The Morning Update for Thursday, January 19, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, January 19, 2017:

SCRIPTED NEWS:

Amazon Greenlights Neil Gaiman’s ‘Good Omens’ As Limited Series
Amazon Studios has given the green light to Good Omens, an hourlong limited comedy series based on Neil Gaiman’s and Terry Pratchett’s novel. Written by Gaiman, the six-part series is set to debut in 2018 on Prime Video. Gaiman will also serve as showrunner. BBC Studios is co-producing the series with Narrativia and The Blank Corporation. Good Omens takes place in 2018 when the Apocalypse is near and Final Judgment is set to descend upon humanity. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel, and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming war, and someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. http://deadline.com/2017/01/amazon-greenlights-neil-gaiman-good-omens-limited-series-1201889590/

‘Will and Grace’ Revival Officially a Go at NBCThe 10-episode comedy will bring the original stars and creators back to the network during the 2017-18 broadcast season. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/will-grace-revival-officially-a-go-at-nbc-965381

Monica Lewinsky Saga in the Works as ‘American Crime Story’ Season
Ryan Murphy has optioned Jeffrey Toobin’s book ‘A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President.’ Murphy and producers are fast-tracking the drama and already are meeting with actresses to portray Lewinsky and colleague Linda Tripp. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/monica-lewinsky-saga-works-as-american-crime-story-season-965731

‘This Is Us’ Renewed for Seasons 2 and 3 at NBC
NBC has renewed “This Is Us” for two additional seasons of 18 episodes each. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/this-is-us-renewed-season-2-nbc-1201945512/

‘Major Crimes’ Renewed for Sixth Season at TNTThe drama will close out its fifth season with an eight-episode run starting Feb. 22. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/major-crimes-renewed-sixth-season-at-tnt-965474

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Delayed Again as Spock’s Father Is Cast
The CBS All Access series will no longer debut in May. The revival for the streaming platform has cast James Frain as Spock’s father, producer CBS Television Studios announced. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/star-trek-discovery-delayed-again-as-spocks-father-is-cast-965494

(review) THR: ‘Frontier’
‘Frontier,’ Netflix and Discovery Canada’s period adventure series about ruthless pelt traders starring Jason Momoa, is bloody, unpretentious fun. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/frontier-review-965600

CASTING NEWS:

‘Fargo’ Enlists Hamish Linklater for Season 3
The actor, who also appears in Noah Hawley’s FX drama ‘Legion,’ will have a recurring role. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/fargo-enlists-hamish-linklater-season-3-965362

Audience Network’s ‘Mr. Mercedes’ Series: Holland Taylor to Replace Ann-Margret
Holland Taylor has been tapped to replace Ann-Margret in David E. Kelley’s forthcoming adaptation of the Stephen King book. Mr. Mercedes follows a demented killer (Penny Dreadful’s Harry Treadaway) who taunts a retired police detective (Brendan Gleeson) with a series of lurid letters and emails, forcing the ex-cop to undertake a private, and potentially felonious, crusade to bring the killer to justice before he is able to strike again. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/mr-mercedes-series-holland-taylor-replacing-ann-margret-965682

NEW MEDIA NEWS:

Scandal Spinoff: Digital-Only Offshoot Gladiator: Wanted Set for Debut
ABC is set to launch Gladiator: Wanted, a spinoff of the long-running thriller Scandal that will run exclusively online. The offshoot — which focuses on Team OPA giving potential new interns a crash course in Gladiating 101 — is slated to debut on ABC.com later today. All half-dozen episodes of Gladiator: Wanted were directed by Scandal co-star Darby Stanchfield. http://tvline.com/2017/01/19/scandal-spinoff-gladiator-wanted-where-to-watch-online/

Digital Series ‘Pineapple’ Acquired by Blackpills
Blackpills
, a new streaming service, has acquired rights to Adaptive Studios’ digital series Pineapple, which will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival with three short-form episodes. Written, directed and edited by Arkasha Stevenson, Pineapple follows a miner’s daughter who is assaulted in a local coal mine and the impact the event has on the small town in which she lives. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sundance-2017-pineapple-digital-series-sells-blackpills-965730

Why Netflix Has Gone Gaga for Star-Studded Stand-Up Comedy
Stand-up comedy specials are no joke at Netflix. The streaming service has been binge-buying these programs in recent months featuring the biggest names in the genre. Of all the markets to corner, why this one? http://variety.com/2017/digital/opinion/why-netflix-has-gone-gaga-for-star-studded-stand-up-comedy-1201962797/

Netflix Beats Q4 Subscriber Forecasts With Largest Quarterly Gain in Its History
Netflix
added 7.05 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2016, handily beating expectations for the period and setting a quarterly record. For the last three months of 2016, the company added 1.93 million U.S. streaming subscribers, and 5.12 million international subs. Netflix now counts 93.8 million streaming subscribers across the globe as of the end of 2016, comprising 49.4 million in the States and 44.4 million overseas. http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/netflix-q4-2016-earnings-1201962823/

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

NBC’s ‘The Wall’ Scores 20-Episode PickupThe LeBron James-produced and Chris Hardwick-hosted series is the second to launch under Universal Television’s new Alternative Studio. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/nbcs-wall-scores-20-episode-pickup-965395

‘Jersey Shore’ Producer SallyAnn Salsano Inks New Overall Deal With Viacom
In one of the first major talent deals following the sweeping leadership changes at Viacom’s cable networks, the company has re-upped one of the top unscripted producers on its roster, SallyAnn Salsano and her 495 Productions. This is Salsano’s seventh consecutive overall deal at Viacom, encompassing development for MTV, BET, VH1, Spike and CMT. http://deadline.com/2017/01/sallyann-salsano-overall-deal-viacom-495-productions-1201888486/

Esquire Network Cable Channel to Shutter, Will Relaunch as Digital Brand
The NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment network will run through the spring. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/esquire-network-cable-channel-shutter-will-relaunch-as-digital-brand-965597

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

IM Global TV to Sell Groundbreaking Arabic Legal Drama ‘Justice’
Groundbreaking Abu Dhabi-set legal drama “Justice,” inspired by “L.A. Law” and written by William Finkelstein, whose credits include “L.A. Law,” in collaboration with a local team, is set for a shot at global visibility. IM Global Television has taken worldwide distribution rights to the Arabic TV series. The show revolves around a strong female character named Farah, a Western-educated lawyer, played by Emirati actress Fatima Al Taei. Upon returning home to Abu Dhabi, Farah goes against her family’s expectations that she will join her father’s law firm and instead strikes out on her own as a defense attorney. http://variety.com/2017/tv/global/im-global-tv-to-handle-groundbreaking-arabic-legal-drama-justice-1201962419/

TWDC NEWS:

Would Disney’s Rumored Acquisition of Netflix Make Sense?
Since speculation emerged last fall that Disney might be interested in getting its paws on Netflix, Wall Street has been split on whether such a tie-up would be a bold, smart move or an unnecessarily risky gambit. http://variety.com/2017/biz/news/disney-netflix-acquisition-rumors-1201961964/

EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:

Dan Buckley Promoted to President of Marvel Entertainment
Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment has promoted longtime executive Dan Buckley to the newly created post of president in a reflection of his expanded responsibilities. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/dan-buckley-promoted-marvel-entertainment-1201962894/

Fox Names Salil Mehta President of New Gaming Division
Salil Mehta will oversee FoxNext looking after video games, virtual reality projects and location-based entertainment for both the studio’s film and TV operations. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/salil-mehta-president-foxnext-new-division-overseeing-video-gaming-virtual-reality-965802

Sprout Taps Children’s Media Exec Deirdre Brennan As General Manager
Sprout has hired veteran children’s media exec Deirdre Brennan as General Manager. Reporting directly to Frances Berwick, President, Lifestyle Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. http://deadline.com/2017/01/sprout-childrens-media-exec-deirdre-brennan-general-manager-1201888715/

(NATPE) Viacom CEO Bob Bakish: No Paramount Sale, a Course-Correct for MTV and Moving Past Corporate "Drama"
The media chief says he’ll be ready to share plans to refresh the struggling cable portfolio around February. He also dismissed reports that Viacom is looking to sell its stake in Paramount Pictures. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/viacom-ceo-bob-bakish-no-paramount-sale-a-course-correct-mtv-moving-past-corporate-drama-965480

(NATPE) Network notes ‘turn off A-listers’
US networks must cut down on notes and provide more creative freedom if they want to attract A-list talent to their shows, according to leading Los Angeles talent agent Dan Erlij. “If you’re looking to attract an A-list director or writer coming into this space that they have never been into before, they can’t operate in the same way. Until that happens, those kinds of people will want to be on cable or streamers.” http://www.c21media.net/network-notes-turn-off-a-listers/

AWARDS NEWS:

People’s Choice Awards Winners: Updated ListThe 2017 People’s Choice Awards kick off on Wednesday night, honoring some of the best movies, TV shows, and music of the past year. A whopping 64 categories are up for grabs on the big night. http://variety.com/2017/film/news/2017-peoples-choice-awards-winners-list-1201963065/

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

(video) How Louis CK tells a joke
The Nerdwriter presents a fascinating analysis of why Louis CK’s jokes are funny. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufdvYrTeTuU

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