The Morning Update for Thursday, March 2, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, March 2, 2017:


Richard Madden Space Drama, Comedy From ‘Gilmore Girls’ Creator Among Amazon Pilot Slate
unveiled the latest projects that subscribers will be able to vote on, including the space drama Oasis starring Richard Madden and Hayley Joel Osment; The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino; and the dark comedy The Legend of Master Legend headlined by Winter’s Bone star John Hawkes. The other projects include the pot comedy Budding Prospects and the animated half-hour The New V.I.P.’s.

Gina Torres Closes Deal To Star & Produce Potential ‘Suits’ SpinoffFormer Suits co-star Gina Torres has closed a deal with the studio behind the hit USA legal drama series, Universal Cable Prods., to headline and produce a potential spinoff series centered on her Suits character, uber attorney and office style icon Jessica Pearson. The project will be shepherded by Suits creator/showrunner Aaron Korsh, whose deal is still being worked out. The new series, which is in very early stages of development, is based on an idea Torres brought to UCP.

‘UnREAL’ Star Shiri Appleby Signs Overall Deal With A+E StudiosUnder the pact, Shiri Appleby — via her Appletree Pictures banner — will create, develop and produce original programming for the A+E portfolio of networks (including A&E and Lifetime) and outside buyers. Additionally, she will serve as a brand ambassador for A+E Studios and Lifetime, representing the brands at events throughout the year.

‘Eyewitness’ Canceled at USA Network After One SeasonThe Adi Hasak procedural was picked up straight to series and starred Julianne Nicholson.


Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’ Taps Serinda Swan as Female LeadThe ‘Graceland’ and ‘Ballers’ actress will star opposite Anson Mount and Iwan Rheon in the straight-to-series drama.

Taye Diggs to Star in ABC’s ‘Doomsday’ DramaThe Broadway regular returns to the network after ‘Private Practice.’

Oliver Hudson to Star in ABC’s Emily Kapnek ComedyThe ‘Nashville’ alum will star opposite Jenna Fischer in the pilot ‘Splitting Up Together.’

Bobby Moynihan Cast in CBS Pilot, Signaling Potential ‘SNL’ ExitThe actor and comedian will depart the NBC late-night sketch show should CBS’ ‘Me, Myself and I’ move forward.

Fox’s Marvel Drama Enlists ‘The Goldbergs’ Favorite
Natalie Alyn Lind
has joined the cast of Matt Nix’s untitled project starring Stephen Moyer.

‘Ghosted’: Ally Walker To Star In Fox Comedy PilotSons of Anarchy alumna Ally Walker has booked the female lead in Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot Ghosted.

Casey Wilson to Star in NBC’s Tina Fey ComedyShe’ll play the sister to Busy Philipps’s character in ‘The Sackett Sisters.’

Kurt Sutter’s ‘Mayans MC’ Pilot Casts ‘American Crime’ Star Richard Cabral“American Crime” star Richard Cabral has been cast in the pilot for Kurt Sutter’s new project, “Mayans MC.”

Ana De La Reguera Joins Season 4 of ‘Power’ on Starz
Ana De La Reguera
has joined the cast of Starz’s hit series “Power.” The Mexican actress has been cast in a recurring role.

‘Casual’: Chace Crawford To Recur in Season 3 Of Hulu Comedy SeriesGossip Girl alum Chace Crawford has joined the Season 3 cast of Hulu comedy seriesCasual in a recurring role.


DreamWorks Pictures Makes Good On ‘Bad Cop, Bad Cop’ Spec With Fortune Feimster Attached To Star
DreamWorks Pictures
just picked up the spec screenplay Bad Cop, Bad Cop written by Fortune Feimster, Brian Jarvis and Jim Freeman, with Feimster attached to star. Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films is also in talks to produce as what is being billed as an R-rated action buddy comedy about two hapless cops who stumble on a case that exposes a conspiracy of corruption in their own precinct.


Comedy Central International Greenlights Short-Form Digital Shows
Viacom’s Comedy Central International
is expanding its programming, greenlighting five new short-form digital shows exclusively made for Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, the Comedy Central Play app and the Comedy Central U.K. website. The digital-only slate includes Bad Snappers and Totally Reported, which both recently debuted, and the upcoming Josh Investigates, Hotline Tings and Absolutely Fine.

Facebook Video Now Playing on Apple TVThe free Facebook app for Apple TV will let users watch videos from their friends and Pages they follow. It also will display recommended videos based on your interests, as well as top live videos that are trending on Facebook at any given time.


AMC Expands Chris Hardwick’s ‘Talking’ Franchise to Air Year-RoundThe hourlong talk show will air when ‘Walking Dead’ and its spinoff are on hiatus. Without the zombie franchise, hourlong episodes of Talking With Chris Hardwick will feature a single guest or cast and air Sundays at 11 p.m. The series will premiere April 9 at 11 p.m., a week after the season seven finale of The Walking Dead.

‘Flip or Flop’ to Receive 5 Spinoffs From HGTVThe “Flip or Flop” family will be expanding dramatically in the coming months. HGTV is planning a whopping five spinoffs of the popular reality show. The new shows will be situated in Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta, Texas and Las Vegas, and are slated to premiere this year and next.

El Rey takes on Man at Arms
El Rey Network
, the US channel founded by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, has ordered an unscripted series to be hosted by Sons of Anarchy’s Danny Trejo. Man at Arms will premiere in June and sees an expert roundtable of builders, historians and martial artists testing weapons to see how much destruction they can cause.

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Moves to VH1 From LogoThe shift comes after the restructuring of Viacom’s cable properties, including VH1 and Logo.

Netflix Preps Reality TV Push: Rivals "Should Be Scared Out of Their Minds"
aggressive push — which will ramp up considerably after the late 2016 hiring of director of alternative Brandon Riegg — comes as the unscripted community has seen profit margins squeezed and linear ratings decimated. By contrast, the streaming service promises a big appetite for programming (part of its $6 billion-plus content budget) along with a light touch on notes and a model that could prove significantly more producer-friendly than those offered by Amazon or the myriad traditional buyers.


Netflix to coproduce Euro drama trio
has boarded three high-profile European dramas as a coproducing partner, including the BBC’s forthcoming epic Troy: Fall of a City. Netflix has also confirmed it is on board BBC2’s Black Earth Rising, a thriller about the prosecution of international war crimes and the personal, legal and political turmoil it ignites. Finally, The Spy is from Canal+ and tells the true story of Israel’s most prominent spy, Eli Cohen, an Egyptian Jew who operated undercover in Syria at the start of the 1960s.Details were unveiled by Netflix at an event in Berlin, at which the streamer claimed to have committed more than US$1.75bn to European productions (licensed, original and coproductions) since 2012, with 90 originals in various stages of development.

Lat Am goes for gold with Newen dramaA broadcaster in Latin America has picked up an eight-part drama series from Newen Distribution, the sales arm of TF1-owned French production giant Newen. Ouro (8×52’) will air on pay TV platform DirecTV’s entertainment channel On DirecTV, which is available across Spanish-speaking Latin America. Ouro follows a 20-year-old geology student who travels to French Guyana for an internship but quickly becomes embroiled in the dangerous but potentially lucrative world of gold trafficking.

TF1 orders French version of Red Band Society
has ordered a local version of The Red Band Society, the Spain-originated medical drama that has previously travelled to Fox in the US. The French commercial broadcaster will run a six-part version of the show, which follows events inside a cancer ward in a kids hospital.

‘The Good Fight’ Picked Up by U.K.’s Channel 4‘The Good Wife’ spin-off will air on the network’s digital channel More4 this spring.


ABC News President: White House Access Must Be ‘Open, Transparent and Fair’

The president of ABC News says that the network will protest if the White House operates in a way that is not “open, transparent, and fair,” after a petition called on its staffers to refuse to take part in press briefings if media organizations are excluded.

‘Beauty and the Beast’: Josh Gad Plays Disney’s First-Ever Gay CharacterThe "nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie" is a dedication to the animated film’s late lyricist Howard Ashman.

(animated) Disney XD Renews ‘DuckTales’ Ahead Of Launch, Unveils First-Look VideoDisney XD has unveiled the first look at the upcoming DuckTales reboot, as well as announced that the animated series has been picked up for a second season ahead of its summer premiere.


Scott Stuber in Talks to Run Netflix Film Initiative
Scott Stuber
is in talks to run Netflix feature film production. Stuber has not closed a deal, and he also is said to have met recently with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish regarding a possible role running Paramount. However, sources believe he is more likely to choose Netflix as the streaming giant is offering him control of the film division, while prospective candidates for the Paramount job (including producer Michael De Luca and former Fox chief Jim Gianopulos) are nervous about some form of greenlight committee that would include Viacom’s Bakish and CFO Wade Davis.

TV Land Promotes Frank Tanki to General ManagerThe news was announced by TV Land, CMT and Spike (soon-to-be Paramount Network) president Kevin Kay.

Nickelodeon Promotes Shelly Sumpter Gillyard to Executive VP, Talent, Music, and Events
Nickelodeon Group
has upped Shelly Sumpter Gillyard to executive vice president, talent, music, and events. She was most recently senior VP of talent. In her new role, Sumpter Gillyard will oversee talent relations across all Nickelodeon brands for live TV events, music, and live-action programming, inclusive of casting for live-action and animation properties.

FYI’s Liz Fine Joins VH1 As SVP Original SeriesFYI VP Development Liz Fine has joined VH1 as SVP Original Series. Fine will oversee current unscripted programming and new projects that move out of development and into production for the network, reporting to Nina L. Diaz, Head of Unscripted for VH1 and MTV.

Keith Feldman Promoted to President of Fox Worldwide Home Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox
executive Keith Feldman has been promoted to President, Worldwide Home Entertainment.

MTV Names Amani Duncan Senior VP, Music
Amani Duncan
has been named senior vice president of music for Viacom’s MTV, and will work to develop music-industry relationships and well as music content for the popular cable netework and its associated media properties.

Producer Aaron Kaplan Teams With Fellow Top USC Alums To Launch ‘First Jobs’ Program For Cinematic Arts GraduatesLeading TV producer Aaron Kaplan (Life In Pieces, Santa Clarita Diet) is giving back to his alma mater, USC. Kaplan, President and CEO of Kapital Entertainment, has created First Jobs, a program which gives recent Cinematic Arts graduates their first paid entry-level jobs in the entertainment industry. Kaplan’s goal is for the initiative to be in full force by the end of next year, creating 50 new entry-level paid jobs a year for SCA graduates.

WGA West Unveils TV Writer Access Project HonoreesOn Wednesday, the Writers Guild of America West announced 11 honorees for its 2017 Writer Access Project, which recognizes a diverse group of comedy and drama television writers. The project, run by the WGA West’s diversity department, identifies talented writers, and makes samples of their work available to showrunners, producers, network and studio executives, agents and managers. Drama: Adrian A. Cruz, Rachel Feldman, Sharon Hoffman, Peter Hume, Donald Joh, Tonya Kong, Zak Shaikh, Mollie St. John, Ben St. John Comedy: Hilary Weisman Graham, Eddie Quintana


AdWeek: NBCUniversal Commits $1 Billion in Annual Ad Inventory to Data-Based, Non-Nielsen Guarantees
is taking the training wheels off its data platforms and committing $1 billion in ad inventory this year to transact with clients using data-based targeting and guarantees on non-Nielsen metrics. Under the new platform, an automotive company doing a new car launch could receive access to the most relevant audiences of potential car buyers across NBCUniversal’s portfolio, including broadcast, cable, digital and its partner companies like Vox Media, BuzzFeed, Snapchat and Apple News. The investment would be guaranteed to deliver against agreed-upon data metrics instead of the standard age and gender demos.

THR: Netflix’s ‘The Get Down’ Hit With Union Claim for Holding Actors Too Long
is demanding arbitration against the troubled Netflix show’s producer, Sony Pictures Television, alleging that actors were held under option contracts for too long. …In general, each season option cannot exceed 12 months, according to a union source. The union confirms that it filed a claim in December covering all actors on The Get Down for violation of the options and exclusivity provisions of the union’s television agreement.

Variety: Writers Feel Payday Crunch as TV Episode Orders ShrinkTV writers who are on the middle and lower rungs of the pay scale are feeling the pinch amid the shift to shorter episode orders as the rule, rather than the exception, for TV series. There’s a growing sentiment among writers that the TV compensation structure laid out in the WGA’s 300-plus-page Minimum Basic Agreement is rooted in a working environment — the traditional 22-episode, September-to-May television season — that is rapidly disappearing.

(video) TED: The data behind Hollywood’s sexismWhere are all the women and girls in film? Social scientist Stacy Smith analyzes how the media underrepresents and portrays women — and the potentially destructive effects those portrayals have on viewers. She shares hard data behind gender bias in Hollywood, where on-screen males outnumber females three to one (and behind-the-camera workers fare even worse.)