The Morning Update for Tuesday, February 23, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Tuesday, February 23, 2016:


IFC Orders Pair of Scripted Comedies Including Hank Azaria’s ‘Brockmire’
has picked up two half-hour comedies — Brockmire starring Hank Azaria and Stan Against Evil from Dana Gould. Brockmire was created by and stars Azaria as a beleaguered baseball announcer a la Vin Scully who has a meltdown on-air. Stan Against Evil, meanwhile, is a comedic horror genre series that revolves around Stan, a perpetually disgruntled former sheriff who has trouble relinquishing his authority to Evie, the tough and beautiful new sheriff in town, but they form an unlikely alliance when they valiantly fight a plague of unleashed demons that have been haunting the town.

THR: TV Pilot Season 2016: By the NumbersWith overall orders up two year-over-year, despite three of the five broadcast networks pulling back on their total pickups, vertical integration continues to be the biggest story of the season. Drama orders were up three — thanks largely to Fox, which has to fill its American Idol hole next season. On the comedy side, ABC renewed its focus on single-camera while CBS made a larger push for multicamera fare.

(review) THR: ‘Fuller House’How does Netflix’s rebooted Fuller House look in a world in which shows such as Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, The Middle, Black-ish and Modern Family all deliver family values, cute kids and life lessons along with quality and diversity of perspective? To me, it looks even more egregious, but people likely to disagree really ought not to bother reading reviews anyway. What? You’re reading a review to see if Fuller House recaptures the magic of the original? It absolutely does, if you remember that Voldemort practiced magic, too.


ABC’s ‘The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez’ Pilot Casts ‘Looking’ Alum Raúl Castillo
Raúl Castillo
has joined ABC’s “The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez” pilot.

‘Prison Break’ Event Series Adds ‘Royal Pains’ Star Mark FeuersteinHe will play the husband of Sarah Wayne Callies’ character in the nine-episode revival.

Mekhi Phifer to Co-Star in CW’s ‘Frequency’ RebootHe’ll take on the role played by Andre Braugher in the 2000 feature film of the same name.

Vanessa Hudgens to Star in NBC’s DC Comics Comedy ‘Powerless’The potential series marks the comic book powerhouse’s first foray into comedy and serves as Hudgens’ follow-up to Fox’s ‘Grease Live.’

NBC’s ‘Taken’ Prequel Series Finds Lead in ‘Vikings’ Star
Clive Standen
will take on the role played by Liam Neeson in the 2008 feature film.

‘One Day at a Time’ Remake Casts ‘Six Feet Under’ Alum as Lead
Justina Machado
will headline the Latino adaptation of the Norman Lear sitcom, which will premiere on Netflix.

John Carroll Lynch to Co-Star in CBS Comedy, Aimee Teegarden in ABC’s ‘Notorious’
will play the father in CBS’ adaptation of Australian format ‘Upper Middle Bogan.’ Teegarden, meanwhile, will take on the role of Ella in the ABC drama Notorious.

Swoosie Kurtz to Co-Star in CBS Comedy PilotThe ‘Mike & Molly’ regular will remain in business with the network.

‘Frequency’: Peyton List Cast As the Female Lead In CW RebootPeyton List(The Flash, Mad Men) has landed the sought after female lead opposite Riley Smith in Frequency.

Stephen Schneider To Co-Star In ABC’s Comedy Pilot From Adam F. GoldbergStephen Schneideris set as the male lead in ABC’s untitled live-action/CGI comedy pilot from The Goldbergs creator/executive producer Adam F. Goldbergand executive producer David Guarascio.


Televisa Launches Netflix RivalMexican media giant Televisa on Monday launched Blim, an upstart OTT platform that will go head-to-head in Latin America with industry leader Netflix and Mexican-owned streamer ClaroVideo. The service offers first-run, exclusive SVOD programming in Latin America for the James Bond franchise, including an upcoming ‘Spectre’ release.

BuzzFeed Creates Its First All-Video App
is launching a new mobile app today called BuzzFeed Video, giving you a chance to see all of its videos in one place. Since pretty much every online media company is ramping up its video production, it makes sense to create an app like this.


‘Lip Sync Battle’ Kids Spinoff Coming to Spike, NickelodeonThe ‘Lip Sync Battle Jr.’ special will feature lip-syncing kids.


James Pitaro to Lead Disney’s Consumer Products/Interactive as Leslie Ferraro Exits Company
James Pitaro
has been promoted to chairman of Disney’s newly combined consumer products and interactive media division, as the group’s previous co-leader, Leslie Ferraro, leaves the company.


Showtime Promotes Julia Veale to EVP Business, Product Development
has promoted Julia Veale to the position of executive vice president of business, product development and management, the network announced Monday.

SSN: Exec Shuffle for 2/22/16Christine Benitez has joined the Paramount Pictures as VP of Multicultural Marketing. Benitez joins Paramount from The Walt Disney Studios where she was Director of Multicultural Initiatives.
Steve Barnett has been named the President of Production at Endurance Media.
Morgan Greco has been upped from Sr. Director to the VP of Social Media & Fan Engagement at A+E Networks in New York.
Emily Levitan has been hired as the Senior Manager of Development, Film & Television at Activision Blizzard Studios.
Angela Santone has been upped from SVP to the EVP, Global Chief Human Resources Officer at Turner in Atlanta.


AdWeek: The Oscars Is Still an All-Star Destination for AdvertisersThe Oscars remains one of the most important events of the year for advertisers. The average cost of a 30-second spot in this year’s three-hour-plus telecast Feb. 28 is expected to be $1.9 million to $2 million, a double-digit bump versus last year and an all-time record, per Kantar Media figures.

Yahoo Sale: Stock Rises as Comcast, AT&T, Verizon Reported Among Interested Buyers
shares climbed as much as 3% Monday in the wake of a report that Comcast, AT&T and Verizon are likely to be among parties engaging in talks about acquiring the Internet company.

PBS Is Creating a Channel Exclusively for ChildrenThe 24-hour channel, PBS Kids, will be free and is expected to debut later this fall. It will also be available online with a live stream.

Atlantic: Why Netflix Doesn’t Release Its RatingsFor a subscription service like Netflix, where promoting a brand is equivalent to building value, it’s far more important to dominate the conversation than have millions of people actually watch its programs. Netflix has done a masterful job generating buzz, awareness, and demand for itself, meaning whether or not its programs are popular hits doesn’t really matter—at least to its shareholders. But television viewers should be aware of what and how they’re being sold: For broadcasters, they’re the product. Netflix is selling a brand that asserts its own value without actually proving its ultimate worth. That doesn’t belittle the quality, appeal, or even popularity of its programming, but it does make it important to be aware of its strategy.

Hillary Clinton Visits ‘Scandal’ Set on L.A. Fundraising TourWorlds collided Monday night when presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton went to the set of ABC’s “Scandal” and posed for a selfie with the TV president, played by Tony Goldwyn.

Please let me know if there are any topics you’d like additional coverage on.

Best regards,

Stan Pham

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