The Morning Update for Monday, August 1, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Monday, August 1, 2016:


TNT Renews ‘Last Ship,’ Orders Post-Civil War Drama Pilot From Rod Lurie
TNT has renewed The Last Ship for a fourth season and has ordered a pilot for the Rod Lurie post-Civil War drama Monsters of God. Monsters of God centers on Colonel "Terrible" Bill Lancaster’s battle against the Comanche in post-Civil War Texas. Lurie also will direct the pilot. He also will exec produce, along with Marc Frydman, his producing partner at Battle Plan Productions, and DeDe Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Sarah Esberg of Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

TNT also is expanding its unscripted originals slate with a series order for the Charles Barkley docuseries The Race Card. In the six-episode limited series, the former NBA star and current Inside the NBA analyst hopes to investigate the partisan politics and social divides that have come to define America.

TBS Orders Greg Garcia Anthology Series, Jonathan Ames Pilot, Danny McBride Animated Comedy
The Guest Book is based on Greg Garcia’s long-running tradition of writing fictitious stories in the guest books of various rental cabins in an effort to freak out the next renters. The single-camera comedy hails from CBS Television Studios. The comedic anthology centers on a small-town vacation home and its visitors. Garcia will write all 10 of the episodes of the series, which is a co-production of CBSTVS and Turner’s Studio T.

World’s End is a half-hour pilot based on an original Sagafilm TV format. It centers on Henry Mueller (Hamish Linklater), a charismatic high school English teacher who has a breakdown and is committed to a mental institution. There, under the watchful eye of Louise Baldwin (Wanda Sykes), he begins to feel "sane." Henry starts to question the system and the methods used to contain the inmates, ultimately becoming the leader of an inmate revolt. Jonathan Ames will pen the script. The comedy is a co-production of Ben Silverman’s Electus and Turner’s Studio T.

Pop Orders Joey McIntyre Scripted Comedy
Joey McIntyre is set to star in a scripted original comedy series for the Pop. The Joey Mac Project (working title) is inspired by his real life and centers on McIntyre as he attempts to build a career as an actor following his following his boy band past. Eight half-hour episodes have been ordered with production set to begin this fall for a 2017 debut. McIntyre will exec-produce with his New Kids bandmate, Donnie Wahlberg, Jenny McCarthy, and Tim Gibbons, Paul Greenberg and Jenny Daly.

New Michael Crichton Book Already in Works as Nat Geo TV Series
Just two days after HarperCollins set a new Michael Crichton novel for 2017 release, National Geographic Channel announced that it is developing the book as a limited series. Nat Geo is currently on a spending spree to lure top talent, and the list of names attached to these new efforts reflects that. Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Katie Couric and Kathryn Bigelow also are producing projects for the global brand. The Crichton series is an adaptation of Dragon Teeth, the late writer’s third posthumous publication since his death in 2008. It follows a 1878 race in the American West between rival paleontologists on the hunt for dinosaur bones. Amblin Television, Sony Pictures Television and CrichtonSun are attached to produce, with Graham Yost and Bruce C. McKenna penning the script.

Jon Stewart’s HBO Show Will Be Animated Cable-News Parody
“The idea is it will be an animated parody of a cable news network with an Onion-like portal,” Bloys said. The project will be structured to allow Jon Stewart to release multiple pieces of short-form content — video and text — through HBO’s digital platforms, but will also include a linear-television element, likely in the form of a half-hour series.

(from Fri) ‘Astronaut Academy’ Rights Acquired With Aim To Blast Off In Film & TV
Writer-producer Vivek J. Tiwaryhas acquired TV and film rights to Astronaut Academy, the middle-grade graphic novel series from bestselling author-illustrator Dave Roman. The plan is to turn the books into both a live-action TV series and a film franchise, and talks are underway with writers, networks and studios to adapt the coming-of-age adventure story set at a fantastical space station school. It’s ‘Harry Potter in space,’ ” said Tiwary.

(from Fri) Family Drama From Alan Ball Goes Straight to Series at HBO
HBO has gone straight to series on an untitled multi-racial family drama from Alan Ball. It’s the first project to come from Ball’s new two-year overall deal with HBO. "This untitled series focuses on a contemporary multi-racial family: a philosophy professor, his lawyer wife, their three adopted children from Somalia, Vietnam and Colombia, and their sole biological child. This seemingly perfect, progressive family is in actuality harboring deep rifts. Then, one of the children begins to see things others cannot. Is it mental illness? Or something else? The series is a tragicomic meditation on the complicated forces at work on us all in America today."

(from Fri) Chandra Levy Miniseries in the Works at TNT
TNT is developing a miniseries exploring the Chandra Levy case. Produced by Sony Pictures Television, Keith Huff (American Crime) is set to adapt Scott Higham and Sara Horwitz’s book Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery. Higham, Horwitz and Huff are set to executive produce, with Lawrence Kasdan on board as a co-executive producer and potential director, schedule permitting. Levy was a 24-year-old intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 2001 when she went missing. The story gripped the nation after she was romantically paired with a congressman, Gary Condit, and the missing persons case evolved into a murder investigation after her remains were found in a park in Washington, D.C.

(from Fri) The CW Developing ‘Blowback’ Thriller Drama From Justin Lin, Hannah Shakespeare, Michael Eisner & Intrigue
The CWis developing Blowback, a thriller drama project executive produced by Star Trek: Beyond director Justin Lin. The project, written/executive produced by Killer Women creator Hannah Shakespeareand also executive produced by Michael Eisner and Tariq Jalil, was originally sold as a spec to the CW late last season, coming close to a pilot order. Blowback is now getting a boost with an order for two additional scripts by Shakespeare and a bible. In Blowback, during a romantic weekend in New York City, a young financial analyst’s life is flipped upside down when his wife goes missing, he discovers a dead body in his hotel room, and everything he took for truth turns out to be a lie.

‘The A Word’ returning for season 2 on SundanceTV
SundanceTV has picked up “The A Word” for Season 2. “The A Word” follows a contemporary family after their young son is diagnosed with autism.

HBO Confirms ‘Game of Thrones’ Will End With Season 8
But the episode count — and a potential spinoff — remain big questions.


Snoop Dogg to Guest Star in MTV’s Pot Comedy ‘Mary + Jane’
The rapper also executive produced and performed the theme song for the new weed-themed series.

(from Fri) ‘Conviction’: Daniel Franzese Joins New ABC Legal Drama Series In Recasting
Looking alum Daniel Franzeseis set as a series regular in Conviction, ABC‘s upcoming drama series from the Mark Gordon Co. and ABC Studios. Franzese will play Jackson Morrison. Equal parts brother and best friend to Hayes, he is a sharp-witted, sophisticated political operative who runs his mother Harper’s Senate campaign.

(from Fri) ABC Discovers’ Digital Talent Competition Announces Winner
Beth Triffonis the winner of the 2016 ABC Discovers: Digital Talent Competition. The L.A. resident and Columbus, OH, native was selected from 10 finalists following submissions from actors across the U.S.

(from Fri) Adrianne Palicki to Star in Seth MacFarlane’s Live-Action Space Dramedy for Fox
Adrianne Palicki is set to star opposite Seth MacFarlane in his upcoming live-action space dramedy. The untitled series is set 300 years in the future and centers on Orville, an exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar fleet. Facing cosmic challenges both internal and external, the motley crew of space explorers aboard Orville will go where no series has gone before. Scott Grimes will also co-star in the upcoming hourlong dramedy.

(from Fri) ‘Superior Donuts’: Darien Sills-Evans & Anna Baryshnikov Cast In New CBS Pilot
Darien Sills-Evans (HBO’s Treme) and Anna Baryshnikov (Wiener-Dog) have been cast as regulars opposite Jermaine Fowler and Judd Hirsch in CBSmulti-camera comedy pilotSuperior Donuts.

(from Fri) Night Of Co-Star Joins Chuck Lorre’s Netflix Pot Comedy Disjointed
Chuck Lorre has tapped the up-and-coming actor Aaron Moten to co-star as Kathy Bates’ son in Netflix’s pot-themed comedy series Disjointed.

(from Fri) Brooklyn Nine-Nine Sets SNL Reunion, Taps Maya Rudolph for Season 4 Arc
Maya Rudolph is set to reunite with her former Saturday Night Live castmate Andy Samberg via a multi-episode arc on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.


Morgan Freeman Joining Disney’s ‘The Nutcracker’
Mackenzie Foy is starring as Clara while Misty Copeland will play the lead ballerina in the live-action film.


The Larry Sanders Show’ Coming to HBO Go and HBO Now in September
All six seasons of the comedy will be available on HBO Go and HBO Now beginning Sept. 23.


TruTV Orders Second-Ever Scripted Series ‘Bobcat Goldthwait’s Messed Up Stories’
TruTV has greenlighted its second-ever scripted series, Bobcat Goldthwait’s Messed Up Stories. Bobcat Goldthwait’s Messed Up Stories will bring viewers twisted morality tales from the darkly witty mind of creator Bobcat Goldthwait. Each episode will tell a different story in a different genre. The eight-episode anthology will premiere in 2017. In addition, truTV has renewed three of its unscripted series — Comedy Knockout, Fameless and Greatest Ever.

(from Fri) Fox Renews John Cena Competition Series ‘American Grit’ for Season 2
The WWE star will return as host and executive producer.

(from Fri) ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’ Renewed at HBO Through 2018
The two-season pickup takes the talk show through season 16.

‘Queens Of Drama’ Canceled By Pop After 1 SeasonThe first season of Pop’s series Queens of Dramafinished its run a year ago — but the unscripted show has been officially cancelled by the cable network. Queens of Drama followed former soap stars who form a production company to develop and produce of a new soapy drama series.


Michael Giordano Upped To SVP Business Affairs At 20th Century Fox TV
Michael Giordanohas been promoted to SVP Business Affairs at 20th Century Fox TV, from VP.

TNT-TBS May Have to Backtrack on Fewer Ads, Kevin Reilly Says
TBS and TNT President Kevin Reilly loves this reduced ad-load thing, but he admits his channels will have to revert back to the old way if it doesn’t catch on. “We cannot go it alone,” he said on Sunday. “I can do both networks 24 hours a day, and if we’re the only two networks doing it, it’s not going to change the industry and we’re going to have to go back.”


Teen Choice Awards: Winners List
The awards were handed out in a ceremony that aired Sunday night on Fox.
Choice TV Show: Sci-Fi/Fantasy — Once Upon a Time
Choice TV Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy — Lana Parrilla Once Upon a Time


Ohio’s Recently Bolstered $40 Million Incentive Provides Significant Lures for Producers
The state recently bumped up the annual cap for its incentive program to $40 million, and offers a 30% refundable/transferable tax credit. The minimum spend to qualify for the incentive is $300,000. There’s no longer a per-project cap (the state recently eliminated a $5 million maximum), and no compensation cap. Qualification requires a CPA audit.

Variety: Film, TV Shoots on the Rise in South Africa
Production in South Africa is on the upswing, prompted not only by the country’s sagging currency, the rand — the exchange rate makes local services cheaper for filmmakers coming in from abroad — but by a host of new production resources.

Vulture: In Praise of the Stand-alone Episode of TV
Stand-alone episodes jolt us out of complacency. For a brief period of time, we get new rules, all the usual priorities shift, and we have to look at our well-known characters with new eyes. They work our engagement muscles, forcing us to pay a bit more attention. They can be TV at its best, and they’re always TV at its most fundamentally TV — using the space of one episode to play around with a new idea.