The Morning Update for Monday, August 7, 2017.

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Monday, August 7, 2017:


Alec Baldwin Inks First-Look Deal With ABC Studios…He will develop scripted and unscripted projects for the Disney-owned studio and return as host for the third season of ‘Match Game.’

Netflix Buys Comics Publisher Behind Kingsman, Kick-AssNetflix — in the first company acquisition in its history — has bought Millarworld, the comic-book publishing firm founded by Mark Millar, creator of characters and stories including Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Old Man Logan. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. Netflix said it will develop films, TV shows and kids’ series based on Millarworld’s portfolio. For Netflix, the move reflects its desire to own and develop intellectual property, rather than simply license it.

(from Fri) Makeready Acquires ‘Rocket Men’ Book About Apollo 8 Mission For TV AdaptationBrad Weston’s recently launched Makeready has nabbed the rights to bestselling author Robert Kurson’s upcoming book Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon, to adapt for television. Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Jon Liebman is producing with Makeready. Rocket Men tells the story of the Apollo 8 mission –man’s first journey away from his home planet, and his first arrival at the Moon.

(from Fri) Fox Developing Legal Drama ‘Infamy’ From ‘Empire’ Co-Creator Danny Strong…Entitled Infamy and written by David Elliot, the script plus penalty commitment for the hourlong legal drama is the first sale of Danny Strong Productions since the Emmy winner founded his company with ex-Imagine exec Stacy Greenberg earlier this year. The female led new show focuses on a law firm that specializes in tackling wrongful conviction cases and exonerating the innocent.

(from Fri) Topher Grace To Topline ‘Treasure Squad’ Dramedy From Will Gluck & Sony TV…That ’70s Show star Topher Grace is eying a return to series television withTreasure Squad, an hourlong dramedy, which he co-wrote and is attached to headline and executive produce. A spec script for the project, from Sony Pictures TV and Will Gluck’s studio-based Olive Bridge Entertainment, was recently sent out to broadcast, cable and streaming networks and has garnered interest from multiple outlets, mostly in the cable and digital space. Written on spec by Grace, Gluck and Joel Church-Cooper, the project revolves around a group of childhood friends who used to go on treasure hunts as kids and reunite after years apart for one last big adventure.

(sched) ‘Mr. Robot’ Gets Season 3 Premiere Date On USA & New Trailer…The third season will debut Wednesday, October 11 at 10 PM/9 PM Central on USA Network.

(from Fri) ‘Scandal’ Star Darby Stanchfield to Direct Final Season Episode…The actress has been shadowing star and frequent director Tony Goldwyn and previously helmed web series ‘Gladiator Wanted.’

No Cynicism Allowed: ABC Banks on Family Comedies With Multigenerational AppealABC is going against the prevailing winds in TV and making a big bet on family values. The network is banking on the strength of its comedy roster this fall by expanding its Tuesday sitcom block from one to two hours. …“We’re looking at what we do well and we want to expand and grow,” Dungey said. “I don’t think we’re ever going to do a comedy that is cynical. That’s just not who we are as a network.”

(TCA) Marvel’s Jeph Loeb Counters ‘Inhumans’ CriticismMarvel head of television Jeph Loeb defended the studio’s upcoming series “Inhumans” Sunday at the Television Critics Association press tour against assertions that the show’s premiere episode does not match the quality of previous Marvel efforts. “I can tell you that it was written on the material that you were given that the show that you have seen is not the finished product,” Loeb said when asked whether the series had turned out as he had hoped it. “If you’re asking me whether or not it was done, it’s not. So to be perfectly honest, I don’t understand your question.”


Johnny Galecki in Talks to Join ‘Roseanne’ RevivalJohnny Galecki is in talks to reprise his role as David Healy on ABC’s upcoming revival of “Roseanne.” “Those conversations are still in progress,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said Sunday at the Television Critics Association press tour.

(from Fri) ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Adds Abigail Spencer in Key Recasting…The ‘Timeless’ star will replace Bridget Regan and play Kevin McKidd’s on-screen sister.

(from Fri) ‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’: Jeff Ward Set To Recur In Season 5Jeff Ward (Manson’s Lost Girls) has been tapped for a key recurring role in the upcoming fifth season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

(from Fri) Matthew Weiner Recruits Isabelle Huppert & ‘Mad Men’ Alums For Amazon Anthology Series ‘The Romanoffs’The Romanoffs, Matthew Weiner’s followup series to his Emmy winning Mad Men, has started to assemble its cast. Joining the Amazon contemporary anthology series as guest stars are Academy Award nominee Isabelle Huppert (Elle) and two former Mad Men co-stars, Christina Hendricks and John Slattery. Also cast in the series, co-produced with Weinstein Television, are Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), Amanda Peet (Togetherness), and Marthe Keller (Marathon Man).

(from Fri) Meagan Good Reprising ‘Californication’ Role in New Showtime Comedy…Actress Meagan Good has been tapped to appear in two episodes of the forthcoming comedy starring Jay Pharoah — and she’ll be reprising her role from the premium cable network’s Californication.

(from Fri) Grey’s: Matthew Morrison Returning as Jo’s Hubby for ‘Big’ Season 14 StintMatthew Morrison is confirming what many Grey’s Anatomy fans had suspected: We have not seen the last of Jo’s abusive husband.

(from Fri) ‘Arrow’ Adds Sydelle Noel for Season 6The CW’s first DC show, “Arrow,” has cast Sydelle Noel in a recurring role for its sixth season.

(from Fri) Supergirl Casts 24 Vet Carlos Bernard24 alum Carlos Bernard will guest-star during Season 3 of the CW series as Maggie Sawyer’s father.

(from Fri) ‘Trial & Error’: John Lithgow May Return For Arc In Season 2 Of NBC ComedyJohn Lithgow, star of the first season of NBC’s well-received anthology comedy series Trial & Error, is eyeing a Season 2 return.


Skydance, Paramount Ink New Four-Year DealSkydance Media is staying put at Paramount. The David Ellison run production company has signed a four-year deal with the studio, with the goal of producing three to four features a year. Under the deal, Paramount will have the opportunity to co-finance and distribute Skydance productions, while Skydance will retain the option to co-produce and co-finance certain of Paramount’s feature films.


Warner Bros. Digital Networks Sets October For Official Stage 13 LaunchWarner Bros. Digital Networks has set October for the official launch of Stage 13, its new original digital content brand aimed at creating “unapologetic” scripted and unscripted short-form series. Headed by Diana Mogollón, SVP and General Manager Stage 13, Christopher Mack, SVP of Warner Bros. TV and head of scripted content for Stage 13, and Shari Scorca, head of unscripted for Stage 13, the brand will debut in October via YouTube, Facebook and at

YouTube’s Fastest-Growing Audience Is In the Living Room and Advertisers Want in…Although most digital content producers, including YouTube, are fixated on mobile phones and producing short-form shows for audiences on the go, YouTube viewers are increasingly firing up the TV set. "Our fastest-growing area is the big screen, the TV," said Sarah Ali, head of living room products. In 2016, viewership on TV screens grew 90% compared to 2015, according to YouTube. And in 2017, viewership on TV screens is set to rise another 90%, the company said.

FX to Offer $6 Subscription Service FX+ for Ad-Free Episodes Via ComcastComcast and FX Networks are teaming up to launch FX+, a new subscription service that charges $6 for ad-free access to current seasons of all of its original series, as well as a full catalog of previous shows.


‘Celebrity Family Feud,’ ‘$100,000 Pyramid’ Renewed at ABC…The Sunday retro game shows are hosted by Steve Harvey and Michael Strahan, respectively.

(from Fri) NBC Developing New Music Reality SeriesNBC and its growing Universal Television Alternative studio have set their sights on developing a music reality series format. The new series, now in the works, is earmarked for a 2018 launch.

(from Fri) Whoopi Goldberg Returning to ‘The View’ for Season 21…This years marks her 10th anniversary on the ABC daytime talk show.

(from Fri) Disney Channel Reviving ’90s Camp Series ‘Bug Juice’Disney Channel is bringing back the ’90s camp series “Bug Juice.” “Bug Juice,” which aired for three seasons from 1998 through 2001, followed young kids at summer camp. The series was Disney’s first-ever original unscripted show. The modern-day reboot will take place at Camp Waziyatah in Maine where the first original season filmed. The new version of the show will capture the authentic adventures of a group of kids from the ages of 10-12 as they head to summer camp.


(TCA) ABC’s Channing Dungey Talks ‘American Idol,’ ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ and Multiplatform Viewing…Like her network executive peers, Dungey addressed the challenges that broadcast TV in particular is having when it comes to audience measurement of viewing across multiple platforms. She urged the roomful of reporters to remember that many ABC shows show double- and triple-digit audience gains in Nielsen’s live-plus-7 ratings and streaming platforms are factored in. “When people talk about the death of broadcast television, I don’t think they’re taking (the full) audience into account,” she said. ABC in particular tends to run serialized dramas that lend themselves to binge-watching via delayed viewing, she added.


‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Wins Top Honor at 2017 TCA AwardsHulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale scored two key victories — including program of the year — at Saturday’s ceremony. NBC’s This Is Us was recognized as best new program. And FX’s Atlanta took home the trophy for best comedy, while the show’s star Donald Glover was the winner for achievement in comedy. Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming: Speechless, ABC.


Ringer: Mourning the Loss of the Long TV Season… According to IMDb, the overall 2017 seasonal average is down to just nine episodes, although that includes series from other countries whose TV seasons have historically tended to be shorter. The precise length of the typical TV season in 2017 depends on how one defines and dissects the data set (and on the channel and genre), but it seems safe to say that in general the season tends to be roughly half as long as it was 15 years ago. …The era of “too much TV” is also, at times, the era of not quite enough of any one well-loved show.