The Morning Update for Friday, September 9, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Friday, September 9, 2016. Have a great weekend!


LeBron James Prepping Sports Medicine Drama for NBC
LeBron James’s SpringHill Entertainment has sold its first scripted project to a broadcast network and it’s set in the world of sports. The Warner Bros. Television-based production company has sold an untitled drama to NBC, which has handed out a script-plus-penalty commitment for the project about a brilliant doctor who specializes in treating the world’s greatest sports stars. When the doctor undergoes a health crisis, it forces him to rethink his approach to medicine with the help of a gifted sports psychologist. Matt O’Neill will pen the script after courting Dr. James Andrews for the project.

ABC Buys ‘Women In Black’ Dramedy From Amy Harris & Bluegrass FanFare
ABChas put in development Women In Black, a comedic drama from Amy B. Harrisand Jamie Tarses, Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark’s newly launchedBluegrass FanFare. The project hails from ABC Studios. Written by Harris, Women In Black is described as a funny and touching exploration of four widows at very different ages and stages of their lives as they deal with love and loss, the challenges of parenting, the hilarious horrors of dating, and the joys of starting anew as they learn how to define themselves by the futures they create and the friendships they make.

ABC Nabs ‘American Heritage’ Primetime Soap From Amy Pascal & ‘Nashville’ Writer
In one of the first big broadcast TV sales for Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures, ABChas nabbed American Heritagewith a script commitment plus significant penalty that often qualifies as a put pilot. The multi-generational soap, written by Nashville co-executive producer Taylor Hamra, hails from Sony Pictures TV. American Heritage is about two families of vastly different cultures who suddenly collide when they realize their histories aren’t so dissimilar after all and are forced to work together to run LA’s premier real estate company.

Fox Lands Black Superhero Drama From Greg Berlanti, Salim and Mara Brock Akil
Fox has given a pilot production commitment to Black Lightning, the black superhero drama from prolific superhero series producer Greg Berlanti, and Salim and Mara Brock Akil. One of DC Comics’ first major African-American superheroes, Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden and debuted in 1977.

Vin Diesel Developing ‘First Responders’ Procedural Drama at NBC
NBC has bought a script for procedural drama “First Responders” from executive producer Vin Diesel. Diesel will produce hourlong series by way of his One Race Television shingle, which is under a first look deal with Universal Television. “First Responders” is described as a dynamic, high-action procedural about young veterans struggling to reintegrate into society, while heroically saving civilian lives along the way. Jesse Stern will pen the project.

Greg Garcia Producing Couples Comedy ‘99 Problems’ For CBS
CBSis developing 99 Problems, a hybrid comedy from Greg Garciaand his CBS TV Studios-based Amigos de Garcia Productions. Written by Austen Earl, 99 Problems revolves around three very different couples from different backgrounds who all have a child in the same first-grade class and are exposed to the same inciting problem each week — which affects them in different ways.

Meryl Streep, JJ Abrams Team For WBTV Limited Series Based On ‘The Nix’
Warner Bros Television is closing a deal for the fall literary sensation novel The Nix. Meryl Streepis going to star and produce with JJ Abramsand his Bad Robot. Abrams will likely direct at least some of the episodes. The bestselling first novel by Nathan Hillis a sprawling generational tale that focuses on a hippie-era mother who gets national press exposure for throwing rocks at a conservative governor on the presidential campaign trail.

‘Hell or High Water’ Director Boards USA Network’s ‘Damnation’
David Mackenzie will helm the pilot and exec produce the project. Described as an epic saga of the secret history of the 1930s American heartland, Damnation centers on the mythic conflict and violent struggle between big money and the downtrodden, God and greed, charlatans and prophets.

TNT Extends ‘The Last Ship’ Renewal Through Season 5
The renewal keeps the Eric Dane-led series on the air until 2018.

(review) THR: ‘Better Things’
Pamela Adlon steps out of the shadows to create a finely tuned, real and funny portrait of single motherhood.

(review) Variety: ‘Quarry’
It’s a promising premise, especially given that Mac is white and Arthur is black, but soon “Quarry” veers off in other directions, and Mac becomes involved in an increasingly Byzantine plot that never really make a whole lot of sense.

(review) Variety: ‘Kevin Can Wait’
Any enjoyment viewers find in “Kevin Can Wait” is going to be contingent on their affinity for its lead and executive producer, Kevin James. The new CBS sitcom does have some non-James appeals — Erinn Hayes, who stars opposite James as his wife, is delightful — but the show is stamped with its star’s trademarks, from the stylings of his punchlines to the aesthetics of the living room couch.


‘Law & Order: SVU’ Sets ‘ER’ Reunion With Anthony Edwards
‘SVU’ star and producer Mariska Hargitay previously played his love interest on the long-running medical drama.

The Real O’Neals Recruits Chef Trio for Thanksgiving Episode
Graham Elliot, Alexandra Guarnschelli and Antonia Lafaso will guest star as themselves in the holiday installment.

Brian Dennehy To Recur On ‘Hap & Leonard’ Season 2
Brian Dennehyhas joined the Season 2 cast of SundanceTV’s Hap & Leonard in a recurring role.


Amazon Serving Up Docuseries About Tennis Star Novak Djokovic
Amazonis moving forward on Novak (working title), a new documentary series about Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic set to air exclusively on Amazon Prime in the U.S., UK, Germany, Austria and Japan. The series will follow Djokovic, the winner of 12 Grand Slam titles, to explore what drives the champion and show his motivation to be the best man he can be on and off the court.


Netflix Hires Fox 21’s Tara Flynn As Drama Series Executive
As its original portfolio continues to expand at a breakneck speed, Netflix has added another development executive to its Original Series team. Tara Flynn has joined the internet network where she will be working primarily on drama series, reporting to Peter Friedlander.

Fox Promotes Victoria Rossellini to Top Business Executive Post
Fox has promoted Victoria Rossellini to the post of Senior Executive VP of Worldwide Business & Legal Affairs and Strategic Financing as Stacey Snider puts her stamp on the movie studio.

Scott Collins to Succeed Arlene Manos as President, AMC Networks Ad Sales
Scott Collins
, currently the company’s executive vice president of ad sales, will next year succeed Arlene Manos as president of the division.


AdAge: The Most Important TV Shows This Season for Networks and Ad Buyers
There are several broadcast series, both new and returning, that media buyers will be watching closely. Here’s a look at the shows that will be top of mind for media buyers heading into the 2016-2017 broadcast season.

Deadline: NBC Boosts Digital Stacking Rights for Fall Shows, Will Stream ‘Good Place’ Full Season for Free
NBC has secured “stacking rights” to 90% of its fall TV show lineup, including “The Voice,” “Saturday Night Live” and “Superstore,” and will offer the five most recent episodes for free on its website and mobile apps — as well as full seasons to subscribers of participating pay-TV providers.

THR: L.A. City Attorney Ramps Up Probe Into Pay-to-Play Casting Workshops
After a casting director is questioned by a city investigator — and reportedly accused of potentially breaking the law — workshop owners and her attorneys ask former students to write character references.