The Morning Update for Thursday, September 15, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, September 15, 2016:


THR: Fall TV Preview: How Each of the Big 5 Networks Can Win the Season
ABC: "The top priority for me is strengthening 10 p.m.," Dungey tells THR. "Designated Survivor is obviously a big swing for us, but we’re also very excited about Conviction on Mondays." ABC marketing is known for favoring a few chosen shows, and Kiefer Sutherland’s Designated Survivor has been omnipresent.

AdWeek: Designated Survivor Should Give New Life to Fourth-Place ABC This Fall
For her first fall as ABC Entertainment president, Channing Dungey will be missing one of the network’s most important assets after it held Scandal until midseason to accommodate Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. She’s filling the gap with the first Thursday night drama not produced by Shonda Rhimes in two years, a new comedy block on Tuesdays and two new fall shows with real breakout potential, including one that has the inside track to end up as fall’s biggest freshman hit.

AdWeek: If You Don’t Already Watch CBS, Its New Fall Shows Give You Little Reason to Start
CBS is rolling out six new shows—more than even ABC, which usually leads the pack—and I can’t remember another freshman fall lineup in which all shows were likely to be so warmly embraced by that network’s core audience while being completely rejected by everyone else. The diversity-phobic lineup includes three run-of-the-mill procedurals and three sitcoms with varying degrees of mustiness. (Midseason dramas Doubt and Training Day are much more promising than anything you’ll find in the fall.)

TVLine: Best & Worst New Shows: The TVLine Staff Share Its Picks… and Passes
Throughout September and October, more than 40 new shows will be dangled in front of your DVR. What’s worth sampling, and what’s ripe for skipping? To that end, each TVLine editor forged ahead and cut to the chase, bingeing on scads of shiny new screeners to suggest three freshman shows that are at the top of the class and one that is (perhaps) fated to flunk.

(review) Variety: ‘Pitch’
“Pitch” has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts.

(review) Variety: ‘This Is Us’
It’s hard to think of another show that is more difficult to evaluate this fall based on just the pilot than NBC’s “This Is Us,” a syrupy drama about several people who share the same birthday and what they might, or might not, have in common. The initial hour ends with a reveal that sets the stage for the rest of the series, and though it’s a sweetly told little story, it’s not a great indicator of what things are going to be moving forward.

(review) THR: ‘Kevin Can Wait’
Kevin James’ new CBS multicam is pretty much what fans of Kevin James’ comedies will want.


ABC Buys Comedy Based On ‘Twinsters’ Documentary From David Caspe
ABChas put in development single-camera comedy Twinsters, from Juliet Seniff, David Caspe and Davis Entertainment. Written and co-executive produced by Seniff with Caspe overseeing, Twinsters is based on the 2015 documentary of the same name. It tells the story of identical twins separated at birth, adopted on two different continents and raised completely unaware of each other until they are reunited at age 29. Sony Pictures TV, where Caspe and Davis Entertainment are based, is the studio.

NBC Buys High-Concept Procedural Drama From Matt Lopez & John Glenn
NBCis putting a twist on the hot procedural drama genre this season with Dreamer, from Matt Lopezand John Glenn. The network has given a script plus penalty commitment to the project, a high-concept procedural from Universal TV, where Lopez and Glenn are under overall deals. Written by Lopez, Dreamer centers on a woman who discovers that her newfound “gifts” might be the result of a mysterious conspiracy.

Fox Nabs Cop Drama From Sheldon Turner & McGSheldon Turnerhas teamed with McGfor a buddy cop drama with a twist, which has landed at Foxwith a script commitment plus significant penalty. The project hails from 20th Century Fox TV, where Turner and Jennifer Klein’s Vendetta Prods. as well as McG’s Wonderland Sound and Vision recently signed overall deals. Written by Turner and to be directed by McG, the untitled drama (aka Good Cop/Bad Cop) centers on a meek San Francisco detective struggling with psychological trauma who conjures up an imaginary rogue partner who helps him get the job done.

CBS Buys ‘The Year Of Living Biblically’ Comedy From Johnny Galecki & Patrick WalshJohnny Galecki is solidifying his ties with CBS as a producer. The network has bought single-camera comedy The Year of Living Biblically, written by Patrick Walsh, which Galecki executive produces through his Warner Bros TV-based Alcide Bava Prods. The project centers on a modern-day man at a crossroads in his life who decides to live according to the Bible.

truTV Orders Andrea Savage Comedy ‘I’m Sorry’ to Series
truTV announced it has given a series order to I’m Sorry, a half-hour comedy from Andrea Savage. Created by and starring Savage, the series follows seemingly confident and together comedy writer, wife and mom Andrea (Savage), who comically exposes her inner immaturity and neuroses through unexpected life situations. Tom Everett Scott and newcomer Olive Petrucci also star as Andrea’s straitlaced husband Mike and their inquisitive daughter Amelia, respectively. Kablamo! and Gloria Sanchez Productions will produce the series, which will bow in 2017 with a 10-episode first season.

Hulu Nears Series Order For 9/11 Drama ‘The Looming Tower’ From Dan Futterman, Alex Gibney & Legendary TV
Huluis finalizing a deal for a 10-episode straight-to-series order toThe Looming Tower, a drama based on Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book that chronicles the events that led to the September 11 terrorist attacks. The project hails from writer Dan Futterman, Alex Gibney and Legendary Television.

R.J. Cutler Sets First-Look Deal with Fox 21 Television Studios
Director-producer R.J. Cutler has set a first-look pact for scripted projects at Fox 21 Television Studios. The deal comes as Cutler, known for his documentary work, has become more active in the scripted arena.

‘Doubt’ Creators Renew Overall Deal at CBS TV Studios
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ alums Tony Phelan and Joan Rater will remain at the studio through summer 2018.

‘Bloodline’ Will End on Netflix After Season 3
The streamer renewed the Kyle Chandler drama for a shortened 10-episode season in July.


Suits’ Gina Torres Jumps to The Catch
Gina Torres‘ stint on the unemployment line was, to put it mildly, brief. The actress, whose six-season run on Suits came to an end Wednesday night, is joining the cast of ABC’s The Catch in a top-secret recurring role.

‘OITNB’ Star Lorraine Toussaint to Guest on ‘Black-ish’

Lorraine Toussaint will guest star on “Black-ish,” playing the sister of Laurence Fishburne’s character, Pops.


Rob Lowe to Star in ‘Super Troopers 2’
Rob Lowe is starring in “Super Troopers 2,” which has begun production. Lowe will play Guy Le Franc, a former hockey player and the current mayor of a Canadian town near Quebec.


CBS All Access Delays ‘Star Trek’ Launch, Dates ‘Good Wife’ Spinoff
‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ originally planned for a January rollout, will now air largely outside of the broadcast season. And, keeping plans for its first originals rollout intact, the still-untitled Good Wife spinoff is bowing earlier than expected with a February premiere.

Twitter Is Adding a Livestreaming Video App to Apple TV, Fire TV and Xbox One
Anyone who wants to watch livestreaming content on Twitter will soon be able to from an actual television. Twitter is launching an app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Microsoft’s Xbox One that will allow anyone with one of the devices to watch Twitter-streamed content such as NFL games or political talk shows without using a paywall or logging into a Twitter account. The free app, announced today, is available in select global markets.

THR: The Netflix Backlash: Why Hollywood Fears a Content Monopoly
The streaming service is spending $6 billion a year on content, choking basic cable and brusquely rattling the relationship business of the town as fears of a Google- or Apple-sized dominance send a chill down the entertainment industry’s spine.


‘SNL’ Hires Seven New Writers for Season 42
NBC has confirmed with us that going into season 42, the show has added seven writers to the staff: Joanna Bradley (Above Average, UCB); Anna Drezen (Reductress, UCB); Kristen Bartlett (UCB, Poor Comedians In A Car Getting Coffee); Zack Bornstein (Jimmy Kimmel Live); Julio Torres (TCGS, The Special Without Brett Davis); and Nick Kocher and Brian McElhaney (BriTANicK). Aside from co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, SNL hasn’t yet confirmed which season 41 writers will be returning this year.


Lionsgate Nabs Keanu Reeves’ TV Comedy ‘Swedish Dicks’
Lionsgate is adding a Nordic comedy featuring Keanu Reeves in his first TV recurring role to its global distribution slate. The studio has picked up world sales rights to Swedish Dicks, a series about two unlicensed Swedish private investigators trying to make a living in Los Angeles that stars Peter Stormare and Swedish stand-up comedian Johan Glans.


Disney Cuts 250 Jobs in Consumer Products and Digital Unit
A portion of the new layoffs have hit video game workers, as Disney continues to shift its game approach to a licensing model and away from internal development. …Additional cuts were the result of streamlining at the Glendale, Calif., headquarters of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. A lavishly promoted line of interactive toys called Playmation was a sales disappointment last Christmas.


IFC Films Promotes Arianna Bocco to EVP of Acquisitions and Productions
Arianna Bocco, the seasoned movie executive who for nearly a decade has been buying movies for IFC Films and Sundance Selects, has been named as the company’s executive vice president of acquisitions and productions.

Sony Names Lia Vollack President of Columbia Live Stage
Longtime Sony executive Lia Vollack has been named president of Columbia Live Stage, the new live theatrical productions division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Apple Hires Former Time Warner Cable Executive Peter Stern
Apple Inc. has hired former Time Warner Cable executive Peter Stern as a vice president working on cloud services, which includes the technology company’s subscription offerings such as Apple Music and a potential streaming television service.

Fox News Co-Presidents Jack Abernethy And Bill Shine Signed To New Contracts
Fox Newsco-presidents Jack Abernethyand Bill Shinehave signed new multi-year contracts. Both men had been upped to co-presidents a month ago, in the wake of Roger Ailes exit.

Sofia Vergara Named World’s Highest-Paid TV Actress for Fifth Year in a Row
Sofia Vergara is the reigning queen of television. The “Modern Family” star is the world’s highest-paid TV actress for the fifth year in a row, according to Forbes. With $43 million (before management fees and taxes), her salary is almost $20 million more than that of runner-up Kaley Cuoco, who earned $24.5 million.

‘Mad Men’ Creator Matthew Weiner to Publish Novel
Matthew Weiner, the creator of “Mad Men” is putting his writing skills to good use — he will publish a novel titled “Heather, The Totality.” According to a release by publisher Little, Brown and Company, the novel is a “dark fable set in contemporary Manhattan … about three people from two worlds who are on a collision course in pursuit of a beautiful child.”


DTVE: Four in five pay TV execs fear ‘dramatic’ increase in competition
Some 83% of pay TV executives believe that overall competition is set to increase “dramatically” between now and 2020, according to the findings of a new study by Nagra and research firm MTM.

AdWeek: Nielsen Will Finally Stop Using Paper TV Diaries in 2018

RIP, Nielsen paper TV diaries. Eventually. Nielsen is finally phasing out its antiquated paper TV diary ratings system, which it still uses to record ratings in 140 local markets. The company that by mid-2017, it will provide electronic measurement in its local TV ratings across all 210 of its designated market areas (DMAs). The company will integrate return path data for set-top boxes and other electronic measurement—the same method it uses for its national ratings—which will allow it to do away with the paper TV diaries for good, "in early 2018."

Deadline: WGA West Breaks Ranks With Unions To Support FCC Set-Top Box Rule
The WGA West has broken ranks with Hollywood’s other major unions over FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed compromise on new set-top box rules. The DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and the Musicians Union are all opposed to the proposed rule, which would require cable companies to make apps available to customers so that they can watch shows without having to rent cable set-top boxes.

Hitfix: How FX became TV’s best, most reliable network
In a business where network notes are viewed somewhere on a continuum from self-parody to pure evil, Landgraf and his team have developed a reputation for giving feedback that their writers and directors not only don’t mind, but actively welcome, because the FX staff has a knack for making the shows better, whether they’re pointing out an unexplored theme in a story like Landgraf did for The Americans or reminding their creators about the core of the story they started out telling. "It’s not always the case that you feel like the executives think as hard about the art that goes into television as they do about the business of it," says You’re the Worst creator Stephen Falk. "It’s a network that’s operating from a place of artistic largesse and success, so even if they have to compete against $6 billion of Netflix money, the notes never feel like they’re coming from a place of fear."