The Morning Update for Monday, July 18, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Monday, July 18, 2016:


(from Fri) ‘Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Murders’ Ordered to Series at NBC
NBC has officially ordered Dick Wolf’s Law & Order: True Crime – The Menendez Murders to series with Law & Order vet Rene Balcer set as showrunner, Similar to FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson, the eight-episode first season will be a recreation of the trial of Lyle and Erik Menendez’s trial.

(from Fri) Andy Samberg & Murray Miller Return To HBO With Sports Doping Mockumentary
Andy Samberg and Murray Miller are following up on the success of their 7 Days in Hell, teaming up again with HBO to develop their second sports mockumentary, Tour de Pharmacy, with Samberg set to star. Written by Miller, Tour de Pharmacy will take a look into the rampant doping in the world of professional cycling.

Susanne Bier In Talks To Direct Amazon’s Cuba Project Pilot
Susanne Bier (The Night Manager) is in talks to direct Amazon Studios’ pilot about pre-revolutionary Cuba. The untitled Cuba project (formerly Tropicana) is set in pre-revolutionary Cuba in and around the world of the Tropicana nightclub. With the club as a focal point, the series explores the intersection of entertainers, the mob, Batista loyalists, Castro revolutionaries and the American CIA.

20th TV Taps New Drama, Comedy Development Chiefs
Brandon Brito and Cheryl Dolins will oversee drama and comedy development, respectively.

(review) Variety: ‘Vice Principals’
This strikes me as the fundamental problem with “Vice Principals” — one that is more glaring than even the other major problem with the show, which is that it is rarely funny at all. It’s not that these assholes aren’t redeemable; it’s not that “Vice Principals” can’t find a way to make it a charming little story with an arc. It’s that in a world where there doesn’t seem to be enough empathy to go around, choosing to give these two men in particular so much consideration feels like wasteful confusion, like the most basic kind of carelessness.


MacGyver Reboot Adds Sandrine Holt as Series Regular, Playing Thornton
TV’s new MacGyver has found his new boss. House of Cards alum Sandrine Holt has joined the CBS reboot as a series regular.

Once Upon a Time Casts New Player in Rumple/Belle Adventure
Once Upon a Time has cast Giles Matthey as the Greek god of dreams in Season 6.

‘Famous In Love’: Charlie DePew To Co-Star In Bella Thorne Freeform Drama Series
Charlie DePew is set to co-star opposite Bella Thorne in Famous In Love, Freeform’s drama series based on Rebecca Serle’s romantic novel. Written by Serle and I. Marlene King, Famous In Love centers on Paige (Thorne), an ordinary college student who gets her big break after auditioning for the starring role in a Hollywood blockbuster.

‘American Gods’: Dane Cook Cast As Robbie In Starz Series
Dane Cook has been tapped to play Shadow Moon’s best friend Robbie in Starz’s upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed fantasy novelAmerican Gods.

‘Roadside Picnic’ Pilot Casts Felisha Terrell; Amanda Plummer Joins ‘Citizen’
Felisha Terrell is set as the female lead in WGN America’s drama pilot Roadside Picnic, an alien saga based on the famous novel by top Soviet/Russian science fiction writers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Written by Transcendence scribe Jack Paglen, with Alan Taylor attached to direct and Neal Moritz producing, Roadside Picnic explores a near-future world where aliens have come and gone, leaving humankind to explore the wondrous and dangerous mysteries left behind.

Amanda Plummer has joined the cast of Citizen, Hulu’s supernatural drama pilot from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Paramount TV and Anonymous Content. Set against the backdrop of a vibrant, “supernaturalized” Los Angeles, Citizen is a hero origin story, blending gritty vigilantism with elements of magical realism.

Joy Osmanski Joins ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ On Netflix
Joy Osmanski has booked a major recurring role opposite Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore on Santa Clarita Diet, Netflix’s upcoming single-camera comedy series from creator Victor Fresco, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Tracy Katsky’s Kapital-based KatCo.


Netflix Launches Video Mixtape Service ‘Flixtape’
Netflix launched a mixtape-like service called “Flixtape” that allows users to curate their own playlists of shows and movies. The streaming service has implemented a limit of six titles that can be included in each Flixtape. But just like a mixtape, Flixtapes can be created based on a certain theme or genre to send to friends or keep for reference.

(review) MediaPost: ABCd’s ‘Newborn Moms’ Raises The Bar For Minimalist Content Plays
I dig everything about ABC’s new ABCd Originals slate of quick-hit digital series, and especially “Newborn Moms.” The seven series, which magically appeared within my ABC app on Wednesday, span a range of genres. What the series have in common – and what distinguishes them from nearly all of the minimalist content plays we’ve seen emerge during the last year or two – is that they’re defined less by their length/mobile-friendliness than by their cleverness and the specificity of their voices. They are, in a word or three, really blippin’ good.


ABC News Teams With Facebook for 24-Hour Live Political Convention Coverage
ABC News plans to deliver around-the-clock live coverage on Facebook for the 2016 Republican and Democratic national conventions under a partnership with the social giant. ABC News, which has 8.6 million followers on its primary Facebook page, said it will have 24-hour live coverage across a variety of pages.


Sky returns to crime with Coben
UK satcaster Sky1 has ordered a crime drama from author Harlan Coben and Happy Valley producer Red Production Company. The Four is an eight-part thriller that tells the story of an idyllic family community irrevocably shattered by secrets, lies, suspicions and misguided trust.

Stefanie Martini to Play the Young Jane Tennison in ‘Prime Suspect’ Prequel
Stefanie Martini has been cast as the young Jane Tennison in the prequel to “Prime Suspect,” the 1990s detective drama created by Lynda La Plante and starring Helen Mirren. The prequel, which has the working title “Tennison,” will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.


Darth Vader to Lead ‘Star Wars’ Virtual Reality Story
Lucasfilm is working on a “Star Wars” virtual reality project that doesn’t have a name, release date or even a specific genre yet, but it does have a subject: Darth Vader. The company announced a virtual reality project, which will be an addition to the “Star Wars” canon, at the Star Wars Celebration.


VH1 President Chris McCarthy Sets New Executive Team
On the content development side, Candida Boyette has moved over from MTV as a new vice president at VH1; Vivanne Gomez and Dan Rogge have also been promoted to VP. Amy Campbell and Kate Keough have both been promoted to senior vice president of marketing for VH1 and Logo. Dave Arena has been promoted to senior vice president of program planning and strategy, VH1. Keri Flint has been promoted to head of production. Trisha Espinoza has been named head of planning and content strategy, VH1 and Logo.


THR: L.A. City Attorney Investigating Casting Workshops Amid Pay-to-Play Controversy
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has initiated a probe of television’s proliferating pay-to-play TV acting auditions, according to the Casting Society of America. In an e-mail to its members July 15, the group noted that an investigator working for City Attorney Mike Feuer “has called several Casting Directors and Associates to talk about their participation in workshops. We have confirmed this with the Deputy City Attorney.