The Morning Update for Thursday, July 21, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, July 21, 2016:


Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Beau Flynn Developing ‘Muscle Beach’ Series at USA Network
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his co-founder Dany Garcia and Beau Flynn are developing a “Muscle Beach” series with USA Network. “Muscle Beach” — an hourlong scripted drama — is set in a legendary bodybuilding gym in ’80s Venice Beach where a colorful tribe of lost souls struggle to reinvent themselves by bench-pressing their way to a bigger, better American dream, no matter what the cost. The script is penned by Jeremiah Friedman and Nick Palmer, who will also serve as exec producers.

Paramount TV Developing John le Carré’s ‘The Spy Who Came in From the Cold’
John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold is getting the TV treatment. Paramount Television and The Ink Factory on Wednesday announced that they’re adapting the spy novel as a limited series. The project, which will be financed by Ink Factory in association with Paramount and Character 7, has not yet been shopped to buyers. Two-time Oscar nominee Simon Beaufoy is attached to write the adaptation.

‘Hamilton’ Producers Adapting Neil Gaiman’s ‘Interworld’ for TV
Universal Cable Productions announced that it is adapting Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeves’ young adult fantasy/sci-fi series Interworld for the small screen. It is one of four titles being put into development at the cable-focused studio, which also has tapped Jeremy Slater to adapt iconic comic book series The Umbrella Academy.

ISIS Drama Series Set at Nat Geo Channel
National Geographic Channel
and the U.K.’s Channel 4 are teaming to create a scripted drama series inspired by the militant group ISIS. The untitled four-part project will be written and directed by Peter Kosminsky. The co-production is described as a compelling fictional story based on extensive research and first-hand accounts. It will follow four British men and women who leave their lives behind to join ISIS in Raqqah, Syria.

‘Divergent’ Finale to Skip Theaters, Launch as a TV Movie and Spinoff Series
Lionsgate is planning to wrap up the “Divergent Series” with a television movie and a spinoff series. Negotiations are in the early stages, but instead of having “The Divergent Series: Ascendant” open in theaters next year, the studio wants to wrap up the film series on the small screen, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation. That would then segue into a standalone television series set in the same post-apocalyptic world. It’s not clear if stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and others will return for the “Ascendant” television movie. Lee Toland Krieger had been tapped to direct the film.

Amazon preps US Jordskott remake
ITV Studios is linking up with Amazon in the US on an English-language version of Swedish drama Jordskott. In Jordskott, police inspector Eva Thörnblad (Moa Gammel) returns to the village of Silverhöjd, seven years after her daughter Josephine disappeared beside a lake in the forest. Josephine’s body was never found and it was presumed that she had drowned. Upon Eva’s return, a boy is missing and Eva begins to look for similarities between this disappearance and that of her daughter.

Peter Farrelly Comedy Gets Straight-To-Series Order at AT&T’s Audience Network
Director Peter Farrelly and writer Bobby Mort have teamed with indie studio Primary Wave Entertainment to produce “Loudermilk,” an original half-hour scripted comedy series created by Farrelly and Mort. Audience Network has given the show a straight-to-series order of 10 episodes. “Loudermilk” tells a fictionalized story of a recovering alcoholic and substance abuse counselor with an extremely bad attitude about everything.

(from Tues) Tara Lipinski Figure Skating Drama Series in the Works at Hulu
Hulu has made a scripted commitment to a figure skating drama series from the Olympic gold medalist. The project centers on a group of women and men in their teens and twenties who sacrifice their normal lives for a shot at the Olympics and examines just what it costs to become a champion. Lipinski will executive produce with Michael Shamberg, Jonathan Igla and Alexandra Zimbler, head of TV development at Shamberg’s company, MAS Production.

(from Tues) CBS Buys Procedural From Chris Murphey And Matthew Gross As Put Pilot
Hunch, a light hourlong procedural from Chris Murpheyand Matthew Gross, has landed at CBSwith a put pilot commitment with penalty. A co-production between EuropaCorp TV Studiosand CBS Television Studios, Hunch centers on a LAPD detective who begrudgingly teams up with a celebrity psychic who, unfortunately, is also his ex-wife.

(from Tues) ‘Walking Dead’ Creator Adapting ‘Chronicles of Amber’ for TV
Robert Kirkman and his Skybound Entertainment banner partner Dave Alpert are adapting beloved science fiction/fantasy franchise Chronicles of Amber for television. Kirkman and Alpert are teaming with Vincent Newman Entertainment to develop author Roger Zelazny’s book series. A search is underway for a writer to adapt the book series, with the goal to take out the project to cable, streaming and premium cable networks. First published in 1970, Chronicles revolves around Corwin, who awakens on Earth with no memory but soon finds he is a prince of a royal family that has the ability to travel through different dimensions of reality (called “shadows”) and rules over the one true world/dimension known as Amber.

‘A.P.B.’ Creator David Slack Signs Overall Deal With CBS TV Studios
David Slack, creator of Fox’s upcoming police drama “A.P.B.,” has signed an overall deal with CBS Television Studios. Under the two-year agreement, Slack will serve as co-executive producer on CBS’ “MacGyver” reboot with an eye toward developing his own projects.

Shondaland Alum Jenna Bans Inks Overall Deal With Universal Television
Bans exits ABC Studios after creating dramas ‘The Family’ and ‘Off the Map.’

Fox 21 TV Development Exec Jumps to 20th TV
In her new role, Sarah Geismer will focus on comedy development at the broadcast studio.

(from Tues) Spike TV Ups Lauren Ruggiero To VP Scripted Original Series
Spike TV has elevated Lauren Ruggieroto Vice President, Scripted Original Series.

(from Tues) Starz Renews ‘Power’ for Seasons 4 and 5The news comes after the drama’s third-season opener scored record numbers for the pay cabler.

Starz’s ‘Black Sails’ to End With Season 4
The series was renewed last year for season four, with the 10-episode drama returning in 2017.

(preview) THR: Take Me to the Pilots ’16: CBS’ ‘Man With a Plan’
Jenna Fischer, who co-starred in the original pilot that was picked up and made available for critics, is being recast and I don’t think CBS has announced her replacement, which means there should have been time for a page one rewrite of the pilot, since what we saw was under 20 minutes and there was almost nothing I’d keep.

(preview) THR: Take Me to the Pilots ’16: ABC’s ‘Notorious’
The appeal of Notorious hinges 100 percent on whether you find Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata’s bickering banter charming and fraught with endless chemistry. And some people doubtlessly will.


Daveed Diggs of ‘Hamilton’ Joins ‘Black-ish’ Family in Season 3
When the third season of “Black-ish” arrives, the Johnson family will expand. Fresh from the Broadway smash “Hamilton,” Daveed Diggs will have a major Season 3 arc as Rainbow Johnson’s brother, Johan.

HTGAWM Taps Dexter Alum To Recur as ‘President’ in Season 3
Luna (Lauren) Vélez is joining HTGAWM in a major Season 3 recurring role.

‘Code Black’: Camryn Manheim, Eric Roberts & Alexandra Grey To Guest Star In Season 2
Camryn Manheim, Eric Roberts and Alexandra Grey are set to guest star in the second season of CBS medical drama series Code Black.

Chicago P.D. Adds Quantico Alum for Season 4
Burgess (Marina Squerciati) officially has a new partner on Chicago P.D.Quanticoalum Li Jun Liis joining the NBC drama for Season 4.

‘Snowfall’: Alon Aboutboul & Amin Joseph Join John Singleton FX Pilot
Alon Aboutboul (London Has Fallen) and Amin Joseph(Baywatch) have booked series regular roles on FX’s Snowfall, John Singleton’s 1980s cocaine-epidemic drama pilot.

(from Tues) ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Grad T.R. Knight Returning to Shondaland
The actor has booked a recurring role on season two of sophomore drama ‘The Catch.’


Facebook is paying $2.2M to Vine and YouTube stars to create content for Facebook Live
The $2.2 million in payments are intended to ‘encourage experimentation’ on Facebook Live, says a company executive.

Apple eyes format
Apple is reportedly eyeing up a singing competition format featuring pop star and being produced by LA- and London-based Znak & Jones Productions. Superdope will see the Black Eyed Peas star and The Voice judge host the show and act as mentor to budding musicians, with the band also making appearances., a Pandora for comedy, launches into beta, a startup that’s something like a Pandora – but for comedy – is launching into public beta. Via its website and forthcoming mobile application, users can stream stand-up sets and other routines from over 400 of today’s leading comics. The service is similar to Pandora as it allows for ad-supported, free listening, while also offering a premium tier ($3.99 per month) called “Front Row Seating.” This will offer an ad-free experience and other exclusives.

Netflix and other SVOD services now in 59% of US homes
Some 59% of all US households now subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu, according to Leichtman Research Group. The research claims that the proportion of homes that use at least one subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service has climbed 12 percentage points from 47% in 2014.


Logo Renews ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ Orders ‘Fire Island’ Series
Produced by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, ‘Fire Island’ marks the Viacom-owned cabler’s latest pickup. The series follows a group of young New York professionals who leave behind the stress of their big city lives and escape to the sun-soaked oasis of Fire Island. The series features the adventure, romance and relationships of friends and housemates as they vacation together in a share-house and experience the magic and drama of the landmark location.

(from Tues) Jennifer Lopez and NBC Team for Dance Competition Series
Lopez also stars on the network’s drama ‘Shades of Blue.’

(from Tues) ‘Making a Murderer’ Gets New Episodes on Netflix
“Making a Murderer” will return to Netflix with new episodes, the streaming network announced. The new installments will take fans of the documentary series back inside the story of convicted murderer Steven Avery, and his co-defendant, Brendan Dassey, as their respective investigative and legal teams challenge their convictions.

(from Tues) Showtime Orders ‘A Season With Florida State Football’
The second season of Showtime’s college football documentary series will focus on the Florida State University Seminoles. The cable network has ordered “A Season With Florida State Football,” a follow up to last year’s series on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

(from Tues) Longtime ‘Vice’ Showrunner BJ Levin to Head Development at Wilshire Studios
Levin won two Emmys as showrunner behind the critically acclaimed HBO newsmagazine.

(from Tues) Chris Hardwick Inks Multiyear Deal With AMC
The multi-hyphenate will host and executive produce multiple programs for the network as part of the three-year pact.


The Weinstein Co. And BBC Re-Team On Event TV Adaptation Of ‘Les Miserables’
The Weinstein Co. and BBCare re-teaming for an event TV adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic Les Miserables. The six-point mini will be written by award-winning scribe Andrew Davies.

Loch Ness drama spotted on 13th Street
NBCUniversal International Networks
has acquired forthcoming ITV murder-mystery drama Loch Ness for its 13th Street channel in Europe. The six-part series, which began filming in Scotland this month and stars Breaking Bad’s Laura Fraser, will air on the crime and suspense channel in France, Spain, Germany and Poland in early 2017. Loch Ness sees Fraser play a local detective searching for a serial killer in the legendary setting, where sightings of the mythical Loch Ness Monster have often been reported.

Foxtel locks down more Wentworth
Australia’s Foxtel has ordered a fifth season of prison drama Wentworth, one of the most watched programmes on its SoHo channel.


Vox: How Elsa, Captain America, and Han Solo made Disney an unstoppable force at the box office
The studio is the current king of Hollywood, and nobody else can truly compete.


(from Tues) Sam Brown Takes Over as Head of Production at STX From Cathy Schulman
Schulman, who has held the post since April 2015, is moving into a new corporate role.

Google Hires Samsung’s Former Virtual Reality Content VP
Google’s virtual reality (VR) team just hired the guy formerly in charge of content for Samsung’s Gear VR headset: Matt Apfel, who left Samsung in March after having worked as the company’s VP for VR Content, has joined Google VR.


Stratechery: Dollar Shave Club and The Disruption of Everything
The implications of this go far beyond Proctor & Gamble: fewer Gillette razors also mean less TV advertising and no margin to be made for retailers, who themselves are big advertisers; this is why I argued last month that the entire TV edifice is not only threatened by services like Netflix, but also the disruption of its advertisers, of which P&G is chief.