The Morning Update for Thursday, April 14, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, April 14, 2016:

SCRIPTED NEWS:

Hot Drama About Eccentric Magicians Scores Deal With Knopf, Paramount TV
Spoonbenders, a hot manuscript about an eccentric family of magicians (think Royal Tenenbaums with psychics) by Daryl Gregory, has been acquired by Knopf for publishing and Paramount TV for television. ‘Spoonbenders’ follows a quirky family of magicians who lose and then regain their powers and are pursued by everyone from the CIA to the Mafia. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/bookmark/hot-drama-eccentric-magicians-scores-883617

Chris Morgan Inks Overall Deal With Universal Television
Chris Morgan, one of the top producers on Universal Pictures’ roster, has signed a three-year overall deal with sibling Universal Television. Under the pact, Morgan will develop and produce projects for broadcast, cable and digital platforms with the head of development for film and television at his Chris Morgan Prods., Ainsley Davies. Additionally, Morgan is expected to write new series projects. http://deadline.com/2016/04/chris-morgan-overall-deal-universal-television-1201736055/

‘Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce’ Renewed for 3 More Seasons
Bravo is sticking with the Marti Noxon-created dramedy. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/girlfriends-guide-divorce-renewed-3-883480

(upfronts) Bounce TV Doubles Original Programming, Sets Ed Gordon for Newsmagazine Show
Bounce TV, the broadcast multicast channel targeting African-American viewers, will double its original programming production for the 2016-17 upfront season, premiering new originals every week of the year starting this fall. “Saints & Sinners,” Bounce TV’s highest-rated show, has been renewed for a second season along with sitcoms “Mann & Wife,” “Family Time” and “In the Cut.” Its stand-up comedy series “Off the Chain” will also be returning. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/bounce-tv-ed-gordon-newsmagazine-trumpet-awards-1201752532/

CASTING NEWS:

‘The Catch’ Enlists ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Lesley Nicol
She’ll recur on the freshman Shondaland drama. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/catch-enlists-downton-abbeys-lesley-883404

Ioan Gruffudd Joins the Cast of UnRealIoan Gruffuddhas been cast in the new season of UnRealas tech billionaire John Booths, who has his sights set on Quinn (Constance Zimmer). http://www.tvguide.com/news/ioan-gruffudd-joins-the-cast-of-unreal/

Diane Farr Joins Hulu’s Hugh Laurie Drama Series ‘Chance’
Numb3rs and Rescue Me alumna Diane Farrhas booked a recurring role opposite Hugh Lauriein Hulu‘s drama seriesChance. http://deadline.com/2016/04/diane-farr-cast-hulu-hugh-laurie-drama-series-chance-1201737023/

New Girl Taps Masters of Sex Star Caitlin FitzGerald for ‘Important’ Role
Caitlin FitzGerald will appear in one of the Fox comedy’s two May 3 installments, playing an old medical-school friend of Jess’ on-again beau, Sam (David Walton). http://tvline.com/2016/04/13/new-girl-casts-caitlin-fitzgerald-season-5/

Chicago Med Recruits Jeff Hephner’s Fire Character
Chicago Med is bringing back a familiar franchise player as the hospital’s newest addition. Jeff Hephner will reprise his Chicago Fire role as Jeff Clarke on the medical drama — but he’s no longer a firefighter. http://tvline.com/2016/04/13/chicago-med-casts-jeff-hephner-jeff-clarke-med-student-chicago-fire/

FEATURE NEWS:

Disney Developing Live-Action Peter Pan Movie
‘Pete’s Dragon’ helmer David Lowery will direct the adaptation of the beloved Disney animation. Lowery will reteam with his Pete’s Dragon co-writer Toby Halbrooks for Peter Pan. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/disney-developing-live-action-peter-883725

NEW MEDIA NEWS:

Marvel and Maker Studios team up for geektastic go90 show
Maker Studios announced this week that it is partnering with fellow Disney subsidiary Marvel Entertainment for a new series on Verizon’s go90. Marvel’s Off the Rack, which debuted on Wednesday, follows host Comic Book Girl 19 (who is part of the Maker network) as she delves into the world of Marvel comics. The comedic variety show will feature guests from both the digital and traditional spaces. http://mashable.com/2016/04/13/marvel-maker-studios-go90/

Two originals for NBCU’s comedy SVOD
Seeso
, the comedy SVOD platform run by NBCUniversal, will launch two original reality-comedy series in May and June.Workplace comedy Thingstarter, about a fictional start-up that creates ridiculous products, and then puts them in front of real experts, will launch on Seeso on May 19.The 6x15mins series is produced by Above Average.The second original is fake travelogue Hidden America with Jonah Ray. Produced by Dakota Pictures, the 9x30mins series launches on June 2. http://tbivision.com/news/2016/04/two-originals-nbcus-comedy-svod/577292/

(study) Netflix is King of Paid Streaming, With Most Members And Fewest Leaving
Netflix beats all its streaming-video rivals both on number of members and success keeping them signed up, a new study said Thursday. High-speed-Internet households that subscribe to a streaming video service rose to 64 percent from 59 percent, according to a study from researcher Parks Associates. …Parks reported if a U.S. household subscribed to any OTT service, more than half of them were signed up with Netflix. Netflix was also the best performer on limiting cancellations, or what is known as churn. http://www.thewrap.com/netflix-is-king-of-paid-streaming-with-most-members-and-fewest-leaving-study-says/

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

Syfy Seeks to Capitalize on Comic-Con with Three-Night Special Telecast
‘Syfy Presents Live From Comic-Con’ will cover panels, celebrity interviews and parties from San Diego and air June 21-23 at 8 p.m. on the cabler. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/syfy-sets-comic-con-special-883667

TWDC NEWS:

Disney Channel Holding Open Casting Call for ‘High School Musical 4’ Via an App
Young actors, singers and dancers can submit videos on the Disney Applause App. Auditions will be accepted starting Monday through May 2. Disney said this isn’t a contest, nor is there a fee to audition. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/disney-channel-holding-open-casting-883474

EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:

Hugh Fitzpatrick Joins NatGeo Channel As Scripted Development Executive
Hugh Fitzpatrick, head of television for Howard Gordon’s Teakwood Lane, has left the company to joinNational Geographic Channel as VP scripted development and production. http://deadline.com/2016/04/hugh-fitzpatrick-national-geographic-channel-scripted-development-1201737104/

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

(q&a) Vulture: A Roundtable Discussion With the 12-and-Under Stars of ABC’s Comedy Slate
Q: What don’t you like about acting?
Miles: …Also, another really bad time is, you look at Anthony and Tracee and they’re just chillin’ in their trailers and we have to be at school.
Marsai: They have an hour lunch and we just have 30 minutes. It’s just crazy.
Hudson: [Randall Park] and [Constance Wu], same thing!
Miles: You just see [Laurence Fishburne] chillin’ in his trailer, watching ESPN.
Marsai: And the worst thing is, he says “School is for suckers" all the time. http://www.vulture.com/2016/04/abc-comedy-child-actor-roundtable.html

Variety: USA Network Revamps Brand Image, Tagline for ‘Mr. Robot’ Era
The team led by Alexandra Shapiro, marketing and digital exec VP for the entertainment group at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, did extensive market research about the cultural mood of its target audience and focus-group testing of numerous concepts before settling on the cabler’s first new tagline since 2005: “We the Bold.” …The tagline replaces “Characters Welcome,” which was launched in 2005. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/mr-robot-usa-network-brand-tagline-refresh-1201752745/

(rumor) ITV Kicking Tires Of Canadian Media Conglom Entertainment One; eOne Denies: Report
Entertainment Onehas denied press reports that it has been the subject of a takeover approach from Brit broadcaster-producer ITV. http://deadline.com/2016/04/itv-kicking-the-tyres-of-canadian-media-conglom-entertainment-one-report-1201737496/

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