The Morning Update for Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Hi all, apologies for the length today (lots of casting news), but here’s your Morning Update for Wednesday, February 15, 2017:


Amazon Picks Up Bryan Cranston-Ron Moore Anthology Series

Amazon, already home to Bryan Cranston’s Sneaky Pete, has acquired an anthology series exec produced by the Breaking Bad alum. From Sony Television and British broadcast Channel 4, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams is based on the award-winning short stories by the sci-fi author. Each episode is set to be a standalone segment, adapted and modernized for global audiences by British and American writers. Cranston will exec produce and appear in the 10-part drama, with Outlander’s Ron Moore and Michael Dinner writing and exec producing.

Sundance Channel Developing Limited Series Based on Book ‘Intuition’
Sundance Channel is developing a limited series from writer Anna Ziegler based on the book “Intuition.” “Intuition” is told through a female scientist’s point of view and set in a struggling East Coast lab. The project is described as a modern examination of gender inequality in the male dominated field of scientific research. The limited series would follow a scandal as it unfolds around the lead character, after her colleague claims he’s discovered the cure for cancer, setting off rivalries, jealousy and accusations of fraud. Ziegler will pen the series serve as executive producer alongside Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry of the Firm.

Pilot Season 2017: Meet the Overachievers
Aaron Kaplan
leads the pack with six — SIX! — pilots in contention this season.

‘Superstore’ Renewed for Season 3 at NBCThe comedy will return for a 22-episode third season.

(review) Variety: ‘The Good Fight’ on CBS All AccessThe first two episodes are generally efficient and they display a familiar dry wit, and the cast is uniformly excellent. But “The Good Fight” has to incorporate a host of supporting characters and cases of the week into the backstories of its multiple leads, and the results are occasionally a bit bumpy and scattered. All in all, however, it’s a promising endeavor.


‘Deception’: Amaury Nolasco & Lenora Crichlow Join ABC Pilot From Berlanti Prods.
Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break) andLenora Crichlow(Being Human) are set as series regulars opposite Jack Cutmore-Scott in ABC pilotDeception, an FBI crime drama procedural from Chuck co-creator Chris Fedak.

‘Jalen Vs. Everybody’: ABC’s Jalen Rose Comedy Pilot Adds Four To Cast
Grandfathered alumna Kelly Jenrette, Jessica McKenna (Party Over Here), Rich Sommer (Mad Men) and Laysla de Oliveira (Gothica) have been cast opposite Jalen Rose inABC‘s single-camera comedy pilot Jalen vs. Everybody, from Nahnatchka Khan.

‘Good Girls Revolt’ Breakout Genevieve Angelson to Star in NBC Comedy ‘Happy Peppers’
The project hails from ‘Will and Grace’ co-creator Max Mutchnick.

Matthew Lillard to Co-Star in NBC Soap ‘Good Girls’
He’ll play the husband to Kathleen Rose Perkins.

‘Ghosted’ Fox Pilot Casts Edi Patterson

Vice Principals’Edi Patterson is set for a key role opposite Craig Robinson and Adam Scott in Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot Ghosted from Tom Gormican.

Pretty Little Liars’ Ian Harding Joins Fox’s Thin Ice Comedy Pilot
Ian Harding has landed a series-regular role in the Fox comedy pilot Thin Ice.

‘Brothered Up’ CBS Comedy Pilot: Adhir Kalyan To Star, James Burrows To Direct
Rules of Engagement alum Adhir Kalyan is returning toCBS as one of two leads inBrothered Up, the network’s multi-camera buddy cop comedy from CBS TV Studios. Written and executive produced by Mark Gross, sitcom veteran James Burrows is set to direct and executive produce.

‘Distefano’: Diane Guerrero To Star In CBS Comedy Pilot From ‘HIMYM’ CreatorsOrange Is the New Black alumna Diane Guerrero is set as the female lead opposite Chris Distefano inDistefano, CBS comedy pilot from Carter Bays & Craig Thomas and Sony TV.

‘Salvation’: Ian Anthony Dale Joins CBS Summer Drama Series
Murder In The First alum Ian Anthony Dale has signed on to CBS summer suspense drama seriesSalvation, from Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout and CBS Television Studios.

‘Dynasty’: Sam Adegoke To Star In The CW Reboot
Sam Adegoke is set as a lead opposite Natalie Kelley and Elizabeth Gillies in The CW‘s Dynastypilot, a reboot of the iconic 1980s primetime soap.

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger: Gloria Reuben, Andrea Roth Join Freeform Drama
Gloria Reuben and Andrea Roth will play parents to the titular “Cloak” and “Dagger” in Freeform’s first Marvel series. Additionally, J.D. Evermore has been cast as Detective Connors; Carl Lundstedt will play Liam, Tandy’s partner in crime/boyfriend; and James Saito is Dr. Bernard Sanjo, an emotional cornerstone in Tyrone’s life.

‘Sons of Anarchy’ Spinoff Casts Another Key Member
Clayton Cardenas becomes the second cast member in Kurt Sutter’s ‘Mayans MC.’

‘The Last Tycoon’: Eion Bailey Set To Recur On Amazon Drama Series
Once Upon A Time‘s Eion Bailey is set to recur on Amazon’s The Last Tycoon, opposite stars Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, Lily Collins and Rosemarie DeWitt.

‘Altered Carbon’ Casts Tamara Taylor; Brittany S. Hall Joins ‘Ballers’
Bones’ alum Tamara Taylor has booked a recurring role opposite James Purefoy onAltered Carbon, Netflix’s futuristic drama series conceived, written and executive produced by Laeta Kalogridis. Based on Richard Morgan’s award-winning 2002 cyberpunk sci-fi novel, Altered Carbon, from Skydance Television, it is set in the 25th century when the human mind has been digitized and the soul is transferable from one body to the next.

Satisfaction alumna Brittany S. Hall is set for a recurring role on the third season of HBO’s comedy series Ballers.

‘Fuller House’: Adam Hagenbuch Upped To Regular For Season 3
Adam Hagenbuch (Switched At Birth), who recurred in Season 2 of Netflix’sFuller House, has been promoted to series regular for Season 3.


Disney’s Live-Action ‘Mulan’ Finds Director
Niki Caro will helm the film, while ‘Crouching Tiger’ producer Bill Kong is joining as executive producer.

Universal Takes Minority Stake in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin
Studio chairman Jeff Shell will join the board of Spielberg’s company.


Milo Ventimiglia’s ‘Relationship Status’ Gets Two More Seasons on Verizon’s Go90
“Relationship Status,” the millennial social-media drama starring and executive produced by Milo Ventimiglia, is returning for two more seasons on Verizon’s Go90 mobile video service. The show was created by Céline Geiger. As with the first run of the show, the ensemble dramedy will weave through the complexities of relationships while exploring the intertwining lives and connections of dating in the digital age.

Facebook Goes Native on TV: Free Video Apps Coming for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Devices
Facebook announced that the forthcoming video apps for TV will roll out “soon” to app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TVs. At the same time, Facebook is currently looking to acquire or fund original programming — including scripted and unscripted formats — from media companies and individual digital stars. That longer-form content would presumably be prominently featured in the TV apps.

Maker Studios Braces for More Layoffs as Disney Plans to Shrink Creator Network
The Disney-owned digital firm is expected to cut the size of its creator network to around 300 top creators.


ABC News, People Magazine Team Up for Primetime Series
ABC News and Time Inc.’s People are teaming up for a new limited primetime series titled “People Icons,” premiering Tuesday, March 7 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. The hour-long weekly program will be hosted by “Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer and is inspired by iconic People magazine covers that have made an impact on American culture.

BuzzFeed Developing True-Crime TV Series With NBCU’s Wilshire Studios
The docuseries will look at the unsolved death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers, who was set on fire in 2014.

‘Love & Money’: The Jackal Group Preps Unscripted Series Based On Book
The Jackal Group has acquired TV rights to Ann Margaret Carrozza‘s upcoming book Love & Money: Protecting Yourself from Angry Exes, Wacky Relatives, Con Artists and Inner Demons, and will adapt it into an unscripted series. TV personality Carrozza, a former New York State assemblywoman, will serve as producer and host. The series will pull from her book’s goal of demystifying legal and financial decisions that most people find intimidating — and often costly.


Benedict Cumberbatch To Star In, Exec Produce ‘The Child In Time’ For BBC, Masterpiece
Benedict Cumberbatch is reteaming with BBC One and Masterpiece for the adaptation of Ian McEwan’s award-winning 1987 novel The Child In Time. Cumberbatch will star in and executive produce the one-off 90-minute drama which is written by Stephen Butchard. The film will explore the dark territory of a marriage devastated by the loss of a child.

Canadian LGBT net buys The CollectionCanadian specialty net Out TV has acquiredThe Collection, Amazon and France Télévisions’ period fashion drama.The series was part-funded by BBC Worldwide, which sells it internationally and struck the Canadian deal.

Fudge Park Revs Up TV Slate With BBC Comedy ‘Ill Behaviour’ From ‘Peep Show’ Scribe Sam Bain
Fudge Park’s Iain Morris
and Damon Beesley are teaming with hot Brit writer Sam Bain for three-part BBC Comedy laffer Ill Behaviour. The story looks at how far one would go to help a friend. When Charlie is diagnosed with cancer, Charlie refuses the chemo in favor of a more natural, alternative form of healing. His oldest friends Joel and Tess fear he’s written his own suicide note so they decide to hold him hostage and administer the chemo themselves with the help of Nadia, an unstable, alcoholic oncologist.


Disney Taps Company-Wide Talent for TV "Pitch-a-Palooza"
As part of the Palooza, more than 300 pitches were heard by 21 executives across the company last fall. In January, 10 winners were announced; each was awarded $1,000 and the chance to have their idea move through the development process. "I want to celebrate the idea that everyone can contribute creatively and that everyone who loves what we do can have a voice in it," explains Disney-ABC TV Group president Ben Sherwood. "And knock on wood, there’s a hit television show that’s going to emerge from this."


NBC News Names Noah Oppenheim President, Deborah Turness Moves to International Role
The moves come as NBC takes a 25 percent stake in the European network Euronews.

Universal Promotes Megan Bendis to Exec VP, National Publicity
The exec has been at Universal since 1999.

Amasia Entertainment Launches TV Division; Tracy Mercer To Helm

Michael Helfant and Bradley Gallo’s Amasia Entertainment has launched a TV division with veteran film/TV exec Tracy Mercer at the helm. Mercer, who most recently served as a feature film and TV exec at Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment, will serve as SVP of the new division.

How Starz Chief Chris Albrecht Struck Gold With Overlooked Audiences
At the Code Media conference, Chris Albrecht said Starz has found success — including 1 million subscribers paying $8.99 a month for its standalone streaming service — by going after viewers competitors like HBO may have missed. “Instead of being everything for everyone, we’re targeting specific audiences who are underserved by the premium space,” he said. “Those include African-Americans and women, oddly enough.”


Deadline: Native American TV Writers Lab Accepting Applications
The LA Skins Fest, a Native American arts initiative that offers year round opportunities for emerging Native American actors, writers and directors, announced that they are accepting applications for their second Native American TV Writers Lab.

THR: The New Power of "Yes": Who Actually Has Greenlight Authority at the Movie Studios
Greenlight committees have become the norm, sometimes involving a handful of executives, sometimes more than a dozen. And with top executive changes at Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate in the past year, the question of who actually can give producers a coveted “yes” has become more of a mystery, causing widespread confusion and frustration. “You used to know who to appeal to at the studios,” adds Mark Johnson, “and now you’re not sure.”

Vox: 7 reasons Hollywood doesn’t make romantic comedies anymore
Big studios are less and less likely to take a chance on a simple, goofy story of two people falling in love. And that’s too bad. Some of the best films in history fall under the broad umbrella of “romantic comedy,” and the generic romantic subplots of today’s blockbusters give romance a bad rap in Hollywood. Who’s to blame? Here are seven possible culprits, ranked from most to least likely.

(tech) Verge: The Caavo streaming box is built on game-changing machine vision for TV
The Caavo TV box was announced yesterday in an live demo with The Verge’s own Lauren Goode and Walt Mossberg at Code Media — it’s not exactly a streaming box, but rather a universal control system for every other streaming box you might have. You can plug in an Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV stick, and your cable box, and then simply ask for content. The Caavo will figure out what device has that content, and then play it on your TV.