The Morning Update for Thursday, January 14, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, January 14, 2016:


CBS, CW Acquire Pilot Scripts from Producer Jeffrey KramerProducer Jeffrey Kramer has sold two pilot scripts to CBS and The CW. CBS has acquired the pilot script for “Strike Force,” a procedural drama based on real stories drawn from the life of Chris Giovino and the federal task force he ran, which — in cooperation with agencies including the DEA, FBI, IRS and NYPD — worked to solve complex crimes and catch some of the worst criminals in the country. The pilot is being written by Robert D. Port.

Kramer and Juniper Place director of development Jennifer Stempel have also sold the pilot script for satirical comedy “Run and Gunn” to The CW. The pilot is set in Hollywood in the ’70s, with a tone reminiscent of “Boogie Nights” and “American Hustle,” per Kramer. “Run and Gunn” was penned by Wendy Riss Gatsiounis.

Drew Goddard To Direct Mike Schur NBC Comedy Series ‘Good Place’The Martian writer Drew Goddardwill direct the opening episode of Good Place, NBC‘s 13-episode straight-to-series comedy series from Mike Schur. Helming the project, starring Kristen Belland Ted Danson, marks Goddard TV directing debut.

NBC Has No Plans to Continue ‘Heroes’ After ‘Reborn’ Concludes
Bob Greenblatt
confirmed that there would not be another round of the Tim Kring drama.

‘Chicago Law’ Could Be Fourth Installment of NBC Drama Franchise
is considering a fourth installment of its increasingly successful franchise of Chicago-set procedural dramas. Network execs have had early conversations with exec producer Dick Wolf about the possibility of launching “Chicago Law” set in the legal realm.

(review) THR: ‘Teachers’

TV Land’s new comedy about elementary school teachers should immediately be added to your pile of must-see shows. Created by the ensemble comedy troupe The Katydids, Teachers is a wonderfully loose and hysterical look at six less-than-textbook elementary school teachers whose wayward personal lives spill into their school work.


Variety: NBC Chiefs Talk Jimmy Fallon, Ricky Gervais, Live TV and Comedy Momentum
NBC Entertainment
chairman Bob Greenblatt talked up NBC’s fall ratings momentum, the network’s continued experimentation with live programs and his take on Ricky Gervais’ outing Sunday as host of the Golden Globe Awards during his Q&A Wednesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

‘Friends’ Cast Reunion Heading to NBC in FebruaryAll six members of the “Friends” cast — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer — will return for a two-hour special dedicated to the career of veteran comedy director James Burrows, which will air Sunday, Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

‘Jessica Jones,’ ‘Narcos,’ ‘Master of None’ Viewership Revealed as NBC Exec Asks For Netflix ‘Perspective’
Alan Wurtzel
, NBCU president of research and media development, presented ratings estimates for a handful of SVOD shows in an effort to give reporters a sense of the audience that Netflix and Amazon draw. From September through December, the average episode of Netflix’s “Jessica Jones” averaged 4.8 million viewers in adults 18-49 during a 35-day viewing cycle, according to Wurtzel’s presentation. Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” (produced by Universal TV) grabbed 3.9 million while “Narcos” grabbed 3.2 million during the same frame.


‘True Blood’ Alum Rutina Wesley Cast in Oprah & Ava DuVernay’s OWN Series ‘Queen Sugar’
Rutina Wesley
will star in “Queen Sugar,” the upcoming drama on OWN. Based on the novel of the same name by author Natalie Baszile, “Queen Sugar” marks DuVernay’s first television project and Winfrey’s first acting gig on OWN, as she will appear on screen in an undisclosed role in the series. “Queen Sugar” follows a spirited woman and her teenage daughter as they leave behind their upscale L.A. lifestyle for their Southern roots by way of an 800-acre Louisiana sugar cane farm she inherited from her recently departed father.

‘UnReal’ Casts Black Bachelor Character for Season 2 of Lifetime SeriesFollowing the announcement last week that Lifetime’s “UnReal” would center the second season around a black Bachelor-type. B.J. Britt has landed the coveted role.


‘Sexcastle’ Graphic Novel Grabbed By Fox; ‘Workaholics’ Duo Teams With Russo BrothersFoxhas acquired the Kyle Starks graphic novel Sexcastle, a throwback to 80s action movies tale of the world’s former great assassin, who leaves the world of killing and retires to a small town. Naturally, he’s pulled back in. The film will be directed by Kyle Newacheckand Blake Andersonis attached to play the title character, Shane Sexcastle.


Netflix orders Kiss with E4
and UK broadcaster E4 have linked up to coproduce a scripted series from the creator of teen drama Skins. Kiss Me First, from writer Bryan Elsley, will premiere on E4 in the UK and Netflix outside of the territory. It will tell the story of a 17-year-old girl who is addicted to a fictional online gaming site called Agora. The series will combine live action with computer-generated virtual world sequences.

Disney Is Giving PewDiePie His Own NetworkThe most popular star on YouTube is getting his own network. With the backing of Disney-owned Maker Studios, Felix Kjellberg, best known as PewDiePie, will create his own multichannel network called Revelmode. Revelmode features lesser-known creators who align with Kjellberg’s sensibilities, namely gaming and pop culture. The first program from Revelmode will be an animated series featuring the entire roster of creators as characters.


NBC Plans ‘Hairspray’ as 2016 Live Musical Presentation
has set its sights on “Hairspray” as its live musical production for 2016. “Hairspray” will again by exec produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron who also produced the 2007 movie musical rendition.

Seth Meyers’ Late-Night NBC Deal Renewed Until 2021
Seth Meyers
is staying in business with NBC — for at least five more years. The host’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” contract has been renewed with the network through February 2021.

Al Jazeera America To Shut Down
Al Jazeera America
will cease operations at the end of April, the final chapter in a tale of failed ambition by the government of Qatar to establish a TV-news beachhead in the U.S.


Televisa Unveils New Telenovela ‘Rosas’ at NATPEMexican media giant Televisa is frontloading its NATPE slate with new telenovela “rosas,” classic telenovelas of romance and intrigue led by “Simplemente Maria,” which has been airing on Televisa since November. Other new Televisa soaps debuting at NATPE are “El Hotel de los Secretos,” the Mexican version of Spanish historic drama series “Gran Hotel,” dubbed the Spanish “Downton Abbey,” and “Un Camino Hacia el Destino” (“Road to Destiny”).


Nylon CEO Paul Greenberg to Head FYI Network
has tapped Paul Greenberg to head the network. Most recently CEO of Nylon, Greenberg steps into the role of executive vice president and general manager of FYI, starting on Jan. 19.

Warner Bros. Taps Pam Lifford To Oversee Consumer ProductsBrad Globe said back in August that he planned to step down as longtime head of Warner Bros Consumer Products. Now we know who will replace him when he leaves next month. Pam Lifford, whose resume includes a 12-year stint handling consumer products at Disney, will become WBCP President on February 1.


The 2016 Oscar NomineesThis year’s Academy Award nominations are in. Here’s a list of the major categories.

Nazi Drama ‘Naked Among Wolves,’ Hospital Show ‘Red Band Society’ Win German TV Awards

‘Deutschland ’83’ star Jonas Nay takes best actor in Germany’s version of the Emmys.

DGA Awards Nominations Set For TV & Documentaries

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series:


Downton Abbey, “Episode 8” (PBS)


Homeland, “The Tradition of Hospitality” (Showtime)


Game of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy” (HBO)


The Knick, “Williams and Walker” (Cinemax)


Mad Men, “Person to Person” (AMC)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series:


Veep, “Election Night” (HBO)


Louie, “Sleepover” (FX)


Silicon Valley, “Binding Arbitration” (HBO)


Modern Family, “White Christmas” (ABC)


Transparent, “Kina Hora” (Amazon)


‘Serial’ Shifts Season Two Episode Releases to Every 2 WeeksProducers of the popular “Serial” podcast are delaying the release of new episodes of the second season — to every two weeks, down from weekly — citing the need for more time to investigate new information on the case of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Fox Backs Wondery Podcast Network Launched By Former Exec Hernan Lopez
Hernan Lopez
, former CEO of Fox International Channels, is launching the podcast network Wondery that has received an investment from 20th Century Fox. Lopez’s goal is to turn Wondery into a hub for curating existing podcasts in addition to creating new titles.

Fresh Off The Boat teams up with Panda Express
ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat
and fast food chain Panda Express have joining up for an exclusive partnership to promote the show and celebrate Chinese New Year. Beginning this week through February 3, Panda Express restaurants across the country will display special branded Fresh Off the Boat Chinese New Year Posters and table tents featuring the Huangs.