The Morning Update for Monday, July 31, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Monday, July 31, 2017:


Marti Noxon’s ‘Dietland’ Adaptation Ordered to Series at AMCAMC handed out a 10-episode series order to Marti Noxon’s adaptation of Sarai Walker’s 2015 novel. The series, a co-production between Skydance Television and AMC Studios, has not yet been cast and will premiere in 2018. Dietland is described as part coming-of-age story and part revenge fantasy. The series is set against the backdrop of the beauty industry and explores society’s obsession with weight loss and beauty in a bold, original and funny fashion.

Rainn Wilson, Greg Nicotero, Chris Hardwick Developing Scripted Dramas for AMCAMC is replenishing its development pipeline with seven scripted projects from the likes of Rainn Wilson, The Walking Dead’s Greg Nicotero and Fear the Walking Dead star Colman Domingo and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick. Also included in the slate is an unscripted horror anthology from Jason Blum.

Sundance Now to Co-Produce Comedy From ‘Veep’ ProducerSundance Now announced two major acquisitions, as well as a new co-production with BBC Worldwide North America from former Veep executive producer Simon Blackwell. Created and written by Blackwell, Back is a six-part dark comedy that follows Stephen (David Mitchell) as he tries to follow in his recently deceased father’s footsteps and take over the family business, but his plans are soon foiled by the unexpected return of his estranged foster brother, Andrew (Robert Webb).

SundanceTV and CBC Team for Tainted Blood Scandal Miniseries ‘Unspeakable’SundanceTV is teaming with Canadian broadcaster CBC for Unspeakable, an eight-part drama from creator and showrunner Robert C. Cooper based on first-hand experiences and two nonfiction books on the subject — Bad Blood by Vic Parsons and The Gift of Death by Andre Picard. The drama chronicles the emergence of HIV and Hepatitis C in Canada in the early ’80s and the tragedy that followed when thousands were unnecessarily infected by tainted blood.

IFC Announces Development on 11 New Comedies For 2018IFC has announced 11 new comedy projects as part of their development slate for 2018, including a new scripted program from Oliver Platt. “NGO” is a half-hour executive produced by Platt and John Lyons and written and executive produced by Collin Friesen that follows a “gin-soaked but charismatic head of a private West African charity that he guides with a fist full of American cash in one hand and a rocket-launcher in the other.”

(from Fri) ‘Twilight’ Creator Lands Supernatural Drama Series at StarzStarz has handed out a straight-to-series order for supernatural thriller The Rook. From Lionsgate and Liberty Global, The Rook will be executive produced by Stephanie Meyer and showrunner Stephen Garrett. The series is adapted and co-produced by screenwriters Sam Holcroft and Al Muriel and is based on the novel by Daniel O’Malley. The Rook tells the story of a young woman who wakes up in a London park suffering total amnesia — and surrounded by dead bodies, all wearing latex gloves.

(from Fri) ‘UnREAL’ and ‘Mary Kills People’ Renewed at LifetimeUnREAL has been renewed for a fourth season, while assisted-suicide drama Mary Kills People has been picked up for a second season. Additionally, the A+E Networks channel has greenlighted a biopic about Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles.

(from Fri) ‘The Good Witch’ Renewed For Season 4 By Hallmark ChannelThe Good Witch will be back. Hallmark Channel confirmed the series has been renewed for a fourth season.

(from Fri) Jonathan Gabay Upped to Senior VP Comedy at FoxJonathan Gabay has been promoted to senior vp comedy development and programming. In his new post, Gabay will report directly to Fox exec vp comedy development Suzanna Makkos and will be charged with helping drive development efforts for the network’s comedy slate and leading series coverage on existing half-hour shows.

(from Fri) ‘American Crime Story: Katrina’ "Stalled," Director Says…"We’re all standing by waiting to find out what’s happening," producing helmer Anthony Hemingway told THR at TCA. Despite having cast several key roles with high-profile stars — including Dennis Quaid as former President George W. Bush, Annette Bening as former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Matthew Broderick as former Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael D. Brown — it’s possible the installment of the FX anthology may never come to fruition.


‘Mozart In The Jungle’: Michael Emerson Set To Recur In Season 4Person of Interest and Lost alum Michael Emerson has been cast in a recurring role on Season 4 of the Golden Globe-winning Amazon seriesMozart in the Jungle.


How TV networks are adapting to millennials’ phone-first viewing habits… NBC News’s latest strategy, rather than trying to go talking-head-to-head with a social media “frenemy”, is to team up with Snapchat on a twice-daily video newscast called Stay Tuned. Covering both national and international news, politics and pop culture in two to three minutes, Stay Tuned is a “snappier” version of a traditional 22-minute newscast and has two ad spots of 10 seconds each. With a rotating cast of young anchors and a newsroom of 30, it is aimed squarely at a millennial audience, the same audience the networks have been losing.


HBO’s ‘All Def Comedy’ To Return As Series In DecemberHBO has picked up Russell SimmonsAll Def Comedy stand-up series for a six-episode season that will kick of in December. The order comes after HBO aired an All Def Comedy one-off special in November, part of Simmons’ overall first-look deal with the premium cabler. The shows will be taped October 10-11 at the Avalon Theatre in Los Angeles and hosted by Tony Rock.

‘TRL’ Officially Revived as MTV Continues Live PushChris McCarthy is officially reviving TRL (Total Request Live). The revived TRL will feature five co-hosts — including rapper-comedian DC Young Fly and Chicago radio host Erik Zachary — and be broadcast live starting in October from a new state-of-the-art studio that McCarthy is having constructed in Times Square. Additional hosts are expected to be announced as MTV remains in negotiations with YouTube personalities, among others.

PBS Orders New Series to Choose America’s Favorite BookPBS has ordered “The Great American Read,” a new series designed to explore America’s 100 best-loved books. The eight-part series, set to premiere in spring, 2018, will be paired with a new community program to promote reading, as well as a digital and social-media campaign.


BBC Studios lands five BBC pilots…The BBC has commissioned a dozen comedy pilots across three of its channels, with the revamped BBC Studios working on five of them. The BBC Studios projects include Mister Winner, directed by Ben Palmer, which tells the story of an accident-prone and unfortunate man. …The Pact follows two teenagers who make a pact to marry at 35 if they are still single. The comedy drama is directed by Tony Dow. …Written and produced by Jon Macqueen, Hailmakers follows two characters on their mission to make easy money.

ABC’s Ronny Chieng set for BBC…The BBC has broadcast rights to Ronny Chieng International Student (7×30’) for three years. The series sees Malaysian comedian and actor Chieng playing himself and is based on his experiences as an international university student living and studying in Australia. Chieng, who also appears as a senior correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, co-wrote the series with writer Declan Fay.


Studio71 Hires James Stafford to Head Expanded U.K. Operations, Jeremy Stein as SVP Scripted ContentStudio71 has expanded operations in the U.K. with the launch of a dedicated studio and named former StyleHaul exec James Stafford as managing director of U.K. operations. The digital media company also has hired Jeremy Stein, who hails from Broken Road Productions, to its U.S. team as senior VP of scripted content.


Recode: TV sets are starting to disappear from American homes…After years of steady increases, the number of TVs in homes shrank to an average of 2.3 in 2015, down from an average of 2.6 televisions per household in 2009, according to the latest available data from the Energy Information Administration. The best-case scenario for that, put forward by the people who sell TV programming for a living, is that Americans are watching TV on devices that aren’t TVs, like laptops, tablets and phones. The flip side of that argument: You can do lots of other things on those devices, which creates even more competition for TV viewing time.