The Morning Update for Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Wednesday, March 15, 2017:


Hulu, A+E Studios Teaming for Afghanistan War Drama ‘One Million Steps’
is teaming with A+E Studios to develop war drama One Million Steps. Based on the book One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War by Bing West, former assistant secretary of defense and marine combat veteran, the drama explores the story of one distinguished platoon in the United States Marine Corps., infantry Battalion 3/5, which lost 50 percent of the platoon in the war in Afghanistan over a relentless seven-month odyssey. Robert Munic will pen the script for the drama, which should it move to pilot; Scott Waugh will direct. The duo exec produce alongside Braden Aftergood.

Russo Bros to Produce ‘Quantum and Woody’ TV Series After ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ The Russo Brothers will develop “Quantum and Woody,” about the world’s worst super-duo, with Valiant Entertainment. Anthony and Joe Russo will be executive producers alongside Mike Larocca and Valiant’s Dinesh Shamdasani. “Ant-Man” veterans Andrew Barrerand Gabriel Ferrariwill also serve as executive producers, in addition to scripting the pilot. Quantum and Woody are bickering, interracial, adopted brothers accidentally granted superpowers in a laboratory explosion while investigating the death of their father.

‘SNL’: ‘Weekend Update’ Nabs Four-Week Primetime Run
Saturday Night Live’s
Weekend Update is making the move to primetime. NBC has ordered four specials of the popular segment to air in primetime beginning in August. Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che will host, with other SNL castmembers expected to appear. The specials will air beginning Thursday, Aug. 10, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Gary Fleder Inks Deals With Freeform & ITV Studios, Hires Gabrielle NeimandDirector-producer Gary Fleder and his Mojo Films have signed a two-year first-look deal with Freeform. The pact comes on the heels of Fleder directing two pilots for the cable network that went to series, Guilt and The Bold Type. Additionally, Fleder has signed a second-look deal with ITV Studios where he is developing a TV series adaptation of the thriller novel In the Blood with writers Adam Targum and Chris Silber. Fleder also is beefing up Mojo’s executive ranks with the hire of Gabrielle Neimand as Head of Content, TV/Digital.

(animated) Disney XD’s ‘Big Hero 6: The Series’ Gets Season 2 Order Ahead of PremiereThe animated show is set to debut in the fall.

(animated) Disney Junior Renews ‘Mickey and the Roadster Racers’ & ‘The Lion Guard’Two of Disney Junior‘s hit animated series have been renewed for additional seasons. Fans can now look forward to a Season 2 of Mickey and the Roadster Racers, as well as a third season of The Lion Guard.


J. August Richards Joins ‘The Gospel Of Kevin’ ABC Pilot, Startup Comedy Adds Hillary Anne Matthews
J. August Richards
(Notorious) has booked a series regular role opposite Jason Ritter in ABC‘s The Gospel of Kevin, an hourlong drama pilot from veteran showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters and ABC Studios. Newcomer Hillary Anne Matthews has landed a series regular role opposite Zach Braff in ABC’s untitled single-camera startup comedy pilot.

‘Unit Zero’: Parvesh Cheena & Ayden Mayeri Join ABC Dramedy Pilot; ‘The Crossing’ Adds TwoParvesh Cheena (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Goldbergs) and Ayden Mayeri (New Girl) have joined the series-regular cast of ABC pilot Unit Zero, an action dramedy starring Toni Collette from the Black-ish duo of exec producer Kenya Barris and supervising producer Lindsey Shockley.

Jim Caviezel Returning to CBS for Navy SEALs DramaThe role brings him back after a five-season stint on ‘Person of Interest.’

Jessica Paré Cast In CBS’ Navy SEAL Drama PilotFormer Mad Men star Jessica Paré is set for a key series regular role opposite Jim Caviezel in CBS untitled Navy SEAL drama pilot.

‘Wisdom Of The Crowd’: Natalia Tena & Jake Matthews Join CBS Drama PilotNatalia Tena (Game of Thrones) and Jake Matthews (Bosch) have booked series regular roles opposite Jeremy Piven on Wisdom of the Crowd, CBSdrama pilot from Ted Humphrey and Keshet Studios.

Jane Lynch to Star in NBC Comedy ‘Relatively Happy’The casting extends the ‘Glee’ Emmy winner’s relationship with the network beyond ‘Hollywood Game Night.’

‘Spaced Out’: Donald Faison & Ken Kirby Cast In NBC Comedy PilotScrubs alum Donald Faison and Ken Kirby have booked series regular roles in NBC’s space-travel comedy pilot Spaced Out, from the Undateable duo of creator/executive producer Adam Sztykiel and executive producer Bill Lawrence.

Christina Ochoa To Star In The CW Drama Pilot ‘Valor’Christina Ochoa (Animal Kingdom) is set as the female lead opposite Matt Barr in Valor, the CW’s serialized military drama/conspiracy thriller pilot.


‘The Matrix’ Reboot in the Works at Warner Bros.Sources tell THR that Warner Bros. is in the early stages of developing a relaunch of The Matrix, with Zak Penn in talks to write a treatment. Sources say there is potential interest in Michael B. Jordan to star, but much must be done before the project is ready to go. At this point, the Wachowski siblings, who wrote and directed the original and its two sequels, are not involved and the nature of their potential engagement with a new version has not been determined.

Netflix Completing Orson Welles Film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’
has acquired global rights to Orson Welles’ unfinished final film, “The Other Side of the Wind” and will finance the completion of the movie.


(sched) Dave Chappelle Netflix Specials Get Trailer, Release DateTwo specials from the comic’s private vault will begin streaming March 21. The two hourlong specials, filmed in Austin in 2015 and Los Angeles in 2016, respectively, are part of the comic’s three-special deal with Netflix which includes a third, yet-to-be-filmed special for the streamer.


Leah Remini’s Scientology Exposé Gets Season 2 at A&E
Leah Remini
is ramping up her effort to blow the whistle on stories of abuse, misconduct and retribution — locking in a renewal deal for an expanded second season for her A&E exposé, Scientology and the Aftermath.

GSN Renews ‘Winsanity’ & ‘Divided’; Greenlights New Emoji Game Show
has announced Season 2 renewals for its hit series Winsanity and Divided and the greenlight of new Emoji-focused game show Emogenius as part of its 2017 upfront slate. The network also has four projects in development, including Blast Your Past, executive produced by Andy Cohen, in which celebrities poke fun at their lives before they were famous.

Telemundo Orders Bioseries About Nicky Jam, José JoséFirst is “El Ganador” is a biographical series about the life of award-wining Nicky Jam, a singer-songwriter who has become a worldwide music phenomenon. Then there’s “Nace un Ídolo,” the serialized biography based on the real-life story of José Sosa Ortiz, better known as José José, a Mexican musical icon with an international fanbase in the millions.


US SVOD launch for Serbian dramaUS not for profit broadcaster MHZ Networks has released The Scent of Rain in the Balkans on its streaming service MHz Choice in a move it claims marks the first time a Serbian TV series has bowed in the US.The show is a dramatisation of Gordana Kuić’s novel and was directed by Serbian actor and director Ljubiša Samardžić.The period drama follows a Jewish family in Serbia from 1914 through to 1945.

BBC3 hails footballers’ Taxi To Training

Online-only channel BBC3 in the UK is preparing an eight-part series in which a comedian interviews Premier League football players in his taxi. Taxi To Training is from UK prodco Goalhanger Films.


It’s Official: Scott Stuber to Run Netflix’s Film InitiativeThe exec was a courted as a possible head of Paramount’s film division.

Studio71 Hires Tapestry Films’ Michael Schreiber to Head New Scripted Unit
Michael Schreiber
, formerly president of Tapestry Films, will be joining digital-media firm Studio71 in the newly created position of president of scripted content. Schreiber will report to Studio71 CEO Reza Izad, focusing on developing and producing content for both internet and traditional media platforms.

Pam Marsden Named Head of Production at Sony Pictures Animation
Pam Marsden
has been promoted from to head of production for Sony Pictures Animation, the studio announced Tuesday.


Emmy Awards: TV Academy Announces Dates for Voting, NominationsThe entry process for the annual awards starts on March 20th, with a deadline of May 1. The two-week window for online voting for nominations begins on June 12 and ends on June 26.


Variety: TV Gets Woke: How Scripted Series Are Confronting Social Issues Like Never BeforeAcross broadcast TV, programmers are confronting hot-button issues with an intensity not seen in decades — from “event” limited series such as ABC’s “When We Rise” to comedies such as NBC’s “The Carmichael Show” and CBS’ “Superior Donuts.” The new wave of “woke” broadcast shows is a response to the political and cultural moment, but also to long-simmering changes in the TV business.

Deadline: WGA Wants Producers To Address Pay “Inequities” For Writing TeamsWhenever you see TV writing credits in which two names are separated by an ampersand, it means they’re working as a team. In many cases, it also means they’re each working for half the guild minimum. That 2-for-1 deal is one of the WGA‘s major bones of contention in its ongoing negotiations for a new film and TV contract.

(analyst) WSJ: U.S. Digital Ad Market to Grow 16% This Year, Led by Facebook and GoogleTotal digital ad spending in the U.S. will increase 16% this year to $83 billion, led by Google’s continued dominance of the search ad market and Facebook’s growing share of display and mobile ads, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. Advertisers are attracted to Facebook’s growth in both usage and engagement, particularly as the social media giant promotes new types of video content to encourage users to spend more time on Facebook, eMarketer contends.