The Morning Update for Thursday, February 4, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, February 4, 2016:


Niels Arden Oplev To Direct NBC’s Supernatural Drama Pilot ‘Midnight Texas’Mr. Robot‘s Niels Arden Oplevhas come on board to direct and executive produce Midnight Texas, NBC’s supernatural drama pilot.

Chris Koch To Direct ABC Comedy Pilot ‘Chunk & Bean’; Marc Buckland Set For ‘Dream Team’Chris Koch has been tapped to direct ABC’s single camera comedy pilot Chunk & Bean. Marc Buckland is set to direct ABC’s Dream Team, a single camera comedy pilot from Kari Lizer and Bill Wrubel.

David Semel To Direct Jason Katims’ CBS Pilot ‘Bunker Hill’David Semelis set to direct and executive produce Bunker Hill, CBS’s medical drama pilot written/executive produced by Parenthood‘s Jason Katims.

‘Taken’ NBC Series: Alex Graves To DirectAlex Graveshas been tapped to direct and executive produce the pilot episode of Taken, NBC’s straight-to-series adaptation of the hit movie franchise.

Paris Barclay To Direct Fox’s Dan Fogelman Baseball Drama Pilot ‘Pitch’Paris Barclayhas come on board to direct and executive produce Pitch,Dan Fogelmanand Rick Singer’s baseball drama pilot for Fox.

‘The Wilding’ Pilot Not Going Forward At USAUSA Networkhas opted not to proceed with The Wilding, its two-hour supernatural drama pilot from executive producers Tim Kring, writer-creator Silka Luisa and Universal Cable Prods. The project, starring Jordana Spiro, was part of a broader initiative at UCP to jump-start a greater volume of high-end series at a lower license fee to the nets through a model that involves UCP supplementing the budget for the shows through financing via collaborations with international networks and SVOD deals.

Variety: Network Pilot Season In a Frenzy Thanks to Cable and Digital Dealmaking
This year, the broadcast networks were nearly done handing out all of their pilot orders before January wrapped. They have no choice: The chase for top talent and material is now so fierce that the pilot-season timetable might as well be measured in warp factors. No one can afford to dawdle: The traditional broadcast development cycle has to barrel into a marketplace already humming year-round with deal-making for cable and digital shows.


‘Brooklyn’ TV Spin-Off Focusing On Julie Walters’ Character In Development
"Brooklyn" producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey are developing a series that will revolve around Mrs. Keogh, her boarding house, and the girls who stay there.

Syfy Greenlights Matt Damon & Ben Affleck’s Futuristic Series ‘Incorporated’
has greenlit the futuristic thriller “Incorporated.” The series landed a 13-episode order, which is slated to premiere this fall. Produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Pearl Street Films along with CBS Television Studios and Syfy’s sister studio Universal Cable Productions, “Incorporated” was created by David and Alex Pastor, who wrote and directed the pilot. Set in a near future where corporates have unlimited power, “Incorporated” revolves around Ben Larson (played by Sean Teale), a young executive who conceals his true identity to infiltrate a very dangerous corporate world to save the woman he loves — but he’ll soon learn that he’s not the only one whose secrets may have deadly consequences.

HBO Redeveloping ‘Lewis & Clark’ Miniseries with Michelle Ashford Rewriting
HBO’s “Lewis & Clark”
miniseries is starting anew, entering a stage of major redevelopment with Michelle Ashford rewriting the six-part script. The troubled miniseries has already hit many bumps along the road, including production being shut down last summer after director and co-writer John Curran exited the high-profile project.

‘Manhattan’ Canceled After Two Seasons at WGN America
has been canceled with WGN America opting not to go forth with a third season of the period drama.

‘The Flash’ and ‘Supergirl’ to Unite for Crossover Episode on CBS
Grant Gustin
, star of The CW’s hit superhero series “The Flash,” will visit CBS’ “Supergirl” for a crossover episode set to air Monday, March 28 at 8 p.m. on CBS.


Christina Milian Cast as Magenta in Fox’s ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’
Fox’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
is filling out with the addition of Christina Milian, who’s been cast in the role of Magenta.

Devious Maids Season 4: Cristela Alum Nabs Manipulative Recurring Role
Carlos Ponce
(Cristela) will recur in Devious Maids‘ upcoming fourth season as Ben, a “handsome and slick” manager of a major movie star.

History’s Navy SEAL Drama ‘Six’ Recruits ‘Revenge’ Alum Barry SloaneThe Harvey Weinstein-produced series centers on a Navy SEAL Team and their 2014 mission to take down a Taliban leader in Afghanistan.

Edwin Hodge Joins History’s Military Drama Series ‘Six’Edwin Hodgehas joined the ensemble cast of History’s eight-episode military action drama series Six, from A+E Studios and The Weinstein Company.

Emily Rios Cast As Female Lead In A&E Drama Pilot ‘Infamous’Breaking Bad alumna Emily Rioshas landed the female lead on A&E’s hip-hop crime drama pilot The Infamous.

Lifetime, Queen Latifah Team for Kevin Durant TV Movie
‘The Real MVP: The Wanda Pratt Story’
is based on the NBA star’s mother.


Tina Fey’s Little Stranger Inks First-Look Deal With Universal
Universal Pictures
has signed Tina Fey’s Little Stranger, Inc. production banner to a two-year first-look production deal with the company. Fey has also named Eric Gurian executive vice president of Little Stranger.

Steven Soderbergh to End Film Retirement for Channing Tatum Movie
Steven Soderbergh is attached to direct the feature film “Lucky Logan” with Channing Tatum on board to star.


YouTube Set to Premiere First Original Movies, PewDiePie Series
next week is set to launch its first exclusive programming — a test of how many customers will fork over $10 per month to watch movies and TV shows featuring the platform’s digital stars. The video service on Feb. 10 will premiere three films and “Scare PewDiePie,” a reality-adventure series starring YouTube’s immensely popular Swedish game vlogger.

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, ESPN Films Kick Off Election Series with ‘The Dean Scream’
Nate Silver’s
data journalism site FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films will debut the first of a five-part series of short films tomorrow that promise to dive into some of the most iconic moments in U.S. election history. The first, titled “The Dean Scream,” explores former presidential candidate Howard Dean’s infamous speech following his defeat in the 2004 Iowa Caucus.

BroadbandTV Claims No. 1 MCN Spot, Topping Disney’s Maker Studios
is grabbing bragging rights as digital video’s biggest global multichannel network, citing new data showing its audience and views have surpassed Disney’s Maker Studios, Fullscreen and Machinima. BBTV had nearly 319 million worldwide unique viewers for December 2015 — 30% more than its nearest MCN competitor, Maker. Total views grew 152% year over year, to 2.73 billion in December. That’s compared with Maker’s 2.4 billion.


Miley Cyrus Joins NBC’s ‘The Voice’Miley Cyrushas been named a key adviser for the upcoming 10th season of NBC’s “The Voice”.

Animal Planet Orders ‘Penn Vet’Animal Planethas ordered a series tentatively called Penn Vet that takes viewers behind the scenes at the University of Pennsylvania’s highly competitive veterinary school.

Discovery Extends ‘Diesel Brothers’ Order The freshman show, which centers on tricked-out extreme diesel trucks, has become a hit for the network.

Matt LeBlanc to Join ‘Top Gear’ as HostFormer “Friends” star Matt LeBlanc has been revealed as one of the new presenters of BBC motoring show “Top Gear.”


Fullscreen Hires Ex-Fox Exec Jeni Mulein as VP, Scripted Development

Jeni Mulein, previously VP of event series at Fox Broadcasting, has joined Fullscreen as vice president of scripted development. Mulein reports to Fullscreen VP of scripted programming Polly Auritt, who joined the company last fall.

Philippe Dauman Replaces Sumner Redstone As Viacom Executive Chairman
CEO Philippe Dauman will replace Sumner Redstone as the company’s executive chairman.

CBS Names Les Moonves Chairman As Sumner Redstone Resigns, But Daughter Shari Opposes Similar Decision At Viacom

Ailing Sumner Redstone, 92, has stepped down as CBSexecutive chairman, becoming Chairman Emeritus. He either has — or soon will — do the same at Viacom, where he’s also executive chairman. But while CBS gave the chairman job to CEO Les Moonves, with the support of Vice Chair Shari Redstone, Sumner’s daughter says she won’t be so accommodating toward Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.

Fox Sets Participants in 2016 Writers Intensive Program, Partners with Young Storytellers

Fox has set the 10 participants in this year’s Fox Writers Intensive program, a talent development program that aims to boost the careers of writers from diverse backgrounds.
Ahmadu Garba (represented by Epicenter)
Peter Chen (Independent)
Jamila Daniel (Circle of Confusion and Don Buchwald & Associates)
Julia Fontana (Circle of Confusion)
Leon Hendrix (Independent)
Ann Kim (Independent)
Jasmine Elist & Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez (Independent)
Jamie Rosengard (CAA & Management 360)
Ester Lou Weithers (Independent)
Jake Zebede (Independent)
Tricia Johnson (Kaplan-Stahler Agency)
Jorge Rivera (Independent)


Lionsgate Explores Acquisition of Starz
has made a formal overture to Starz to initiate acquisition talks, a year after the companies were brought together by investor John Malone.