour single-camera comedy projects to the cable network. The first comedy, #blessed (working title), which is still in negotiations, is done with Faking it co-producer Dan Steele. Loosely based on Steele’s experience growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, the project centers on a high school student who has been homeschooled his whole life but wants to go to a public school and secretly starts attending one. The second project, Click Bait (working title), is done with Faking It story editors Carrie Rosen and George Northy. It is a quirky ensemble comedy following aspiring YouTube stars.

‘Criminal Minds’ Alum to Develop ‘Bull Mountain’ Series with ITV Studios America

ITV Studios America has optioned the book rights for “Bull Mountain,” and has attached “Criminal Minds” exec producer Ed Bernero to develop the television adaptation. Based on Brian Panowich’s recently-released novel of the same name, “Bull Mountain” is described as a multi-generational saga of crime, family and vengeance. The story revolves around a modern day small-town sheriff who is trying to distance himself from his family’s criminal empire.

Hulu Nears Series Order For Psychic Drama ‘Shut Eye’

Hulu is close to finalizing a series pickup deal for “Shut Eye,” a drama set in the world of storefront psychics in Los Angeles. Les Bohem created the series for Sony TV’s TriStar Productions and Mark Johnson’s Gran Via banner. Hulu is expected to give the show a 10-episode straight to series order. “Shut Eye” is described as a darkly comic look at the activities of storefront psychics and the underground criminal syndicate that controls them.

Horror Comic ‘Hack/Slash’ Heading to TV With ‘Hitman’ Writer

Hack/Slash is now being developed as a television series. The project is set up at Relativity Television, which has been spun off from Relativity Media. Tom Forman remains the CEO. Skip Woods is writing the script. Created by Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli, Hack/Slash centers on Cassie Hack, a woman who symbolizes the cliche of the lone girl who survives at the end of every horror movie. However, the emotionally damaged girl not only survived but has become a killer of killers.

Fox’s ‘Grinder,’ ‘Grandfathered’ Get Additional Script Orders

Fox has given six additional script orders each to freshman series “The Grinder” and “Grandfathered,” the network announced Thursday.

MGM Television Inks Multi-Year Deal with Caryn Mandabach Productions

In an effort to develop more scripted content, MGM Television has inked a multi-year deal with Caryn Mandabach Productions, Inc. Under the new pact, the studio will create new hour-long and half-hour scripted content with the company.

Tavis Smiley Inks Warner Bros. TV Deal, Michael Jackson Series in Works

Smiley’s first two projects are based on books of his.

TVLine: black-ish Has Quietly Become TV’s Best-ish Comedy

The N Word. The debate over gun control. Clogged arteries. These topics would probably all score Big Red Xs on a Family Feud survey of “funniest sitcom topics.” Yet in its provocatively bold second season, ABC’s black-ish has tackled ’em all — and in the process, become one of the best comedies on television.


Aaron Tveit Joins Mary Elizabeth Winstead in CBS Series ‘BrainDead’

Aaron Tveit has signed on to star in “BrainDead,” CBS’ upcoming comic-thriller set in Washington, D.C.

Chicago Med Admits GH’s Julie Berman

General Hospital vet Julie Berman is transferring to Chicago Med. The three-time Emmy-winning actress is joining NBC’s latest Chicago Fire spinoff in a recurring role.


Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk to Appear in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

The actor last appeared as the green character in this summer’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’


NBCUniversal to Offer Seeso Digital Comedy Streaming Channel

NBCUniversal is joining the increasingly crowded streaming party with a new advertising-free digital comedy channel called Seeso that will cost $4 a month and offer a mix of original series, NBC late-night shows and content from the broadcaster’s archives.

Pilgrim Studios Launches Digital-Video Service With 6 Original Series

Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios TV production company is going over-the-top with 1620 Media, a digital-video platform launching with six original series and more in the pipeline. 1620 Media launches with six new original series, including comedy “Inside the Extras Studio” starring Barry Bostwick. The digital brand will encompass content across a range of genres and formats, including scripted and unscripted shows, sketch comedy, documentary and animation.


‘Descendants’ Sequel in the Works at Disney Channel

After the spellbinding success of the first iteration, Disney Channel has announced it is planning to make a second “Descendants” movie.


CBS Promotes Bridget Wiley and Amy Reisenbach in Current Programming Department

Bridget Wiley has been named exec VP of current programs, taking Geller’s former position. CBS also announced the promotion of Amy Reisenbach who’s been upped to senior VP of current programs.

Netflix’s Ted Sarandos: ‘There’s No Such Thing As Too Much TV’

Sarandos’ comments were characteristic of a generally bullish discussion about the state of the industry, with ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee citing his gratification in seeing several old rules banished, beginning with the belief that programs with minority leads can’t reach a large audience. Alluding to ABC’s success with programs like “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Black-ish,” Lee said that TV could deal with issues like race and “really attract a broad audience, and most importantly, you can unleash a huge wave of creativity.”

Sony Crackle Taps FX’s Adam Lewinson to Head Programming, Marketing

Adam Lewinson, after more than a decade at FX Networks, has joined Crackle as senior VP of programming, marketing and operations. Lewinson reports to Eric Berger, exec VP of digital networks for Sony Pictures Television and GM of Crackle.

Matt Alvarez Exits Relativity for Broad Green

Straight Outta Compton producer Matt Alvarez has exited his post at Relativity to serve as an in-house producer at Broad Green Pictures.

John Stamos Charged With DUI, Faces 6 Months in Jail

John Stamos has been charged with DUI stemming from a June arrest in Beverly Hills. If convicted, he faces up to six months in jail for the misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday. The “Full House” alum will be arraigned on Friday.


ABC Presses For Record High Prices For Oscar Ads

ABC is moving toward selling out its coming 2016 broadcast of the event, pressing potential buyers of its remaining inventory for as much as $2.2 million for a 30-second commercial in the show – a new record price – according to media buyers and other executives familiar with the negotiations. Advertisers who bought into the glitzy awards show earlier in the year were asked to pay between $1.8 million and $2 million for a half-minute spot, these people said.

THR: TV Diversity Programs: Launching Pad or Scarlet Letter?

Broadcast networks, eager to integrate their shows’ staff, run programs where they’ll pay for a season’s work for a scribe of color. The result? Sometimes a career. Other times? Resentment, exploitation and a possible backfire if money dries up: "If you’re diverse, you’re only good if you’re free."

L.A. TV Production Spikes 12 Percent Thanks to New Tax Program

TV production in L.A. hit a record high this quarter, up 12 percent compared with last year, according to a FilmL.A. report released Oct. 6. Shoot days have jumped a whopping 168 percent for sitcoms, 24 percent for dramas and 32 percent for pilots.

THR: The Problems When Many Writers Work on ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Transformers’ and Other Film Franchises

Studios need myriad ideas and multiple writers. Yet with the WGA limiting credits (and compensation) to three scribes, those needs are proving to be an issue.

HBR: Think Like an Author, Not an Owner

If you think that a future payday is what motivates an author, then you think like an owner. But the reality is more complicated than that. Simple monetary rewards are not the primary driver of luminaries like Disney, Iwerks, or Lasseter. Authors, more than owners, are looking to transcend, not because of ego, but because they want to contribute something useful, memorable, though provoking, or inspired, back into the world that inspired them.