The Morning Update for Thursday, March 16, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Thursday, March 16, 2017:


‘Bates Motel’ Duo Reteam for NBC Drama ‘Long Distance’
Freddie Highmore
and Kerry Ehrin are teaming with Wolf Films alum Danielle Gelber to develop character drama Long Distance. Written by Ehrin, Long Distance is an hourlong project that chronicles one couple’s unexpected, intercontinental relationship. Despite time-zone challenges, FOMO social media deciphering and troublesome autocorrecting, the show explores dating, the internet, how we communicate and what love and romance really mean in our modern world. The drama hails from Universal Television and is Gelber’s first under her new overall deal with the studio.

Comedy Central Orders Siblings Comedy Pilot From ‘Saturday Night Live’ Team
Comedy Central
has given a pilot order to a project from Saturday Night Live co-head writers Chris Kelly, who will direct, and Sarah Schneider. The two executive produce with SNL boss Lorne Michaels and Andrew Singer via Michaels’ Broadway Video. Written by Kelly and Schneider, the untitled comedy features two struggling siblings who are forced to reevaluate their lives when their much younger 12-year-old brother becomes instantly famous without trying.

ITV Orders ‘The Widow’ From ‘The Missing’ Writers, ‘Fleabag’ ProducersBritish screenwriters Harry and Jack Williams, better known as the duo behind BBC/Starz drama The Missing, are heading back to ITV. The U.K. network’s head of drama Polly Hill has commissioned The Widow, a new eight-part drama from the brothers. The Widow follows a woman who has cut herself off from her previous life, but is pulled back and forced to seek the truth about what happened to the man she loved while he worked in Africa.

Fox Pushes Neal Baer Medical Drama ‘The Beast’ Off-CycleThe pilot has experienced trouble casting and will be re-evaluated after pilot season concludes, becoming the third drama delayed this season and second at Fox.

Noah Hawley’s Marvel Drama ‘Legion’ Renewed for Second Season at FXThe ‘X-Men’-themed series starring Dan Stevens will return in 2018.

Pete Holmes Comedy ‘Crashing’ Renewed for Season 2 at HBOThe stand-up comedian created and stars in the half-hour, which also counts Judd Apatow as an exec producer.

‘The Good Fight’ Renewed for Season 2 at CBS All AccessThe Christine Baranski-led drama will return in early 2018.

Fox’s ‘Star’ Replacing Showrunner for Second Time
Chuck Pratt
will not return for the previously announced second season of the Lee Daniels music drama, with a search for a third showrunner under way. Pratt replaced original showrunner Charles Murray, who exited the freshman drama in September.


JoAnna Garcia Swisher Joins ABC Drama ‘Gospel of Kevin’The ‘Once Upon a Time’ alum will play the sister of Jason Ritter’s character.

John Larroquette To Star In ‘Me, Myself & I’ CBS Comedy PilotFive-time Emmy winner John Larroquette (TNT’s The Librarians) is returning to his network comedy roots with a starring role opposite Bobby Moynihan in CBS single-camera comedy pilot Me, Myself & I.

Sharon Leal To Topline CBS’ Jenny Lumet Drama Pilot; Sheaun McKinney Co-StarsSharon Leal (Supergirl) will lead the cast of CBS untitled Jenny Lumet drama pilot. Also cast as a male lead in the project is Vice Principals Sheaun McKinney.

Monica Potter To Co-Star In ‘Wisdom Of The Crowd’ CBS Drama PilotParenthood alumna Monica Potter is set to co-star opposite Jeremy Piven on Wisdom of the Crowd, CBS’ drama pilot from former The Good Wife writer-executive producer Ted Humphrey and Keshet Studios.

Eva Longoria to Star in Fox Comedy Pilot ‘Type-A’The casting extends her relationship with the network and producers 20th Century Fox Television.

Ken Marino Among Four Cast In Fox Comedy Pilot ‘Type A’
Ken Marino
is set for a lead role opposite Eva Longoria in Fox’s single-camera workplace comedy pilot from the Life In Pieces duo of executive producer Jason Winer and writer-producer Lesley Wake-Webster. Also set as regulars in the project are Kyle Bornheimer, Steve Harris and Andy Richter.

Christine Lahti Replaces Rita Wilson In Fox University Drama PilotEmmy winner Christine Lahti is set to co-star opposite Archie Panjabi and Austin Stowell in Fox‘s untitled university drama pilot (formerly known as Controversy), written by Sheldon Turner. Lahti is a late addition to the pilot, replacing Rita Wilson who was originally cast in the role. Wilson’s exit came down to scheduling conflicts as she was not available for key production dates and could not attend the table read.

Allen Maldonado To Co-Star In Tracy Morgan Comedy For TBSAllen Maldonado (Black-ish) is set to co-star opposite Tracy Morgan in Morgan’s straight-to-series comedy at TBS.

Jenny Wade Joins ‘Redliners’ NBC Drama Pilot; Amy Hill In ABC’s Rob Riggle ComedyJenny Wade is set as a series regular opposite Hannah Ware and Alan Powell in Redliners, NBC’s drama pilot based on short stories by Charlaine Harris. Amy Hill has been cast as a series regular opposite Rob Riggle in ABC’s multi-camera, single-dad comedy written by Dannah Phirman & Danielle Schneider.

Eric Winter Joins ‘Las Reinas’ ABC Drama Pilot; Nikki M. James In Warren Leight-Paul Haggis NBC DramaWitches of East End alum Eric Winter has signed on a series regular in Las Reinas, ABC’s drama pilot from feature writer Dean Georgaris, ABC Studios and the Mark Gordon Co. Nikki M. James is set as a series regular in NBC’s untitled medical drama pilot from Law & Order veteran Warren Leight, Paul Haggis and Sony TV.


James Corden’s ‘Drop the Mic’ TBS Series Sets Hosts, Premiere Date
James Corden’s
Drop the Mic series is ramping up for its debut. Method Man and Hailey Baldwin are set to host the forthcoming TBS project based on the popular Late Late Show segment. That the celebrity rap battle competition will premiere on Tuesday, May 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the Turner network. Drop the Mic will pit four stars from the worlds of entertainment, music, sports and pop culture against one another in a rap battle royale. The studio audience will then vote on the winner.


Mediapro, DirecTV prep soccer dramaSpanish channels operator and production group Mediapro has linked up with DirecTV’s Latin American division to develop a scripted series about the murder of a football club’s president. El Fútbol No Es Así is based the novel of the same name by author Pedro Torrens and Javier Tebas, president of the La Liga football league in Spain.


Chris Hardwick Forms Production Company, Signs AMC Studios Deal
Chris Hardwick
is launching a new production company, Fish Ladder, with a first-look deal at AMC Studios. The company, which will initially focus on developing scripted and unscripted programming for AMC Networks’ family of channels — including AMC, IFC, SundanceTV, and BBC America — already has several projects in the works. In addition, former Universal Television executive Mike Clements has been hired to serve as president of Fish Ladder.

Maggie Malina Officially Promoted To Head Of Scripted For MTV & VH1As expected, Maggie Malina, SVP and head of scripted at VH1, is expanding her duties to also oversee scripted programming for MTV.

Jay Levine Upped To EVP Of Warner Bros Digital NetworksWarner Bros Digital Networks Group has a new No. 2. Jay Levine has been promoted to EVP of the unit that was launched in June to create and build OTT services, produce digital native content, grow Warner Bros’ direct-to-consumer capabilities and build a digital-first team at the studio.


Variety: Trump Budget Cuts Would ‘Devastate’ Public Broadcasting, CPB President SaysThe president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, one of the entities on the chopping block in President Trump’s proposed budget, said that the elimination of funding “begins the collapse of the public media system itself and the end of this essential national service.”