The Morning Update for Friday, July 8, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Friday, July 8, 2016. Have a great weekend!


Zachary Quinto To Star In ‘Biopunk’ Drama Series From Gotham Group & Legendary
Heroes and Star Trek‘s Zachary Quinto is set to star and executive produce Biopunk, an hourlong drama based on the book by Marcus Wohlsen. Chase Palmer created the series and will write the script. Biopunk chronicles the underground world of bio-hackers—DIY garage scientists seeking to do for biotech what Steve Jobs did for personal computing. These are young and hungry guerilla scientists committed to democratizing DNA the way the internet did for information, with the ambition to build never-before-seen organisms that could solve the thorniest challenges in food, health, energy, and environmental protection.

Mark V. Olsen & Will Scheffer Re-Up Overall Deal With HBO; Set New Drama Project
Big Love creators Mark V. Olsenand Will Schefferand their Anima Sola Productions have signed a new two-year overall deal, and are currently in development on a new hourlong drama project for the premium cabler. Specifics are being kept under wraps, but the satirical drama will explore modern relationships, identity, and politics in our times of hyper technological change.

‘Wrecked’ Creators Ink First-Look Deal With TBS
Wrecked creators/executive producers Justin and Jordan Shipley have signed a two-year first-look deal with TBS to develop and produce new projects. Under the pact, they will continue to produce their single-camera comedy series Wrecked, which just received an early second season renewal.

Kingdom Renewed for Season 3
The AT&T Audience Network drama — which stars Frank Grillo, Matt Lauria and Nick Jonas, among others, as a group of mixed martial artists — has been renewed for a third season.

(preview) THR: Take Me to the Pilots ’16: The CW’s ‘No Tomorrow’
Tori Anderson and Josh Sasse are charming, but being whimsical shouldn’t take this much effort.


‘Walking Dead’ Promotes 4 to Series Regular for Season 7
The zombie drama has promoted Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Tom Payne, Austin Amelio and Xander Berkeley to series regular.

Ariana Grande Joins NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live!’ as Penny Pingleton
Ariana Grande has joined the cast of NBC’s Hairspray Live!, she announced Thursday on Twitter, and will play the role of Penny Pingleton.

‘Chicago Justice’: Nazneen Contractor Exits NBC Legal Drama
The actress has instead boarded Frank Spotnitz’s CBS drama series ‘Ransom,’ which begins shooting this fall.

‘Penny Dreadful’ Star Sarah Greene Joins CBS’ ‘Ransom’
Germany’s RTL has come on board as a broadcast partner for the Canada-France co-production, which stars ‘Black Sails’ actor Luke Roberts.

John Singleton’s ‘Rebel’ Adds Angel Parker to Cast
John Singleton‘s BET drama series “Rebel” has added Angel Parker to the cast. “Rebel” follows Oakland police officer Rebecca “Rebel” Cole, who has always excelled by playing by the rules. After her brother is slain by police, Rebel soon becomes disillusioned with the system and is forced to take matters into her own hands and become a private investigator and a champion for her community.

‘The Blacklist: Redemption’ Casts Adrian Martinez; Eloise Smyth Joins ‘Harlots’
Adrian Martinez has booked a series regular role on NBC’s The Blacklist spinoffThe Blacklist: Redemption. Eloise Smyth (Fortitude) has landed a lead role in drama series Harlots, a co-production between ITV and Hulu.

Harold Perrineau & Jenn Lyon Nail Down Roles In TNT’s ‘Claws’ Pilot
Lost and Oz alum Harold Perrineauand Saint George co-star Jenn Lyonhave been cast as series regulars in the TNT pilot Claws.

‘Sea Change’: Lifetime Supernatural Drama Pilot Sets Cast, Begins Production
Newcomer Emily Rudd, Skyler Maxon, Keenan Tracey and Maria Dizzia have been cast in Sea Change(working title) Lifetime’s supernatural drama pilot based on Aimee Friedman’s YA novel. Production began today in Nova Scotia. Sea Change (wt) follows Miranda Merchant (Rudd) a teen girl on a journey to reunite with her estranged mother Amelia (Dizzia), who lives on a seemingly idyllic island off the coast of New England. When Miranda learns about the Seawalkers, who, according to local legend, are half human and half sea creature, she begins to believe that they could be real.


Kiefer Sutherland to Make ‘Flatliners’ Comeback in Big-Screen Remake
More than 25 years after the original movie thrilled audiences, Kiefer Sutherlandis returning to “Flatliners.” The Sony remake is set for the big screen and will star Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons. Sutherland has committed to a role; the deal is in the midst of being buttoned up.


USA Renews ‘Chrisley Knows Best’ for Season 5 and Extends Season 4
The network has added six additional episodes to the latter half of season 4, which will return this fall.

Spike Playing In New Genre With ‘That Awkward Game Show’
Spike has made an 11-episode series order for That Awkward Game Show. Hosted by comic and TV personality Jeff Dye (MTV’s Money From Strangers), it pits parental units against their kids for a cash prize.


Starz Promotes Alison Hoffman to Chief Marketing Officer
Starz has promoted Alison Hoffman from Executive Vice President of Marketing to the newly-created position of Chief Marketing Officer.

CBS Television Distribution Promotes Exec Pair
Steven A. LoCascio climbs to COO as Stephen Hackett is named president of sales.

Michael Gooch Gets SVP Stripes At Fox TV Group
Fox Television Groupsaid today that Michael Gooch has been promoted to SVP Brand Management and New Media Strategy.

Discovery Channel Hires ex-ITV exec Andrew O’Connell
Discovery Channel U.S. has hired former ITV factual commissioner Andrew O’Connell as its vice president of development and production. Based in the U.K., O’Connell will work closely with production companies in the territory and will be responsible for generating the next factual hits for the U.S. network.


Variety: ‘Uncle Buck,’ ‘$100,000 Pyramid,’ ‘Spartan’ Give Summer TV a Reality Check
Broadcasters have watched viewers flock to unscripted competition series and game shows, including several new entries in those genres, and reject scripted offerings. Of broadcast’s 15 highest rated original series so far this summer, only one — ABC’s “Uncle Buck” — is a scripted sitcom or drama series. The family comedy averaged a 1.2 Nielsen live-plus-same-day rating among adults 18-49 over eight episodes. It was cancelled Wednesday by ABC. Though “Uncle Buck” failed to survive, it was a ratings dynamo compared to this summer’s other dramas and comedies.

Wrap: ‘Hamilton’ Tickets for Original Cast’s Final Performance Rival Super Bowl 50 Price
After the news broke, tickets for all “Hamilton” performances up until (but not including) the final day for the original cast jumped to $2,076 apiece in the secondary market. For the landmark July 9 show, the average individual ticket price is an eye-popping $3,391. And thus far, the most expensive ticket sold has fetched a whopping $6,580.

HBR: The Goldilocks Theory of Product SuccessWhat is more effective than being different? Being optimally distinct—and marketing yourself as such. …Innovations that catch on mix familiarity and novelty, old and new. Distinct, but optimally so. If something is too different, it requires such a shift in thinking or behavior that it often fails. …On the other extreme, if something is too similar, it doesn’t provide enough reason to change.