The Morning Update for Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Tuesday, April 4, 2017:


Blumhouse Launches Indie TV Studio With ITV; ‘The Purge’ Becomes Series, Roger Ailes Fox News Series Lands At Showtime

Blumhouse has launched an independent television studio with ITV Studios acquiring a 45 per cent stake. The first two series in the deal will be a series version of The Purge, the highly successful genre franchise that will continue as a feature, for USA and Syfy. Also, Showtime has secured the previously announced Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes, a limited series spearheaded by Oscar winning Spotlight director and co-writer Tom McCarthy and journalist Gabe Sherman.

Opioid Epidemic Drama In Works At HBO From Storyscape EntertainmentHBO has put in development Jackson State, a drama that focuses on the nationwide opioid epidemic, from Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein’s Storyscape Entertainment and Elliott Lester (Nightingale). Written by Scott Lasser (True Detective), Jackson State will explore how the current wave of opiod abuse has ravaged many small towns across America that were once the backbone of the country.

Mira Sorvino to Star in Audience Network’s ‘Three Days of the Condor’ Remake
Lawrence Trilling
(Parenthood, Alias) has signed on to direct and executive produce. Titled simply Condor, the drama follows Joe Turner (Max Irons), a young CIA analyst whose idealism is tested when he stumbles onto a terrible but brilliant plan that threatens the lives of millions. Trilling will direct the first three episodes of the series, which was adapted by writers Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg. Smilovic will serve as showrunner. MGM Television and Skydance Television will produce Condor, which was developed in association with Paramount TV.

‘Xanth’ Fantasy Movie, TV Series in Development With Steven PaulVeteran independent producer Steven Paul’s SP Entertainment Group is launching development of Piers Anthony’s long-running “Xanth” fantasy series as a feature film and a TV series. Producers are Spike Seldin, who recently signed on to head up development and production for SP Entertainment, along with Steven Paul and Hans Futterman. The “Xanth” books have become one of the world’s largest fantasy series. The 42nd book in the series is set to be published this month.

USA Network’s ‘Falling Water’ Renewed, Taps New Showrunner for Season 2
Remi Aubuchon
(‘Falling Skies’) will join the drama for its upcoming sophomore run.

(sched) ‘Claws’ Gets Summer Premiere Date On TNT & New Trailer
will come out this summer. TNT today set a June 11 premiere date for its dramedy series starring Niecy Nash.


‘Brothered Up’: John C. McGinley Cast In CBS Comedy PilotScrubs alum John C. McGinley is set to co-star opposite Romany Malco and Adhir Kalyan inBrothered Up, CBS’ multi-camera buddy cop comedy from CBS TV Studios.

Chad L. Coleman & Larry Joe Campbell Join Seth MacFarlane’s Fox Series ‘Orville’Chad L. Coleman (The Walking Dead, The Wire) is set as a series regular and Larry Joe Campbell (According to Jim) will recur opposite Seth MacFarlane in Orville, his 13-episode straight-to-series hourlong comedic drama for Fox. Set 300 years in the future, the series follows the adventures of the Orville, a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar fleet.

‘Dice’: Ron Livingston Set To Recur In Season 2 Of Showtime Series
Ron Livingston
(Office Space) is joining the Season 2 cast of Showtime’s comedy series Dice in a recurring role.


Go90 to Stream All Seasons of ‘Veronica Mars,’ ‘Fringe,’ Five Other WB Shows for Free
is punching the thriller and sci-fi buttons with a pact to bring all seasons of seven Warner Bros. TV shows — including “Veronica Mars” and “Fringe” — to the free Go90 mobile-video service. …Verizon hasn’t disclosed user figures for Go90. According to research firm App Annie, Go90 averaged 2.1 million active users during the month of February — hardly a raging success.


Chris Hardwick and NBC Partner on Another Series, ‘The Awesome Show’The host of ‘The Wall’ teams up with Mark Burnett for his second NBC show, a six-episode exploration of science and technology.

Comedy Central Sets ‘Daily Show’ Spinoff Starring Jordan Klepper For 11:30 PM Slot
Comedy Central
is sticking to its playbook, once again going with a Daily Show spinoff toplined by one of the program’s correspondents as a 11:30 PM strip. The network has picked up a new late-night talk show headlined by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah‘s Jordan Klepper reprising the persona he developed as a Daily Show correspondent. The new series will debut in the fall.

‘DailyMailTV’ Syndicated Series Produced by Dr. Phil Gets Fall LaunchThe series will feature exclusive stories and other content from and cover breaking news on topics including the entertainment business, crime, health, science and technology. The series hails from CBS Television Distribution, where McGraw is under a lucrative overall deal.


Disney Media Distribution Talks Up Marvel, Shonda, Mark Cherry ShowsMore than anything else, the Disney Media Distribution showcase at the first MipTV Pre-L.A Screenings gave a tantalizing glimpse of mouth-watering series, though often no more, while suggested some bases of Hollywood’s studios’ continuing dominance of international TV markets, at least in the pay-TV and often SVOD arena.

Germany’s Beta, Spain’s Telefonica Team Up for Spanish High-End Series
Velvet Collections
is a spinoff of the successful period drama Velvet set in the fashion scene of 1950s Spain. The new series will focus on the next generation of fashion designers in the Marquez clan, who open a glamorous shopping mall in Barcelona. The Zone is a thriller that plays out in a small town in Northern Spain that has been hit by a Fukushima-like nuclear disaster. The townspeople are shaken by reports of a series of brutal killings in the no-go area around the disaster.

TF1 Places Big Bets on Chris Noth Drama ‘Gone’ and More Co-ProductionsUnder Gilles Pélisson’s management team, the TF1 Group has significantly increased its commitment to TV drama production. The splashy co-production slate includes international series such as the upcoming procedural series “Gone”; the miniseries “Just One Look,” based on Harlan Coben’s novel; and launch of projects and acquisitions via the group’s new subsidiary, Newen.

Turkish TV Dramas Continue to Sell Despite Local TurmoilUndeterred by local turbulence, Turkish TV dramas continue to expand their global footprint. Netflix recently nabbed more than 400 hours of “dizi,” as the shows are known locally, and local hits such as “Insider,” produced by Ay Yapim, and Kanal D’s “Wounded Love” continue selling solidly around the globe.

Ex-Sony Boss Howard Stringer Launches TV Drama Business With Britain’s DRGThe new group, Atrium TV, will produce big budget drama series for independent streaming platforms worldwide. The group plans to produce 10 drama series over the next five years, all limited six- to eight-hour series budgeted at around $5 million per hour. The customers for these projects will be the dozens of regional streaming and digital pay TV platforms worldwide that are struggling to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Korean Dramas Adopt Pre-Produced Format to Mixed ResultsMost Korean TV series start airing after shooting just a few episodes. …The end result usually meant lower-quality episodes as a series reached its climax. In spite of such problems, the live-shoot model has enjoyed consistent popularity as it allows series the flexibility to adapt to real time audience feedback. …However, the success of KBS’ 2015 series “Descendants of the Sun” opened the industry’s eyes to the potential of a fully pre-produced series.


Did Marvel really just blame its sales slump on ‘diversity’?Marvelcomics are in a slump. According to David Gabriel, Marvel’s VP of Sales, “diversity” is to blame. “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” he said at Marvel’s retailer summit last week. “They didn’t want female characters out there. I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales…” He also discussed economic factors that might lead to a dip in sales, including an oversaturated market. But the “diversity” quote was the part that really blew up, prompting responses from fans, comics critics, and even some Marvel creators.


Longform-Programming Exec Quinn Taylor Departs NBC, Joins Howard Stringer’s Atrium TVNBC’s head of movies and miniseries Quinn Taylor has departed the broadcast network and joined Atrium TV, a new venture from former Sony USA chief Howard Stringer and U.K. distributor DRG. Taylor left NBC in January at the end of his contract.

BBCWW hires Fox alum for scripted
BBC Worldwide Productions
, the LA-based studios of BBC Worldwide North America, has hired a former Fox exec as head of scripted. Matt Loze is taking the newly created position and reports to Matt Forde, executive VP of content production, sales and distribution at BBC Worldwide North America. Loze was most recently senior VP of programming for Fox 21 Television Studios.

Lotus Entertainment Taps Marc Rosen To Run Film & TV BizLotus Entertainment has inked a deal with former Georgeville Television CEO Marc Rosen to produce and oversee Lotus’ film and TV production activities.

Longtime Sony TV PR Head Paula Askanas to ExitThe executive will depart in the summer after 20 years with the independent studio.

Michelle Jaconi Is Joining The Washington Post as Executive Producer for Video
Michelle Jaconi
is joining The Washington Post as executive producer, creative, a role that will have her working on the publication’s video expansion. Jaconi will be responsible for the Washington Post video teams working on creating content in areas that include politics, pop culture, health, science and food.


Variety: WGA Sets Member Meetings and Dates for Strike Authorization VoteThe Writers Guild of America has set April 19 as the start date for its strike authorization vote. Online voting among eligible members will begin after membership meetings are held that week in Los Angeles and New York. Voting will be open through noon PT on April 24.

Variety: Writers Guild Takes Aim at Screenwriting Abuses in Contract Campaign“Employment of screenwriters has been at lower levels in recent years than in previous periods,” the essay began. “Tight spending policies adopted by the studios have driven some of the worst abuses to high levels. Free rewrites, pre-writes, roundtables, sweepstakes pitching and late payments are all symptoms of the studios starving the film industry of development funding.”

Deadline: AMPTP Hopes WGA Will “Engage With Us” When Contract Talks ResumeThe AMPTP has released a brief statement in response to Deadline’s story about the trove of data released Sunday by the Writers Guild of America in advance of next Monday’s resumption of contract negotiations. "Our objective continues to be to reach an agreement with the WGA at the bargaining table," the AMPTP said. "We hope the Guild will engage with us on the issues in that forum when negotiations resume on April 10th."

AdWeek: Inside NBCUniversal’s Billion-Dollar Bet on Data-Based Advertising
is making the biggest push yet to transition brands into making targeted audience buys. Last month, the company announced it was committing $1 billion in 2017 advertising inventory to data-based, non-Nielsen transactions in this year’s upfront and scatter markets. That’s 10 percent of the $10 billion in ad revenue the company brought in last year.

Wired: Funny or Die at 10, an Oral History

Funny Or Die launched on April 12, 2007, with “The Landlord”—a supercheap two-minute sketch pitting Will Ferrell against a swearing toddler. …Ten years later, the company operates out of a bustling, stench-free compound in West Hollywood, and its mini empire encompasses TV shows (Billy on the Street, @midnight, IFC’s forthcoming Brockmire), movies (Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie, starring Johnny Depp), advertising and branded-content divisions for clients like Under Armour and Kia, and a newly established Washington, DC, office satirizing politics and trying to shape public policy.