The Morning Update for Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Wednesday, May 3, 2017:


Marvel’s Runaways Snags Official Series Order at Hulu
is officially entering the crowded comic-book arena, handing a formal series order to Marvel’s Runaways, from executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Based on the comics by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, the live-action Runways tells the coming-of-age story of a disparate group of teenagers who, per the streaming service, “must unite against a common foe — their parents.”

Hulu Orders Beau Willimon Mars Drama ‘The First’ to Series
has picked up Beau Willimon’s new drama, “The First,” to series. The sci-fi drama is set in the near future and follows scientists’ and astronauts’ attempt to mount the first human mission to Mars. “The First” will go into production this year and stream on Hulu in 2018.

Handmaid’s Tale Renewed for Season 2Offred’s fight for independence will continue for at least another 10 episodes. Four episodes into its acclaimed first season, The Handmaid’s Tale has been renewed for a second season at Hulu.

‘Designated Survivor’ Taps Fourth Showrunner‘The Good Wife’ alum Keith Eisner will take over for Jeff Melvoin, with the latter staying on board and training his replacement.

(opinion) Spotted Ratings: 2017 Upfront Renewology: FoxWelcome to Upfront Renewology! This is the SHOW-centric half of the upfront preview, digging into the merits of individual shows by network.

(opinion) TVBTN: The big fall TV 2017 question for NBC: Should ‘This Is Us’ move?It will end the season as the No. 3 show on broadcast TV in the demographic, behind “The Big Bang Theory” and “Empire.” …With the network needing help on other nights, should NBC move “This Is Us” to a different timeslot next season, thereby freeing up “The Voice” to give another show a boost? The obvious answer is “yes,” but the realities of NBC’s schedule may make that easier said than done.

(opinion) TVBTN: Cancel Bear vs. ABC, week 32: Prognosis negative for ‘Dr. Ken’

It’s not looking good for the good doctor. The Bear is downgrading the series to a likely cancellation. Though it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if ABC renews the series, it also feels as though whatever interest there was in “Dr. Ken” is on the wane. …The grass is rarely greener in TV, but still: ABC may think it can do better than “Dr. Ken” next season. The network has shot a couple of multi-camera pilots that would theoretically pair with “Last Man Standing.”

(opinion) TVBTN: Cancel Bear vs. NBC, week 32: Verdicts on ‘Trial & Error’ and ‘Taken’ are not goodRatings for “Trial & Error” were not terrible during its compressed six-week run. They were also not especially good, falling a little on the wrong side of the 1.0 line. “Taken,” meanwhile, is just above that mark for the season, but hasn’t been for an individual episode in a month. Both have been tossups for a while, but it’s time for the Bear to make a call, and the Bear believes both will be gone by season’s end.


‘Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams’ Adds Anna Paquin and Terrence HowardThey’ll appear together in an episode written by ‘Outlander’s Ronald D. Moore.

Alec Baldwin To Play Ex-CIA Boss George Tenet In Hulu’s ‘The Looming Tower’
Alec Baldwin
has been set to guest star on Hulu’s new 9/11 drama series The Looming Tower, taking on another government figure. This time he’ll portray CIA director George Tenet in the 10-episode straight-to-series adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer-winning 9/11 exposé from executive producers Dan Futterman, Alex Gibney and Legendary Television.


Grab Your Ears Because "The Mickey Mouse Club" Is Returning Later This YearIn its newest, Facebook-exclusive incarnation, Club Mickey Mouse will celebrate the original Club of yesteryear while bringing the show into present-day with a diverse cast of talented young creators.

‘This Is Us’: Hulu & NBC To Share Streaming Rights To NBC Drama Series
Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution
has made a co-exclusivity deal with Hulu and NBC Entertainment for SVOD rights to breakout NBC freshman drama This Is Us, which already has been renewed for Seasons 2 and 3.

Donald Glover’s ‘Atlanta’ to Stream on Hulu
will be the exclusive streaming home of Donald Glover’s award-winning FX comedy series “Atlanta,” the streaming service announced during their Upfront presentation.

Hulu Live TV Service Launches With 50 Channels for $40
has officially unleashed its horse in the crowded virtual pay-TV race. The streaming-video provider announced the beta launch of Hulu With Live TV, priced starting at $39.99 monthly for around 50 channels. The service includes ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC programming — with the availability of local TV stations varying by market — and cable nets including ESPN, CNN, Fox News, TBS, TNT and Disney Channel.


American Idol Reboot Eyed at ABC
has reportedly made a bid to revive the hit singing competition, according to TMZ. The network reached out to Fremantle, Idol‘s production company, and offered to buy the franchise and reboot it for a planned March 2018 premiere. ABC also tried to get the show moved to New York, in an attempt to bring back original host Ryan Seacrest, who’s moving to NYC to co-host Live with Kelly Ripa. But Fremantle insisted the show has to stay in L.A. — and Seacrest is reportedly too busy with Live to return to Idol anyway.

‘Jeopardy,’ ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Renewed for Two More Seasons
Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak
and Vanna White have all renewed their contracts to continue hosting their respective shows through the 2019-20 broadcast season.

‘Jackass’-Style Stupid Stunts Series in Works at Digital Studio Gunpowder & Sky
Van Toffler
is returning to the dumb-and-dangerous entertainment genre. Gunpowder & Sky has partnered with DIY daredevil Zach Holmes to develop a new homebrewed-stunts series, “Too Stupid to Die.” The pilot has been shot, and Gunpowder & Sky plans to approach distribution partners about picking up the project.


Lionsgate UK Acquires ‘Jerusalem’; Will Develop Epic Biography As Drama SeriesLionsgate Television UK has acquired rights to 2011 non-fiction bestseller Jerusalem which will be adapted as a drama in what marks the company’s first UK series development. Jerusalem is an epic biography of the city that ranges from King David’s establishment of it as his capital to the 1967 Six-Day War that led to its current formation. The series is eyed as a character-driven, action-filled account of war, betrayal, faith, fanaticism, slaughter, persecution and co-existence in the universal city through the ages. Lionsgate will produce and sell global rights, including the U.S. and UK.

Canal Plus Group Gets Exclusive Rights to Showtime Series
Canal Plus Group
has inked a exclusive deal with CBS Corporation to license Showtime series, notably David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” which will screen at Cannes Film Festival. The multi-year pact will give Canal Plus the licensing rights to a minimum of 10 current or upcoming Showtime series across France.

Inside Wanda’s $1 Billion Bet to Transform Legendary Into Global Media GiantIn an exclusive interview with Variety, Jack Gao — the company’s overseas point man — lays out Wanda’s typically aggressive vision for rebooting Legendary and transforming it into a global media player. “By 2020, Legendary will be one of the top five studios in the world,” Gao predicts.


Disney’s Sonia Coleman Named SVP HR For Disney|ABC Television GroupSonia Coleman, Disney’s former VP of Corporate Human Resources, has moved to the Disney | ABC Television Group as SVP of Human Resources. Coleman replaces Steve Milovich, who, after 40 years in the industry and 15 years with The Walt Disney Company, announced his plans to retire in March.

Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films Taps Kelly Carmichael To Head Production & Development
Kelly Carmichael
, the former production exec at The Weinstein Company and Miramax and co-founder of indie film and TV production company 375 Pictures, has been hired as president of production and development at Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films.

Duncan Gray, Cineflix Media Launch Twenty Six 03 EntertainmentVeteran TV exec and a former Jimmy Kimmel Live! executive producer, Duncan Gray has formed production company Twenty Six 03 Entertainment in a joint venture with Cineflix Media. Co-owned by Cineflix and Gray’s existing company Twenty Six 03 Content, the JV is focusing on creating high-value returnable formats and series for the global market.

Freeform Marketing Chief Nigel Cox Hagen to ExitHagen helped with the cable channel’s rebranding from ABC Family.


THR: WGA Deal Decoded: Big TV Gains But Movie Writers Have Less to CelebrateA detailed look highlights enhancements in TV compensation and SVOD, AVOD and pay TV residuals.

Variety: Inside the WGA-AMPTP Negotiating Room: Speeches, Strategies and Social Media That Averted a StrikeThe dam broke at about 10:30 p.m. on Monday night. With 90 minutes to go to the strike deadline, the WGA and major studios began to find their way to the compromises that had been elusive during the previous five days of contract negotiations. By 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, after a break for caucusing, the sides returned to the big table at the Sherman Oaks headquarters of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to declare that the deal was done.