The Morning Update for Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Wednesday, March 30, 2016:


‘Blacklist’ Spinoff Starring Famke Janssen in the Works at NBCThe back-door pilot would air May 12 and will be directed by ‘Justified’ alum Michael Dinner with Edi Gathegi also signing on. Plot details are being kept under wraps but the potential spinoff would star Famke Janssen as Susan "Scottie" Halsted. Her character will be introduced in episode 321 (airing May 5).

‘Castle’ Creators, StudioCanal’s Tandem Partner on ‘Take Two’
Andrew W. Marlowe
and Terri Edda Miller, the creator and the executive producer, respectively, of long-running ABC hit Castle, have set up their new project with StudioCanal’s Tandem Productions. Take Two is a comedy crime procedural in the Castle mode, featuring a mismatched pair that solves cases. Eddie Valetik is an L.A. private investigator who hires Emma Swift, the former star of a hit cop show, now fresh out of rehab, to appear in late-night TV spots for his PI business. When the ads go out, a flood of offers come in, all wanting to hire Emma. Reluctantly, Eddie teams up with the actress, who draws on the plots of her former TV series to help solve their cases.

‘The Royals’ Creator Inks Overall Deal With Universal Cable Productions, Lionsgate
Mark Schwahn
will continue to serve as showrunner on the E! scripted drama. He’ll also develop new scripted programming that will be co-produced by Lionsgate Television and Universal Cable Productions — the producers on The Royals.

‘Mozart in the Jungle’ Showrunner, ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Writer Sign Two-Year Deal With Amazon Studios
Paul and Chris Weitz’s
production company Depth of Field has signed a two-year, first-look deal with Amazon Studios.

(animated) ‘Moonbeam City’ Canceled By Comedy Central After One Season
Moonbeam City
featured an all-star cast — Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Banks, Will Forte and Kate Mara — and developed a cult following. But it struggled to attract a wide audience.

(sched) TNT Announces Summer Premiere Dates for Returning Shows
announced its summer schedule for returning shows on Tuesday. Rizzoli & Islesfinal season kicks off Monday, June 6 at 9/8c. Season 3 of apocalypse drama The Last Shipstarts Sunday, June 12 at 9/8c. Major Crimes return Monday, June 13 at 10/9c for a fifth season. And Season 3 of Murder in the First starts Sunday, June 19 at 10/9c.

(review) THR: ‘Lopez’This new TV Land comedy from George Lopez finds him changing direction in promising ways. …Lopez mostly wants to be a show that’s a warts-and-all take on his real life, plus a look at fame, with the star tackling his familiar topics of race and class and creating a world peopled with characters viewers would want to spend time with. That Lopez is single-camera and finds the comedian generally more relaxed and less network-sitcom broad is a very welcome starting point.

(review) THR: ‘The Ranch’A multicamera sitcom created by Don Reo and Jim Patterson and driven by a reunion of Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson is an invitation for derision if you’re glib or dismissal if you’re just too busy to pay attention. Those who take either approach will be missing something surprising in The Ranch, which turns out to be unexpectedly sensitive, well-acted and formally adventurous, in addition to often being broadly funny.


Navid Negahban Joins ABC Summer Series ‘Mistresses’ For Season 4Navid Negahban, best known for playing al-Qaeda mastermind Abu Nazir for two seasons on Showtime’s Homeland, is joining the upcoming Season 4 of ABC’s summer series Mistresses. Negahban will play the heavily recurring role of Jonathan Amadi, an uber-successful Persian businessman, in the soapy drama series from ABC Studios.

‘Dirk Gently’: Samuel Barnett To Play Title Role In Max Landis’ BBC America Series
Samuel Barnett
(Jupiter Ascending) has been cast as the lead opposite Elijah Wood in Dirk Gently, BBC America‘s eight-episode series based on the cult Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels by Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy author Douglas Adams.

Ryan Phillippe’s ‘Shooter’ Series Recasts Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Female LeadRyan Phillippe‘s upcoming series “Shooter” at USA has recast its female lead. Cynthia Addai-Robinson is taking over the role of Nadine Memphis, an FBI agent who gets mixed up with off-the-grid former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger (Phillippe). Originally, Emily Rios was cast in the part.


Fullscreen Unveils SVOD Streaming Service For Teens And Young Adults
— a digital entertainment company controlled by Otter Media, AT&T’s joint venture with Peter Chernin — says today that on April 26 it will introduce its global, Netflix-like, ad-free subscription video on demand (SVOD) service for teens and young adults. The $4.99 a month offering (with a 30-day free trial) will use the company name, and will include original content as well as library movies and TV shows licensed from established producers including Sony Pictures Television, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., and MTV.

Sony’s Ultra 4K Streaming Service Is Launching Next Month
is launching its 4K movie streaming service called Ultra next month: Consumers will be able to buy movies from the service, and stream to supported Sony 4K TV sets, starting April 4.

Instagram Bumps Up Video Length From 15 to 60 Seconds
will soon let users record, share and watch longer video clips: The Facebook-owned photo and video sharing service is increasing the maximum length of shared clips from 15 to 60 seconds.


Gabrielle Union and Monica Potter Topline New HGTV ProjectsA total 17 new series will debut in 2016, two of them the Gabrielle Union and Monica Potter vehicles. The former, which has yet to be titled, will follow Union and Dwyane Wade as they renovate, revitalize and resell a home in suburban Florida. The Monica Potter Project (working title) will follow the actress as she joins her sisters in their native Cleveland, Ohio, to restore their childhood home.

Travel Channel Slate Includes New Shows From Queen Latifah & Network Staples
Travel Channel
unveiled several premiere dates for 16 of its returning series this summer as well as details of its 35 new series and pilots in the network’s new programming slate. New shows in the works that now have target premiere dates include ones hosted by networks staples Andrew Zimmern and Adam Richman, as well as a pair of new shows that take aim at A-list Hollywood celebs: The Best Place To Be from Queen Latifah where stars divulge their favorite places to eat, drink, shop and sightsee, and Celebrity Adventure Club which follows the likes of Jon Cryer, Terry Crews and Eric Stonestreet on adventures of discovery.

Scripps Is Planning a 6-Network Halloween Crossover Special
Scripps Networks Interactive
—home to HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country—is planning a Halloween special featuring talent from many of its channels to air on all six networks.

Comedy Central Renews ‘Tosh.0,’ ‘Drunk History’ and MoreThe cable network also adds episodes to the freshman run of ‘Not Safe With Nikki Glaser.’

‘Ink Master’ Gets Season 9 Renewal On SpikeThe eighth edition of Spike’s tattoo competition series doesn’t debut until August, but the cable net already has inked a deal for Season 9.

Animal Planet Launching Documentary Feature Franchise
‘Animal Planet Presents’
aims to explore "a wide range of topics which provide a unique lens on the world we share with our animal counterparts."


THR: ‘Empire’ Flops Overseas as Foreign Viewers Resist Hollywood’s Diversity Push
hip-hop drama appeared to be a slam dunk for the international market. But the show has been a global flop. The diversity issue comes at a particularly perilous time for U.S. television studios because foreign outlets increasingly are creating their own shows or buying from producers in their region. American series simply aren’t as popular as they used to be. A 2013 study by U.K. group Digital TV Research estimated the sale of U.S. drama series to European television generated $5.4 billion for U.S. rights holders, $1 billion less than in 2008.

Federation’s French Spy Drama ‘The Bureau’ Scores More Deals
Federation Entertainment
has inked multiple sales on Eric Rochant’s “The Bureau,” the hit Canal Plus spy series, in the run up to MipTV. Set against the blackdrop of a clandestine branch of the French Secret Service, “The Bureau” explores the complex lives of secret services agents working in hostile locations around the world under false identities, who must juggle with their professional and private lives.


THR: Next Gen Actors at Sundance: 10 Festival BreakoutsThese onscreen up-and-comers will be toasted in Park City: Gail Bean, 22; Asa Butterfield, 17; Olivia Cooke, 21; Julia Garner, 20; Lola Kirke, 23; Thomas Mann, 23; Ezra Miller, 22; Bel Powley, 22; Tony Revolori, 18; Tye Sheridan, 18.

THR’s Top 25 Digital StarsDon’t recognize anyone in this story? Sorry, the answer is no longer, "Don’t worry." Those 18-to-24-year-olds fleeing the TV and movie theaters are now interacting online (in spurts as short as six seconds) with the faces here on THR’s Top 25 Digital Stars list, mega-talents whose influence only increases as linear and second screens converge.

AdAge: Laugh It Up: Already Flush With Comedies, ABC Looks for More Homegrown Sitcoms for 2016-17While ABC boasts the most diverse comedy lineup on TV, Mr. Moran said that the studio doesn’t exactly consult the census when it develops its programming. "With ‘The Fluffy Shop, it’s not like we specifically set out to do a Latino comedy," he said. "We weren’t looking to check a box. … We’re always hoping to feature great talent, and we’d been chasing Gabriel for a long time."

MTV Names Laurel Weir SVP, Strategic Insights and Research

Laurel Weir has been named Senior Vice President, Strategic Insights and Research at MTV.


‘Wolf Hall’ Leads BAFTA TV Nominations
Wolf Hall
has emerged as the frontrunner in the race for this year’s BAFTA TV Awards. The period drama – which aired on PBS in the U.S. – was followed by Shane Meadows’ gritty four-part comedy-drama This is England ’90, with three nominations.

Louis C.K. Submitting ‘Horace and Pete’ in Emmy Drama Race
Louis C.K.
and Steve Buscemi will compete as drama leads while others on the series, including Alan Alda, Edie Falco and Jessica Lange, will enter in supporting categories.


NBCUniversal Combines Upfront Presentations for NBC, Cable, Telemundo
has confirmed plans to consolidate its three major events into a single presentation at Radio City Music Hall on May 16. The new event will cover NBC, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment outlets and the Spanish-language Telemundo network. In another break from tradition, the focus will be less network-centric and more audience-centric, highlighting the discreet demographics that the various NBCU outlets reach. It’s a clear reaction to the massive shifts in consumer viewing habits in the on-demand era.

Wrap: Live TV Loses to Digital Among Millennials, Study Says
According to ComScore’s Cross-Platform report released Wednesday, people under the age of 35 spent more time on a mobile device or a computer than they did watching live TV in the final three months of last year. In fact, the study found that mobile is quickly approaching equal status with live TV among Millennials. That demographic spends 47 percent of its time with live television, while mobile already accounts for 40 percent.

Skydance Raises $700 Million to Fund TV, Film Expansion“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” and “True Grit” producer and financier Skydance has snagged $700 million in new financing. It plans to use the funding to grow its feature film, television and interactive businesses.

(feature) Variety: Inside Endemol Shine’s Ambitious Plan to Conquer Global TV
Endemol Shine
has the widest global reach of any pure-play production-distribution outfit. Last year, amid the upheaval of the integration, the company was responsible for the production of some 733 TV series, a volume dwarfing that of the international TV production operations of most U.S. majors. The core mission is to create TV and digital content, unscripted and scripted, that can be exploited far beyond its country of origin through the company’s web of more than 120 production imprints.

USA Today: Even more remakes on nervous TV networks’ pilot platesEach year can bring fresh trends as programmers vie to tap into pop-culture fads, and a popular (though not always surefire) strategy is to borrow a title (and sometimes more) from a previous movie, TV show or book series, comics or otherwise. History has shown that such remakes are “a double-edged sword,” says ABC Studios chief Patrick Moran. A familiar title “helps with the launch,” but can “raise expectations going in,” he says. So “if the show’s not great, it’s not going to be enough to sustain the series.”