The Morning Update for Thursday, February 18, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, February 18, 2016:


‘Madam Secretary’ Creator Inks Overall Deal With CBS TV Studios
Barbara Hall
will develop new projects under the two-year pact.

Marti Noxon Inks Big Overall Deal With Skydance
Marti Noxon
has signed a multiyear overall deal with independent studio Skydance. The first project under the pact is drama Dietland, based on the novel of the same name by Sarai Walker. Described as part coming-of-age story and part revenge fantasy, the potential series is set against the backdrop of the beauty industry and explores society’s obsession with weight loss in a bold and funny fashion.

(review) Hitfix: I was wrong. ‘American Crime’ is a great TV drama.Last month, I confessed that I felt no deeper connection to American Crime’s second season than I did the first, impressed intellectually but unmoved by it all, and suggested I would be okay not watching any more. I was wrong. Whatever barrier existed between me and the material had long since shattered by the time I got to the end of tonight’s episode, which left me shaking and breathless by the end of it.


Revenge’s Josh Bowman Nabs Deadly Role in ABC’s Time After Time Pilot
Josh Bowman
will portray Jack the Ripper in Kevin Williamson’s new ABC pilot Time After Time.

Mike & Molly’s Katy Mixon to Star in ABC’s Second-Fattest Housewife PilotFive weeks after CBS double-secret officially confirmed that the Melissa McCarthy-fronted sitcom is in its farewell run, Katy Mixon has booked the lead role in the ABC comedy pilot The Second-Fattest Housewife in Westport.

Rectify’s Abigail Spencer to Star in NBC’s Time Travel Drama Pilot From Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan
Abigail Spencer
has landed the female lead in NBC’s time travel-themed sci-fi drama from The Shield‘s Shawn Ryan and Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke.

Jayma Mays Cast In ‘The Trail’ NBC PilotGlee alumna Jayma Mayshas been cast as a series regular in The Trail, NBC‘s documentary-style procedural comedy from comedy veteran Jeff Astrof, Forever creator Matt Miller and Warner Bros. TV.

Joe Manganiello to Star in History Military Drama ‘Six’He’ll reunite with ‘True Blood’ director Lesli Linka Glatter on the scripted series that also serves as his return to scripted television.

Djimon Hounsou Joins ‘Wayward Pines’ Season 2He joins Jason Patric.

‘Walking Dead’ Governor David Morrissey Stars In Season 2 Of Starz/BBC Drama ‘The Missing’The Walking Dead‘s Governor, David Morrissey, is set to star in Season 2 of Starz/BBC drama The Missing, along with Keeley Hawesand Tchéky Karyo.

Josh Hutcherson to Star in Hulu Comedy ‘Future Man’ From Seth Rogen, Evan GoldbergThe ‘Hunger Games’ star will also produce the Sony Pictures Television comedy.

Lauren Ambrose To Star In Amazon Drama Pilot ‘The Interestings’Lauren Ambrosehas been cast as the female lead in Amazonensemble drama pilot The Interestings, from Sony TV’s TriStar Television.

‘Van Helsing’ Series Casts ‘True Blood’ Alum as Title Character‘Mad Men’ grad Paul Johansson and former ‘Good Wife’ recurring actor Tim Guinee have also joined the cast of the upcoming drama.

Lisa Bonet Joins Ray Donovan Season 4
Lisa Bonet
is joining Ray Donovan‘s upcoming fourth season in a major recurring role.

Henry Winkler to Co-Star in HBO’s Bill Hader Comedy ‘Barry’He’ll play an inspiring acting teacher in the half-hour pilot.


ESPN Is Talking to Dish, Others About New Streaming Packages
has been talking to Dish and other companies about launching new online streaming services that could include ESPN as part of their online TV bundle.

Yahoo Is Shuttering 7 of Its 11 Digital MagazinesStruggling tech and media giant Yahoo dropped the axe on seven content verticals today. Yahoo Food, Health, Parenting, Makers, Travel, Autos and Real Estate will no longer exist as stand-alone digital magazines. Instead, the publisher will focus on its four remaining verticals: News, Sports, Finance and Lifestyle.


Lifetime Orders More ‘Dance Moms’ & ‘Bring It!’, Renews ‘The Rap Game’ For Season 2Lifetimeis expanding its unscripted programming, ordering additional episodes of Dance Momsand Bring It! and renewing The Rap Game for a second season.

Julianne Hough Isn’t Returning to Dancing With the StarsJulianne Hough, no doubt still riding high from her show stopping turn in Fox’s hit Grease: Live, won’t return to Dancing With the Starsfor Season 22 when it begins in March, People reports.


Thinkfactory Media Ups Adam Reed To President

Thinkfactory Mediahas promoted veteran executive Adam Reedto President. In his new role, Reed will expand the scope of his current EVP duties to include directly overseeing the entire senior team and all unscripted and digital development/series.

(video) TED: My year of saying yes to everything | Shonda Rhimes

"When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling," Shonda Rhimes says. She has a name for this feeling: The hum. The hum is a drug, the hum is music, the hum is God’s whisper in her ear. But what happens when it stops? Is she anything besides the hum? In this moving talk, join Rhimes on a journey through her "year of yes" and find out how she got her hum back.

(q&a) AdWeek: In One of His Last Interviews as ABC Entertainment Chief, Paul Lee Said He Loves ‘Taking Risks’

Q: What’s a recent example of where you held firm and fought to pick up the best show?
Lee: American Crime. There’s a show that if you looked at the history of broadcast television wouldn’t naturally get picked up. But you sit and look at a pilot like that, you look at the auspices, you look at the cast, and you look at the risks it takes, and you say, "This show should be on ABC." And I’m glad it is.

Sarah Treem, Lesli Linka Glatter Join New Mentor Program for Female Writers and Directors

Made For Women, an initiative from Indigenous Media, will focus on producing dramatic series helmed by women.

(feature) Variety: James Burrows Shares His Secrets From Four Decades of TV Directing
When working on pilots, James Burrows likes to bring in an audience to watch a bare-bones run-through after a few days of rehearsal. No amount of focus-group testing of the finished product can tell him more than the first impression of an impartial crowd. “For most of my hits, those run-throughs have been through the roof,” Burrows says.


Atlantic: Is Creative Television Bad for Business?According to The New York Times report on his resignation, Disney executives were unhappy with Paul Lee’s focus on prestige programming that got better reviews than ratings. The Times’ reporting seems to confirm that Disney might look to back away from the risk-taking that made Lee’s tenure so interesting.

Atlantic: Broad City and the Triumph of the Platonic Rom-ComAbbi and Ilana share, in this age of delayed marriage and emergent adulthood and platonic roommates and geographic peripateticism and economic prosperity and economic uncertainty: a friendship that occupies the psychic space that used to be devoted to spouses and children. Broad City reflects friendship’s age-old, but also new, reality: The show is suggesting that its heroines are already, effectively, married. To each other.