The Morning Update for Thursday, February 9, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, February 9, 2017:


‘Out Of Africa’ TV Series Adaptation From David Heyman & Susanne Bier In Works At NBCU International Studios
Heyday TelevisionHarry Potter and Gravity producer David Heyman’s joint venture with NBCUniversal International Studios — has acquired the rights to Karen Blixen’s classic memoir, Out of Africa, to develop as a drama TV series. Emmy-winning The Night Manager director/executive producer Susanne Bier set to direct and executive produce the series. Out of Africa recounts the seventeen years that Blixen spent in the Ngong Hills of Kenya during the last decades of the British Empire as she searched to find her role and voice in a changing world.

Discovery Orders ‘The Suck’ Vietnam War Series From Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick
Discovery Channel
has ordered a series, The Suck, from thirtysomething creators Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, to air in 2018. Based on an unpublished memoir by Vietnam veteran and former Greenpeace International executive Stephen McCallister, the 10-episode series recalls the American experience in the Vietnam War. The Suck is produced by Lionsgate. Zwick will direct the first episode.

HBO Gives Series Order to Family Drama ‘Succession’
From scribe Jesse Armstrong, the show stars Brian Cox as the head of a rich and dysfunctional family-run media empire. The drama will get a 10-episode freshman season.

Nicolas Winding Refn Sets Amazon Crime Series ‘Too Old to Die Young’
Amazon handed out a straight-to-series order to a 10-episode crime series from the Drive director. Nicolas Winding Refn will helm the project, titled Too Old to Die Young, and also write the script alongside Ed Brubaker. Too Old to Die Young will explore the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles by following characters’ existential journeys from being killers to becoming samurais in the City of Angels.

‘Charlie Foxtrot’: Todd Holland To Direct Sam Sklaver’s ABC Comedy Pilot

Todd Holland has been tapped to direct and executive produce ABC’s single camera comedy pilotCharlie Foxtrot, from writer Sam Sklaver, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and ABC Studios.

‘Instinct’: Marc Webb To Direct CBS Drama Pilot Starring Alan Cumming

Marc Webb is set to direct and executive produce Instinct, CBS drama pilot starring and executive produced by Alan Cumming.

‘The OA’ Renewed for Second Season at NetflixThe Brit MarlingZal Batmanglij drama will be back for another round.

Netflix Renews ‘Love’ for Season 3The series stars Gillian Jacobs and Paul Rust.

Netflix Renews Eric McCormack Sci-Fi Series ‘Travelers’ for Season 2
Netflix has ordered a second season of Canadian sci-fi series “Travelers,” starring Eric McCormack. The series is set hundreds of years in the future where technology has developed a means of sending people back in time to the 21st century to help save humanity from a grim future.

THR: TV Pilot Season’s Hot Trends: Trump-Friendly Military Dramas, Fewer New Shows, Bigger Stars
The total number of TV show pilots ordered this season currently hovers around 70, down from nearly 90 last year.

Variety: Can New Voices Break Through in Pilot Season Dominated by Familiar Names?
Despite the major benefits of working with A-list players, industryites argue that, in addition to vets, making room for newbies is essential, urging broadcast networks to embrace those content creators. Cable nets and streaming platforms have certainly done that in recent TV seasons, which have seen the rise of Issa Rae on HBO, Donald Glover on FX, and the Duffer Brothers on Netflix.

(review) Variety: ‘Big Little Lies’ on HBO
“Big Little Lies”
is less about the whodunit than it is about the world. It is maddening to once again contemplate the ultra-rich — but in this case, it is also deeply satisfying; “Big Little Lies,” based on the novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty, is a bonfire of the vanities for this faux-progressive, self-satisfied set.


‘The Alienist’: Robert Wisdom & Q’orianka Kilcher Cast In TNT Drama Series
Robert Wisdom (The Wire) and Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World) have joined the cast of The Alienist, TNT’s drama series that premieres in late 2017. Based on Caleb Carr’s bestseller, the psychological thriller is set in 1896 New York.

‘House Of Cards’ Adds Patricia Clarkson & Campbell Scott In Season 5Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott have joined the Season 5 cast of Netflix’s House of Cards.

‘The Last Ship’: Jodie Turner-Smith Upped To Regular For Season 5
We’ll be seeing more of Jodie Turner-Smith in Season 5 of TNT’s The Last Ship. Smith, who recurs on Season 4, has been promoted to series regular for the fifth season, which premieres in 2018.


Kerry Washington to Star In, Produce Adaptation of Hot Book ‘The Perfect Mother’
Tri-Star has preemptively picked up the rights to The Perfect Mother, the debut novel of writer Aimee Molloy, with Kerry Washington attached to star as well as produce via her Simpson Street production company. Amy Pascal also will produce with her partner Rachel O’Connor. The Perfect Mother tells of a group of moms (and one dad) whose quaint lives are disrupted when a baby of one of the mothers is abducted from his crib.


Mike Tirico Replacing Bob Costas as NBC’s Olympics Primetime Host
The former ESPN host will take over starting with the Winter Olympics next year.

Soccer Star Hope Solo Inks TV Deal, Will Host Sports Medical Series ‘The Cutting Edge’
World Cup-winning soccer star Hope Solo has signed a deal with INvelop Entertainment to develop and produce unscripted TV content. The first project under the pact is a new season of the sports medical series The Cutting Edge, with Solo attached to host.

(rumor) Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski May Head to ESPN
NBA “scoop machine” Adrian Wojnarowski is close to leaving Yahoo and signing with ESPN, according to Deadspin. Citing “multiple sources,” Deadspin reports that Wojnarowski will land at ESPN despite being in the middle of a four-year, $6 million dollar contract at Yahoo. Wojnarowski is among the most respect NBA reporters in the industry and breaks essentially every major offseason transaction.


‘Babylon Berlin’: How the German Series Could Change High-End TV
Is the world ready for Babylon Berlin? The German TV series, a crime drama set in pre-World War II Berlin, is crazily ambitious. With a reported budget of $45 million, the period epic, co-writen and directed by Tom Tykwer, Achim von Borries and Henk Handloegten, can lay claim to being the most expensive non-English language series ever made. If it works, it could change how Europe makes TV.

Sky 1 Gets More “Delicious,” Announces New Original Productions
Sky has set two new Sky Original Productions for its flagship channel Sky 1 for broadcast in 2017. “Delicious” will return for a second season, with stars Dawn French and Emilia Fox both set to return alongside writer Dan Sefton and director Clare Kilner. The drama, about food, love and infidelity, saw French in a rare dramatic role and proved a ratings winner for Sky.

Sky has also commissioned new action comedy “Bounty Hunters,” starring comedian and actor Jack Whitehall and Rosie Perez. Written by Whitehall and Freddy Syborn, “Bounty Hunters” will be directed by Will Sinclair. “Bounty Hunters” sees Whitehall’s posh, uptight British character attempting to sort out his family’s struggling antiques business when he accidentally buys a blood antiquity looted from the war-torn Middle East, setting off a chain of events that brings him into contact with a tough New York bounty hunter (Perez). It is produced by Pippa Brown and executive produced by Ben Cavey for Cave Bear Productions.


Rita Ferro Named Disney-ABC Ad Sales President
Using her promotion to create a portfolio-wide ad sales division, the TV Group also elevated Laura Nathanson, Debra O’Connell and Debbie Richman. The longtime Disney exec will oversee all ad sales functions and ad revenue-generating strategies for all of the company’s domestic entertainment, news, kids, digital and radio businesses. She will report to Bruce Rosenblum, newly appointed president of business operations.

MTV’s Mina Lefevre Departs to Lead Development at Facebook
She will report to Ricky Van Veen, who joined the social network from CollegeHumor last year. In December, Van Veen revealed that Facebook would begin buying original scripted and unscripted programming in an effort to seed its newly launched video tab. …Her likely successor is said to be Maggie Malina, who currently serves as executive vp and head of scripted at VH1.

Disney Junior GM Nancy Kanter Named EVP Content, Disney Channels Worldwide
Disney Junior General Manager and EVP original programming Nancy Kanter is getting an expanded role. She has been named EVP Content and Creative Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide, while maintaining her role as GM, Disney Junior Worldwide.

Sam Semon Named EVP Biz Affairs At NBCUniversal Int’l Studios
Sam Semon has been tapped for the newly created post of EVP Business Affairs at NBCUniversal International Studios.

JR De Guzman Wins ‘Standup NBC’, Lands Holding Deal With NBCUniversalNBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs has named JR De Guzman winner of the 13th Annual Standup NBCnationwide search for comedians of diverse backgrounds. With the win, De Guzman has landed a one-year talent holding deal with NBCUniversal.

(q&a) Fox’s Top Casting Exec Reveals Her Actor Wish List, Impact of Trump’s Muslim Ban: "I’m Scared"
"I’ve been here 16 years and I’ve never not gotten a work visa when I’ve needed it," says Sharon Klein as she discusses TV’s diversity push, in-demand talent, competing with Netflix and the craziest thing she’s done to land a star.


THR: Viacom Unveils Focus on Flagship Brands, "Deeper Integration" of Paramount Pictures
Viacom unveiled a five-point plan. The five points are:

1. Put the full power of Viacom behind six flagship brands: BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount

2. Revitalize and elevate approach to content and talent

3. Deepen partnerships to drive traditional revenue

4. Make big moves in the digital world and physical world

5. Continue to optimize and energize the organization

THR: Spike TV to Become Paramount Network in Viacom Rebranding
Kevin Kay is expected to remain at the top of the network, with the change coming as early as 2018. Newly minted Viacom CEO Bob Bakish is said to be plotting a strategy for the company that’s similar to the ultra-synergistic Walt Disney Co. in creating branded entertainment that can be exploited across platforms.

Variety: Niche Cable Channels Fall Victim to Peak TVThese are tough times to be an underperforming cable channel. The fact that a company with the heft of NBCUniversal couldn’t strong-arm distributors into continuing to carry Esquire for a few cents a month per subscriber sounds the alarm that MVPDs are serious about pruning their channel rosters.

PaleyFest LA 2017 Schedule and Panelists Announced
‘Hollywood’s ultimate TV fan festival’ has released a star-studded list of programs and talent that are appearing this year.
– Friday, March 17: Opening Night Presentation: The Walking Dead (7:30 pm)
– Saturday, March 18: CW’s Heroes & Aliens: Featuring Arrow, The Flash,

Supergirl, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2:00 pm)
– Saturday, March 18: This Is Us (7:00 pm)
– Sunday, March 19: Grey’s Anatomy (2:00 pm)
– Tuesday, March 21: NCIS: Los Angeles (7:30 pm)
– Wednesday, March 22: An Evening of Laughs with James Corden & The Late Late Show (8:00 pm)
– Thursday, March 23: Orphan Black (7:30 pm)
– Friday, March 24: Bob’s Burgers (7:30 pm)
– Saturday, March 25: Pretty Little Liars (2:00 pm)
– Saturday, March 25: Westworld (7:00 pm)
– Sunday, March 26: Scandal (2:00 pm)
– Sunday, March 26: American Horror Story: Roanoke (7:00 pm)

THR: UTA Scraps Oscar Party in Favor of Refugee Rally
The agency is instead donating $250,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union and International Rescue Committee.