The Morning Update for Monday, July 17, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Monday, July 17, 2017:

SCRIPTED NEWS:

(from Fri) ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Fargo’ Creators Team for FX Crime DramaBased on the series of founder Evan Ratliff’s investigative stories from longform nonfiction publishing platform Atavist Magazine, The Mastermind revolves around Paul Le Roux, a former programmer and criminal cartel boss-turned-Drug Enforcement Administration informant. Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo will exec produce and direct the drama, which is currently in development. Noah Hawley and his FX Productions-based 26 Keys banner will also exec produce. Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment will also exec produce with Dave Alpert also on board. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-fargo-creators-team-fx-crime-drama-1020991

(from Fri) Syfy to Develop Supernatural Drama From ‘Go the F— to Sleep’ Author
Syfy
is developing an hour-long supernatural drama series based on the Adam Mansbach novel “Rage Is Back.” The series is set in 1987 during New York’s “War on Graffiti.” In this world, a young graffiti crew copes with the murder of one of their members, investigating a connection to shamans of the past and making them masters of the urban underground who use coded language and symbols in spiritual warfare. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/syfy-adam-mansbach-rage-is-back-1202489667/

(from Fri) ‘Locke & Key’: Andy Muschietti To Direct Hulu Pilot Based On Graphic NovelHulu’s one-hour horror-fantasy drama Locke & Key is getting a new director. Horror filmmaker Andy Muschietti has been tapped to helm the adaptation of the IDW comic by Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. He replaces originally attached Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who has a scheduling conflict with another pilot he is directing, Snowpiercer at TNT, which stars Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs. http://deadline.com/2017/07/locke-key-andy-muschietti-replace-scott-derrickson-director-hulu-pilot-1202129058/

(from Fri) ‘Highland’: Nisha Ganatra To Direct TNT Pilot Starring Margaret ChoBusy TV episodic director Nisha Ganatra has landed her first pilot directing gig with Highland, TNT’s comedic drama starring Margaret Cho and written and executive produced by Cho and Lost alumna Liz Sarnoff, who also will serve as showrunner. http://deadline.com/2017/07/highland-nisha-ganatra-direct-tnt-pilot-margaret-cho-1202129210/

(from Fri) Blake McCormick Inks 20th Century Fox TV Overall Deal, Joins ‘Ghosted’ As Co-EPComedy writer-producer Blake McCormick has closed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under the pact, he is joining the studio’s new fall paranormal comedy Ghostedon Fox as co-executive producer while also developing new projects. http://deadline.com/2017/07/blake-mccormick-20th-century-fox-tv-overall-deal-ghosted-co-ep-1202128978/

(review) Variety: AMC’s ‘Loaded’
“Loaded”
is a relatively low-stakes drama, but given its limited scope, it’s endearing and engaging. The characters have real affection for each other, which makes this show very different from HBO’s “Silicon Valley.” “Loaded” is “Silicon Valley” if Pied Piper ever managed to get acquired — and if the characters were better people who cared about each other. http://variety.com/2017/tv/reviews/review-loaded-amc-1202496080/

CASTING NEWS:

BBC Reveals First Female ‘Doctor Who’ LeadThe BBC on Sunday revealed Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor for hit series Doctor Who. She will be the first female lead for the sci-fi series on the U.K. public broadcaster. Current lead Peter Capaldi will leave his role after this year’s Christmas special. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bbc-reveals-first-female-doctor-who-lead-1021527

(from Fri) ‘Designated Survivor’: Ben Lawson Cast As Series Regular In Season 2Former The Deep End star Ben Lawson has been cast as a series regular opposite Kiefer Sutherland and Maggie Q in Season 2 of ABC‘s drama series Designated Survivor, from the Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios. http://deadline.com/2017/07/designated-survivor-ben-lawson-cast-series-regular-season-2-1202129188/

(from Fri) ‘The Expanse’: David Strathairn Cast In Key Role In Syfy Space Drama SeriesDavid Strathairn has been tapped for a major recurring role in the upcoming third season of Syfy’s hit space drama The Expanse. http://deadline.com/2017/07/the-expanse-david-strathairn-cast-syfy-space-drama-series-1202129079/

(from Fri) ‘Narcos’: Boyd Holbrook Exits as Season 3 Reset Revealed
Boyd Holbrook
, who played the other real DEA agent on which the show is based, won’t be returning as Steve Murphy. The third season premieres Sept. 1. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/narcos-reveals-season-3-details-confirms-boyd-holbrooks-exit-1021222

FEATURE NEWS:

‘Aladdin’: Disney Remake Finds Its LeadsRelative newcomer Mena Massoud and Power Rangers star Naomi Scott have booked a flight on a magic carpet. Guy Ritchie will direct the movie musical, which will see Will Smith as the Genie. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/aladdin-disney-remake-finds-leads-1020047

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

(from Fri) Chance The Rapper Eyed To Host ‘Def Poetry Jam’ Reboot For Russell Simmons & HBORussell Simmons is looking to restart his Def Poetry Jam and is talking with Grammy-winner Chance the Rapper to host it. Simmons teased the new project, which would be called All Def Poetry, on Instagram, saying the potential series is in the works at HBO. http://deadline.com/2017/07/chance-the-rapper-all-def-poetry-series-russell-simmons-hbo-1202129075/

Reality Reasserts Itself in Summer TV With Record 11 New Shows
‘World of Dance’
ranks as TV’s top summer freshman since ‘Under the Dome’ — thanks in part to airing after ‘America’s Got Talent.’ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/reality-reasserts-summer-tv-record-11-new-shows-1020206

TWDC NEWS:

Vulture: The Inside Story of Why Disney Spent Half a Billion Dollars on an Avatar Theme Park…But the biggest question you’ll probably ask yourself is why? Why did Disney, a company flush with recognizable brands like Star Wars and Marvel, spend more than a half-decade and hundreds of millions of dollars working with one of the most notoriously difficult filmmakers on the planet to create a land based on a movie that people rarely talk about and hardly remember? The answer is a complicated one. But it has a lot to do with a certain boy wizard. http://www.vulture.com/2017/07/disney-world-pandora-avatar-theme-park.html

NYT: Disney Vows to Give Epcot a Magical, Long-Overdue MakeoverA major new ride — themed to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the hit Marvel movie series — is planned for Epcot’s front section, where a simulator attraction, Mission: Space, will be updated and expanded. A ride based on the Pixar film “Ratatouille” will be added to the park’s World Showcase area. And Epcot will serve as a stop for a new gondola system called Disney Skyliner connecting various hotels and parks. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/business/media/disney-epcot-theme-parks.html

D23 Expo: 13 Biggest Stories From Disney’s Massive FestivalOver two days, Disney gave their fans all the hype they could handle at the D23 Expo in Anaheim. While no trailers for “Thor: Ragnarok,” or “Black Panther,” there was more than enough to keep Disney, “Star Wars” and Marvel fans excited for what’s to come. Here’s the biggest news that came out of the convention this year. http://www.thewrap.com/d23-expo-13-biggest-stories-disney/

EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:

Seven Bucks Prods. Boosts TV Development Team With New Executive HireFormer MTV and Bravo exec Chelsea Friedland has been tapped for the position of vice president of development, in which she will oversee the development of new scripted and unscripted television projects. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/seven-bucks-productions-chelsea-friedland-development-executive-1202496102/

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

(tech) Verge: Amazon is reportedly working on a messaging app called AnytimeAmazon.com is reportedly working on launching its own messaging app called Anytime. Anytime appears to be “an all-in-one feature rich service that could even rival social networks,” with a focus on messaging, voice and video calls, and photo sharing, with users able to apply filters to pictures and videos, @mention other users, use sticker and Gifs, and play games. Users would be able to call (audio and video) other individuals or groups, contact businesses to order products or make reservations. https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/16/15978920/amazon-anytime-messaging-app-rumor

Please let me know if there are any topics you’d like additional coverage on, or if you know anyone else who would like to be added to this distro.

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