The Morning Update for Wednesday, November 18, 2015.

Hi all! Here’s your Morning Update for Wednesday, November 18, 2015:


David Heyman Launches TV Joint Venture With NBCUniversal International StudiosDavid Heymanis forming Heyday Television, a joint venture with NBCUniversal International Studios that will be dedicated to creating premium long-form scripted content.

‘The Originals’ Boss Adapting Vertigo Comic ‘Unfollow’ for ABC
, already home to Marvel TV, is adapting Vertigo comic book Unfollow. Written and executive produced by Michael Narducci, the drama — which has received a script commitment from the network — hails from Warner Bros. Television. The drama explores what happens when a secretive billionaire makes a global announcement — via the social media platform he invented — that he is terminally ill and has decided to bestow his entire fortune to a seemingly random sample of 140 people from around the world. When one of them turns up dead, the others realize that they are all suspects — and the next potential victim.

ABC Buys Comedy From Gail Berman & ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ Writer
has bought a script for “Kirbyland,” a comedy from Gail Berman and scribe Josh Heald. The single-camera half-hour show centers on a Griswold-esque middle class family which declares its property a sovereign nation in order to dodge IRS troubles. They encounter a new normal where juggling the most everyday issues requires national and international maneuvering. Hails from Berman’s Jackal Group and ABC Studios.

ABC Nabs ‘Read Bottom Up’ Comedy From Fake Empire & Ben Karlin As Put Pilot
is developing Read Bottom Up, a comedy project from ABC Studios-based producers Josh Schwartzand Stephanie Savageof Fake Empire and Ben Karlin. Read Bottom Up — referring to the way one follows an email or text chain — follows young New Yorkers Madeline and Elliot, who meet then embark on a relationship, much of it playing out online and under the scrutiny and well-intentioned interference of their respective best friends and confidants Emily and David.

Johnny Knoxville, NBC Adapting ‘Hawaiian Dick’ Comic Series
Johnny Knoxville
and NBC are working on a TV adaptation of Hawaiian Dick. The series follows a stateside cop, Byrd, who is exiled to Hawaii and becomes immersed in a dark and dangerous paradise. The project is described as a one-hour comedic action series that will mix procedural, humor and supernatural elements. Paul Lovett & David Elliott will pen the script, and exec produce. Universal Television will produce.

Oscar-Winning Producer of ‘The Godfather’ Joins ‘Atlas Shrugged’ TV Miniseries
Albert Ruddy
, who also won an Oscar for ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ will co-produce the miniseries, which could be as long as 15 hours. Atlas Shrugged tells the story of government regulation that has run amok, ruining innovation and the economy while scapegoating the most productive and successful citizens.

John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant Animated Comedy Picked Up to Series at Adult SwimProduction will start later this year on ‘Dream Corp, LLC.,’ which was previously a live-action hybrid. Created by Daniel Stessen, Dream Corp, LLC. is described as an absurd workplace comedy set in a neglected dream therapy facility.

‘True Detective’ Season 3 Still Up in the Air as HBO Inks Deal with Nic Pizzolatto Through 2018
has inked an overall deal with “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto through 2018. Under the new pact, a number of new projects from Pizzolatto are being considered, including future installments of “True Detective,” though a third season is still not a sure thing.

Four ABC Comedies Snag Additional Episode Orders
The Middle, The Goldbergs, Black-ish
and Fresh Off the Boat have each received an order for two additional episodes. The additional order brings each season to 24 episodes.

‘The Bastard Executioner’ Canceled by FX After One Season
“The Bastard Executioner”
is no more. The FX drama series is laying down its sword following Tuesday’s airing of the season one finale.

(review) THR: ‘Chicago Med’Even graded on the Dick Wolf Franchise Curve, Chicago Med is spectacularly underwhelming.

(review) THR: ‘The Man in the High Castle’Much of the early appeal of Man in the High Castle is the look and feel of it, an oddly compelling twist on history that gives off a science fiction essence without spaceships or aliens. The disorienting nature of, essentially, American Nazis adds to the jarring disconnect — a different kind of alien among us.


Cary Elwes & Mary Birdsong Join Lena Dunham’s HBO Comedy Pilot ‘Max’Cary Elwesand Mary Birdsonghave been cast in recurring roles in HBO’s comedy pilot Max.


Disney Sets ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Co-Writer Philippa Boyens To Write Young Merlin MovieDisneyhas set Philippa Boyensto script an adaptation of The Merlin Saga, based on the series of books written by T.A. Barron. Gil Netteris producing.


Netflix to Debut Chelsea Handler Docu-Series in January
announced “Chelsea Does,” a four-part documentary series hosted by comedian Chelsea Handler, will debut in January exclusively on the service worldwide. The four-part docu-series is separate from Handler’s forthcoming talk show for Netflix, which is slated to bow later in 2016.


WE TV Tips Off Docuseries ‘Basketball Moms’ From ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ ProducerWEtvis getting Basketball Momsinto the game, developing an hourlong unscripted series about five Houston-area mothers whose sons play on rival youth teams and dream of making it to the NBA.

‘Ghost Hunters’ & ‘Paranormal Witness’ Renewed At SyfySyfyhas picked up its spooky series Ghost Huntersfor an eleventh season and Paranormal Witnessfor a fifth season. Both received 13-episode orders for 2016 debuts.


‘Breaking Bad’ Director Launches Production BannerSwedish TV and commercials director Johan Renck has teamed with Icelandic producer Svana Gisla to form new London-based production banner Renck & Gisla, focused on advertising and music videos plus the development of creative content for film and TV.


Broadway’s ‘The Lion King’ to Roar in Virtual RealityBroadway’s “The Lion King” will release a virtual reality video of the show’s opening number, “Circle of Life,” on a handful of digital platforms tomorrow morning, aiming to capitalize on the growing momentum of VR to turn consumer heads toward the 18-year-old production.


Legendary TV: Richard Frankie Departs, Jennifer Wang Grazier To Succeed Him As Head Of Business AffairsAfter helping establish a second independent television studio, veteran TV business executive Richard Frankieis moving on. Frankie, who has served as head of business affairs at Legendary Television and Digital Media since 2013, will be succeeded by NBCUniversal VP Business Affairs Jennifer Wong Grazier.

TNT and TBS Continue Brand Evolution by Beefing Up Marketing TeamTurner-owned cablers TNT and TBS are continuing their brand evolution under president Kevin Reilly by beefing up the networks’ marketing teams with the promotion of Jeff Gregor and the hire of Michael Engleman, who comes from NBC Universal’s Syfy and Chiller.

Warner Bros Interactive Names Steven Chiang EVP of Worldwide Production and Studios
Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
has named Steven Chiang Executive Vice President of Worldwide Production and Studios, the company announced Tuesday. Chiang will oversee the company’s development capabilities to deliver games based on multiple franchises across all platforms.

Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas Expecting Second ChildThere’s another little prince or princess on the way for Once Upon a Time co-stars Ginnifer Goodwinand Josh Dallas. The couple, who play Snow White and Prince Charming on Once, are expecting their second child together, Peoplereports.

Veteran Sitcom Director James Burrows Hits 1,000 TV Episodes MarkThis is quite a milestone — the doyen of TV sitcom directors James Burrowswill have 1,000 episodes of television under his belt. Burrows will reach the number on NBC’s midseason multi-camera comedy series Crowded, on which he serves as director and executive producer. His achievement is being celebrated today though he actually is directing his 999th episode tonight with Crowded, and the big 1,000 will tape next Tuesday.


BBC Reveals Plan to Cut $228 Million from CostsThe U.K. publicly-funded broadcaster BBC has set out details of how it plans to cut £150 million ($228 million) from its costs to plug a hole in its finances. The shortfall has arisen because fewer people are buying the U.K. television license, which is the main source of funding for the broadcaster.