The Morning Update for Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, January 12, 2017:

TCA NEWS:

Fox Chiefs on ‘Pitch’ Future, More ‘X-Files’ and Programming in the Trump Era
Gary Newman and David Madden also touted ‘Lethal Weapon’s’ success and discussed the fate of ‘Scream Queens’ at the winter press tour. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/fox-chiefs-pitch-future-more-x-files-programming-trump-era-963429

Why Fox Handed the Season’s Biggest New Show, This Is Us, to NBC
"We made a commitment to the writers at our studio that we’re going to give them to greatest chance to succeed," Gary Newman, co-chairman and co-CEO, Fox Television Group, said at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. "When we read that script, we just felt that tonally, it was a show that seemed consistent with Parenthood and Friday Night Lights, and NBC had had some real success with that. And if NBC had responded to that the way we did, we thought that could be a pretty good home for it." http://www.adweek.com/news/television/why-fox-handed-season-s-biggest-new-show-us-nbc-175485

Fox TV CEO Dana Walden Talks Drama Prospects, ‘Empire’ and Comedy Challenges
Fox is already talking with producers about a pickup for a seventh season of “New Girl” (“they have such a fun, clever and original idea”) and she pointed to the renewed round of affection expressed by critics for “Brooklyn’s” latest batch of episodes. Fox is not giving up on live-action comedy — Walden has her eye on finding another workplace comedy — but sitcoms as a business proposition are in need of reinvention, she acknowledged. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/empire-dana-walden-fox-tca-new-girl-the-mick-1201958775/

SCRIPTED NEWS:

‘In the Heat Of the Night’ TV Series Being Redeveloped With ‘People v. O.J.’ Writer
In The Heat Of The Night, a present-day drama series based on the Oscar-winning 1967 United Artists feature, is back in development with a new writer. Joe Robert Cole, writer-producer on FX’s People v. O.J. Simpson, is writing the new series adaptation, which is being developed internally at MGM Television. http://deadline.com/2017/01/in-the-heat-of-the-night-tv-series-redeveloped-joe-robert-cole-1201883162/

‘L.A. Law’ Reboot Comes Together For Next Season
20th Century Fox TV is expected to take out the contemporary revival of the Emmy-winning 1980s NBC legal dramaL.A. Law, which was developed in-house. Co-creator Steven Bochco revealed in August that he was developing a new L.A. Law with one of the series’ original writers, Billy Finkelstein. http://deadline.com/2017/01/la-law-reboot-next-season-steve-bochco-1201883673/

‘X-Men’ Drama Nears Pilot Order At Fox
Fox has yet to order its first pilot this January. Among the scripts that are heating up is the action-adventure X-Men series written by Burn Notice creator Matt Nix. Early versions of the script had been received enthusiastically at Fox as well as producing studios 20th Century Fox TV and Marvel TV. Fox chairman Gary Newman noted to Deadline that he expects the final draft to come in shortly and a pilot pickup within the next week or two. http://deadline.com/2017/01/x-men-drama-pilot-order-fox-1201883636/

Lee Daniels Confirms There Will Be an ‘Empire’ Spinoff
It’s unclear if it would be a back-door episode or if the project would be for this pilot season. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/lee-daniels-confirms-will-be-an-empire-spinoff-963581

‘Empire’ Renewed for Season 4 at FoxThe hip-hop drama returns in the spring for the second half of its third season. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/empire-renewed-season-4-963480

‘The Mick’ Gets Another 4 Episodes for Freshman Season
That makes a total of 17 for the Kaitlin Olson comedy, boosted by a strong premiere. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/mick-gets-4-episodes-freshman-season-963486

‘Young & Hungry’ Spinoff Not Going Forward At Freeform
Freeform has opted not to proceed with its planned Young & Hungry spinoff toplined by Ashley Tisdale and Aimee Carrero. The multi-camera comedy project, titled Young & Sofia, was ordered as a planted spinoff pilot, which aired as the eighth episode of Young & Hungry‘s most recent fourth season. http://deadline.com/2017/01/young-hungry-spinoff-dead-freeform-1201883871/

Efforts to Shop ‘Good Girls Revolt’ Fail, Creator Reveals in Heartfelt Note
The drama was axed in December by Amazon after just one season. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/good-girls-revolt-no-season-2-963601

(sched) ‘Prison Break’ returns in April and more FOX spring 2017 premiere dates
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” for instance, will return April 11, three months and change after its last episode. “Gotham” and “Lucifer” will rejoin the lineup on April 24 and May 1, also after taking close to three-month breaks (both shows return Jan. 16 for three-episode runs). That likely means their seasons will extend into the summer. “Prison Break” will take over the 9 p.m. Tuesday spot from “Bones” starting April 4. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/more-tv-news/prison-break-returns-in-april-and-more-fox-spring-2017-premiere-dates/

(review) Variety: ‘The Young Pope’ on HBO
Power dynamics, world-shaking ambition, oppression, and liberation are the themes of “The Young Pope,” which uses the tiny nation-state of Vatican City as a metaphor for much of the political and social instability churning outside its august walls. http://variety.com/2017/tv/reviews/the-young-pope-hbo-jude-law-review-diane-keaton-james-cromewell-sorrentino-1201952916/

(review) Variety: ‘Victoria’ on PBS Masterpiece
Admirers of Queen Victoria could hardly hope for a more flattering portrait. The problem with that romantic — and romanticized — approach is that this Masterpiece miniseries can get so bogged down in admiration for its core character that it begins to meander, and it often sands the edges off conflicts surrounding the early years of the young queen’s reign. http://variety.com/2017/tv/reviews/victoria-pbs-masterpiece-review-jenna-coleman-rufus-sewell-1201950957/

CASTING NEWS:

‘MacGyver’ Taps Meredith Eaton to Replace Sandrine Holt
Holt’s final episode aired Friday. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/macgyver-taps-meredith-eaton-replace-sandrine-holt-963456

‘Better Call Saul’ Season 3 Promo Hints at Gus Fring’s Return
Giancarlo Esposito reprises his acclaimed role in a new promo for the upcoming third season of the AMC drama. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/better-call-saul-gus-fring-returning-963523

FEATURE NEWS:

Anna Kendrick Eyeing Female Santa Claus Tale for Disney and Marc Lawrence
Anna Kendrick is in talks to star in the untitled Disney Santa Claus film from “Miss Congeniality” scribe Marc Lawrence. Currently going by the running title “Nicole,” the story revolves Santa’s daughter who is forced to take over the family business when her father decides to retire and brother ends up getting cold feet prior to his first big Christmas Eve flight. http://variety.com/2017/film/news/anna-kendrick-santa-claus-disney-movie-marc-lawrence-1201945587/

Variety: Number of Female Directors Falls Despite Diversity Debate, Says Study
Women comprised just 7 percent of all directors working on the 250 highest-grossing domestic releases in 2016, a decline of two percentage points from the level achieved in 2015 and in 1998. http://variety.com/2017/film/news/female-directors-hollywood-diversity-1201958694/

NEW MEDIA NEWS:

Apple Plotting ‘Significant’ Push Into Scripted TV Shows, Movies
Apple
wants to stock its music-subscription service with original scripted TV shows and potentially movies, seeking to become a bigger Hollywood player, the Wall Street Journal reported. Apple is now looking to bring shows with the caliber of HBO’s “Westworld” and Netflix’s “Stranger Things” to Apple Music by the end of 2017, according to the Journal. http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/apple-scripted-tv-shows-movies-1201959094/

Amazon launches curated anime subscription streaming service
For $5 a month, anime fans can subscribe to Amazon’s new, curated channel, Anime Strike. Anime Strike consists of more than 1,000 anime titles targeted toward adults, and will stream some shows the same day they air in Japan, according to a press release. Amazon began offering stand-alone subscriptions to a number of premium services and specialty channels in December 2015. Subscriptions to HBO, Starz, Showtime and specialty networks like Seeso can all be purchased as additional packages through Amazon Channels on top of a standard Amazon Prime or Prime Video membership. http://www.polygon.com/2017/1/12/14250008/amazon-anime-strike-streaming

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

‘Love Connection’ Reboot Hosted by Andy Cohen Set at Fox
‘The Bachelor’ exec producer Mike Fleiss will exec produce the revival of the classic game show that will air in the summer. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/love-connection-reboot-hosted-by-andy-cohen-set-at-fox-963471

Within Launches Original Virtual Reality Series ‘The Possible’
Virtual reality firm Within has released the first episode in a five-part original series titled “The Possible,” which provides viewers with a 360-degree perspective into some of the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs. Veteran filmmaker David Gelb, who helmed the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” and created Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Chef’s Table,” is directing the series, which aims to bring VR into a serialized format similar to a TV show and build a dedicated audience. The first episode of “The Possible,” titled “Hello, Robot,” provides an inside look into the lab of Boston Dynamics, a robotics design firm owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc. http://www.thewrap.com/embargo-6-am-thursday-within-launches-original-virtual-reality-series-the-possible/

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

Dori adds drama trio for NatpeIsraeli distributor Dori Media Group has added three drama formats to its slate ahead of Natpe in Miami, which starts January 17. Por Amarte Asi, focuses on a father-daughter relationship while Complicated is a character study of a man’s efforts to find love. Full Moon is a dark mystery drama set in Thailand. http://www.c21media.net/dori-adds-drama-trio-for-natpe/

BBC to ‘reinvent’ iPlayer
The BBC is to ‘reinvent’ its VoD service iPlayer in a bid by the UK pubcaster to fight off competition from the likes of Netflix. Speaking to staff yesterday, BBC director general Tony Hall said the pubcaster’s OTT service would become a centrepiece of the broadcaster’s offering. Hall said he wanted iPlayer to double its reach and quadruple the amount of time spent on it by 2020 by offering services such as being able to download entire seasons of shows. http://www.c21media.net/bbc-to-reinvent-iplayer/

TWDC NEWS:

Disneyland’s Pass de Deux
Disneyland Resort expands Fastpass, previews new Disney MaxPass. Visitors can add Disney’s MaxPass to their theme park tickets for $10 per ticket, per day. MaxPass is a still-in-development digital Fastpass tool in the Disneyland mobile app. The standard Fastpass system will still be available at no charge to visitors who do not purchase the MaxPass product. https://www.mouseplanet.com/11657/Disneylands_Pass_de_Deux

EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:

(radio) ‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Jim Parsons to Host Political Radio Show
Jim Parsons, star of the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” has signed on to host a political radio show, SiriusXM said Wednesday. The limited-run series, Jim Parsons Is Too Stupid for Politics,” will air on the Andy Cohen-led SiriusXM channel Radio Andy channel 102, kicking off Jan. 20. The show will feature Parsons “breaking down today’s often confusing political climate, while exploring how U.S. citizens can become better participants in our government system.” http://www.thewrap.com/big-bang-theory-star-jim-parsons-to-host-political-radio-show/

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

NYT: How Netflix Is Deepening Our Cultural Echo Chambers
What’s less discussed is the polarization of culture, and the new echo chambers within which we hear about and experience today’s cultural hits. There will never again be a show like “One Day at a Time” or “All in the Family” — shows that derived their power not solely from their content, which might not hold up to today’s more high-minded affairs, but also from their ubiquity. …Instead, we’re returning to the cultural era that predated radio and TV, an era in which entertainment was fragmented and bespoke, and satisfying a niche was a greater economic imperative than entertaining the mainstream. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/technology/how-netflix-is-deepening-our-cultural-echo-chambers.html

AdWeek: 64% of Marketers Have a Snapchat Account, According to New Report
While 64 percent of marketers have a Snapchat account, only 67 percent of those accounts are active, according to an extensive new report from research firm L2. http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/64-marketers-have-snapchat-account-according-new-report-175469

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