The Morning Update for Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Tuesday, June 21, 2016:


‘Alias Grace’: Netflix & CBC Pick Up Sarah Polley Miniseries Based On Margaret Atwood Novel
Netflix and Canadian broadcaster CBC have teamed up to greenlight Alias Grace, a six-hour miniseries from Sarah Polley and Noreen Halpern’s Halfire Entertainment. The mini is inspired by the historical true story of convicted murderer Grace Marks and based on Margaret Atwood’s novel. Polley, who originally adapted the book as a feature four years ago, is writing and producing, and Mary Harron directs.

Stephen David Entertainment Prepping ‘Colosseum’ Series From ‘Gladiator’ Writer
Gladiator co-writer David Franzoni is returning to the arena for Colosseum, a drama series at Stephen David Entertainment that is set in the world of the Roman Empire’s gladiatorial games. Colosseum is described as a multi-layered drama that deals with the lives of the gladiators and the powerful men and women who attempt to use them as political pawns.

J.J. Abrams Reteams With Tavis Smiley for TV Series Based on Michael Jackson’s Last Days
J.J. Abrams is teaming with Tavis Smiley and Warner Bros. Television to adapt the author/broadcaster’s upcoming book, Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days, as TV event series. A network has not yet been set up; the studio is expected to shop it to broadcast, cable, premium cable and streaming services.

Glenn Ficarra & John Requa Ink Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV
Glenn Ficarraand John Requa, who directed NBC’s standout drama pilot This Is Us, have signed an overall deal with the studio behind the project, 20th Century Fox TV, for Zaftig Films, their company with Charlie Gogolak. Under the two-year pact, Ficarra, Requa, and Gogolak will render executive producer services on Dan Fogelaman’s This Is Us.

THR: Why Showtime Is Ending ‘Penny Dreadful’
Showtime president David Nevins and series creator John Logan talk with THR about the decision to end the monster drama with Sunday’s ultimate series finale.

(preview) TVLine: Fall TV First Impression: Lethal Weapon
But damn… this small-screen reboot is fun. Lethal Weapon is not inexpensive — directed by McG, its thrilling centerpiece chase scene alone likely cost more than most other pilots as a whole — so there may be a bit of “Wow!” factor inflating this early take.

(preview) TVLine: Fall TV First Impression: This Is Us
At minimum, This Is Us is a terrific 42-minute indie film. Depending on what Episode 2 looks like in the wake of a significant end-of-pilot development, this could very well be TV’s next Parenthood, inviting you to celebrate the characters’ triumphs and sympathize with their setbacks, Kleenex-brand facial tissues always at the ready. This much is certain: Of all the pilots premiering this fall, this is one you will watch a second time.

(review) THR: ‘Roadies’
is a massively disappointing series in large part to the expectations that Crowe brings to it and much of its failings are directly linked to him since he’s the creator, writer and director of much of the coming season. Like ‘Vinyl’ before it, Cameron Crowe’s ‘Roadies’ is another music series that frustratingly gets most of the notes wrong.


‘Black-ish’: Peter Mackenzie Upped To Regular On ABC Comedy Series
Peter Mackenzie, who recurred heavily the past two seasons on ABC’s hit family comedy Black-ish, has been promoted to series regular for the upcoming third season. Mackenzie plays Mr. Stevens, the head of the agency where Dre (Anthony Anderson) works.

‘American Crime’ Season 3 Plot Revealed, Regina King Returning to John Ridley’s ABC Series
The third season of John Ridley’s critically-acclaimed ABC drama “American Crime” is shaping up. Regina King is the first cast member confirmed to return to the anthology series. “American Crime” season three will be set in North Carolina.

Gotham Casts Once Upon a Time’s Jamie Chung as Valerie Vale
Gotham is lifting its Vale of secrecy around one of Season 3’s most anticipated characters. Once Upon a Time warrior Jamie Chung has been cast in the recurring role of Valerie Vale.

Xzibit Upped To Series Regular On ‘Empire’, Joins Indie ‘Sun Dogs’
It’s a busy time for Xzibit(aka Alvin Joiner). The actor-producer-rapper has been promoted to series regular for Season 3 of Fox’s hit Empirefollowing his guest starring role in Season 2.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner Joins Amazon’s ‘Sneaky Pete’
Malcolm-Jamal Warner will recur on Amazon’s upcoming series “Sneaky Pete.”


Aron Coleite Tapped By Fox To Adapt Iconic Japanese Graphic Novel ‘Amulet’
Aron Coleitehas been tapped by 20th Century Fox to adapt iconic Japanese graphic novel Amulet. Temple Hill Entertainment is producing. Amulet is a graphic novel series illustrated and written by Kazu Kibuishi. The series follows the adventures of Emily Hayes, who after moving to their great-grandfather’s house in the town of Norlen, discovers and wears the magical amulet that uses magical powers.


Insurrection Media Orders Ridesharing Comedy From Rob Huebel & Paul Scheer
Digital TV studio Insurrection Mediahas ordered ridesharing comedy Drive Share, created by and starring Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer for premiere later this year. The series will have a U.S. exclusive first window on, Verizon Hearst Media Partners’ new millennial-focused multiplatform digital video channel. Burning Love duo Jonathan Stern and Keith Quinn executive produce under their comedy pod deal with Insurrection Media. Drive Share is scripted satire exploring the cultural phenomenon of Uberification, following drivers while they shuttle fascinating people around town as part of this new shared economy.

Netflix Nearing Streaming Deal Extension With The CW
New seasons of shows like ‘Arrow’ will be available on Netflix a few weeks after they end.

BitTorrent Is Looking to Launch a TV News Network
BitTorrent is considering the launch of a TV news network for its live streaming service in time for the election this fall. The San Francisco-based company is currently looking to hire a news director tasked with building out and running a team of journalists to launch “BitTorrent News.”


‘TMZ’ and ‘TMZ Live’ Renewed Through 2020
The syndicated TV series hails from Warner Bros. and airs on Fox Television Stations.


BBC to adapt Christie short story
BBC1 in the UK has ordered an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1925 short story The Witness for the Prosecution. The 2×60’ project, adapted by Sarah Phelps, is the latest Christie work to head to the UK pubcaster. ITV-owned Mammoth Screen will coproduce with Agatha Christie Productions in association with Acorn Media Enterprises, Acorn TV and A+E Studios. Julian Jarrold will direct the project, which follows a murder mystery in 1920s London.

Russian net adds French political thriller
A broadcaster in Russia has acquired the futuristic political drama Section Zéro, created by renowned director and screenwriter Olivier Marchal. Set in a near future when multinational corporations are Europe’s new leaders, it follows an idealistic law enforcement officer who teams up with an old cop to battle violent militias.


(animated) Disney Channel and Lego Group Team for New ‘Frozen’ Shorts
‘Frozen Northern Lights’ will first launch this summer as a series of books.

(animated) ‘Hotel Transylvania’ TV Series Headed to Disney Channels Worldwide
Sony Pictures’ and Nelvana’s small-screen version will debut on Disney Channel in the U.S. and elsewhere globally in 2017.


CBS Taps Drama Head Julie McNamara to Head All Access
Julie McNamara has been tapped to serve as exec vp original content at CBS All Access, the network’s digital subscription video-on-demand and live streaming service.

Bryan Seabury to Oversee Drama at CBS TV Studios
The executive replaces Julie McNamara, who moved over to lead CBS All Access.

Freeform Taps WBTV Comedy Exec Jana Steele Helman For VP Role
Former Warner Bros TV comedy exec Jana Steele Helmanhas moved to Freeformas VP of programming and development. In her new role, she’ll direct the development of scripted drama and comedy series and help identify and grow brand-appropriate ideas for scripted content. Helman reports to Simran S. Sethi, senior vice president, Original Programming and Development.

Jill Holmes Departs VH1 as West Coast Development Chief
Jill Holmes is stepping down from her role as senior vice president of West Coast development and production for VH1. She has signed a multi-year first-look production deal with the network.

Universal Cable Productions Announces Pitch Fest Winner
Jeane Wong has been selected as the winner of Universal Cable Productionsfirst annual Pitch Fest for storytellers. Wong’s pitch, The Thin Line, was chosen from a pool of 500 submissions, and 22 finalists. It’s described as a revisionist history series set in present-day America where segregation still exists after an unsuccessful 1960s civil rights movement.

ABC’s Dungey to keynote Drama Summit
Newly promoted ABC Entertainment Group president Channing Dungey will give a keynote Q&A at the International Drama Summit during Content London, which takes place between November 29 and December 1.


(feature) NYT: Can Netflix Survive in the World it Created?
At the moment, Netflix has a negative cash flow of almost $1 billion; it regularly needs to go to the debt market to replenish its coffers. Its $6.8 billion in revenue last year pales in comparison to the $28 billion or so at media giants like Time Warner and 21st Century Fox. And for all the original shows Netflix has underwritten, it remains dependent on the very networks that fear its potential to destroy their longtime business model in the way that internet competitors undermined the newspaper and music industries. Now that so many entertainment companies see it as an existential threat, the question is whether Netflix can continue to thrive in the new TV universe that it has brought into being.

Comic-Con 2016: Twentieth Century Fox Television Sets Panels for Prison Break, 24: Legacy, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Final Bones Bow, and More
The studio will also showcase its new series, Son of Zorn and The Exorcist.

Vox: Why LaCroix sparkling water is suddenly everywhereThe forces that shape our cultural references, deciding what will be a shorthand for trendiness on blogs and painstakingly documented in the New York Times style section, can seem mysterious. But the answer is stupidly obvious: If you want to be written about, win over a bunch of writers. And starting in 2014, writers in Los Angeles began drinking LaCroix in droves.