The Morning Update for Thursday, March 17, 2015.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, March 17, 2016:

SCRIPTED NEWS:

HBO Developing ‘High Rise’ Drama Series With The Firm & The Weinstein CompanyHBOhas put in development drama series High Rise, from Blue Valentine co-writer Cami DeLavigne, Jeff Kwatinetz’s The Firmand The Weinstein Company. Written by DeLavigne, High Rise is a character drama set in the world of high end New York architecture that follows a brilliant, but struggling architect who gets seduced by a billionaire’s daughter as she takes him under her wing and launches his career into the world of celebrity architecture. http://deadline.com/2016/03/high-rise-hbo-drama-series-the-firm-weinstein-co-blue-valentine-1201721756/

‘Heathers’ Comedic Anthology In the Works at TV Land
TV Land
has put into development a comedic anthology based on the 1989 cult feature film Heathers. TV Land’s take is described as a black comedy that takes place in the present day. It features a new set of popular-yet-evil Heathers — only this time the outcasts have become high school royalty. Written by Jason Micallef, the single-camera entry hails from Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/heathers-comedic-anthology-works-at-876093

‘Gotham’ Renewed for Season 3 at FoxThe drama, starring Ben McKenzie, joins returning Fox series ‘Empire,’ ‘Scream Queens’ and the final season of ‘Bones.’ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/gotham-renewed-season-3-at-876366

‘Person of Interest’ Officially Ending After Season 5It’s official: following much speculation, “Person of Interest” will conclude after its fifth season. News of the cancellation comes the same day CBS announced that season five of the crime drama would kick off May 3. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/person-of-interest-cancelled-cbs-season-6-1201675997/

(sched) CBS Sets ‘Mike and Molly’ Finale Date, Expands ‘Odd Couple’ to 2 Nights a Week
“Mike & Molly” will return on April 25 at 8 p.m. in a new timeslot, with the show’s sixth and final season concluding on May 16 with a one hour finale. In addition, “The Odd Couple” expands to two nights a week with a new Monday broadcast beginning May 2 at 9:30, in addition to its regularly scheduled Thursday 8:30 airing. http://www.thewrap.com/cbs-sets-mike-and-molly-finale-date-expands-odd-couple-to-2-nights-a-week/

‘Law & Order: SVU’ Plans ‘Bachelor’-Inspired EpisodeThe hour is said to revolve around a fictional dating show called Heart’s Desire and will put the focus on the behind-the-scenes drama. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/law-order-svu-plans-bachelor-876167

(opinion) Wrap: Why This Will Be ‘Nashville’s’ Final PremiereThe ABC drama is one of those shows that every season feels like it won’t come back. This time, that’ll probably be true. The total viewer change from last season to this one marks the first decline in series history — and it was by double digits. In other words, the show named after Music City needs a miracle. http://www.thewrap.com/why-this-will-be-nashvilles-final-premiere/

CASTING NEWS:

Minnie Driver to Star in ABC Comedy Pilot ‘Speechless’Minnie Driverhas been cast as the lead in the ABC comedy pilot “Speechless” from writer Scott Silveri. http://www.thewrap.com/minnie-driver-to-star-in-abc-comedy-pilot-speechless/

Michael Weatherly to Segue From ‘NCIS’ to CBS’ Dr. Phil Pilot ‘Bull’The drama pilot is based on the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/ncis-michael-weatherly-star-cbs-875921

Bill Bellamy to Star in Fox Family Comedy From Chris CaseThe stand-up comedian will play the male lead opposite Becki Newton in the pilot from Chris Case. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/bill-bellamy-star-fox-family-875824

‘Life Unexpected’ Reunion: Britt Robertson Boards Hulu’s ‘Casual’
Robertson
will reunite with the creator of the former CW series, Liz Tigelaar, who exec produces the Hulu comedy. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/life-unexpected-reunion-britt-robertson-876095

Annabeth Gish Joins ‘Halt And Catch Fire’Annabeth Gish has joined the cast of AMC’s 1980s PC revolution drama Halt and Catch Fire for a season-long arc on the upcoming third season. http://deadline.com/2016/03/annabeth-gish-jcast-halt-and-catch-fire-season-3-amc-1201721403/

‘Big Bang Theory’ Casts Leonard’s Father‘Taxi’ alum Judd Hirsch will appear in the season nine finale and play Johnny Galecki’s dad. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/big-bang-theory-casts-leonards-876394

NEW MEDIA NEWS:

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Craig Piligian Partner for Verizon Reality Competition
Verizon
has ordered The Runner, produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Pearl Street Films, Pilgrim Media Group and Adaptive Studios, for its Go90 platform. The series resembles a high-tech game of tag in which one contestant has 30 days to make it from one side of the U.S. to the other without being thwarted by eight two-person teams. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/ben-affleck-matt-damon-craig-876161

(sched) Chelsea Handler’s Netflix Talk Show To Debut May 11Other details: the 30-minute show will stream every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with no commercials. http://deadline.com/2016/03/chelsea-handler-netflix-talk-show-debut-date-1201721395/

Diverse Creators Turn to New Media for Production OpportunitiesProduction, of course, begins with financing, which itself is a male-dominated field, according Emily Best, an indie filmmaker who three years ago started crowdfunding and distribution platform Seed&Spark. Best didn’t set out to create a funding source that favors women, but, as it turned out, 60% of the projects funded by Seed&Spark are female-driven — and benefit from the crowdfunder’s 75% success rate, according to the company. http://variety.com/2016/artisans/production/diversity-new-media-1201731022/

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

Showtime Orders More ‘Dark Net’The new doc series will return for a second season. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/showtime-orders-more-dark-net-876153

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

BBC Two Orders ‘Quacks’ Period Medical Comedy From NBCU’s Lucky GiantBBC Twois turning back the clock for its latest comedy order with 1840s-set medical series, Quacks. NBCUniversal International Studios’ Lucky Giant will produce six half-hours about four young pioneers in the daring and wild days of Victorian medicine with shooting to start later this year. Created and written by James Wood. http://deadline.com/2016/03/bbc-two-quacks-mathew-baynton-rory-kinnear-lucky-giant-medical-comedy-1201721899/

‘Law & Order’ Veteran Rene Balcer Nabs 10-Episode Order for Arctic Drama
Rene Balcer
has secured a 10-episode order for The Council from Canada’s CBC network. The mystery thriller will be produced by Lark Productions, in partnership with Keston International Productions. The Council revolves around a murder in a remote Canadian Arctic town, and will be shot on location starting this summer in Iqaluit, London and Copenhagen. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/law-order-veteran-rene-balcer-876160

TWDC NEWS:

(gaming) Disney Crossy Road game coming soon to mobile phones everywhere
Disney
and Hipster Whale just announced that Disney Crossy Road is coming soon to mobile devices. http://thedisneyblog.com/2016/03/16/disney-crossy-road-game-coming-soon-mobile-phones-everywhere/

EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:

Turner’s David Eilenberg Named ITV Entertainment PresidentThe programming exec takes the post vacated by Orly Adelson in 2015. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/turners-david-eilenberg-named-itv-876190

Studio 8 Adds to Executive Team With Two New Hires
Wesley Meehan
joins as senior vp, motion picture business and legal affairs and Jill Migicovsky as director/vp, finance. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/studio-8-adds-executive-team-876171

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

(ratings) Vulture: The 2015-16 TV Season in One Really Depressing ChartRoughly 85 percent of the 80 non-sports programs returning this season have been hit with viewership declines among the younger audiences advertisers target. Worse, these aren’t small declines: About 70 percent of veteran shows are down by double digits, while a full third have dropped by more than 20 percent. http://www.vulture.com/2016/03/2015-2016-tv-season-in-one-depressing-chart.html

THR: TV Pilot Season: 6 Casting Directors Talk Diversity Push and Stars They Couldn’t GetIn what has become the most competitive year on record, the industry’s top wranglers weigh in on the hardest roles to cast, most rewarding discoveries and the most unique places they’ve found talent. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-pilot-season-6-casting-875367

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