The Morning Update for Monday, December 19, 2016.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Monday, December 19, 2016:


Fox Buys A.I. Family Drama ‘Familiar’ From ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Writer & Temple Hill
Fox has put in developmentFamiliar, an hourlong drama fromformer Sleepy Hollow writer-producer Heather Regnier, Temple Hill Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV. Written by Regnier, Familiar is set in 2029, the year A.I. Robotics will go the path of the personal computer – or so is the hope of the Wiercinskis, the family behind Luminary, the first mainstream consumer-oriented robotics company.

(from Fri) ‘Somewhere Between’ Drama Ordered Straight to Series at ABC for Summer Run
ABC has handed out a straight-to-series order for drama Somewhere Between. The project, produced by Thunderbird Entertainment, centers around Laura Price, a woman who — as the logline suggests — isn’t crazy but knows her daughter Serena is going to be murdered. She doesn’t know who the murderer is, or why her daughter is being targeted, but she knows exactly when it will happen, where and how. Despite this, all of Laura’s attempts to keep her daughter safe fail, and Serena’s fixed, unmovable, terrifying fate keeps her directly in the path of her killer. Stephen Tolkin is set to pen the script and executive produce alongside Ivan Fecan and Joseph Broido. The drama is poised to shoot in Vancouver.

(from Fri) ‘Single White Female’ TV Series In the Works at NBC
NBC is developing a reboot of the 1992 feature film. The drama, which has received a script commitment, is described as a "modern-day reboot." The update is set in San Francisco and is a soapy psychological thriller in which the lines between good and evil are constantly blurred. Eric Garcia will pen the script and executive produce the NBC drama. The potential Single White Female series hails from Sony Pictures Television’s TriStar banner.

(from Fri) Michael Ian Black to Star in TBS Comedy From ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Trio
TBS has put in development Moon Cruise, starring Michael Ian Black and produced by his Wet Hot colleagues Michael Showalter, Jonathan Stern and David Wain. Moon Cruise, a half-hour single-camera comedy, is described as The Love Boat but set in space. Additional plot details are being kept under wraps. Black created the concept and will star in the comedy. He’ll also exec produce alongside Showalter, Stern and Wain.

(from Fri) ‘Bates Motel’s’ Freddie Highmore and Kerry Ehrin Sell Drama Pilot to A&E
Kerry Ehrin and star Freddie Highmore are charting their next steps: they’ve sold a new drama pilot to A&E. Ehrin and Highmore are co-writing “Baby Face,” with Highmore attached to star. “Baby Face,” based on an idea by Highmore, is the love story of a young couple rallying against the establishment in the throes of the Great Depression — one of whom happens to be “Baby Face” Nelson. The drama will chronicle his season-by-season rise from a small-time bootlegger and bank robber in Chicago to Public Enemy Number One, and ultimate death at the age of 25.

(ratings) AdAge: Reports of a ‘Walking Dead’ Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated
According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the 86-minute midseason finale averaged 10.6 million viewers and a 5.1 demo rating, which translates to 6.53 million adults 18 to 49. To put that advertiser-friendly turnout into context, the various scripted offerings on the broadcast networks that same night averaged a meager 1.1 in the demo. Here’s another way of looking at it: That other splashy big-reach drama, Fox’s "Empire," hasn’t notched a 5.1 in live-same-day since Oct. 7, 2015.

(review) Variety: Netflix’s ‘The OA’
It is hard to take “The OA” seriously. That statement can be applied both to the new Netflix drama, a mystery-soaked excursion through time and space, and its titular character, the OA — played by executive producer and writer Brit Marling. None of it makes any sense, but it is captivating anyway.


(from Fri) ‘This Is Us’ Casts Hari Dhillon As Recurring
Hari Dhillon (Holby City) has joined the cast of NBC‘s breakout dramedyThis Is Usin a recurring role.

(from Fri) ‘The Good Wife’ Spinoff ‘The Good Fight’ Books Carrie Preston for Guest Arc
Carrie Preston will have a guest arc on the CBS All Access spinoff “The Good Fight.”

(from Fri) Chris Lowell Set To Recur On Netflix’s ‘GLOW’
GravesChris Lowell is set to recur opposite Alison Brie and Marc Maron in GLOW, Netflix’s straight-to-series comedy from Orange Is the New Black EP Jenji Kohan.

(from Fri) ‘Jack Ryan’: Wendell Pierce, Dina Shihabi & Ali Suliman Cast In Amazon Series
Wendell Pierce, Dina Shihabi and up-and-comer Ali Suliman have been cast opposite John Krasinski and Abbie Cornish in Amazon‘s straight-to-series dramaTom Clancy‘s Jack Ryan, from the Lost duo of co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and writer Graham Roland, Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, Skydance Media and Paramount TV.


Studios, Theaters Ignite Talks for 17-Day Theatrical Window
But one chain’s demand could derail a plan, and Disney won’t jeopardize its blockbusters.


Comedy Central Will Replace a Full Ad Break Each Month With One of Its Branded Content Series
As Comedy Central continues to ramp up its slate of branded content series, the network has decided to give those new short-form videos a big monthly linear spotlight. Beginning [last Friday], Comedy Central will dedicate a full two-and-a-half-minute linear commercial pod each month to feature an episode from one of its branded content series in lieu of traditional ads. During [Friday’s] 10 p.m. showing of 50 First Dates, the network will air an episode of its branded content series Handy, which feature the adventures of a hand model.

MLB-Disney’s BAMTech Inks ‘League of Legends’ $300 Million eSports Streaming Pact
BAMTech, Major League Baseball’s streaming-video unit backed by Disney, has entered into a multiyear deal with Riot Games to deliver “League of Legends” eSports content around the world.


John Ridley Directing ABC Documentary About L.A. Rodney King Riots
John Ridley is writing and directing a feature length documentary about the racial tensions in Los Angeles in the ’80s and early ’90s, pegged to the 25th anniversary of the Rodney King Riots. The two-hour doc, “Let It Fall: LA 1982-1992,” will air on ABC in spring 2017. The documentary will begin a decade before the Rodney King Riots and will culminate with the uprising, rioting, looting and gun violence the followed after the Rodney King case verdict. The project will showcase stories of individuals caught up in the tension, featuring interviews with diverse people of all communities that become involved at the time: black, white, Hispanic, Korean, Japanese Americans, plus police commanders, patrolmen and members of city government.

A&E Imbeds With KKK for New Documentary Series
‘Generation KKK’ focuses on family members of prominent klansman trying to distance themselves from the violent hate group.

MSNBC Cancels ‘Live With Thomas Roberts’; Anchor’s Plans TBD
Thomas Roberts confirmed Sunday that his MSNBC weekday afternoon show Live With Thomas Roberts has been canceled.


Simon Cowell’s Syco Inks Development Deal With Star China’s Canxing
Simon Cowell‘s Syco Entertainment and Star China’s Canxing Production have entered a three-year development deal aimed at large-scale global entertainment formats. The programs will be designed to appeal to Greater China with the potential for international distribution.

BBC1 returns to Not Going Out
BBC1 in the UK has extended its Lee Mack-fronted comedy series Not Going Out for eighth and ninth seasons. The family sitcom is produced by UK prodco Avalon Television.


(animated) ‘DuckTales’ Reboot Enlists David Tennant, Danny Pudi for Voice Cast
Ben Schwartz and Bobby Moynihan also will voice main characters in the upcoming animated series.


Chris Lee Hired As CEO Of Bryan Singer’s Bad Hat Harry Banner

Bryan Singer has hired Chris Lee to become CEO of his Bad Hat Harry production banner. Lee, the former TriStar and Columbia Pictures president, took a detour to teach, and more recently has been making movies in China.

A+E Networks Names Patrick Vien & Edward Sabin To International Exec Team
A+E Networks has appointed Patrick Vien and Edward Sabin to Executive Managing Directors, a move the network says will bolster its international executive team.

Tony Safford Returns To Fox As Head Of FoxGives
Tony Safford, the onetime EVP Acquisitions at 20th Century Fox, is returning to the company as VP of FoxGives, Fox Networks Group and 20th Century Fox Film’s Los Angeles employee engagement program.

(q&a) THR: Disney Exec Reveals Why There Are No Lightsabers in ‘Rogue One’ Advertising
Marketing chief Ricky Strauss talks with THR about balancing Marvel and Pixar, his campaign strategy for March’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ remake and ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ plans.
Q: How has the internet transformed movie marketing?

Strauss: The most impactful change has been in how we develop our media budget. Disney’s spend online is much more sizable than it was three years ago, or 20 to 30 percent, compared to maybe 10 percent before. But about 50 percent still goes to television.


THR: Tim Goodman: The Best Network TV of 201613. This Is Us (NBC)

12. The Good Place (NBC)

11. The Goldbergs (ABC)
10. Speechless (ABC)
9. Fresh Off The Boat (ABC)
8. Late Night With Seth Meyers (NBC)
7. You, Me And The Apocalypse (NBC)
6. Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
5. Black-ish (ABC)
4. Bob’s Burgers (FOX)
3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
2. Jane The Virgin (CW)

1. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)


THR: TV Networks, Studios Shifting Program Strategies in the Trump Age: "Are We Telling the Right Stories?"
In the days following Donald Trump’s stunning presidential win, ABC Studios chief Patrick Moran called Black-ish creator Kenya Barris. The men had a project at ABC about a pair of politically divided pundits who fall in love. Suddenly it felt more relevant. But now Moran wanted to be sure both sides of the spectrum were being presented with equal credibility. …That exchange came on the heels of what Moran describes as a "wake-up call." Over at ABC, entertainment chief Channing Dungey acknowledges that the rise of Trump and his blue-collar support forced her to question whether her programming was too focused on upper-income brackets. Similar check-ins have taken place across the TV industry as executives try to better understand and appeal to a demographic to which many hadn’t paid enough attention.

(video) AdAge: Digital Crash Course Video: Is TV a Bubble Ready to Burst?
Depending on who you ask, the dichotomy between the rising price of a 30-second TV commercial and the falling size of audiences able to consume it is either an obvious bubble ready to burst or a simple market reaction to dwindling supply.

Variety: ‘Rogue One’: What Peter Cushing’s Digital Resurrection Means for the Industry
The artists of Industrial Light and Magic have brought a beloved actor back to life for the new "Star Wars" film, raising decades-old questions about ramifications. …This technology raises all sorts of fascinating questions for the industry: If an actor declines to appear in a sequel or project, can the filmmakers now find a way to include him or her anyway (the way “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” brought back James Franco by recycling deleted scenes from “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”)? If an actress’ contract protects her from having to shoot a nude scene, could one be created virtually using virtual body doubles