The Morning Update for Thursday, May 5, 2016.

Hi all, happy Cinco de Mayo! Here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, May 5, 2016:


Seth MacFarlane to Star in Live-Action Space Dramedy Series for Fox
Seth MacFarlane will create, star in and executive produce an hourlong live-action dramedy series. Slated to bow in during the 2017-18 broadcast season with a pilot filmed later this year, the untitled effort will mark MacFarlane’s live-action TV acting debut. MacFarlane penned the script for the project, which is set 300 years in the future and follows the adventures of the Orville, an exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar fleet. Facing cosmic challenges from without and within, the motley crew of space explorers will "boldly go where no comedic drama has gone before," according to the Fox logline.

TNT Producing Dramedy ‘Foreign Bodies’ With UK’s E4
TNT is partnering with the U.K.’s Channel 4 for comedic drama “Foreign Bodies,” the networks announced Wednesday. The eight-episode series centers around a group of young adults who venture across China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Charles Murray Set As Showrunner On Lee Daniels’ Fox Series ‘Star’ As Part Of Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV
Sons of Anarchy alum Charles Murrayhas signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under the pact, he will serve as executive producer and showrunner onStar, 20th TV’s upcoming drama created by Lee Danielsand Tom Donaghy, which was recently picked up to series by Fox for next season. Additionally, Murray will be developing his own projects for the studio.

Wrap: ‘Supergirl’ Renewal Drama: Talks Center on Possible Jump to CW, Budget Cuts
CBS boss Leslie Moonves is deep in talks with Warner Bros. Television about the fate of its super-expensive comic-book series. The network would like the show to come back, sources close to the series say, but there’s a problem. The roughly $3 million per-episode price tag CBS pays to broadcast “Supergirl” — one of the highest license fees ever for a freshman show — isn’t quite justified by the ratings. Moonves could push “Supergirl” to The CW. The upshot of a CW shift is that there would very likely be big budget cuts in the offing for “Supergirl.” No one wants to hear about cutbacks, which may explain why those close to “Supergirl” are batting down the CW speculation.


Vanessa Williams Joins TNT’s ‘The Librarians’ Season 3
Vanessa Williams is joining the third season of TNT’s “The Librarians.” Williams joins in a recurring role, playing General Rockwell.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Stars Negotiating New Contracts
Leading lady Ellen Pompeo as well as five of her co-stars are in talks to return to the ABC medical drama.


NBC’s comedy site Seeso unveils 7 new series
All summer ’16. Seeso has also optioned worldwide rights for feature length documentary “The Pistol Shrimps,” about the LA based all-female basketball team by the same name.

YouTube Aims to Launch Live TV Service by 2017
Google-owned YouTube wants to get in on the skinny bundle game: YouTube is in conversations with programmers to launch some kind of live TV subscription service by next year. The service is reportedly going to be called “Unplugged,” and YouTube aims to keep the costs for a cable TV-like bundle below $35. However, YouTube apparently hasn’t sealed any deals yet, and also hasn’t settled on a final model for its subscription service.

Hulu Wants Local Broadcast Channels for Skinny TV Bundle
Hulu hasn’t clinched any programming deals for the live-TV service at this point, and the company has not confirmed reports that it’s targeting a price point of around $40 per month. But local TV channels will be key for the Hulu live TV service to have maximum appeal because they offer live sports and news, said Tim Connolly, the company’s senior VP and head of distribution and partnerships.

Atlantic: CBS’s Star Trek Could Change the TV Broadcast Model
The new Star Trek series will debut in January 2017, with one episode released per week. The fan site TrekCore acknowledges, sadly, that such a “binge and bail” tactic won’t be possible—which is exactly what CBS wants. As cable cord-cutting grows more common among younger viewers, networks need to find a new way into their pockets, which is why the weekly cliffhanger may not be going anywhere anytime soon.

Ellen DeGeneres Brings Tyler Oakley Into Her Expanding Digital Universe
Ellen DeGeneres has signed social-media star Tyler Oakley to a content-development pact, as part of the talk-show host and comedian’s new plan to grow her already enormous digital empire. The deal with Oakley comes with the launch of the Ellen Digital Network, a new umbrella brand encompassing all of her online content.


E! Greenlights Four Unscripted Series Including ‘WAGS’ Spinoff
E! is expanding their unscripted slate, picking up four new series. The NBCUniversal cabler has given the greenlight to a “WAGS” spinoff set in Miami; a series following the staff of “Cosmopolitan” magazine; a show set at Los Angeles’ famous gay bar The Abbey; and a reality show about young women married to older wealthy men.

FYI Orders ‘Prefabulous’ Original Series About Pre-Fab Homes
The lifestyle cable network behind Tiny House Nation has moved into the world of prefabricated homes. FYIhas ordered eight half-hour episodes of Prefabulous (working title) from Vox Entertainment, Vox Media‘s Los Angeles-based programming and development division. In each episode, viewers will follow an individual or family as they embark on building their dream pre-fab home.


Disney wants to write a very big check to buy part of MLB’s video streaming company
Industry sources believe Disney is looking to acquire as much as one-third of BAM Tech, at a valuation approaching $3 billion, with “path to control” that would eventually allow it to acquire a controlling interest in the business. The company started by powering streaming services for baseball’s 30 teams, but has since started handling clients that range from Disney’s ESPN to Time Warner’s HBO.


Ayo Davis Named Head of Casting for ABC; WME Agent Jonathan Bluman Joins As VP
Ayo Davishas been named the Head of Talent and Casting for ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios. In her first move, Davis has hired WME talent agent Jonathan Bluman as VP talent and casting for ABC.

OWN Shakes Up Leadership Team, Co-President Sheri Salata to Exit
OWN is shaking up its leadership team, with co-president Sheri Salata set to step down from her post to launch her own firm. Erik Logan will continue as the sole president of the cabler that is a joint venture of Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications.

Telemundo Studios Promotes Two Key Scripted Executives
Telemundo Studios has promoted Juana la Virgen writer Perla Fariasand Carmen Urbanejato newly created SVP roles under its new senior management structure.

TV Producer Ian Sander Dies At 68
Veteran TV producer Ian Sanderdied Tuesday, May 3. He passed away peacefully at his home, with the cause of death still undetermined. Sander was 68. Partnered with his wife, Kim Moses, in their Sander/Moses Prods., Sander executive produced CBS’ long-running drama Ghost Whisperer starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, on which he also served as in-house director. Sander’s death comes as he and Moses were wrapping their ABC pilot, drama Spark, which the duo executive produce.


Variety: Why This Year’s TV Upfront May Be Unlike Any Other in Recent Memory
All signs point to TV grabbing a bigger share of ad commitments this year — a turn of events that will spark jubilation in Hollywood and among TV’s New York-based ad-sales operations. That doesn’t mean there aren’t questions about the medium’s health and the effectiveness of old marketing paradigms. And even if the money does return, the business continues to be in extreme flux.

The Awl: I Love Serial Entertainment And So Can You
It takes an episode or two for a television viewer to meet the main characters, get the gist of a new show, and decide whether or not she likes it. In exchange for an hour, she might secure dozens or even hundreds of hours of entertainment. We don’t binge on television because we like it, we like television—more than movies—because we can binge on it. …The most demanding part of any narrative art form the beginning, when everything—the style, the plot, the characters, perhaps even the universe in which the characters operate—is new. Series minimize that period of difficulty relative to the total experience. You do the work once, and then you’re free and easy for aforementioned dozens or hundreds of hours of entertainment.

THR: Channing Tatum Reveals Plans for ‘Magic Mike Live’ Vegas Show via Shirtless Facebook Video
"We have enough gentlemen’s clubs in this world, so let’s start the first gentle lady’s club."