The Morning Update for Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Wednesday, April 6, 2016:

SCRIPTED NEWS:

ABC Teams With Debra Martin Chase To Adapt Gail Lumet Buckley’s Book ‘The Black Calhouns’ As Miniseries
Debra Martin Chase is set to produce The Black Calhouns, a miniseries for ABC that chronicles the story of one African American family against the backdrop of major events in American history. The project, now in development, is based on The Black Calhouns, the family history book written by Gail Lumet Buckley. ABC Signature Studios, a division of ABC Studios, has optioned the tome. The Black Calhouns is the epic saga of Buckley’s family, detailing the experiences of an extraordinary African American clan from the beginning of Reconstruction through the civil rights movement. http://deadline.com/2016/04/the-black-calhouns-abc-miniseries-gail-lumet-buckley-debra-martin-chase-1201732488/

Studio 8 Developing Sci-Fi Adventure ‘Beacon 23’ With Josh Friedman
Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 has acquired the TV/film rights to Hugh Howey’s sci-fi adventure “Beacon 23” and tapped Josh Friedman to write and executive produce a TV series. The project is currently in early development for Studio 8’s TV division. In the series of five novellas set in the 23rd Century, a shell-shocked former soldier mans a lighthouse beacon for spaceships and must face his demons when the beacon fails endangering thousands of lives. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/studio-8-developing-beacon-23-josh-friedman-1201746833/

Showtime Developing Cuban Missile Crisis Miniseries
Showtime has finalized a deal to develop a miniseries about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Based on James Blight and Janet M. Lang’s The Armageddon Letters. The project is being eyed as a four-hour limited series. Phil Alden Robinson is onboard to write and direct the series, while Albert S. Ruddy (and his Ruddy Productions shingle), Mike Medavoy, Benjamin Anderson and Todd Martens will serve as executive producers. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/showtime-developing-cuban-missile-crisis-881153

David Simon’s HBO Porn Drama ‘The Deuce’ Adds Two Writers
Novelists Megan Abbott and Lisa Lutz will join George Pelecanos, Richard Price and Simon in the writers’ room. The project, which was given a series order in January, stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco and is in pre-production in New York. It follows the story of the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/david-simons-hbo-porn-drama-880901

NBC’s ‘Grimm’ Renewed for Sixth SeasonThe Friday night drama, produced by Sean Hayes, will be back for another round. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/nbcs-grimm-renewed-sixth-season-881192

Nickelodeon Renews ‘School of Rock’ for Season 2
Just weeks after its debut, “School of Rock” has landed a second season at Nickelodeon. The series, inspired by the 2003 Jack Black movie of the same name, premiered on March 12 and has aired four episodes. Season 2 will consist of 13 episodes. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/school-of-rock-renewed-season-2-nickelodeon-1201746751/

CASTING NEWS:

ABC’s The Catch Casts Doctor Who Vet John Simm as Grifters’ Benefactor
ABC’s The Catch has cast Doctor Who and Life on Mars alum John Simm as the mysterious benefactor who has been backing Ben and Margot’s schemes. http://tvline.com/2016/04/05/the-catch-john-simm-cast-benefactor/

Blacklist Spinoff: Ryan Eggold Set as Male Lead Opposite Famke Janssen
The Blacklist‘s Ryan Eggold (Tom) has formally closed a deal to star in NBC’s in-the-works (and currently untitled) spinoff series. Eggold would serve as the show’s male lead opposite How to Get Away With Murder‘s Famke Janssen. http://tvline.com/2016/04/05/blacklist-spinoff-ryan-eggold-tom-cast-nbc/

J.D. Evermore Upped to Regular On ‘Rectify’; Charles Mesure Joins ‘Dead Of Summer’
J.D. Evermore, who recurred as Sheriff Carl Daggett on the first three seasons of SundanceTV drama series Rectify, has been promoted to regular for the fourth and final eight-episode season. Charles Mesure has joined the cast of Freeform’s horror drama series Dead Of Summer, created/executive produced by Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis and Ian Goldberg. http://deadline.com/2016/04/j-d-evermore-promoted-regular-rectify-charles-mesure-dead-of-summer-1201732327/

Miranda Sings Netflix Series ‘Haters Back Off’ Casts Angela Kinsey & Steve Little
The Office
alumna Angela Kinseyand Steve Littleare set to co-star opposite Colleen Ballinger-Evans in the YouTube personality’s eight-episode Netflixhalf-hour comedy series Haters Back Off, from The Firm. Haters Back Off delves into the oddball family life of Miranda Sings (Ballinger-Evans), an incredibly confident, totally untalented star on the rise who continues to fail upward by the power of her belief that she was born famous. http://deadline.com/2016/04/miranda-sings-haters-back-off-angela-kinsey-steve-little-cast-netflix-series-1201732368/

David E. Kelley Amazon Series ‘Trial’ Casts ‘Shameless’ Alum Ever Carradine
Ever Carradine has joined David E. Kelley’s upcoming Amazon series “Trial” in a recurring role. http://www.thewrap.com/david-e-kelley-amazon-series-trial-casts-shameless-alum-ever-carradine-exclusive/

FEATURE NEWS:

‘People V OJ Simpson’s Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski To Script Amazon Pic On Mount Rushmore Sculptor
Scott Alexanderand Larry Karaszewskijust made a deal with Amazon Studiosto script a feature on the sculptor Gutzon Borglum, whose memorable and sometimes controversial stone work includes the presidential heads on Mount Rushmore. http://deadline.com/2016/04/people-v-oj-simpson-scott-alexander-larry-karaszewski-amazon-studios-movie-mount-rushmore-sculptor-gutzon-borglum-1201732529/

NEW MEDIA NEWS:

Yahoo to Stream 180 MLB Live Games for Free This Season
Yahoo will stream a total of 180 Major League Baseball games this year for free online, as the Internet media company continues to pack live sports into its media roster. Under the pact, Yahoo will feature one free MLB game every day for the rest of the league’s regular season, subject to TV blackout restrictions. http://variety.com/2016/digital/news/yahoo-mlb-free-live-games-1201746005/

Facebook Will Pay Publishers to Livestream Video in New Hub
Facebookhas created a video hub that will roll out in the coming weeks for its flagship mobile app. A button for the hub will receive prominent placement in the Facebook app and often highlight live video—though it will offer recorded clips as well. News publishers will be paid to stream live video via the hub instead of their own websites. http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/facebook-will-pay-publishers-livestream-video-new-hub-170642

Verizon Buys AwesomenessTV Stake And Plans Mobile Video Service
Verizonjust agreed to buy a 24.5% stake in the digital programming operation that values the entire enterprise at $650 million — and has big plans to use it for a new mobile video service. http://deadline.com/2016/04/verizon-buys-big-awesomenesstv-stake-plans-mobile-video-service-1201732838/

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

Taye Diggs to Host Fox’s You’re Back in the Room Game Show
Taye Diggsis taking a turn away from acting to try his hand at hosting a game show. Fox announced Tuesday that Diggs will be the front man of their new game show, You’re Back in the Room. The show is a replica of the British game show where a team of contestants must work together to complete a series of simple tasks like icing a cake or blowing up balloons with one hitch – they’ll all be under hypnosis. http://www.tvguide.com/news/taye-diggs-host-fox-youre-back-in-the-room-game-show/

(sched) CW’s ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us,’ Other Alternative Series Get Premiere Dates
“Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” a one-hour competition series celebrating magic and featuring the legendary duo, kicks off its season on Monday, July 11, at 8. It will be followed by an hour of “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” which will air originals at 9 and encores at 9:30. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/cws-penn-teller-fool-us-premiere-date-1201746162/

Reality Producer Jason Henry Inks Overall Deal With The Company
Charlie Ebersoland Mike Lanigan‘s The Company is expanding its relationship with its head of unscripted development Jason Henry(Fear Factor, Wipeout, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution), signing him to a two-year overall deal. http://deadline.com/2016/04/reality-producer-jason-henry-overall-deal-the-company-1201732521/

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

(mipTV) Zodiak preps money laundering drama
Zodiak Rights and production financer Arise Pictures have partnered on a timely series about international money laundering. The Cleaners (10×60’) is from writer and creator David Raymond. Described as “Casino Royale meets Wall Street,” the drama revolves around CIA operatives working with illegal money launderers in the Middle East to achieve regime change. http://www.c21media.net/zodiak-preps-money-laundering-drama/

TWDC NEWS:

NYT: Robert Iger’s Success at Disney Makes Him a Tough Act to Follow
Was the board’s reluctance to back Mr. Staggs a play by Mr. Iger to stay in power? People inside Disney have aggressively dismissed that notion, saying Mr. Staggs’s departure caused Mr. Iger anguish – they are friends – and that the rigor of succession planning is the beginning and end of the story. Furthermore, Mr. Iger has not signaled an intention to sign another deal. If he was so intent on staying, people close to him have argued, he would have simply extended his contract and not let questions swirl. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/06/business/media/robert-igers-success-at-disney-makes-him-a-tough-act-to-follow.html

‘Zootopia’ Tops $800 Million in Worldwide Box Office
Disney has announced that “Zootopia” will cross the $800 million mark in worldwide box office grosses on Tuesday. Disney noted that “Zootopia” is the second highest grossing Walt Disney Animation Studios release of all time in its original release after “Frozen.” http://variety.com/2016/film/news/zootopia-800-million-worldwide-box-office-1201746114/

EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:

Pop Promotes Four Executives
On the heels of its rebrand, Pophas promoted several executives in its Los Angeles and New York offices. They include Nicole Sabatini as EVP Marketing; Michelle Habel as SVP Business and Legal Affairs; Michael Rissetto as SVP Ad Sales Pricing and Planning; and Hillary Povar as VP Communications. http://deadline.com/2016/04/pop-promotes-executives-rebrand-1201732274/

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

California Moves to Tighten Rules on Talent Agent Scams
California legislators have backed a bill that’s aimed at strengthening the state’s 2009 Krekorian Talent Scam Prevention Act in the first vote on the measure. Assembly member Chris Holden’s Talent Agency Scam Prevention Bill, introduced on Feb. 17, passed the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee with unanimous support on Tuesday. The proposed legislation expands the list of communication forms that can be regulated such as online and computer applications. http://variety.com/2016/film/news/california-moving-tighten-rules-talent-agent-scams-1201746849/

Complex: The Oral History of ‘Happy Endings’It was weird, it was quick-witted, and it was short-lived. When the dust settles, it’ll also be seen as one of the best sitcoms of the decade. http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2016/04/happy-endings-oral-history

(video) TED: The magic ingredient that brings Pixar movies to life
Danielle Feinberg, Pixar’s director of photography, creates stories with soul and wonder using math, science and code. Go behind the scenes of Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Brave, WALL-E and more, and discover how Pixar interweaves art and science to create fantastic worlds where the things you imagine can become real. http://www.ted.com/talks/danielle_feinberg_the_magic_ingredient_that_brings_pixar_movies_to_life

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