The Morning Update for Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Wednesday, July 12, 2017:

SCRIPTED NEWS:

‘Umbrella Academy’ Live-Action TV Series Set at Netflix
Netflix
has scooped up the Umbrella Academy TV series. Based on the Eisner Award-winning comics, the live-action Umbrella Academy follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes (aka the Umbrella Academy). Together, they work to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams because of their divergent personalities and abilities. Steve Blackman serves as showrunner and executive produces alongside Bluegrass Television, Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg from Dark Horse Entertainment. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/umbrella-academy-live-action-tv-series-set-at-netflix-1020106

‘The L Word’ Sequel in the Works at ShowtimeSeries creator Ilene Chaiken will exec produce alongside original stars Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey, who will connect with a new ensemble. A search is underway for a new writer to serve as showrunner and bring a fresh take to the project. Sources note Showtime is looking for someone with ties to the lesbian community to document how their relationships, lives and experiences have evolved — as well as what has and hasn’t changed since the show launched in 2004. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/l-word-sequel-works-at-showtime-1019916

‘Luke Cage’: Lucy Liu To Direct Season 2 Premiere For NetflixThe Season 2 premiere of Marvel’s Luke Cage has landed Lucy Liu as director. Having helmed a handful of episodes of CBS’ Elementary, in which she also stars, the Emmy-nominated actress continues her foray behind the camera for the acclaimed superhero series at Netflix. http://deadline.com/2017/07/luke-cage-lucy-liu-direct-marvel-season-2-premiere-netflix-1202126917/

CBS to Air ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween’ Animated Special
CBS
is set to air a new one-hour animated special called “Michael Jackson’s Halloween,” the network announced. The special will feature Jackson’s acclaimed music as its soundtrack, and will be broadcast for the first time this fall. The special follows millennials Vincent (Till) and Victoria (Clemons), who meet “accidentally” on Halloween night and find themselves, along with Ichabod the dog, at a mysterious hotel located at 777 Jackson Street called This Place Hotel. Once inside, Vincent and Victoria are sent on an adventure culminating in a spectacular dance finale featuring an animated Michael Jackson. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/michael-jackson-halloween-animated-special-cbs-1202492102/

(review) THR: ‘Ozark’ on NetflixCreated by Bill Dubuque, Ozark has elements of the regional thriller/country noir novels of an Elmore Leonard or Daniel Woodrell, but it has shockingly little fun with any of its genre trappings. And, despite an antihero prone to fast-talking and sarcasm played by a comedically dexterous leading man, there’s very little humor, even of the pitch-black sort. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/ozark-review-1019198

(review) Variety: ‘I’m Sorry,’ From Andrea Savage…There’s otherwise very little to distinguish this sweet little show from other Los Angeles-based autobiographical single-camera comedies about the unfunny business of parenting, marriage, and being in your 40s: In between “Better Things,” “St. George,” “Maron,” “Nobodies,” “Lady Dynamite,” “Take My Wife,” and significant chunks of “One Mississippi” — the list goes on and on and on — a show would have to be particularly entrancing to stand out from the crowd. But while the show is lightweight and enjoyable in all the right ways, it’s more of this same well-trodden genre. http://variety.com/2017/tv/reviews/tv-review-im-sorry-andrea-savage-1202492692/

(review) Vulture: Freeform’s The Bold Type Is the Best TV Surprise of 2017 So FarThe Bold Type, a new series set at a Cosmopolitan-like magazine in New York City, is the best surprise of the TV year so far. It’s part journalism drama, part Sex and the City-style female bonding comedy with sex and romance; it’s equally interested in being both things at once, to the best of its ability, and damned if it doesn’t pull it off more often than you’d think. http://www.vulture.com/2017/07/the-bold-type-is-the-best-tv-surprise-of-2017-so-far.html

CASTING NEWS:

Ioan Gruffudd To Topline Australian Drama Series ‘Harrow’ From ABC Studios Int’lIoan Gruffudd has been tapped as the lead in the Australian series Harrow, the first international drama production for the Disney-owned ABC Studios International. http://deadline.com/2017/07/ioan-gruffudd-star-australian-crime-drama-series-harrow-1202126950/

Olivia Munn Joins History’s Military Drama ‘Six’ as Season 2 Series RegularThe ‘Newsroom’ alum will play a high-level operations officer in the 10-episode second season. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/olivia-munn-joins-history-military-drama-six-season-2-1020074

‘Westworld’ Adds ‘Leftovers’ Grad for Season 2
Katja Herbers
will play a seasoned guest on the forthcoming second season of the HBO drama. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/westworld-season-2-katja-herbers-joins-cast-1020085

Natalie Zea to Recur on Showtime’s Jay Pharoah Comedy ‘White Famous’
Kendrick Sampson
(‘How to Get Away With Murder’) is also set for a recurring role. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/natalie-zea-joins-showtime-comedy-white-famous-1019953

‘The Oath’: Kwame Patterson, Elisabeth Röhm, Linda Purl & More Round Out Cast Of Crackle Drama SeriesCrackle has set the cast for its upcoming drama series The Oath, executive produced by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and his G-Unit Film & Television, as production gets underway in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Joining the ensemble cast are Kwame Patterson, Elisabeth Röhm, Linda Purl, Michael Malarkey and Eve Mauro. http://deadline.com/2017/07/the-oath-elisabeth-rohm-linda-purl-recur-crackle-drama-series-1202126497/

‘The Daily Show’ Adds Michael Kosta as New CorrespondentThe stand-up comedian and former pro tennis player will make his debut on Tuesday’s episode of the Trevor Noah talk show. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/daily-show-trevor-noah-adds-michael-kosta-as-correspondent-1020019

FEATURE NEWS:

How Too Many Aging Franchises Wrecked the Summer Box OfficeOnce formidable franchises such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Transformers” keep hitting icebergs like poor reviews and tepid word of mouth. As these costly tentpoles take on water, the summer’s domestic ticket sales have so far sunk 9% from last year, leaving studio executives and industry insiders queasy. http://variety.com/2017/film/news/summer-box-office-2017-spider-man-homecoming-1202491491/

NEW MEDIA / SVOD NEWS:

Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Streaming Platform Gets Launch Date
Lionsgate
is launching Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud streaming platform on Aug. 3 with a slate of original scripted and unscripted comedy series, stand-up specials, licensed programming, and live broadcasts. The Laugh Out Loud app will be available for free on iOS and Android on Aug. 3. Users will have the option to pay $2.99 per month for an ad-free viewing experience and access to binge-watch all episodes of current seasons. http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/kevin-hart-laugh-out-loud-streaming-platform-launch-date-1202491634/

(animated) Hulu Gets All Past Seasons of ‘American Dad,’ ‘Futurama,’ ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ ‘Cleveland Show’
Hulu
is stocking up on animated sitcoms under an expanded pact with 20th Century Fox. The streaming service, under the new agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, is now the exclusive subscription VOD home to the full run of “Bob’s Burgers” and “The Cleveland Show.” http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/hulu-futurama-american-dad-bobs-burgers-cleveland-show-1202491985/

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

‘Catfish’ Spinoff Set as MTV Unveils New Unscripted Lineup
MTV
has greenlighted a spinoff of Catfish, titled Catfish: Trolls; Undressed, a dating series in which contestants are tasked with undressing each other (down to their undergarments) almost immediately after meeting; and game show Win Big. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/catfish-spinoff-set-as-mtv-unveils-new-unscripted-lineup-1018770

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

ABC Oz sets off on Mystery RoadDetective Jay Swan, the protagonist in Ivan Sen’s films Mystery Road and Goldstone, is headed to the small screen. Aaron Pedersen will reprise the role in Mystery Road – The Series, alongside Judy Davis as a small town cop, for the ABC Oz and international distributor All3Media International. Directed by Rachel Perkins and produced by Bunya Productions’ David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin, the plot follows Swan as he investigates the disappearance of two young farm hands on an outback cattle station. http://www.c21media.net/abc-oz-sets-off-on-mystery-road/

TWDC NEWS:

Disney Invests in 11 Tech and Media Companies for 2017 Accelerator ProgramThe Walt Disney Co. is launching its fourth annual incubator program, announcing 11 technology and media companies — including Epic Games, Brit + Co and Samba TV — that will receive funding and other support under the 2017 Disney Accelerator program. http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/disney-accelerator-2017-investments-1202491849/

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

(analyst) DTVE: Parks: 59% of US web homes have Netflix, Amazon or HuluSome 59% of US broadband households subscribe to Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu, according to Parks Associates’ OTT Video Market Tracker. The research firm said that just 6% of US broadband homes subscribe to an over-the-top service that is not one of the ‘top three’ big SVOD services. Meanwhile just 3% were found to subscribe to one or more sports OTT video services, including MLB.TV, NFL Game Pass, NBA League Pass, or WWE Network. http://www.digitaltveurope.net/715751/parks-59-of-us-web-homes-have-netflix-amazon-or-hulu/

Uproxx: Does Anyone Still Have Time To Wait For Shows To Get Good?We all lead hectic lives — even those of us paid to watch and write about TV — and if the reward for sitting through hours of blandness, or worse, isn’t an unforgettable level of creative fireworks, then is it worth it? http://uproxx.com/sepinwall/it-gets-better-after-six-episodes/

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