The Morning Update for Friday, May 6, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Friday, May 6, 2016. Have a great weekend!


Ryan Murphy Anthology ‘Feud,’ Starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, Set at FX
Brad Pitt will serve as an exec producer on the project. Produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, the eight-episode first season revolves around the legendary rift between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis that occurred during the making of 1962 feature film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Judy Davis and Dominic Burgess co-star.

‘Dear White People’ TV Series Based on Movie a Go at Netflix
Justin Simien will write the comedy series as well as direct the series premiere. The 10-episode, 30-minute project hails from Lionsgate Television and will, like the film, follow a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug.

Hulu Orders Prehistoric Times Pilot From ‘Without a Trace’ Creator
Hulu is going back in time for prehistoric drama pilot “Dawn,” as part of a partnership with MGM. The epic drama follows a tribe of Neanderthals as they struggle to survive and hold on to their way of life after coming into contact with a family of Homo sapiens. Hank Steinberg and Ken Nolan will serve as the creators and executive producers on the potential series. The pilot will be directed by Robert Stromberg.

‘Birth Of The Pill’ Event Series With Denise DiNovi & R.J.Cutler In Works At Sonar
Sonar Entertainmenthas optioned the rights to Jonathan Eig’s nonfiction book The Birth Of The Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolutionfor development as an event series for television, with Denise DiNovi and R.J. Cutler executive producing and Cutler set to to direct. The Birth Of the Pill revolves around four flawed, rebellious, larger than life characters racing against time, politics and ethics. Audrey Wells is writing the first episode.

‘Darkover’ Amazon Series Taps Elizabeth Sarnoff & Patrick Macmanus As Writers
Elizabeth Sarnoff(Lost) and Patrick Macmanus(Marco Polo) have come on board to write and executive produce Darkover, a TV adaptation of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s book series, which is in the works at Amazon Studios from IM Global Television. It is described as an ambitious tale tracing the development of a civilization from its inadvertent founding on a distant planet by a group of human colonists through war-torn feudal ages to re-contact 2,000 years later with their Earthly descendants.

Timbaland to Develop TV Musical Based on His Album ‘Opera Noir’
Timbaland has struck a deal with Leftfield Pictures to develop his upcoming album “Opera Noir” (w/t) into a musical. “Opera Noir” will follow a young musician’s rise to the top and hardships along the way, including struggles with poverty, substance abuse and crime. The plan is to shop it to networks as an event special in a variety of potential formats, from a standalone special to a limited series.

Nancy Cartwright Is Developing ’24 Hours with Mary Lynn Rajskub’ as a TV Series
Nancy Cartwright’s film and television production company Spotted Cow is looking to adapt 24 star Mary Lynn Rajskub’s one-woman show for TV or other mediums. The project will preview at Montreal’s Just for Laughs fest in July. 24 Hours With Mary Lynn Rajskub features Rajskub getting knocked up by a hunky stranger, becoming the good wife and mother, blowing all her cash and taking a yoga teacher’s advice to invest in miniature horses to save her marriage.

Nikki Toscano Inks Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV, Joins ’24: Legacy’
Writer-producer Nikki Toscanohas signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the two-year pact, she is joining the studio’s 24 reboot, 24: Legacy, which picked up to series by Fox last week. Toscano will serve as a co-executive producer on the series. Additionally, Toscano will develop projects of her own.

Adam Bernstein To Direct ‘The Mist’ On Spike
Emmy-winning director Adam Bernstein(30 Rock) is set to direct the premiere episode of Spike’s straight-to-series dram The Mist, based on the Stephen King novella. The 10-episode series tells a harrowing story about a seemingly innocuous mist that seeps into a small town and creates immense havoc.

ABC Nears ‘Castle’ Renewal Decision For Season 9, Nathan Fillion Set To Return
It looks like we will know very soon whether ABC’s veteran procedural drama Castlewill return for a ninth season. The network has until end of day tomorrow, May 6, to make a renewal decision, determining whether the May 16 finale will be branded as a season or series finale and which of the two final scenes shot will make it to air. Nathan Fillion has closed a new deal for Season 9. Co-stars Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas are said to be coming back. All signs had been pointing to a renewal, possibly for a shortened, 13-episode ninth season at a reduced license fee.

‘Supergirl’ Eyes Move To Vancouver To Reduce Costs As Season 2 Stays In Limbo
Warner Bros TV is seriously considering moving production from Los Angeles to Vancouver next season. There have been exploratory conversations with the cast during the past couple of weeks, and, while many are not thrilled about the potential move, it is a realistic possibility as the series is looking to reduce costs.

(review) THR: ‘Marseille’
, the Gerard Depardieu-led Netflix series that dropped all eight episodes on Thursday, is not very good. In many spots, it’s terrible. You’d think the French accents would class-up the offerings the way that a thoroughly British one has raised the stature of innumerable BBC offerings of the past, but no — the problems of Marseille can’t be overcome either by accent or by naked French actresses or stylized gunplay, all of which are heavy elements of the series.


Alden Ehrenreich to Play Han Solo in ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff
Disney and LucasFilm have found their new Han Solo. “Hail, Caesar!” thesp Alden Ehrenreich has been tapped to star in the “Star Wars”-universe standalone movie revolving around Han Solo.

Alicia Vikander Launches Vikarious Productions; Sets First Project ‘Euphoria’ With Eva Green- Cannes
Oscar winner Alicia Vikanderjust added a new hyphen to her considerable list of talents: that of producer. The 27-year-old Swedish actress, arguably the hottest and most in-demand young European actress working today, has launched her own production banner Vikarious Productions along with her London-based agent Charles Collierof Tavistock Wood.


Seeso Orders ‘Debate Wars’ Series Hosted by Michael Ian Black
Seeso announced that it’s greenlit six episodes of Debate Wars, a comedy debate show moderated by Michael Ian Black that will pit teams of “comedic combatants” against each other to debate topics.

Digital Comedy Series ‘Web Tales’ From FatAwesome & Machinima To Run On Go90, Black List Writers The Mirzai Bros To Exec Produce
Online comedy duo FatAwesomehave partnered up with digital content outfit Machinimato write, produce, direct, and star in Web Tales, a 12-episode web series that will recreate funny, outlandish, and larger-than-life anecdotes from real life. Developed with and executive produced by Black List screenwriters Shea & Evan Mirzai, the series will stream on Verizon’s go90 video hosting service.

CW Gives Away ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Season 1 for Free on iTunes
In an effort to boost buzz in time for the Emmys, The CW has made the entire first season of its new series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” available on iTunes for free. (link to iTunes)


Reality Producer Drew Brown Inks Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV
Producer Drew Brownhas signed a two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures TVto develop nonscripted series for network, cable and streaming services under his Fascination Streetbanner. SPT also has a first-look deal for scripted projects developed by Fascination Street.


Disney’s Bob Iger Meets China President Xi Jinping
Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger Thursday met with China’s powerful president Xi Jinping. The meeting took place at the ceremonial Great Hall of the People in Beijing. It is considered rare for Xi to meet with foreign business leaders, especially in public. Iger is also vice chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council. The meeting took place some six weeks before the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort theme park in Shanghai.


Idris Elba Taps Ana Garanito as Head of Development for Production Company
Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures has strengthened its scripted development team with the appointment of Ana Garanito as head of development. Garanito was most recently with Runaway Fridge Productions and FremantleMedia International.

MTV Taps MLB’s Jacqueline Parkes and Lifetime’s Eli Lehrer as EVPs
MTV has hired longtime MLB chief marketing officer Jacqueline Parks and former Lifetime exec Eli Lehrer as new EVPs. Parkes will serve as Executive Vice President, Marketing and Creative. Lehrer will oversee MTV2 and be responsible for the network’s brand vision, voice and creative pipeline. Additionally, two Viacom executives have been appointed new roles at MTV. Kristin Frank, formerly EVP, Connected Content for MTV and VH1, will take on an expanded role as EVP, Strategy, Revenue & Operations. Erik Flannigan, formerly EVP, Viacom’s Music & Entertainment Group, will join MTV full time in the newly created roll of EVP, Music/Events Strategy & Development, as the network continues its expansion of music-based programming.

Broad Green Names Matt Alvarez President of Production
Matt Alvarez has been named Broad Green Pictures’ president of production. Alvarez, who joined the Hammond Brothers’ company last October from Relativity, will develop and acquire new commercial-facing projects and manage the ongoing slate.

Steve Papazian Tapped for New Production Role at Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Picture’s Steve Papazian has stepped down as president of worldwide physical production to assume the studio’s recently created role of worldwide production executive. In his new post, Papazian will consult on physical production issues and oversee projects for the studio’s tentpole releases over the next two years.


(opinion) TVBTN: Fall TV 2016: 3 things ABC needs to address next season
This season may not turn out to be as big a disaster as 2013-14 was for its freshman class (only three of 13 shows renewed), but it won’t be as solid a year as 2014-15 (seven of 13 new shows picked up). Here are a few keys to rebuilding next season: 1) A Tuesday-night teardown; 2) A procedural or six; 3) A rethinking of split seasons.