The Morning Update for Monday, January 25, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Monday, January 25, 2016:


(from Fri) Jason Katims’ Silicon Valley Medical Drama Scores Pilot Order at CBS
CBS has ordered Jason Katims’ medical drama Bunker Hill to pilot. The project follows a young Silicon Valley tech titan who enlists a veteran surgeon with a controversial past in starting a hospital with a cutting-edge, "new school" approach to medicine. Universal Television and CBS Television Studios will co-produce. On the comedy side, CBS has ordered a pilot for Superior Donuts. Based on the Broadway play by Tracy Letts, the project follows the relationship between the owner of a donut shop, his new young employee and their patrons in a gentrified Chicago neighborhood. The half-hour multicamera effort hails from writers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan and Bob Daily.

(from Fri) ‘Exorcist’ Remake Ordered to Pilot at Fox
Fox has ordered an adaptation to pilot. A modern reinvention inspired by William Blatty’s original book, The Exorcist is a propulsive, serialized psychological thriller following two very different men tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession, and confronting the face of true evil. Jeremy Slater will write the one-hour drama, and exec produce with James Robinson, David Robinson and Barbara Wall. 20th Century Fox Television will produce in association with Morgan Creek Productions.

(from Fri) NBC Orders Comedy Pilots from Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones
NBC has ordered comedy pilots from Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones. Poehler’s untitled half-hour comedy project hails from writer Charlie Grandy and centers on Karl, who, after years of partying that earned him the "black sheep" label in his royal family, returns home to compete with his brother for the family throne. Grandy will executive produce alongside Poehler and her Universal TV-based Paper Kite Productions topper Brooke Posch. 3 Arts’ Dave Becky also will exec produce the comedy.

Jones’ ensemble multicamera comedy Good Fortune comes from writers Craig Gerard and Matt Zinman and follows a hyperstructured young woman whose life is upended when she starts taking advice from a mysterious fortune teller. Gerard and Zinman will exec produce with Jones and her producing partner, Will McCormack. The duo’s shingle Le Train Train will co-produce with 20th Century TV.

(from Fri) NBC Orders Drama From ‘True Blood’ Author, Legal Soap to Pilot
Miranda’s Rights
is an hourlong legal soap that centers on 28-year-old Miranda Coale, who gets a shot at redemption six years after a sex scandal upended her life when she’s hired by a group of millennials living and working together in a start-up law firm. Katie Lovejoy will pen the script and executive produce with John Glenn for Universal Television.

Midnight, Texas hails from True Blood author Charlaine Harris, and is described as True Blood meets Twins Peaks. Harris will executive produce the drama from Universal Television alongside studio-based David Janollari and Monica Owusu-Breen, the latter of whom will pen the script.

(from Fri) Deadline: PILOT SEASON 2016 Actors Hot List: Who Are Poised For Offers?It’s January, so as network drama and comedy executives are narrowing their choices of pilot scripts, their casting counterparts are compiling wish lists of actors to pursue. Pilot Season 2016 is shaping up to be another very competitive one, with some acting talent also targeted by cable and streaming projects.


Kevin Smith Rolls Out ‘Hollyweed’ Pot Comedy Project
Kevin Smith
has wrapped production on “Hollyweed,” a half-hour comedy produced by FremantleMedia North America and StarStream Media. The project, written, directed by and starring Smith, is set in a Los Angeles cannabis dispensary. It follows two potheads, played by Smith and Donnell Rawlings (“Chappelle’s Show”), who battle a neighboring cookie magnate.

(from Fri) Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Sets Freeform Drama ‘Hunted’, Re-Ups ABC Studios DealFreeformhas put in developmentHunted, a drama series project from Mila Kunisand her Orchard Farm Productions. Separately, Orchard Farm has extended its first-look deal with ABC Studios for another year. Hunted, created and written by Hugh Sterbakov, follows a young mother on the run following the murder of her husband. Drama veteran Ed Bernero (Criminal Minds) is attached to direct and showrun the potential pilot.

Larry David to Host ‘SNL’ in FebruaryThe ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ star and ‘Seinfeld’ co-creator will be joined by musical guest The 1975.

(from Fri) Lorne Michaels Comedy ‘Brothers in Atlanta’ Dead at HBOThe project was picked up to series in April by the pay cabler. Brothers in Atlanta hailed from Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, who were set to write, executive produce and star in the show.

(from Fri) ‘Doctor Who’ Showrunner Steven Moffat to ExitHe will be replaced by ‘Broadchurch’ creator Chris Chibnall.

(from Fri) (sched) Fox Bumps ‘Second Chance’ to FridaysThe drama gets the smaller showcase after just two episodes.

(from Fri) (sched) NBC Sets ‘Heartbeat’ Premiere, ‘Carmichael’ Return and More for Midseason
Heartbeat will preview on Tuesday, March 22, at 9 p.m. before moving to its regular 8 p.m. time slot the following night. As for the comedies, NBC is putting them on Sunday nights starting March 13. Carmichael will air at 9 p.m., nabbing back-to-back episodes that first night. Starting March 20, Crowded will sit in the 9:30 p.m. half-hour. Drama Game of Silence premieres Thursday, April 7, at 10 p.m.

(from Fri) Julianna Margulies Teases ‘Good Wife’ Exit: "I’m Unemployed Come April"Her surprising quotes come weeks after it was announced the series creators would be leaving after the current seventh season.

TVGuide: Will Castle Really Continue Without Castle and Beckett?"If we had our choice, it would be the same cast, it would be the same show," Alexi Hawley tells "We’ve done some fun stuff this year so that it has a little different energy that could absolutely carry through to a Season 9. But both of us are very invested in this, and we understand that Castle has always been about Beckett and Castle. So the idea of that not happening is daunting, and we’re rooting against that." That said, the producers suggest that, with or without its stars, the show will go on if the network wants it.


Susan Misner & Emmanuelle Chriqui Cast In Hulu’s Psychic Drama Series ‘Shut Eye’The Americans’Susan Misnerand Entourage alumna Emmanuelle Chriquiare set to co-star opposite Jeffrey Donovan in the Huludrama series Shut Eye.

(from Fri) David Schwimmer to Star in AMC’s Clyde Phillips Drama ‘Feed the Beast’
Jim Sturgess
will co-star in the straight-to-series drama based on the Danish format.


Amazon Closes $10 Million Deal for Casey Affleck Drama ‘Manchester By the Sea’
has closed a $10 million deal for domestic rights to Kenneth Lonergan’s family drama “Manchester by the Sea,” which garnered rave reviews on Saturday. Amazon will now look for a theatrical partner. Set in the blue-collar Massachusetts coastal city of Manchester-by-the-Sea, the film stars Casey Affleckas Lee Chandler, a broken man who is drafted to be his nephew Patrick’s legal guardian when his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) dies with his affairs in order.

NYT: Academy Board Endorses Changes to Increase Diversity in Oscar Nominees and ItselfStung by criticism of its all-white Oscar nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it would overhaul its structure to increase diversity.


AdWeek: As NBA Moves Into Prime Time, ABC Hopes to Turn Sleepy Saturday Night Into a Slam Dunk
Saturday nights are suddenly getting a lot more competitive on broadcast TV. Now ABC is adding to the mix, bringing the NBA to a once-sleepy prime-time weekend night. This [past] weekend, ABC tips off the first of eight Saturday night NBA telecasts, the first national prime-time package for the league on broadcast television.

(from Fri) Martha Raddatz Named Co-Anchor of ABC’s ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’
ABC News
has formally named longtime correspondent Martha Raddatz as co-anchor of its Sunday morning program “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”


Former E! Boss Suzanne Kolb Tapped to Head Discovery Digital Networks
Discovery Communications
has hired Suzanne Kolb as executive VP and G.M. of Discovery Digital Networks, overseeing the company’s programming and content development efforts for Internet-native platforms. Most recently, Kolb was president of NBCUniversal’s E! Entertainment, originally joining the cable network in 2005.

Sony Ups Randy Lake To Run Studio Ops & ImageworksSony Pictureshas promoted Randy Laketo President, Studio Operations & Imageworks. He will oversee all operations, strategy and planning for Sony Pictures Imageworks and the Post Production Services, Production Services, Global Mastering and Servicing, and Asset Management divisions.

(feature) Vulture: The Epic Fail of Hollywood’s Hottest AlgorithmIn an industry where no one knows anything, here, finally, was someone who seemed to know something: Ryan Kavanaugh, a spikily red-haired man-child with an impish grin and a uniform of jeans and Converse sneakers who had an uncanny ability to fill a room and an irresistible outlook on how to make money making movies. Not yet 30 when he founded Relativity Media in 2004, he very quickly became not only a power player in Hollywood but the man who might just save it.


PGA Awards: ‘The Big Short’ Wins Top Film Prize; ‘Game Of Thrones’ Takes Drama; ‘Transparent’ Nabs Comedy

The Big Shortwon the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures at the 27th annual PGA Awards, staking its claim, per recent history, as Oscar frontrunner. On the TV side, Game Of Thrones took the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television Drama and Transparent took the top honor in comedy, winning the Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy. The Voice won Outstanding Producer of Competition Television.

Shonda Rhimes: I’m Not a Trailblazer
Shonda Rhimesaccepted the Norman Lear Achievement Award at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, but insisted that "it’s not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is." "I have, against no odds, courageously pioneered the art of writing for people of color as if they were human beings," she said sarcastically. "I’ve bravely gone around just casting parts for actors who were the best ones. I fearlessly faced down ABC when they completely agreed with me that Olivia Pope should be black."


AdWeek: Broadcast TV Advertising Spending Jumped 13 Percent to End 2015New data from Standard Media Index indicates that while broadcast TV ad spending was down 3 percent in 2015, it jumped 13 percent in the fourth quarter, buoyed by a strong scatter market. Overall TV spending was up 9 percent in the fourth quarter but remained flat during 2015 and was down 3 percent compared to last December. All media sectors except for magazines were up in the fourth quarter.

(opinion) Verge: What Was The TV Channel?In the music industry, which is also dealing with an influx of infinite streaming options, there’s been a lot of talk about curation. TV channels are already adopting that strategy in their own way. The few networks that survive outside the comfort of a bundle will be the ones that mean something to people, that have built up a recognizable point of view. HBO did it first and best.

(from Fri) Universal Poised To Close $500 Million Slate Deal With China’s Perfect World
China’s Perfect World Pictures will unveil a five-year, $500 million movie slate funding deal with Universal Pictures in the coming days, sources familiar with the pending transaction said. The move would make the Shenzhen stock exchange-listed games and TV production group the latest Chinese company to invest significant funds in a Hollywood entertainment giant.