The Morning Update for Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Tuesday, April 19, 2016:


Netflix Picks Up Time Travel Drama Series ‘Travelers’ Starring Eric McCormack
Netflixhas come on board Travelers, an original time-traveling sci-fi series starring Eric McCormack(Will & Grace, Perception). Netflix is teaming on the project with Canadian TV channel Showcase, which will air the series in Canada. Created and written by Brad Wright, Travelers is set hundreds of years from now when the last surviving humans discover the means of sending consciousness back through time, directly into people in the 21st century. These “travelers” assume the lives of seemingly random people, while secretly working as teams to perform missions in order to save humanity from a terrible future.

Mel Gibson, Kate Hudson and Kurt Russell Team for ‘Barbary Coast’ TV Series
Mel Gibson is set to co-write and direct a TV series set in the California Gold Rush era to star Kate Hudson and Kurt Russell. Gibson will have a recurring role in “The Barbary Coast,” which is set up at the Mark Gordon Co. The project has yet to be set up at a network.

Netflix & ‘Narcos’ José Padilha Reteam On Brazil Corruption Scandal Series
Netflixis getting back into business with Narcos executive producer and director José Padilha. Filming will begin in Brazil this year on a ripped-from-the-headlines original series based on the country’s recent corruption investigations, Operation Car Wash (aka Operação Lava Jato). The yet-to-be-titled series will be created and directed by Padilha and written by Elena Soares. A very timely subject, Operation Car Wash is an ongoing probe involving allegations of corruption at state-owned oil giant Petrobras which has impacted and fascinated the country.

(review) THR: ‘Containment’
Premiering Tuesday and technically based on a Belgian format, The CW’s Containment is an occasionally terrifying, mostly formulaic tribute to the primal unease that comes from watching somebody coughing up blood. Over and over and over and over again. It’s also a reminder of why the virus thriller has long been a successful film genre, but examples of well-executed longform versions are fewer.

(review) Variety: ‘The Night Manager’
Given that it unfolds over six hours, the miniseries has the kinds of plotting issues one might expect if a Bond film were stretched past its ideal running time, and a little more clarity and a little less under-cooked ambiguity might have served it well. But it’s hard to resist the charms of the cast, led by Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie.


Kevin Bacon To Star In Jill Soloway Amazon Pilot ‘I Love Dick’
Kevin Bacon(The Following) is set to star opposite Kathryn Hahn in Jill Soloway‘s Amazon comedy pilotI Love Dick.

Naomi Watts to Star in Netflix Drama Series ‘Gypsy’
Naomi Watts has signed on to star in Netflix’s psychological drama series “Gypsy,” from Working Title, Universal Television and writer Lisa Rubin. Watts will play therapist Jean Holloway, a woman who begins to develop dangerous relationships with people who are involved in her patients’ lives, in the 10-episode season of the one-hour thriller.

Walton Goggins To Star In ‘Six’, Replacing Joe Manganiello; History Series To Restart Production
Justified and The Shield alum Walton Gogginsis set to star in Six, History’s eight-episode contemporary military action drama from A+E Studios and The Weinstein Co. He replaces Joe Manganiello, who was originally cast in the role but had to abruptly pull out last week over a health issue after filming nearly two episodes.

John C. McGinley To Topline IFC Comedy-Horror Series ‘Stan Against Evil’
Scrubs alum John C. McGinley is set as the lead in Stan Against Evil, IFC’s new scripted comedy-horror series from writer Dana Gould. Also cast in the show, which has an eight-episode order for a fall premiere, is actress-comedian Janet Varney (You’re the Worst).

Netflix’s ‘Iron Fist’ Casts Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphrey as Series Regulars
“Marvel’s Iron Fist” has added two more series regulars. “90210” alum Jessica Stroup and “The Guiding Light” star Tom Pelphrey will join Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick and David Wenham in the Netflix series as Joy and Ward Meachum.


‘Sleepy Hollow’ Star Nicole Beharie Finds New Life In ‘Jacob’s Ladder’; ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s Jesse Williams Co-Stars
Nicole Beharie, one of the main stars of Fox’s Sleepy Hollowwho was surprisingly killed off in the season finale two weeks ago, and Grey Anatomy’s Jesse Williamshave been set to star opposite Michael Ealy in the re-imagining of the 1990 thriller Jacob’s Ladder for director David M. Rosenthal.


CBS gets edgy with digital series ‘Not Safe for Daytime’
Daytime TV just got a bit sexier with CBS’ new digital series Not Safe for Daytime. The short form videos, available on CBS’ YouTube channel, will feature skits, pop culture parodies and viral video spoofs from stars of The Price is Right, Let’s Make a Deal, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful and The Talk.

Amazon is launching monthly subscriptions for Prime and Prime Video
Amazon is dropping the requirement to sign up for a year to access its Prime membership services. The retailer is adding new subscription options that will price Prime at $10.99 a month and, for the first time, offer Prime Video as a standalone service at $8.99 a month.

Verizon & Hearst Buy Complex; Digital Pop Culture Hub Targets Millennials
Verizonand Hearstunveiled today an agreement to buy Complex, a digital company that targets Millennial males. It will develop video for the telco’s Go90 mobile service and AOL.

FastCo: Apple, Facebook, Google, and Alibaba Take Hollywood
Apple execs were in Los Angeles hearing pitches for original TV series that it plans to launch on an "exclusives" app on Apple TV and within iTunes. Apple wants to work with "triple A-list" talent, according to a source, and build up a roster of must-see shows available only on its platform. Naturally, the talks have been veiled in the utmost secrecy. Producers who have met with Apple will refer to it only as the United Fruit Company.


Netflix Commissions Hostage Doc Series From Lightbox And Doug Liman’s Hypnotic
Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn and Emmy Award-winning cousin Jonathan Chinn’s multi-media banner Lightboxhas been commissioned by Netflixto produce Captive, an eight episode series exploring hostage situations and negotiations around the world. Lightbox, which conceived the series, is teaming up with Doug Liman’s Hypnotic to produce.

POTUS + FLOTUS Team Up with ABC for Hour-Long ‘Jazz at the White House’ Special
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host "Jazz at the White House," airing on International Jazz Day, Saturday, April 30 (8-9pm EST), on ABC. The one-hour primetime television special will feature an extraordinary array of artists from around the world paying tribute to the truly American art form of jazz.

‘Total Divas’ Spinoff Starring The Bella Twins Set At E!
Ahead of the fifth-season finale of E!’s docuseries Total Divas, the network has given the green light to spinoff Total Bellas, featuring Nikki and Brie Bella. The six hourlong episodes will take an in-depth look at the lives of the Bella Twins and their significant others, John Cena and Daniel Bryan, as the WWE stars move in together and enter a new chapter of their lives, both professionally and personally.


ITV renews The Durrells
UK commercial broadcaster ITV has commissioned a second run of family drama The Durrells after airing just two episodes of the first. It focuses on a woman who takes her family to Greek island Corfu for a new start.

Ghosts come back to Gold
UK multi-channel operator UKTV has greenlit more episodes of one of the first original commissions on its Gold channel. Marley’s Ghosts, a coproduction between Objective Fiction, part of Objective Media Group, and John Stanley Productions, will return for a 6×40’ run later this year. The scripted series follows a woman who can talk to the dead, which includes both her husband and her lover.


Disney TV Chief Ben Sherwood Urges Broadcasters to Take ‘Urgent, Smart Action’
First, Ben Sherwood said, broadcast TV should leverage its existing local base and “continue to build community and build connection.” The second prong of his strategy, he said, is “relentless focus to innovation. “The third way forward: Make great stuff,” said Sherwood. He noted that “great storytelling is timeless” and pointed to ABC’s relationship with showrunner Shonda Rhimes as an example of the network’s “Elvis strategy,” that focuses on great topline talent.

Disney Introduces Contract Templates For ABC Stations To Make Streaming Deals
Disney ABC Television Group says it will offer “pre-negotiated agreements” to its affiliates to help them cut distribution deals with streaming services. The arrangements include terms for stations’ linear feeds as well as VOD. The initiative, called Clearinghouse, will begin with two agreements involving ABC-owned stations.

Disney’s Top Internal Prospects to Replace CEO Bob Iger Reflect New Cost-Cutting Culture
Bloomberg reported Monday, citing current and former executives. The report called out three rising stars at the media giant — theme parks head Bob Chapek, consumer and digital product lead Jimmy Pitaro and TV networks head Ben Sherwood— who have restructured their units and ousted long-time execs to make their business operations more lean.

NYT: How Disney Spread ‘Jungle Book’ Fever
Disney’s marketing used a variety of tactics to promote the movie to different audiences and tell them it was not just a film but a magical experience.


AdWeek: Meet 5 Prime-Time TV Schedulers Whose Decisions Will Make or Break the Next Season
Before they dive into the most frenzied portion of their upfront preparations, Adweek talked shop with the five broadcast schedulers who will be calling the shots: Kelly Kahl, senior evp of CBS Primetime; Andy Kubitz, evp, program planning and scheduling at ABC Entertainment; Dan Harrison, evp, strategic program planning at Fox Broadcasting; Jeff Bader, president, program planning, strategy and research for NBC Entertainment; and Kevin Levy, svp, program planning and scheduling with The CW. While the recent seismic changes in the television landscape have caused major evolutions in their jobs and their approach to scheduling, they note that if anything, their contributions are even more essential than ever.

Exec Shuffle for 4/18/16Jonah Leach has been upped from Coordinator to Manager of Acquisitions & Co-Productions at Lionsgate.
Naomi Funabashi is now a Creative Executive at Mandeville Films. She was formerly a Coordinator at HeyDay Films.
Hanan Abdelaa has been named the Director of Development at 51 Minds Entertainment. She was formerly a Development Manager and Talent Executive at Endemol Shine North America. Elyse Adams has been upped from Manager of Current Programming to the Director of Current Productions at 51 Minds Entertainment. Tricia Biggio has been named the VP of Current Productions. She was formerly the Senior Director of Development & Production at VH1. Chris Kinsella has been upped from VP to the SVP of Development. Jessica Bofshever has been upped form Director of Development to the VP of Development at 51 Minds. Andrew Jacobson has been upped from Director of Development to the Head of Branded Entertainment.
Joe D’Ambrosia has been upped from VP to the SVP of Original Programming at Disney Junior.
Hugh Fitzpatrick has been named the VP of Scripted Development & Production at National Geographic Channel. He was previously the Head of Television at Teakwood Lane.


(stage) ‘Hamilton’ Wins 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop historical juggernaut becomes only the ninth musical in history to take the honor, turning up the show’s heat as the Tony Awards frontrunner.


‘Twilight Zone’ Interactive Reboot in the Works
Your next stop: the “Twilight Zone.” Now you choose what happens next. The iconic science-fiction TV series is being resurrected with a new dimension, as digital video company Interlude has secured a deal with CBS to turn the series into a project marrying television with gaming.

Buzzfeed: How Lifetime Became One Of The Best Places In Hollywood For Women
Since Lifetime’s acquisition by A&E Networks in 2009, the channel has mounted a successful effort to legitimize itself — 12 Emmy nominations in 2013, and 17 in 2014. This new legitimacy has hinged on two strategies: Lifetime’s prioritizing the hiring of women to write and direct their stories, and its witty, postmodern self-awareness of its own tropes. Put another way, while Lifetime originated a whole genre of “women’s entertainment” in the 1990s, twenty years later, it created a meta-genre of entertainment that comments on the conventions of “women’s entertainment,” by Lifetime and others.