The Morning Update for Friday, July 28, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Friday, July 28, 2017. Have a great weekend!

SCRIPTED NEWS:

Priyanka Chopra Developing Comedy Series About Bollywood Star at ABCABC is developing a comedy series about a former Bollywood star executive produced by Priyanka Chopra. The currently untitled single-camera series would follow a former Bollywood star who settles down in the suburbs of America with her bi-cultural family and tries to bring her colorful lifestyle to an otherwise dull town. The series is based on the real life of Madhuri Dixit, who will also executive produce. Sri Rao will pen the pilot and executive produce, as will Dixit’s husband, Sriram Nene. Mark Gordon and Nick Pepper will executive produce through the Mark Gordon Company. ABC Studios will produce. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/priyanka-chopra-bollywood-series-abc-1202508618/

Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon to Star in Series About TV Morning Shows
Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are attached to star in an untitled series exploring morning shows and the larger New York media scene that they inhabit. The package, which has not yet hit the market, is expected to be taken out to premium cable outlets like HBO and streaming services including Netflix. The project is based on an original idea and is being spearheaded by former HBO head of drama Michael Ellenberg and his newly launched film and TV production company Media Res. Jay Carson is attached to pen the script and exec produce. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/jennifer-aniston-reese-witherspoon-star-series-tv-morning-shows-1024879

Samuel L. Jackson To Star In ‘Old Man’ Drama Series From Jon Steinberg, Warren Littlefield & Fox 21 TV StudiosOld Man, starring Samuel L. Jackson in his first TV series gig, from Jonathan E. Steinberg, Warren Littlefield and Fox 21 TV Studios, is being pitched to the major basic and pay cable networks and streaming platforms. Old Man centers on widower Dan Chase (Jackson), an average Vermont retiree with a dark secret. Following Chase’s involvement as a young army intelligence hotshot in a botched operation in Libya thirty five years ago, he went on the run, trying to escape people who want him dead. Just as he had begun to think he was finally safe, Chase finds himself again in the crosshairs. http://deadline.com/2017/07/samuel-l-jackson-star-old-man-drama-series-jon-steinberg-warren-littlefield-fox-21-tv-studios-1202137852/

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Boston Crime Drama Nabs Showtime Pilot PickupBen Affleck and Matt Damon and their Pearl Street Films production company have landed a pilot order at Showtime for gun violence drama City on a Hill. Based on an original idea from Affleck, City on a Hill is a fictional account of the "Boston Miracle," a police operation that helped calm the streets. At the center is an African-American district attorney who comes in from Brooklyn advocating change. He forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran who is invested in maintaining the status quo. Chuck MacLean will pen the script for Showtime and Pearl Street Films. Affleck, Damon and Pearl Street’s Jennifer Todd will also executive produce alongside James Mangold. Gavin O’Connor will direct the pilot. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/ben-affleck-matt-damon-boston-crime-drama-nabs-showtime-pilot-pickup-1024694

AMC Developing 1990s Chicago Drama Series From Ben Watkins With Ed Burns Set To Exec Produce & Co-StarAMC has put in development Gang Leader for a Day, a drama series from Ben Watkins, Ed Burns and Radar. Written by Watkins based on Sudhir Venkatesh’s best-selling book, with Burns set to executive produce and act in a supporting role, Gang Leader for a Day centers on Sudhir, a wide-eyed, ambitious young grad student who enters the nation’s largest public housing project to conduct a survey on what it means to be "black and poor in America.” He’s taken captive by the notorious Gangster Disciples, whose leader JT issues a challenge: If Sudhir really wants to find out about life in the projects, he needs to experience it firsthand. http://deadline.com/2017/07/amc-gang-leader-for-a-day-ben-watkins-ed-burns-co-star-1202137217/

Chris Pine Drama From ‘Wonder Woman’ Director Set at TNTTNT has handed out a six-episode straight-to-series pickup for One Day She’ll Darken, starring Chris Pine, with Patty Jenkins set to direct and executive produce. The drama, inspired by the autobiography of Fauna Hodel, will be written by Jenkins’ husband and author Sam Sheridan. Turner’s Studio T will produce, with Michael Sugar also set as an exec producer. One Day She’ll Darken tells the story of Hodel, who was given away by her teenage birth mother to a black restroom attendant in a Nevada casino in 1949. As she begins to investigate the secrets to her past, she follows a sinister trail that swirls closer to an infamous Hollywood gynecologist, Dr. George Hodel, who was involved in the legendary Black Dahlia slaying of Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles in 1947. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/chris-pine-drama-wonder-woman-director-set-at-tnt-1024690

NBC Developing Black Female Mayor Drama With ‘Orville’ Star, ‘West Wing’ WriterNBC is developing a drama series with Penny Johnson Jerald and Allison Abner among its executive producers. The series will be set in Baltimore and follows a newly elected African-American female mayor, her female chief of police, and district attorney as they work for the good of one of America’s most dangerous cities. Abner and Jerald will both serve as executive producers on the project, with Abner also serving as writer. Tom Szentgyorgyi will also executive produce. Sheila Ducksworth and LaVern Whitt will also executive produce. Universal Television will produce. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/nbc-black-female-mayor-drama-penny-johnson-jerald-allison-abner-1202507136/

(animated) Showtime Orders An Animated Series About President Trump From Stephen Colbert…Fans of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert will recognize the star of Showtime’s newest series. President Trump and the "most powerful family in the world" will star in a new half-hour animated series set to premiere on Showtime later this fall. http://www.adweek.com/tv-video/showtime-orders-an-animated-series-about-president-trump-from-stephen-colbert/

‘Angie Tribeca’ Renewed for Season 4 at TBS, ‘Animal Kingdom’ Renewed for Season 3 at TNT“Angie Tribeca” has been renewed for Season 4 at TBS, while “Animal Kingdom” has been renewed for Season 3 at TNT, it was announced Thursday at the TCA summer press tour. http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/angie-tribeca-renewed-season-4-animal-kingdom-season-3-1202508480/

‘Harlots’ Renewed for Second Season at Hulu…The brothel drama stars Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville and Jessica Brown Findlay. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/harlots-renewed-second-season-at-hulu-1024859

‘Wrecked’ Looking Good For Renewal At TBS, ‘Will’ In Limbo At TNTKevin Reilly gave an update on the status of TNT’s new drama Will and TBS’ sophomore comedy Wrecked. There is no renewal decision yet on Wrecked but “it’s looking good,” Reilly told Deadline. http://deadline.com/2017/07/wrecked-season-3-renewal-tbs-will-season-2-renewal-tnt-1202137556/

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Krista Vernoff Returning As Co-Showrunner For Season 14Krista Vernoff, who served as head writer and executive producer for the hit ABC drama series’ first seven seasons, is back for Season 14, joining the showrunning team ofShonda Rhimesand Betsy Beers. Vernoff’s return is part of her new overall deal with ABC Studios and fills the spot left by longtime Grey‘s writer/EP/co-showunner Stacy McKee, who is moving to Grey‘s new firefighter-themed spinoff. http://deadline.com/2017/07/greys-anatomy-krista-vernoff-returning-co-showrunner-season-14-1202137317/

(TCA) Hulu’s ‘Runaways’ "Lives in the Same World" as Other Marvel Fare…But just how, where and what it’s connected to "remains to be seen," exec produce and Marvel head of television Jeph Loeb says. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/hulus-runaways-lives-same-world-as-marvel-fare-1024910

(ratings) 21 Million People Have Watched This Disney Channel Movie…With a rare simulcast and significant time-shifting, ‘Descendants 2’ is the biggest TV movie in years. Descendants 2 easily ranks as the No. 1 cable TV telecast in two years among Disney-coveted tweens, kids 2-11 and kids 6-11. The last time any movie or series pulled near its numbers was in 2015 with the original film. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tv-ratings-21-million-people-have-watched-disney-channel-movie-1024607

CASTING NEWS:

Maria Bello Joins ‘NCIS’ as Series Regular for Season 15…Sources note the actress has inked a three-year deal for the most watched drama in the world. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/maria-bello-joins-ncis-as-series-regular-season-15-1024761

Dexter’s Desmond Harrington Joins Elementary as Series RegularElementary has tapped Dexter vet Desmond Harrington to join the CBS drama’s sixth season. http://tvline.com/2017/07/27/elementary-season-6-desmond-harrington-cast-cbs/

You’re the Worst Adds Son of Zorn and Nobodies Actors for Season 4Johnny Pemberton is one of two recent additions to You’re The Worst‘s Season 4 cast roster. The other is Brendan Jennings, most recently seen on TVLand’s Nobodies. http://tvline.com/2017/07/27/youre-the-worst-season-4-johnny-pemberton-cast/

Chris Messina Is Returning for The Mindy Project’s Final SeasonChris Messina is returning to the show’s sixth and final season in multiple episodes. http://www.tvguide.com/news/chris-messina-return-mindy-project/

NEW MEDIA / SVOD NEWS:

Hulu Resurrects ABC’s TGIF Block With Massive SVOD Deal‘Full House,’ ‘Family Matters,’ ‘Step by Step’ and ‘Perfect Strangers’ are among the comedies coming to the streamer. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/hulu-abc-tgif-shows-svod-deal-1024853

Amazon to up content spend in Q3Amazon plans to up its investment in video content in the current quarter, despite reporting a year-on-decline in net income during Q2 on the back of higher spend. Speaking on the company’s second quarter earnings call, chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said that Amazon would continue to build on its momentum in the video space, after it took a “significant step up” in content spend between the second half of 2016 and the second half of 2015. During Q2 Amazon said that its spend on technology and content grew 51% year-on-year to US$633 million, while marketing spend climbed 66% to US$133 million. http://tbivision.com/news/2017/07/amazon-content-spend-q3/778711/

NON-SCRIPTED / ALTERNATIVE NEWS:

Martial Arts Series ‘Bushido Battleground’ Gets Green Light At El Rey NetworkEl Rey Network has given the green light to Bushido Battleground, a new 10-episode, two-hour martial arts series. Described as part documentary and part travelogue, Bushido Battleground features elite fighters in the full-contact sports of MMA, submission Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai matches from around the world. Cameras not only cover the fights but also track the drama before, during and after the bouts. http://deadline.com/2017/07/martial-arts-series-bushido-battleground-el-rey-network-1202137579/

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:

BBC2 traps Tiger, Cave Bear comedyBBC2 has commissioned a comedy pilot from Benidorm producer Tiger Aspect and fellow Endemol Shine Group prodco Cave Bear. The Other One is being written by British comedian Holly Walsh. The 30-minute sitcom focuses on the comedic differences between long-lost sisters, both named Catherine Walcott, who were unaware of each other’s existence before their father’s death. http://www.c21media.net/bbc2-traps-tiger-cave-bear-comedy/

EXECUTIVE / TALENT NEWS:

(TCA) Kevin Reilly Predicts an Imminent Cable Contraction…The Turner exec says the current volume of series won’t likely diminish — but the number of platforms has reached a saturation point. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/kevin-reilly-predicts-an-imminent-cable-contraction-1024782

AWARDS NEWS:

Katy Perry To Host MTV Video Music AwardsKaty Perry has been set to host this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, which are set to air live August 27 from the Forum in Inglewood. http://deadline.com/2017/07/katy-perry-mtv-video-music-awards-host-1202137370/

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS:

Variety: Comcast Unveils New Details for ‘Instant TV’Comcast executives offered more detail on a plan for a millennial-focused TV service that does not hinge on use of a set-top box. Executives from the Philadelphia entertainment giant suggested during a call with investors that the service, known as “Xfinity Instant TV,” could be launched sometime in the second half of the year. http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/comcast-instant-tv-1202508442/

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