The Morning Update for Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Wednesday, March 16, 2016:

SCRIPTED NEWS:

Ben Silverman Acquires Rights to Popular New York Observer Column for TV
Ben Silverman and Suretone Pictures’ Jordan Schur have acquired the rights to Richard Kirshenbaum’s monthly New York Observer column "Isn’t That Rich?" and 2015 essay collection, Isn’t that Rich?: Life Among the 1%. As the title suggests, the author chronicles the lives of Manhattan’s upper crust with a healthy dose of humor. Amy Harris will write and executive produce via her deal at ABC Studios, where the potential show is set up. It’s expected to be pitched to cable players and streamers. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/ben-silverman-acquires-rights-popular-874717

‘The Big Short’ Writer Developing Present-Day Civil War Drama For AmazonNewly minted Oscar winner Charles Randolph(The Big Short) has signed a deal with Amazon Studiosto develop an hour-long present-day civil war drama series for the streaming service. The untitled project is described as a multifaceted, realistic look at what it would take to create a present-day civil war in the U.S. http://deadline.com/2016/03/the-big-short-writer-developing-present-day-civil-war-drama-series-amazon-1201720535/

Sundance TV Acquires Italian Crime Drama ‘Gomorrah’ From Weinstein Co.The first two seasons (12 episodes) will premiere stateside in the summer. Set in the suburbs of Naples, Gomorrah tells the inside story of the Camorra, the fierce Neapolitan crime organization. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/sundance-tv-acquires-italian-crime-875696

‘Better Call Saul’ Renewed for Third Season at AMCThe ‘Breaking Bad’ prequel will be back for another round of 10 episodes. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/better-call-saul-renewed-third-875903

(opinion) TVBTN: CBS Renew/Cancel standings, week 25: ‘CSI: Cyber’ ends its season, and CBS should end the franchise
“Cyber’s” ratings have gone from marginal last season to outright sorry this season. Its average is less than 60 percent of the network’s as a whole. Yes, it has streaming and international deals in place already, but it still has to work at home. CBS has never been sentimental about letting even long-running shows go when it’s time. No reason to start now. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2016/03/15/cbs-renewcancel-standings-week-25-csi-cyber-ends-its-season-and-cbs-should-end-the-franchise/

CASTING NEWS:

Carrie Preston To Star In ABC’s LGBT Rights Miniseries ‘When We Rise’The Good Wife standout Carrie Prestonis set for a lead role in ABC’s eight-hour miniseries about the gay rights movement, When We Rise, written/executive produced by Dustin Lance Black and Bruce Cohen. Gus Van Sant is set to direct the first episode. http://deadline.com/2016/03/carrie-preston-lead-role-abc-miniseries-when-we-rise-1201721016/

NBC’s ‘Taken’ Series Casts Jennifer Beals as Female LeadJennifer Bealshas been cast as the lead in NBC’s “Taken” series. The “Proof” star joins Clive Standenin the series, which will serve as a prequel to the popular movie trilogy starring Liam Neeson. http://www.thewrap.com/nbcs-taken-series-casts-jennifer-beals-as-female-lead/

‘Grey’s Anatomy’s Jerrika Hinton To Star In Shondaland ABC Comedy Pilot ‘Toast’Grey’s Anatomy co-star Jerrika Hintonhas been cast as the female lead opposite Jono Kenyon in Toast, ABC‘s hybrid comedy pilot executive produced by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes. There are no plans in place but there is a possibility for her to do both shows, likely scaling back her duties on Grey’s for logistical reasons. http://deadline.com/2016/03/jerrika-hinton-cast-toast-greys-anatomy-shondaland-abc-pilot-1201721124/

FEATURE NEWS:

Steven Spielberg & Harrison Ford Team Up For ‘Indiana Jones 5’; Disney Sets July 2019 ReleaseDisneyhas just announced that Harrison Fordwill be reprising his iconic role as Indiana Jonesin the fifth installment in the series with Steven Spielbergreturning to the director’s chair. The pic will hit screens on July 19, 2019. http://deadline.com/2016/03/steven-spielberg-harrison-ford-team-up-for-indiana-jones-5-disney-sets-july-2019-release-1201720725/

NEW MEDIA NEWS:

Leslie Moonves: CBS All Access Plans to Launch 3-4 Original Series Per Year
CBS Corp
. chairman-CEO Leslie Moonves talked up the growth prospects of the CBS All Access SVOD service during Tuesday’s presentation to investors in New York, asserting that the long-term plan is to launch three to four original series a year. CBS Interactive exec VP Marc DeBevoise said the goal is to launch roughly one series per quarter. The launches will follow the “Star Trek” pattern of simultaneous airings of the first episode on All Access and the CBS broadcast network before shifting to All Access exclusive airings. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/cbs-all-access-leslie-moonves-original-series-1201730649/

Twitch Revives Julia Child to Launch Food Channel
Twitch
, an Amazon site best known for live streams of people playing video games, will broadcast a four-day marathon of Julia Child’s pioneering 1960s-era “The French Chef” cooking program as the kickoff for its own food channel. http://www.thewrap.com/julia-child-twitch-marathon-to-launch-food-channel/

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

We TV Orders ‘My Life Is A Telenovela’ DocuseriesWE tvhas ordered eight hourlong episodes of My Life is a Telenoveladocuseries, for premiere later this year. Set in Miami, and produced by Matador, the series will follow a group of beautiful and fierce Latina actresses and actors working in this hyper-competitive world. It begins with several characters vying for the same role in a real life telenovela being produced by Telemundo. http://deadline.com/2016/03/we-tv-orders-my-life-is-a-telenovela-docuseries-1201721326/

E! Plans Mariah Carey Reality Series
E!
is planning an eight-episode docuseries that will look at the private world of Mariah Carey. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/e-plans-mariah-carey-reality-875876

Spike Orders Music Game Show ‘Tracks’ From Christina Aguilera
Spike TV
has ordered music trivia game show Tracks to series. Tracks, which will debut later this year as a half-hour special, is described as an innovative musical game show where teams of two attempt to name a song title just by listening to its individual tracks — like guitar, bass, vocals, etc. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/spike-orders-music-game-show-875671

Jodie Sweetin, Christine Lakin, Beverley Mitchell to Star in Pop ComedyThe child stars from 1990s series ‘Full House,’ ‘Step by Step’ and ‘7th Heaven’ will star in ‘Hollywood Darlings.’ The eight-episode half-hour series will follow the three lifelong friends, who grew up together in Hollywood, and their lives as mothers, wives and businesswomen. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/jodie-sweetin-christine-lakin-beverley-874735

CBS’ Les Moonves: We’re Looking At Live Musicals
CBS
is thinking about joining the ranks of its broadcast rivals in producing live televised musicals, CEO Les Moonves said Tuesday. The company has looked at a few shows and that he’s watched all the musicals put on by other networks. But his reservations hinged on whether the productions are good business. Competitors’ musicals have been creatively successful, he said, but “financially, maybe not so much.” http://www.thewrap.com/cbs-les-moonves-were-looking-at-live-musicals-exclusive/

EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:

Brian Morewitz Upped to Oversee ABC Drama DevelopmentIn his new role, he’ll serve as senior vp for ABC Entertainment. He previously served as Channing Dungey’s vp drama. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/brian-morewitz-upped-oversee-abc-875775

Dawn Olmstead Gets Expanded Role at NBCUniversal Cable
Dawn Olmstead
has been promoted to executive vp development for Wilshire Studios. In her new position, she will oversee development for the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment studio specializing in unscripted content, in addition to her continued role as head of development for UCP. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dawn-olmstead-gets-expanded-role-875664

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

Variety: All Hail Comedy’s Takeover of TVRight now, more comedies feel more vital and more necessary to daily life than many dramas. Comedies fit in around our lives; they’re the perfect fodder for our phones and our laptops and our bingeing marathons. They’re willing to take on our day-to-day existence in fast and furious and hilarious ways; they offer catharsis on the fly. Too many dramas, let’s face it, feel like work, whereas the distilled storytelling and shorter running times of comedies — even the sad ones — makes them much more approachable. http://variety.com/2016/tv/features/comedy-takes-over-tv-1201725403/

FCC Closing In On Approving Charter-Time Warner Cable Merger, With Conditions: ReportFCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is planning to circulate a draft order soon approving Charter Communications’ $55 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable. The move could happen this week. http://deadline.com/2016/03/charter-time-warner-merger-fcc-approval-soon-1201721238/

CBS Plans to Sell Radio Station Group
CBS
plans to sell or spin off its radio assets in the coming year, acknowledging that the business has become slow-growth and a drain on resources that can be better directed to content production and digital endeavors. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/cbs-radio-stations-sale-investors-1201730033/

(gaming) Verge: Sony’s PlayStation VR costs $399 and is coming in October
Sony
has finally announced that the PlayStation VR will cost $399, and it will be available in October 2016. The company also promised that 50 games will be released between the October launch and the end of the year. http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/15/11224988/sony-playstation-vr-release-date-price-gdc-2016

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