The Morning Update for Thursday, September 29, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, September 29, 2016:


AdWeek: Here’s What We Learned From the First Week of the New TV Season
The first week of the 2016-17 television season is in the books, and it’s been a mixed bag for the broadcast networks so far. Here are some early observations from the first week of ratings.

THR: Fall TV Premiere Week Ratings: "Nothing’s Breaking Out Like Last Year"
No ‘Empire’ (or even a ‘Blindspot’), but NBC and CBS have possible hits on their hands and Fox and ABC struggle as overall live tune-in on the Big Four networks falls double digits from 2015.

(review) THR: ‘Westworld’
Westworld as a series is a big idea with more mythology than a handful of episodes truly uncover — which is a positive sign. It’s better to be difficult than to be flimsy and disappointingly easy to figure out. The challenges in Westworld make it worth the investment.

(review) Variety: Sarah Jessica Parker’s ‘Divorce’ on HBO
The show is the darkest of comedies, funny in the way the twist of “Gone Girl” is funny — an examination of how marriage makes fools of all of us, when it doesn’t entirely estrange us from ourselves.


ABC Nabs Political Family Comedy Starring Felicity Huffman From Kenya Barris & Vijal Patel With Big Commitment
In one of the biggest half-hour sales so far this season, ABC has landed a family comedy from Black-ish creator/executive producer Kenya Barris and co-executive producer Vijal Patel, which has Emmy winner Felicity Huffman attached to star and executive produce. The single-camera project about a politically divided family hails from ABC Studios. The comedy takes a very real look at how today’s “politics of division” play out between two opposing pundits who also happen to be married. One’s black, one’s white; one’s left, one’s right. Huffman will play the wife.

‘The Italian Job’ Reboot in the Works at NBC
NBC’s The Italian Job follows a make-shift family of expert criminals who are forced out of retirement when an opportunity arises to get their beloved "patriarch" out of jail. Rob Weiss and Benjamin Brand are set to pen the script and exec produce alongside Donald De Line. The drama will be produced by Paramount Television, whose film arm produced both movies.

NBC Buys ‘Mail Order Family’ Comedy From ‘Superstore’ Trio
NBC has put in development Mail Order Family, a half-hour comedy from Superstore writer-producer Jackie Clarke, director-executive producer Ruben Fleischer and executive producer David Bernad. Universal TV is the studio. Mail Order Family is loosely based on Clarke’s family. It follows a widowed single father who orders a mail-order bride from the Philippines to help raise his two preteen daughters.

Fox Buys ‘The Underlings’ Legal Dramedy From ‘Hart of Dixie’ Creator
Fox has given a script commitment plus penalty toThe Underlings, from Hart of Dixie creator producer Leila Gerstein and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. The Underlings is set at a corporate law firm fueled by greed where a group of beleaguered, hapless assistants, led by a plucky paralegal, resolves to right the wrongs of their evil bosses and clients. The project has been laid off at 20th Century Fox TV.

John Krasinski Producing Family Comedy ‘My Bad Parent’ at Fox
John Krasinski is attached to executive produce “My Bad Parent,” a comedy series from “Family Guy” writer Alex Carter. “My Bad Parent” follows a blue-collar, loving-but-imperfect family with a point of view that alternates between the blunt working mother and her pubescent son.

Jennifer Beals to Produce Dance Series ‘The Edge’ in the Works at Fox
A dance drama executive produced by “Flashdance” star Jennifer Beals and director Kenny Ortega, is in development at Fox. The drama, titled “The Edge,” is set in the L.A. dance world, where it’s survival of the fittest. Written by James Larosa, the project hails from Sony Pictures Television, and has a script commitment at the network.

Universal Cable Productions Developing Alfred Hitchcock Anthology Series
Universal Cable Productions is developing an anthology series based on Alfred Hitchcock. “Welcome to Hitchcock” will focus on a single season-long mystery or crime. Vermilion Entertainment and 1492 Pictures/Ocean Blue Entertainment will produce “Welcome to Hitchcock” with UCP. Chris Columbus will also direct the pilot. Casey Tebo will serve as co-producer.

Jay Z Signs TV, Film Overall Deal With Weinstein Company
Jay Z has signed a two-year overall TV and film deal with The Weinstein Company (TWC). The deal will allow TWC to have have first-look options with Jay Z to produce both scripted and unscripted television projects and film projects.

‘You’re the Worst’ Renewed for Fourth Season on FXX
The Stephen Falk critical scores an early renewal, after only four episodes of season three.

HBO Renews ‘High Maintenance’ for Season 2
The pot comedy originally began as a self-funded project on Vimeo in 2012.

‘Imaginary Mary’ Episode Count Cut From 13 to 9
The Adam F. Goldberg hybrid ABC comedy needed extra time for animation and has cut its initial order.

‘The Mindy Project’ Heads to VH1, Freeform in Syndication Deal
The Universal Television-produced Hulu comedy will begin airing on both networks in October.

Cartoon Network’s ‘Adventure Time’ to End After Season 9
Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time” will come to a close after its ninth season, which is currently in production. That will keep originals on cable through 2018.


Grey’s Alum Sandra Oh Returns to ABC, Joins American Crime Season 3
Sandra Oh is checking back into ABC, signing on to co-star in the new season of American Crime.

‘Chicago P.D.’ Star Jon Seda Moving to ‘Justice’ Spinoff as Series Regular
He will play the same character and be paired with Joelle Carter’s investigator.

Garret Dillahunt To Topline Rod Lurie’s TNT Drama Pilot ‘Monsters of God’
Garret Dillahunt is set as the lead in Rod Lurie’s post-Civil War drama pilot Monsters of God for TNT, from Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

‘She’s Gotta Have It’: ‘Hamilton’s Anthony Ramos Cast In Spike Lee Netflix Series
Anthony Ramos, who originated the roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the smash Broadway musical Hamilton, is set as one of the male leads in Spike Lee’s 10-episode Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It.

‘Lost In Space’: Molly Parker To Star In Netflix Series Remake
House of CardsMolly Parker is set as the female lead opposite Toby Stephens in Lost in Space, Netflix’s remake of sci-fi master Irwin Allen’s 1965 cult TV classic, from Legendary TV.

‘Dear White People’: Nia Long To Recur On Netflix Series
Nia Long is the latest to join the cast of Dear White People, Netflix’s straight-to-series comedy based on the 2014 Sundance pic.


‘Lion King’ Live-Action Movie in the Works From Disney
‘Jungle Book’ director Jon Favreau is working on the live-action/CG reboot of the beloved animated film.


NBC Orders ‘Little Big Shots’ Spinoff Centered on Elderly
Hosted by Steve Harvey, ‘Little Big Shots: Forever Young’ will shine a spotlight on the hidden talents and wisdom of senior citizens.

Jennifer Lopez Set as Judge on NBC Dance Competition Series
The ‘Shades of Blue’ star will also mentor top dancers in ‘World of Dance.’

W. Kamau Bell’s ‘United Shades of America’ Lands Season 2 Order From CNN
United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell is returning for a second season. Eight one-hour episodes have been ordered, to debut next spring.

History and Peter Berg Team for ‘Warfighters’ Docuseries
The Warfighters aims to give viewers an inside look at the realities of war by chronicling recent U.S. Special Operations Forces missions in the global war on terror. History will launch the docuseries with a four-hour marathon on Veteran’s Day.


BBC2 Orders Revenge Drama ‘Paula’; Eccho Moves Into ‘Casa Del Mar’
BBC Two has ordered revenge thriller Paula from playwright/filmmaker Conor McPherson. Paula centers on the fallout in a young chemistry teacher’s life after her one-night stand with a good-looking but dangerous man.

‘Baroness Von Sketch Show’: The Best Comedy You’ve Never Seen (Probably Because It’s Canadian)
“Baroness Von Sketch Show” is a half-hour comedy on the CBC performed and written almost entirely by women. The six half-hour episodes premiered in June of 2016. Unlike the fattened up sketches of “Saturday Night Live,” which often meander into boring set-up and linger on actors breaking character, the sketches on “Baroness” get in and out as quickly as possible, keeping the jokes snappy and fresh.


Colin Callender’s Playground Ups Execs Scott Huff & Elyse Dolbec In Development
Colin Callender’s Playground (Wolf Hall, The White Queen) has promoted Scott Huff and Elyse Dolbec as part of the company’s push to expand its television slate in the U.S. Huff will become SVP of Development and Production. Dolbec becomes Director of Development and Production working alongside Huff on all television and theatre endeavors.

Scooter Braun’s SB Projects Names James Shin to Executive Post
The former TriStar Pictures exec will serve as vice president of content development.

Warner Bros. Promotes Jeff Goldstein to President of Domestic Distribution
Warner Bros. Pictures has promoted veteran Jeff Goldstein to president of domestic distribution.

THR: Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors 2016
Eleven authors — nearly half — are new to the list since THR last ranked Hollywood’s pens in 2014, including Ernest Cline (No. 12), whose Ready Player One is in production with Steven Spielberg directing, Paula Hawkins (No. 19), whose The Girl on the Train is one of this fall’s most anticipated movies, and Lauren Oliver (No. 23), whose hot YA hit Before I Fall arrives in theaters in April.

Kevin Hart Named World’s Highest-Paid Comedian, Amy Schumer Becomes First Woman to Crack List
Kevin Hart has been crowned as the world’s highest-paid comedian by Forbes, ending Jerry Seinfeld’s nine-year reign. According to Forbes’ list, Hart earned a whopping $87.5 million between June 2015 and June 2016 thanks to stadium tours, and both big and small-screen appearances, pushing Seinfeld into second with $43.5 million.


AdWeek: National Amusements Officially Asks CBS and Viacom to Consider Merging
The rumors floating around all year that CBS Corp. and Viacom might recombine 10 years after they split apart are no longer just rumors: National Amusements has sent a letter to both boards, asking them to consider a merger in what would be an all-stock deal.

(music) Variety: Spotify in Talks to Acquire SoundCloud
Spotify is in advanced talks to acquire rival music service SoundCloud, according to a report by the Financial Times.