The Morning Update for Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Tuesday, April 25, 2017:


Jason Alexander Comedy Gets Straight-To-Series Order At Audience NetworkAT&T Audience Network has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to half-hour original comedy series Hit The Road co-created by and starring Jason Alexander. The Seinfeld alum is also set to executive produce with Primary Wave Entertainment, which is co-financing the series. Fabrik Entertainment will produce. Co-created by Alexander, Emmy-nominated comedy writer Peter Tilden and British screenwriter Dean Craig Hit The Road is about the greatest family band you’ve never heard of — yet!

Eliza Dushku to Star in David Goyer Fantasy Adaptation ‘The Black Company’Fantasy book series The Black Company is coming to the small screen. David S. Goyer and Eliza Dushku are developing Glen Cook’s popular 10-book fantasy series. A network is not yet attached. The drama follows the exploits of the Black Company, an elite mercenary unit that carries out the nefarious deeds of the highest bidder across a Tolkien-esque landscape. The drama is being developed by independent production company IM Global Television, with Dushku’s Boston Diva Productions.

Ingrid Michaelson to Star in Semi-Autobiographical Comedy at Hulu
Ingrid Michaelson
is set to star in a semi-autobiographical comedy for Hulu. Michaelson is teaming with Casual showrunner Liz Tigelaar for the half-hour single-camera comedy, titled The Way I Am. The project, which is in development, landed at the streaming service with a script commitment in a competitive situation with multiple outlets bidding. The duo created the comedy together, with Tigelaar set to write the script. Both will executive produce alongside Lynn Grossman.

DIGA Options Amy Plum’s ‘Dreamfall’ Dark Thriller Novel To Develop As TV Series
-owned DiGa Studios, run by Tony DiSanto, has optioned bestselling author Amy Plum’s upcoming book Dreamfall for TV series adaptation. The book – a YA twist on classic horror stories A Nightmare on Elm Street and Flatliners – will be published on May 2 by HarperTeen, and a sequel, Neverwake, will follow in 2018. The story follows the journey of seven strangers – each suffering from debilitating insomnia – who agree to take part in an experimental sleep study in hopes of curing their disorders. When the lab equipment malfunctions, the subsequently comatose patients are plunged into a terrifying dreamworld where their worst nightmares become their reality.

Snoop Dogg & Daz Dillinger Fire Up Drama Series Based On Their Early DaysSnoop Dogg and Daz Dillinger are shopping a drama series based on their experiences with Tha Dogg Pound, the gangsta rap duo featuring Dillinger and Kurupt. Taking its cue from Tha Dogg Pound documentary DPG Eulogy, the Untitled D.G.P. Series is executive produced by Kenya Ware and Damien Zellous, who produced the feature docu. The project is being shopped to national networks.

Fox Ramps Up Off-Cycle Development, Eyes Multiple Pilot Orders This SummerWhile reading pilot scripts, picking up and casting pilots this winter, Fox also has been actively buying drama and comedy pitches in a renewed effort to develop projects for off-cycle pilot and straight-to-series orders. …Since January, the network has bought about 15 drama and 10 comedy pitches. …Fox’s intention is to pick up 2 more drama pilots and 2 more comedy pilots from the extra scripts it bought off-cycle for a total of 8 drama pilots and 8 comedy pilots for the calendar 2017. Ideally, the orders would be made in mid-June, with the pilots filming in late summer.

Disney Channel’s ‘Descendants 2’ Gets Mega-Premiere Across Five Networks
“Descendants 2”
— the sequel to the hit Disney Channel Original Movie “Descendants” — is getting a massive boost for its summer premiere with a simultaneous debut across five different networks in Disney/ABC Television Group, including a primetime broadcast slot. “Descendants 2” will premiere on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Freeform, Lifetime and ABC on Friday, July 21 at 8 p.m. The TV movie will also be available on-demand and on those five networks’ digital platforms.

‘The Detour’ Renewed for Season 3 at TBS
has renewed the Jason Jones-led comedy series “The Detour” for Season 3.

NBC Pulls POWERLESS From Schedule
has removed Powerless from its schedule for the next two weeks, leaving the airing of the final two episodes of the show’s first season – and the show itself – uncertain. One of the show’s executive producers, Patrick Shumacker, tweeted out confirmation.

(review) THR: ‘Great News’
Tracey Wigfield, Tina Fey
and Robert Carlock’s ‘Great News’ takes a few episodes to find itself, but Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, John Michael Higgins and Nicole Richie lead a strong ensemble. …It’s not ’30 Rock’ immediately, but neither was ’30 Rock.’

(review) Variety: ‘Genius’ on National GeographicIf the goal was to fill out the pop-culture image of Einstein — who’s been depicted in many a dorm-room poster as an impish rebel with his tongue stuck out — this series is only occasionally successful. “Genius” is more often hampered by an approach that is often unsubtle and unworthy of such a precise and rigorous thinker.


ABC Sets Digital MVPD Pacts for 160-Plus Affiliates Through Clearinghouse Initiative

As NAB begins again this week, ABC said it has marshaled more than two-thirds of its affiliates, plus the eight ABC O&Os, for live streaming carriage pacts with DirecTV Now, Sony PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV and CenturyLink. There are more deals to come with the soon-to-be-unveiled service from Hulu and other nascent ventures. Amazon, for one, is known to be pursuing a skinny-bundle streaming channel package that would include local broadcast affiliates of the Big Four networks.

“Our goal was to pioneer a creative distribution solution that reaches ABC viewers in as many markets as possible,” Ben Sherwood, Disney-ABC Television Group president, told Variety. “More people will be watching more of our programming on more devices because of these deals. We want to be everywhere our viewers are. The enthusiastic response to this is a win for our affiliates, our distributors, our network and our studio.”

Apple Music Delays Launch of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Series
is pumping the brakes on its own original-series version of “Carpool Karaoke.” Originally scheduled to launch on Apple Music in April, the tech giant told Reuters on Monday that the debut has been pushed back to a still-to-be-determined date “later this year,” according to a statement the company issued that didn’t explain why the postponement was made.


NBC Will Launch Megyn Kelly News Series In June
is expected to launch a new Sunday newsmagazine program anchored by Megyn Kelly in June. The new program is expected to feature Kelly as the lead of an ensemble of reporters.

Steve Harvey Sets Daytime Showrunner, Premiere DateDaytime vet Shane Farley will serve as the executive producer of ‘Steve,’ which will film in Los Angeles.

‘Flip or Flop’ Stars Returning for 20 More Episodes of HGTV Show Amid Divorce
“Flip or Flop”
stars Tarek and Christina El Moussa have signed on for another full season of their hit HGTV show. The announcement of the hosts’ — and former couple — return to the home improvement series comes amid a highly-publicized divorce that followed a domestic altercation last spring.

NBA Awards Tipping Off In June On TNTTaking a cue from the NFL and NHL, the NBA is setting its inaugural NBA Awards for June 26 on TNT. In what’s planned to be an annual event, Drake will host the league’s official award show from Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York City. Produced by dick clark productions, the 2017 NBA Awards will feature integrations with the Sports Emmy-winning Inside the NBA studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.


Netflix to Debut in China Via Original Content Licensing Deal With iQIYIGlobal streaming giant Netflix has struck its first licensing deal in China with one of the massive market’s leading streaming platforms, iQIYI. To date, Netflix has been blocked by Middle Kingdom regulators from operating its own service in the world’s most populous nation.

Netflix Inks Multi-Title Licensing Deal With South Korea’s JTBCThe online giant will have broadcasting rights to 600 hours of JTBC’s TV dramas and variety shows.


Sony Pictures Television Networks Ups Maurizio Vitale To EVP RoleSony Pictures Television Networks has promoted Maurizio Vitale to EVP Marketing and Brand Strategy from his previous role as SVP Worldwide Marketing.

CBS names Europe copro chiefThe international studios arm of US broadcaster CBS has named a new coproductions chief in Europe. Meghan Lyvers will switch from her current role as senior VP, cable and digital at CBS Television Studios in the US, and will become SVP, coproductions and development at CBS Studios International.She will relocate to CBSSI’s EMEA head office in EMEA, and jointly report to CBSSI president and CEO Armando Nuñez and CBS TV Studios president David Stapf.

Henrik Bastin Re-Ups As CEO At Fabrik EntertainmentHenrik Bastin, CEO of Bosch producer Fabrik Entertainment, has extended his contract with the Red Arrow Entertainment Group subsidiary in a multi-year renewal.


THR: WGA Members Authorize Strike With Negotiations Set to Resume TuesdayA resounding 96.3 percent voted yes.

Deadline: Chill On Rumors Of Netflix Side Deal As WGA Strike Authorization LoomsWith the result of the WGA’s strike-authorization vote expected today, those binge-ing on the hope of a rumored Netflix side deal with writers if picket lines go up next week should chill out: it ain’t happening. "So f*cking unlikely," one source close to the situation said bluntly of the streaming service seeking an agreement of its own, or swooping in to play honest broker, if there is a strike on May 2. …In a rare case of agreement, reps for both the scribes and the producers term the Netflix rumors at worst a “dangerous,” to quote one guild source, distraction from the high-stakes labor precipice on which Hollywood finds itself.