The Morning Update for Thursday, January 28, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, January 28, 2016:


Ford Modeling Agency Period Drama Lands ABC Pilot Order
has picked up drama Model Woman to pilot. Inspired by Robert Lacey’s 2015 book Model Woman: Eileen Ford and the Business of Beauty, the fictionalized drama is set in the late 1970s during the notorious Model Wars. The potential series centers on Bertie Geiss — a tempestuous matriarch and uncompromising businesswoman at the helm of an internationally renowned modeling agency. Helen Childress will pen the script and executive produce the drama alongside Anonymous Content’s Rosalie Swedlin and Scarlett Lacey. Model Woman hails from Sony Pictures Television’s TriStar Television, which was revived last year with Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs.

Political Crime Soap ‘Conviction’ From ‘Quantico’ Producer Picked Up to Pilot at ABC
has picked up drama Conviction to pilot. From The Mark Gordon Co., the drama tells the story of Carter Morrison, the brilliant but ne’er-do-well daughter of a former president, who is blackmailed into taking a job as the head of Los Angeles’ newly created Conviction Integrity Unit. Liz Friedman will pen the script and exec produce alongside Liz Friedlander, with the latter on board to direct.


Crackle Gives Series Order to ‘Start Up’ Drama Starring Adam Brody & Martin FreemanJust one day after Relativity Television formally relaunched as Critical Content, the company has landed its first greenlight with a series order from Sony’s Crackle for a drama starring Adam Brody and Martin Freeman. Crackle has ordered 10 episodes of the drama that also stars Edi Gathegi and newcomer Otmara Marrero. Created by Ben Ketai, “Start Up” explores what happens when a brilliant, yet controversial tech idea gets incubated on the wrong side of the tracks by three strangers who don’t necessarily fit the mold of tech entrepreneurs. Forced to fund a tech company with dirty money while forming ties with a Haitian gang, their fight to build a business pales in comparison to the fight to stay alive.

‘The Walking Dead’ Writer-Producer Angela Kang Inks Overall Deal With AMCAngela Kanghas closed a two-year overall deal at AMC. Under the pact, Kang will continue on the network’s flagship series The Walking Deadwhere she has been for the past five years. She is now being named the sole #2 co-executive producer on the highly rated series. Additionally, under the overall deal Kang will develop new shows, both projects that she would create and projects that she would supervise.


Miranda Otto to Star in ’24: Legacy’ for FoxShe joins ‘Straight Outta Compton’s’ Corey Hawkins in the reboot of the Kiefer Suthlerland franchise.

Virginia Madsen to Co-Star in CBS’ ‘American Gothic’‘Fargo’ and ‘The Good Wife’ alum Matt Shakman will direct the pilot for the summer 2016 drama.

Kevin James’ New CBS Sitcom Casts Taylor Spreitler as ‘Radicalized’ SpawnMelissa & Joey‘s Taylor Spreitler has joined CBS’ straight-to-series Untitled Kevin James Project as Kendra, James’ former people-pleasing daddy’s girl who has been radicalized by college and now has her own independence and point of view.

‘Queen Sugar’: OWN Drama Series Casts Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe & Omar J. Dorsey In Lead Roles
Dawn-Lyen Gardner
, Kofi Siriboe and Omar J. Dorsey have been cast opposite Rutina Wesley on OWN‘s new original drama series Queen Sugar, from Ava Duvernay and Warner Horizon Television.


Facebook Says Video Is Huge — 100 Million Hours Per Day Huge

Facebook still hasn’t shared everything about its video business — like the revenue, for example — but video was once again the focal point for analysts on its Q4 earnings call. The company isn’t shying away from how important video is becoming to its business. Users watch 100 million hours of video per day on Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. Also this one: 500 million people watch Facebook video every day.


Harrison Ford to Reveal ‘Star Wars’ Theme Park Plans on ‘Disneyland 60’ Special
Harrison Ford
will give fans a first look at the “Star Wars”-themed lands coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts as part of ABC’s upcoming TV special, “The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60.” Ford will preview the two park expansions during the two-hour Disney special, airing Sunday, February 21 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Schwarzenegger-Led ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Sets Warren Buffet, Tyra Banks Among AdvisorsThe new era for The Celebrity Apprentice is shifting into gear with a new setting, an all new boardroom, new cast and new host Arnold Schwarzeneggerreplacing GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in the eighth season. Billionaire Warren Buffett, former Microsoft owner and LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, Tyra Banks, Jessica Alba and Schwarzenegger’s nephew, attorney Patrick Schwarzenegger will make up the boardroom.

Timbaland and La La Anthony Team for Hip-Hop DocuseriesThe Leftfield Entertainment project will center on Face Time Agency, one of the industry’s top casting agencies for booking music video and hip-hop fashion models.


Joseph Fiennes to Play Michael Jackson in 9/11 Road Trip Comedy
Joseph Fiennes
is set to play the late singer Michael Jackson in “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon,” a one-off, half-hour comedy ordered by U.K. pay TV network Sky. Stockard Channing will play Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox will take the part of Marlon Brando in the show, which re-enacts a road trip the three friends allegedly made following the New York terrorist attacks in September 2001. In an attempt to get home to the West Coast, the trio are said to have driven from New York to Ohio, with frequent stops at fast-food restaurants, at Brando’s insistence.


Disney-ABC Writing Program Names Eight For 2016
Disney-ABC Television Group
has named eight scribes for its 27th annual Writing Program which launches on Monday, February 1. On the comedy side are directors’ assistant Dayo Adesokan, writers’ assistant Amanda Idoko and reality segment producer Andrew Mathieson. The drama line-up includes award-winning playwright and financial consultant Ron McCants, USC Law School graduate and showrunners’ assistant Miguel Ian Raya, playwright and Occidental College Adjunct Professor Janine Salinas Schoenberg, writers’ production assistant Christina Walker and engineer and writers’ assistant Jeffery Wang.

Former History, MTV Execs Launch Production Banner
Talos Films
has been set up by TV veterans Julian P. Hobbs and Elli Hakami, with investment backing from Sky Vision and October Films.


TBI: TV’s Big Questions: is linear TV dead or dying?At the recent CES show in Las Vegas, YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl forecast online video will overtake linear TV by 2020. Netflix boss Reed Hastings has said that all viewing will be online within 20 years. The prognosis for linear TV is grim. Or is it? We asked the industry.

Verge: The FCC wants to totally overhaul how cable boxes workFCC chairman Tom Wheeler just introduced a proposal that will greatly increase the choices consumers have for cable set-top boxes if it passes. The proposed framework introduces measures that would eventually allow cable and satellite customers to use whatever set-top box they want, as opposed to having to rent one directly from their provider.