The Morning Update for Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Tuesday, February 14, 2017:


Archie Comics Signs Development Deal with Warner Bros. TV
The pact follows the success of the CW’s ‘Riverdale’ and could see more of Archie’s pals and gals heading to the small screen.

TV Pilot Season 2017: By the NumbersThis pilot season, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW collectively ordered 73 dramas and comedies (including straight-to-series orders). That’s down considerably from last year’s tally of 88 and a far cry from the whopping 98 they picked up just four years ago.

‘Modern Family’ Co-Creator Steve Levitan to Direct Fox Comedy Pilot ‘LA>Vegas’
“Modern Family” co-creator Steve Levitan will direct the pilot for Fox’s comedy “LA>Vegas.” Levitan will also serve as executive producer on the project.

‘Lucifer’ Renewed for Season 3 at Fox
It joins ‘Empire’ and ‘The Simpsons’ in getting the nod for the 2017-18 season.

(opinion) Cancel Bear vs. The CW, week 21: ‘Riverdale’ makes a move up to likely renewal
“Riverdale” has shown more consistency in its early weeks than either “No Tomorrow” or “Frequency” did in the fall. That’s a big reason — but not the only one — the Bear is moving it up to a likely renewal. Chief among the other reasons is that “Riverdale” counts among its executive producers Greg Berlanti, whose company currently makes literally half the network’s schedule.

(opinion) Cancel Bear vs. ABC, week 21: ‘Speechless’ will be back next season
“Speechless” premiered to a 2.0 rating in adults 18-49 in September. Its season average is only 16 percent below that, a ratio that’s better than all but a handful of new series so far this season. It’s only gone below 1.5 once all season. “Speechless” will definitely be back next season as part of ABC’s strong comedy brand.

(review) THR: ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’
Ryan Murphy’s latest FX anthology, ‘Feud: Bette and Joan,’ will thrust stars Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon into awards conversations for the next year. Doesn’t have ‘O.J.’ depth, but it’s a lot of fun.


Jason Biggs, Natalie Morales Book Leads in Pair of ABC Comedy Pilots
‘Orange Is the New Black’ grad Jason Biggs will topline ‘Charlie Foxtrot,’ while ‘The Grinder’ alum Natalie Morales will star in ‘Losing It.’

‘S.W.A.T.’ Reboot at CBS to Star Bond Girl Stephanie Sigman
The “S.W.A.T.” reboot at CBS that already has A-list talent behind the camera has just cast Bond girl Stephanie Sigman in a starring role.

‘Mission Control’: Nestor Serrano Joins CBS NASA-Themed Drama Pilot
Nestor Serrano (The Last Ship) is set for a series regular role in CBS NASA-themed drama pilot Mission Control.

‘Distefano’: Annie Potts To Co-Star In CBS Comedy PilotVeteran Annie Potts has been tapped to co-star opposite Chris Distefano in Distefano, CBS comedy pilot from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays & Craig Thomas and Sony TV.

‘Behind Enemy Lines’: B.J. Britt Cast As A Lead In Fox Drama Pilot
Being Mary Jane‘s B.J. Britt has landed one of the leads in Fox’s Behind Enemy Lines, a drama pilot loosely based on the 2001 movie.

‘Sons of Anarchy’ Spinoff Taps Edward James Olmos to Star
FX’s ‘Mayans’ hails from showrunner Kurt Sutter.

CBS’ ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Adds Three to Starfleet
Terry Serpico, Maulik Pancholy and Sam Vartholomeos have all boarded the reboot.

Gina Gershon Joins Brooklyn Nine-Nine for ‘Triangular’ Season 4 Arc
Gina Gershon has booked a multi-episode arc on Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine.


‘A Star Is Born’ Among 22 Films Getting California Tax Credits
Based on data provided with each application, the selected projects (14 from non-independent production companies/studios, eight from independent production companies) are on track to spend a total of $800 million in-state, including $300 million in qualified wages to more than 4,000 crew and castmembers. The next application period for California’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0, running from Feb. 10-17, is currently underway for television projects.


Apple Has No Interest in Buying a Studio, Content Chief Eddy Cue Says
Apple has decided to enter the original content game with a “Shark Tank”-style reality show, “Planet of the Apps,” which will stream on its Apple Music service. But that doesn’t mean it’s preparing to splash its more than $20 billion in cash on a studio. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president for internet software and services, told Recode’s Peter Kafka at the Code Media conference that the tech behemoth isn’t interested in acquiring an existing studio or production company, because it doesn’t want to create the same type of programming they already produce for other outlets.

Showtime Hits 1.5 Million Streaming Subscribers, CBS All Access Nears Same Mark
Showtime’s internet-only subscriber base has climbed to 1.5 million, while CBS All Access — the broadcaster’s live and on-demand paid streaming service — is nearing the same number of subs, according to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. Moonves revealed the numbers in a session last Friday at UCLA Anderson’s Pulse Entertainment, Sports & Technology Conference.

Verizon, AwesomenessTV Fold Premium-Content Venture, Samie Kim Falvey Out
Verizon and AwesomenessTV have decided to not move forward with the premium-content service they were developing, and with the move Samie Kim Falvey — the TV exec they had hired to oversee the venture — is leaving.

Disney Cuts Ties With YouTube Star PewDiePie Over Anti-Semitic Posts
Felix Kjellberg, a 27-year-old Swede whose YouTube antics secured him multimillion-dollar deals with YouTube and Disney, posted a Jan. 11 video that included two men laughing as they held a banner that read “Death to all Jews." He made a total of nine other videos that made anti-Semitic comments or used Nazi imagery, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the news.

YouTube joins Disney in taking action against PewDiePie
YouTube has cancelled YouTube personality PewDiePie’s scripted series, Scare PewDiePie, after anti-Semitic videos were published on his personal channel.

YouTube Orders First Original Kids’ Programming for Red Subscription Service
YouTube is making its first investments into children’s programming: The video giant has greenlit four series from top creators on the platform that will launch this spring and summer, available to subscribers of YouTube Red.


Jimmy Kimmel Unveils ‘Bachelorette’s Very First Black Lead
ABC late-night star Jimmy Kimmel announced Rachel Lindsay, the 31-year-old lawyer currently competing in The Bachelor, has been cast as the lead of the next Bachelorette.

Josh Elliott Leaves CBS News After Sign-Off Controversy
At the root of the separation, according to two people familiar with the situation, was a sign-off by Josh Elliott late last week during his CBSN broadcast. The trouble? Elliott’s maneuver appears not to have been coordinated with CBS News executives.

Bill Simmons Preps Next HBO Project: An Andre the Giant Doc
As part of Simmons’ lucrative deal with the premium cable channel, he’ll produce an Andre the Giant documentary with the WWE and HBO Sports.

Richard Besser Exiting ABC News As Chief Health And Medical Editor
Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor, is leaving to become president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Lebanon’s Abbout Prods. to Shoot First Arab Zombie TV Series
Lebanese producer Georges Schouair’s Abbout Prods. is set to shoot groundbreaking skein “Ghoul,” touted as the first zombie TV series out of the Arab world. The eight-episode skein, in which eight strangers from different corners of the Middle East face the outbreak of a zombie plague, has been developed by Abbout in tandem with the Beirut-based Cinemoz VOD platform, one of the fastest-growing VOD platforms in the Arab world. The plan is for “Ghoul” to be one of its signature original shows.


Disneyland Parking Structure Fire Leaves 7 With Smoke Inhalation, Destroys Several Cars
A fire broke out at Disneyland’s main parking structure late Monday afternoon, with at least seven people treated for smoke inhalation. The fire on the second floor of the massive Mickey and Friends structure damaged or destroyed nine vehicles, authorities said. The structure was closed, but the park remained open.


THR: Two Casting Workshop Firms Pull Classes After L.A. City Attorney Files Charges
LA Film and Television Workshops — which was not named or charged by the City Attorney last week — has taken down its website, and its owner Tracy Esposito sent out an e-mail blast on Sunday detailing how to “Up Level Your Career WITHOUT Workshops.” Meanwhile, the Actor’s Key, one of the most prominent of the firms charged last Thursday, now lists all of the workshop classes on its website through March 23 as “currently full.”

Deadline: Studios & Networks Rebuff DGA Diversity Push For “Rooney Rule”
While signatory film and TV companies talk a good game about increasing the opportunities for minorities and women, they have "categorically rejected" continuing proposals by the DGA to embrace a program similar to one adopted by the National Football League that’s meant to encourage teams to consider candidates of color more seriously in the coaching ranks. Implemented in 2003, the NFL’s so-called “Rooney Rule” requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coach and other senior jobs.

Verge: Movie execs hired a fake news creator to promote A Cure for Wellness
Entertainment studio Regency Enterprises hired a fake news creator to generate viral buzz for its new film A Cure for Wellness. According to BuzzFeed, the studio launched five local fake news sites to host banner ads for the film, while also adding references to the movie into hoaxes about President Trump and vaccinations. The stunt, in effect, became a misinformation campaign that potentially deceived audiences that consumed the hoaxes online.

Please let me know if there are any topics you’d like additional coverage on.

Best regards,

Stan Pham

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