The Morning Update for Monday, March 27, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Monday, March 27, 2017:

SCRIPTED NEWS:

‘Private Eyes’: ION TV Acquires Drama Series Starring Jason Priestley
ION Television
has acquired U.S. rights for hit investigative drama series Private Eyes from Entertainment One. Under the pact, ION will become the exclusive U.S. home for current and future seasons of the series starring Jason Priestley. Private Eyes follows ex-pro hockey player Matt Shade (Priestley), who irrevocably changes his life when he decides to team up with fierce P.I. Angie Everett (Cindy Sampson) to form an unlikely investigative powerhouse. http://deadline.com/2017/03/private-eyes-ion-tv-acquires-investigative-drama-series-jason-priestley-1202052758/

(from Fri) Dave Erickson To Step Down As ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Showrunner, Inks Overall Deal With AMCFear The Walking Dead showrunner Dave Ericksonis stepping down at the end of Season 3. Erickson has signed a new multi-year overall deal with AMC. Under the pact, he’llremain as executive producer of Fear, and at the conclusion of Season 3, will shift his focus to developing new shows for AMC, and potentially other networks in the AMC Networks portfolio, including SundanceTV. http://deadline.com/2017/03/dave-erickson-step-down-fear-the-walking-dead-showrunner-overall-deal-amc-1202051490/

(from Fri) ‘Counterpart’ Exec Producer Amy Berg Departs After Season 1 Of Starz Series
Starz’s
upcoming drama series Counterpart is making a change in the executive ranks between the first and second 10-episode seasons of its two-season straight-to-series order. Amy Berg, who served as an executive producer on Season 1, has departed the series, which just wrapped shooting its first season in Los Angeles this week, in a mutual decision from all parties. http://deadline.com/2017/03/counterpart-executive-producer-amy-berg-departs-season-1-starz-1202050966/

‘Scandal’s’ 100th Episode to Explore Alternate TimelineTHR has a first look at the "What If?" episode as the cast uses the PaleyFest stage to preview what to expect. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/scandals-100th-episode-explore-alternate-timeline-988786

(sched) Marvel’s Inhumans IMAX debut date set
Marvel
is set to introduce the Royal Family of Inhumans in the biggest way possible – on the giant screen of IMAX cinemas. The first two episodes of the new series will premiere starting September 1st on IMAX screeens with the following 8 episodes airing on ABC this fall. http://thedisneyblog.com/2017/03/26/marvels-inhumans-imax-debut-date-set/

CASTING NEWS:

Adrien Brody Joins Season 4 Cast of ‘Peaky Blinders’The British gangster series is currently shooting in Liverpool. https://www.tvinsider.com/144916/adrien-brody-joins-season-4-cast-of-peaky-blinders/

(from Fri) Sharon Lawrence Joins Me, Myself & I CBS Pilot as Diner Boss in Year 2042Four-time Emmy nominee Sharon Lawrence will play opposite five-time Emmy winner John Larroquette in CBS’ ambitious Me, Myself & I comedy pilot. http://tvline.com/2017/03/24/sharon-lawrence-me-myself-i-cbs-comedy-pilot/

(from Fri) This Is Us’ Ryan Michelle Bathe Joins Fox’s Linda From HR Pilot in RecastThis Is Us‘ Ryan Michelle Bathe has replaced ER alum Angel Laketa Moore in Graham’s Fox sitcom pilot Linda From HR. http://tvline.com/2017/03/24/ryan-michelle-bathe-linda-from-hr-fox-pilot-recast-angel-laketa-moore/

(from Fri) Amy Adams, Gillian Flynn HBO Series ‘Sharp Objects’ Adds Taylor John Smith to Cast
HBO’s
Gillian Flynn adaptation “Sharp Objects” has added Taylor John Smith to the cast. http://www.thewrap.com/amy-adams-gillian-flynn-hbo-series-sharp-objects-adds-taylor-john-smith-to-cast/

(from Frii) Leah Remini and Kevin James to Reunite on 2-Part Season Finale of ‘Kevin Can Wait’Kevin Jamesand Leah Remini is set to reunite for the two-part season finale of “Kevin Can Wait,” James’ new CBS sitcom. http://www.thewrap.com/leah-remini-kevin-james-can-wait-king-queens-reunion/

(from Fri) ‘Waco’: John Leguizamo Cast In Event Series From Weinstein TVJohn Leguizamohas been cast opposite Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch in Waco, a six-part event series produced by Weinstein TV, set to air on Paramount Network in 2018. Production begins next month in Santa Fe, NM. Written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle and directed by John Erick Dowdle, Wacotells the story of the 51-day 1993 standoff between the FBI, ATF and David Koresh’s spiritual sect, The Branch Davidians, in Waco, Texas. http://deadline.com/2017/03/waco-john-leguizamo-cast-event-series-weinstein-tv-michael-shannon-taylor-kitsch-1202050555/

(from Fri) ‘El Chapo’: Univision-Netflix Drama Series Sets Lead & Premiere DateStage and screen actor Marco de la O (Tanto Amor) will play drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán on El Chapo, the original drama series now set to premiere Sunday, April 23 on Univision. The series, which marks the first co-production between Univision’s Story House Entertainment and Netflix, is currently in production and will air in three separate cycles. http://deadline.com/2017/03/el-chapo-univision-netflix-drama-series-casts-marco-de-la-o-title-role-1202050487/

(from Fri) More Hollywood Whitewashing: CBS Pilot Casts 2 White Actors in Lead Roles Written for Minorities
CBS
has cast two white actors — Poppy Montgomeryand David Giuntoli — as the leads of its sci-fi pilot “Mission Control” even though both roles were originally written for people of color in Andy Weir’s spec pilot script. According to an individual familiar with the project, producers initially did reach out to and offer the roles to non-white actors, but they passed. http://www.thewrap.com/cbs-mission-control-pilot-white-actors-lead-roles-written-minorities/

FEATURE NEWS:

Hollywood studios may soon release new movies for video-on-demand fewer than 45 days after their big screen debut, priced between $30 and $50Hollywood studios are planning to move ahead with ‘premium’ video-on-demand, making major movies available to home viewers only weeks after they hit theaters. https://www.wsj.com/articles/from-multiplex-to-living-room-in-45-days-or-less-1490532001

NEW MEDIA NEWS:

Adam Sandler Extends Netflix Deal for 4 Feature Films
Netflix
has extended its deal with comedian Adam Sandlerto encompass four more feature films after his first two were the streaming giant’s biggest-ever film releases. http://www.thewrap.com/adam-sandler-extends-netflix-deal-for-4-feature-films/

AMC Prepping Streaming Subscription Service Without Ads — But You Would Still Need to Have Pay TV According to a Reuters report, the cabler is planning to launch a service costing $4.99-$6.99 a month that will strip out advertising. However, the service would not be aimed at cord-cutters: It would be available only to current pay-TV subscribers. Additional content like behind-the-scenes extras and digital-only series may also be made available through the service, a source explained, to cater to superfans of “Walking Dead” and other original series. http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/amc-streaming-service-no-ads-pay-tv-1202015823/

Robert Stromberg’s VRC Announces Animated VR Series ‘Raising a Ruckus’Los Angeles-based Virtual Reality Company (VRC) announced a new animated virtual reality series Monday that will be distributed both across headsets as well as in theaters. The first episode of “Raising a Ruckus” will premiere in theaters in Canada this spring, and get wider distribution across North America later this summer. “Raising a Ruckus” is the story of two siblings and their mischievous pet dog Ruckus, who are traveling to different worlds and have magical adventures together. http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/robert-strombergs-vrc-announces-animated-vr-series-raising-a-ruckus-1202016831/

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

Mattel Is Teaming Up With ABC for a New Competition Series to Find Its Next Big Toy
Mattel
and ABC have teamed up to launch a new, Shark Tank-like reality competition series, The Toy Box, in which toy inventors vie for approval from a group of toy experts, followed by a precocious panel of kid judges. At the season’s end, Mattel will manufacture the winning toy, which will be sold exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores and on the retailer’s website right after the finale airs. http://www.adweek.com/tv-video/mattel-is-teaming-up-with-abc-for-a-new-competition-series-to-find-its-next-big-toy/

Discovery Channel Orders ‘House of Cars’ Series for Its Motor Mondays The Discovery Channel has ordered new series “House of Cars,” which will join the network’s Motor Mondays lineup. The reality show, produced by Coolfire Studios, sets out to prove that building cars isn’t just for the pros — it’s for anyone who thinks they have what it takes to test their chops on a big build. http://www.thewrap.com/house-of-cars-discovery-motor-mondays/

‘Naked and Afraid XL’ Renewed at Discovery ChannelThe show returns April 23, with the third season taking place in the Amazon. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/naked-afraid-xl-renewed-at-discovery-channel-988755

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

Eccho showcasing Warner Bros. Scandi drama
Eccho Rights
is to sell a Warner Bros. and TV4 drama.Crime series Maria Wern is based on a series of novels from author Anna Jansson, and has performed well for TV4 in Sweden and Das Erste in Germany.Eccho’s deal includes eight episodes of the first season and another eight that are planned to go into production later this year.Maria Wern is a widowed detective who moves her family to the idyllic holiday island of Gotland for a quieter life, only to fine a high number of high profile murder cases. Eva Röse stars. http://tbivision.com/miptv/2017/03/eccho-showcasing-warner-bros-scandi-drama/732902/

Sundance takes Acceptable Risk with DCDThe international SundanceTV channel has acquired international drama series Acceptable Risk ahead of its distributor – DCD Rights – launching it at MIPTV.The series follows a woman who comes to realise how little she knew about her husband, Lee, before he was murdered as she delves into the details of his life and death. It was set up as an Ireland-Canada coproduction by Saffron Moon and Facet4 Media in association with Acorn Media Enterprises. http://tbivision.com/miptv/2017/03/sundance-takes-acceptable-risk-dcd/733102/

Cineflix preps drug drama for MipDistributor Cineflix Rights is heading to MipTV in Cannes with a slate led by a six-part Canadian drama about Mexican drug cartels. Pure (6×60’) has been produced by Two East Productions and Cineflix for Canadian pubcaster CBC, on which it has achieved double the average ratings in its time period. The plot centres on a pastor who is determined to rid his community of drugs and ties to a transborder smuggling alliance with Mexican cocaine lords. http://www.c21media.net/cineflix-preps-drug-drama-for-mip/

Abner Benaim Prepares 13-part TV Series ‘El Presidente’
Abner Benaim
, one of Panama’s leading helmers, is currently preparing a 13-part TV series “El Presidente.” “El Presidente” is co-penned by Benaim and Papus Von Saenger. The pilot and synopsis for the first two seasons are written. The project is a co-production between Benaim’s company Apertura Films, and Panama-based Vertical Media. The series is aimed at payTV and VOD platforms such as Netflix and is based on politicians in the region who run mafio-cracies. http://variety.com/2017/film/festivals/abner-benaim-prepares-13-part-tv-series-el-presidente-1202016897/

EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:

(from Fri) Lauren Dolgen Joins Viceland As Head of West Coast Development
Viceland
, the upstart entertainment network of Vice Media and A+E Networks, has brought in a very seasoned unscripted cable executives. Lauren Dolgen, a 19-year MTV veteran, has joined Viceland as Head of West Coast Development. She will oversee West Coast-based production and development for the network, reporting to co-presidents Derek Freda & Guy Slattery. http://deadline.com/2017/03/lauren-dolgen-viceland-head-of-west-coast-development-1202051169/

(from Fri) Fox Film Production Exec Veep Mark Roybal Leaving Studio20th Century Fox feature executive vice president Mark Roybalis leaving the studio. I’ve heard Roybal’s name for a couple of jobs in town recently, including the Focus Features president of production post that Jim Burke is vacating to return to producing. Roybal will exit when his contract expires within the next few weeks. http://deadline.com/2017/03/mark-roybal-fox-film-production-executive-vice-president-exiting-1202051338/

Twitter’s Head of Moments Andrew Fitzgerald Is Leaving for Hearst TVTwitter’s Director of Curation Andrew Fitzgerald, who has been heading the team behind the company’s Moments feature, is leaving to become Hearst Television’s new Chief Digital Content Officer. His duties at Twitter are being taken over by Joanna Geary, who has been with Twitter since 2013 and previously worked for the Guardian. http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/twitter-moments-head-hearst-tv-1202015559/

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

(from Fri) Deadline: WGA Negotiators Call For Strike-Authorization Vote – Read The LetterLead negotiators for the WGA sent a letter to the membership that reads, “Your Negotiating Committee has voted unanimously to recommend that the WGAW Board of Directors and WGAE Council conduct a strike authorization vote by the membership.” This would not be a vote to strike but to authorize the guild’s board of directors to call a strike if further talks fail to produce a deal. http://deadline.com/2017/03/writers-guild-strike-authorization-vote-letter-wga-contract-1202051597/

(from Fri) Deadline: WGA “Broke Off Negotiations,” Producers Claim As Strike Vote LoomsOne day before negotiations originally were scheduled to end between the WGA and AMPTP, the labor tension in Hollywood is at a 10-year high. As the scribes now confirm Deadline’s exclusive of earlier today that a strike-authorization vote has been called, the producers shot back this evening with claims of bad faith from the other side of the table. http://deadline.com/2017/03/hollywood-strike-authorization-wga-producers-respond-amptp-1202051621/

NYT: One Nation, Under Fox: 18 Hours With a Network That Shapes America
Fox News
is a singular force, crafting a searing narrative about what’s happening in the world for millions of viewers, including President Trump. We watched Fox News from 6 a.m. until midnight on Thursday to see how its coverage varied from that of its rivals on a day when cable news was dominated by the health care debate in Congress, the terrorist attack in London and the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/25/business/media/fox-news.html

(analyst) DTVE: North American pay TV use to drop to 75%Pay TV penetration in North America is set to drop to 75.2% by 2022, from a peak of 87.4% in 2013, according to new research. The Digital TV Research report predicts that the number of pay TV subscribers in the US and Canada will drop by 9% in the ten years from 2012 to 2022 – from 112 million to 102 million. At the same time the number of non-pay TV homes is tipped to climb from 20.69 million to 41.56 million over the same period. http://www.digitaltveurope.net/677572/north-american-pay-tv-use-to-drop-to-75/

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