The Morning Update for Wednesday, February 8, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Wednesday, February 8, 2017:


Shondaland To Develop Luvvie Ajayi’s Book ‘I’m Judging You’ As Cable Series
Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland, along with ABC Signature Studios, have acquired rights to Luvvie Ajayi’s debut book I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manualto develop as a cable comedy series. I’m Judging You is a humorous manual that instructs people on how to do better.

Nicole Kidman To Produce & Possibly Star In ‘The Expatriates’ TV Series Adaptation
Nicole Kidman and her Blossom Films have optioned Janice Y.K Lee’s bestselling novel The Expatriatesto be adapted as a television series. Screenwriter Alice Bell is attached to pen the adaptation, with a potential role for Kidman to star. Kidman and Blossom partner Per Saari will executive produce alongside POW! Productions’ Theresa Park, with Lee serving as consulting producer. The project will be shopped to premium networks and streaming-services. The Expatriates explores, with equal parts humor and drama, the complicated relationships of three American women as they navigate life inside tight-knit expat Hong Kong.

Bible Comedy From Johnny Galecki Lands CBS Pilot Pickup
CBS handed out a pilot order to comedy Living Biblically, based on the book The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. The project centers on a modern-day man who, at a crossroads in his life, decides to live life according to the Bible. The comedy was developed as a single-camera and will now be shot as a multicamera. It is written by Patrick Walsh and executive produced by Johnny Galecki as part of his overall deal with Warner Bros. Television.

‘How I Met Your Mother’ Creators Score Second CBS Pilot Order
CBS has handed out a pilot pickup for Distefano, a comedy starring Chris Distefano that is written by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. The multicamera / hybrid comedy centers on Izzy and Chris, two 20-somethings raising their newborn daughter and merging their meddling families. Bays and Thomas will pen the script and exec produce via their Sony Pictures Television-based Bays-Thomas banner. Distefano will also co-write the story and co-exec produce alongside Brian Bockrath and Pam Fryman, with the latter on board to direct. CBS Television Studios has also boarded the comedy as a co-producer.

Conspiracy Drama From ‘True Blood’ Author Lands NBC Pilot Pickup
NBC has handed out a pilot order to Redliners. Redliners is based on Charlaine Harris’ short stories and is described as a high-octane drama that mixes humor, romance and espionage. It centers on a pair of former operatives who get reactivated and drawn into a larger conspiracy while attempting to maintain their undercover lives. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Shaun Cassidy will pen the script and executive produce the Universal Television drama.

NBC Chief Discusses the Future of ‘Law and Order: SVU,’ Potential Spinoff
Ahead of the drama’s 400th episode, Bob Greenblatt looks ahead to season 19: "I think that show’s back again for another year." The exec went onto stress that the "slow-going" process of plotting a potential offshoot would likely bleed into next season. "That will happen in its time and could be a planted spinoff of SVU," Greenblatt added. "I don’t think it will be this season."

‘Dynasty’ Writer Sallie Patrick Re-Ups Overall Deal With CBS TV Studios
Sallie Patrick one of the key auspices behind the high-profile CW pilot Dynasty, has signed a new two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios, which is behind the project. If the pilot goes to series, Patrick will serve as showrunner.

Tom Verica to Direct Shondaland’s ABC Legal Drama Pilot
Tom Verica has been tapped to direct the pilot for Shondaland’s untitled legal drama at ABC from “Scandal” writer Paul Davies.

(opinion) TVBTN: Cancel Bear vs. CBS, week 20: ‘Training Day’ is like ‘Rush Hour’ – and that’s not good
“Rush Hour” is no longer, and it looks like “Training Day” is headed that way as well. The show tied “Pure Genius” for the second-lowest series debut on CBS this season (only the cheap import “Ransom” was lower). That’s not good.

(opinion) TVBTN: Cancel Bear vs. FOX, week 20: ‘Lethal Weapon’ bumps up to a sure thing
“Lethal Weapon” hasn’t been as strong in the new year as it was in the fall. Those (relatively small) declines won’t matter, however, because the series is now a sure bet for renewal. Taking away the Super Bowl numbers for “24: Legacy,” “Lethal Weapon” has been FOX’s No. 2 drama this season by a comfortable margin. The network isn’t going to toss that aside just because the show’s ratings declined a bit in the winter.

(review) THR: ‘Imposters’ on Bravo
isn’t the worst of this current rash of shows about conning linguists, each more clever and morally unrestrained than the last. It’s just that with low stakes, an uncertain tone, a few too many milquetoast leads and generally bland production values, the peak that Bravo’s entry rises to is "cute and innocuous," which is neither condemnation nor compliment.

(review) THR: ‘Big Little Lies’ on HBO
Big Little Lies revolves around a big hot mess of "issues" that adults face, painstakingly acted out in ways that don’t have much connection to reality, whether it’s how people talk to each other or act around each other. By shifting the story out of Australia and to the swanky seaside town of Monterey, the production ratchets up the Rich White People Problems factor that dominates the story. …HBO’s soapy melodrama is more annoying than entertaining, and its marquee cast can’t correct that.


Jennifer Finnigan Set as Female Lead in CBS Summer Drama ‘Salvation’
The series counts Peter Lenkov and Alex Kurtzman among its exec producers.

‘The Tick’: Yara Martinez Upped To Regular On New Amazon Series
Jane the Virgin‘s Yara Martinez who guest starred in the pilot for Amazon’s upcoming comedy series The Tick, has been promoted to regular.

‘Chicago P.D.’ Books ‘NYPD Blue’ Alum for Recurring Role
Esai Morales will make his debut as the new chief in the three-show crossover airing March 1.

Nathan Fillion Cops Brooklyn Nine-Nine Role, Playing a Fictional TV Detective
Nathan Fillion will guest-star on Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Mark Devereaux, the star of a Law & Order-type series titled Serve & Protect.


HBO Now SVOD Service Tops 2 Million Domestic Subs, Time Warner CEO Says
Jeff Bewkes unveiled the number on a conference call for his company’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. Subscription video-on-demand service HBO Now is only two years old, so Bewkes is quite pleased with those early returns.

YouTube now lets creators with 10,000 subscribers live-stream video on mobile
YouTube just added a new feature to its mobile app that allows content creators to reach out to fans more personally. The online video company announced that it has opened up mobile live-streaming for creators with over 10,000 subscribers.


Reality Producer Troy Vanderheyden Inks Development Deal With Wilshire StudiosVeteran TV producer and showrunner Troy Vanderheyden (Don’t Be Tardy, Bad Girls Club) has signed a development deal with Wilshire Studios, the unscripted sister studio of Universal Cable Productions.

Lady Gaga Books ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Appearance
The Super Bowl performer will appear in the season nine premiere.

The Insider Canceled After 13 Seasons
The Insider, the syndicated entertainment newsmagazine show, is out.

The Debbie Matenopoulos and Louis Aguirre-hosted Entertainment Tonight spin-off has been canceled. Its current 13th season will wrap in September.


Netflix picks up Turkish shows
Netflix has acquired four drama series from Turkish distributor ITV Inter Medya. The US SVoD service has taken Black Money Love, 20 Minutes, Love is in the Air and Behzat C from Istanbul-based Inter.

Pinewood joins SVT’s Jordskott
London-based Pinewood Television has joined the second season of Swedish drama Jordskott as a coproducer. The first season of the 10×60’ show, from Palladium Fiction, premiered on Swedish pubcaster SVT in February 2015 and followed the disappearance of a child in the small community of Silverhöjd. Now, Pinewood is attached to eight new episodes, with shooting underway in Stockholm for a second season debut this autumn. An English-language version of Jordskott had been picked up for development by Amazon in the US but has since been passed over.


Disney Beats Earnings Expectations, but Can’t Match Stellar Q1 of Last Year
Robust performance by its parks and resorts helped Disney beat analysts’ earnings expectations for the first quarter of 2017, though the entertainment conglomerate could not compete with its own blockbuster film success of the year prior, as both revenue and earnings per share slid behind last year’s levels.

Disney’s ‘Avatar’-Themed Land Opening Date Revealed, Star Wars Land Coming in 2019
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced during the company’s first quarter earnings call that “Pandora – The World of Avatar” will open on May 27 at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

Star Wars Land to open at Disneyland in 2019
Bob Iger
announced that the 14-acre expansion based on the blockbuster movie franchise will open in 2019 in both Walt Disney World in Orlando and the park in Anaheim.

Disney CEO Bob Iger Says He Is ‘Open’ to Extending Term Beyond June 2018
Disney CEO Bob Iger said on an earnings call Tuesday that he would be open to extending his time at the head of the entertainment conglomerate beyond his current contract, which ends in June, 2018. “If it’s in the best interest of the company to extend my term, I am open to that,” Iger said.

Disney CEO Bob Iger on Trump’s Travel Ban: "We Cannot Shut Our Borders to Immigrants"
The executive also defended his position on President Trump’s policy forum as "a great opportunity for me to have a direct pipeline to the president and the senior members of his team."


Lifetime Names Meghan Hooper White SVP Original Co-Productions and Acquisitions

Lifetime has promoted Meghan Hooper White to senior vice president, original co-productions and acquisitions for Lifetime and LMN. Based in New York, she reports to Christian Drobnyk, SVP, programming strategy & acquisitions.

Variety: How Jimmy Iovine Plans to Take Apple Music to New Heights
Jimmy Iovine declines to offer specifics on exactly where the future of Apple Music’s original content strategy lies, but he stresses that the service’s forays into video will be Apple Music-specific. “We’re trying to make the music service a cultural point of reference, and that’s why we’re making video,” he says. “We’re making video for our Apple Music customers and our future customers.”

TBS Ups Turner Vet David Wolkis To SVP Production
Turner veteran David Wolkis has been promoted to senior vice president of production for TBS originals. In his newly expanded role, he will continue to manage production for all of TBS’s original series, while also adding new responsibilities for enhancing and developing the Conan brand through its Conan Without Borders specials and other initiatives.

Studio Ramsay Taps Channel 4’s Helen Cooke For Key Development Exec Role
Gordon Ramsay’s independent production company Studio Ramsay, a joint venture with All3Media, has hired Channel 4’s Helen Cooke as Head of Popular Factual. She is tasked with developing unscripted formats and reality series across all platforms for both the UK and the U.S.

Advocacy Group WeForShe Unveils Top TV Pilot Scripts by Women
Women’s advocacy organization WeForShe has selected 17 unproduced female-written television scripts for its 2017 WriteHer list, now in its third year:
“Adoptive Behavior” by Cindy Fang

“Baked” by Nancy Duff

“Blackthorn” by Bianca Sams

“Borderline” by Susan Beavers

“Cleo” by Julia Fontana

“Djinn” by Tania Lotia

“Eleanor of Acquitaine” by Shania Steinberg

“Friends and Neighbors” by Diane Ruggiero

“Ghosted” by Melinda Hill

“I Know Who You Really Are, B—” by Tess Rafferty

“In Real Life” by Karen DiConcetto

“Limerick” by Lorelei Ignas

“Molly” by Melissa Rundle

“Multiples” by Alyssa Hill

“Pretty Girl” by Lorna Osunsanmi

“Silo” by Jacqueline Gould

“State of Emergency” by Annie Brunner


Deadline: What’s And Who’s Next At Sony Pictures?
…One of the new names being bandied about right now is Peter Rice, the chairman and CEO of the Fox Networks Group who has both film and television experience. …Another name being talked about is Thomas Staggs, who as COO was Disney’s heir apparent to Bob Iger but left the company last summer after the board failed to give him assurances of his ascension. …Another name that has been bandied about is … wait for it … Steve Mosko, the former head of Sony Television when the TV division was credited contributing over 60% of the entertainment unit’s operating income.

AdAge: NBC to Include Digital Viewing in Ad Guarantees for Winter Olympics, Offer Packages Combining Super Bowl
NBCU will set guarantees using its Total Audience Delivery, a metric that blends broadcast and cable primetime deliveries with streaming data, for the first time during the Winter Olympics. It will do this by selling a cumulative P2-plus rating (persons aged two or more) across all platforms.