The Morning News Update for Friday, December 15, 2017

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Friday, December 15, 2017.


Freeform Developing Thriller ‘The Kill Book’ From ‘Mysteries Of Laura’ Team

Freeform has put in development drama The Kill Book. It hails from The Mysteries of Laura creator/executive producer Jeff Rake, co-executive producer Jeffrey Lippman, executive producer Aaron Kaplan and the production companies behind the NBC series, Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Warner Bros. TV via its cable unit Warner Horizon Scripted TV.


NBC Developing ‘IT Crowd’ Remake With Original Series Creator Graham Linehan (EXCLUSIVE)

NBC is taking another crack at adapting the British sitcom “The IT Crowd” for American audiences, Variety has learned exclusively. Original series creator Graham Linehan is set to write and executive produce a reimagining of the show, which follows the employees in the IT department of a massive corporation.


ABC’s ‘Roseanne’ Revival Premieres in March

ABC’s Roseanne revival has a premiere date. According to Deadline, the network announced today that the revival, which was given a straight-to-series order back in May, will air on its original ‘90s time slot Tuesday nights at 8:00pm. The hourlong premiere episode will air on March 27th from 8:00-9:00pm then pick back up with half-hour episodes the following week.


‘The Chi’: Showtime Offers Free Sampling Of Series Premiere

Beginning today, Showtime is offering free sampling of the January 7 series premiere of its anticipated new drama series The Chi, created and executive produced by Lena Waithe (Master of None), and executive produced by Common (John Wick 2) and Elwood Reid (The Bridge). The premiere episode is available for free now on YouTube, Facebook and, as well as across multiple television and streaming providers’ devices, websites, applications and authenticated online…



Apple Orders Ronald D. Moore Space Drama Series

Ronald D. Moore is heading back to space. Apple has given a straight-to-series order to a space drama from the Battlestar Galactica developer. The untitled project hails from Sony Pictures Television and Moore’s studio-based Tall Ship Productions. Created and written by Moore, along with Fargo co-executive producers Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi, the untitled series explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended.



Hawaii Five-0 Taps Vincent Pastore to Play Danny’s ‘Uncle’ From Jersey

Well, this Hawaii Five-0 casting should be a big hit with TV fans: The Sopranos veteran Vincent Pastore is joining the cast of the CBS procedural in a recurring role. Our sister site Deadline reports that Pastore will play Danny’s “uncle” Vito, a contractor who hails from (you guessed it) New Jersey.



Jim Parsons Options Film Rights To TVLine Chief Michael Ausiello Memoir ‘Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies’

In a competitive situation. Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak‘s That’s Wonderful Productions has optioned the film rights to Michael Ausiello‘s acclaimed memoir Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies, with Parsons attached to star. Parsons and Spiewak will be producers, and Ausiello — the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Deadline’s sister site — will be executive producer.


Global Road Entertainment Acquires Stanley Tucci-Starring Thriller ‘The Silence’

Global Road Entertainment has secured the U.S. distribution rights to The Silence, a suspense thriller from Annabelle director the John Leonetti. Stanley Tucci (Spotlight), Kiernan Shipka (AMC’s Mad Men), Miranda Otto (Annabelle: Creation), and John Corbett (HBO’s Sex and the City) star in the pic, which is based the novel by fantasy-horror writer Tim Lebbon.


‘The Polka King,’ Netflix Comedy Starring Jack Black, First Trailer Drops

Netflix just released the first trailer for its Jack Black-starring comedy The Polka King, which it picked up in June at Sundance for high seven figures. The film is based on the documentary film The Man Who Would Be Polka King from directors John Mikulak and Joshua Von Brown. The film version was directed by Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky who also scripted.


Jim Gaffigan to Star in Dramatic Thriller ‘All the Animals Come Out at Night’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Jim Gaffigan is set to star in “All The Animals Come Out At Night,” sources tell Variety. Robbie Jones, Isabel Arraiza and Tammy Blanchard are also on board to star with Derrick Borte directing. Borte is also writing along with Daniel Forte.


Jennifer Morrison’s Directorial Debut ‘Sun Dogs’ Lands At Netflix

Jennifer Morrison‘s feature directorial debut Sun Dogs has landed at Netflix. I hear that the streaming service has picked up worldwide rights to the film, which stars Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, Xzibit, Allison Janney and Ed O’Neill. Sun Dogs is a poignant story about an intellectually limited young man, desperate to serve in the armed forces despite countless rejections, searching for meaning in his own life.



ABC fires Mario Batali from ‘The Chew’ following sexual misconduct allegations

ABC has parted ways with celebrity chef Mario Batali, who will no longer be part of the network’s daytime show “The Chew” following allegations of sexual misconduct. Batali has been off the show since Monday after allegations were published on the website Eater New York.



UK Pubcaster Channel 4 Hunts ‘Love Island’-Style Entertainment Format

UK broadcaster Channel 4 is hunting its own Love Island-style stripped reality series as it continues its push to attract younger viewers. I hear that the network is searching for a “Machiavellian” entertainment format for its youth-skewing station E4 and is in talks with a slew of production companies. The channel has begun talking to UK producers as it searches for a ”conversation starter” that would run in primetime for three to four weeks next summer and and would appeal to 16-34 year olds.


London Film Festival Director Clare Stewart to Take Year-long Sabbatical

Clare Stewart will take a break from running the BFI London Film Festival, with Tricia Tuttle filling in as artistic director in 2018. Stewart has run six editions of the London fest but will miss 2018 as she takes a year-long sabbatical.



Will Disney-Fox Deal Face Antitrust Challenge From Trump Administration Like AT&T-Time Warner?

While Donald Trump’s Department of Justice has thrown a huge monkey wrench into one media-mega-merger by suing AT&T to block its planned acquisition of Time Warner, will Disney’s proposed $52.4-billion purchase of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets meet a similar fate? Antitrust experts say that’s unlikely.

(the wrap)


CBS Plans Elton John Grammy Tribute Concert For 2018

CBS, the Recording Academy and AEG Ehrlich Ventures will present Elton John: I’m Still Standing – A Grammy Salute at New York’s Theater at Madison Square Garden January 30 for broadcast later in 2018. The all-star tribute concert line-up will include Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, and Little Big Town, among others. John will also perform at the concert, playing a selection of hits from throughout his career.



Vice Media’s Andy Capper Leaves Youth-Focused Company

Vice Media‘s Andy Capper, one of the longest serving producers at the youth-focused brand, has left the company. The reasons for Capper’s departure from the company are not immediately clear. Capper has been at Vice Media since 2001; he co-founded the company’s UK division, one of its key international outposts, along with Andrew Creighton and was involved in the business’ early move into video, working on its first DVD series, funded by MTV, as well as its Heavy Metal In Baghdad project and The Vice Guide To Liberia, which featured warlords and cannibals.



SPE Boss Talks “Opportunities” Stemming From Pending “Sea Change” Disney-Fox Deal, Vows To Grow Company, Not Sell

While expected for a while, the official announcement today of a proposed $52.4 billion Disney acquisition of prime 21st Century Fox assets no doubt is creating anxiety at the other big entertainment companies, which are suddenly being dwarfed by the new Disney, which would combine two major film studios and two TV ones, in addition to a host of other entities.


Lin-Manuel Miranda Announces the Hamildrops (the ‘Hamilton’ Mixtape Vol. 2) With ‘Ben Franklin’s Song,’ Featuring The Decemberists (Listen)

On Friday morning, a press release arrived from “Hamilton” mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda announcing The Hamildrops, which is basically a long-term mixtape, with unspecified “new ‘Hamilton’ content” to be released monthly for the next year.


Refinery29 Lays Off 34 Staffers in Latest Sign of Digital-Media Malaise

Refinery29 has pink-slipped 34 employees, with the digital media player citing a “challenging” advertising environment for the layoffs. The New York-based company said the cuts represent 7.5% of its workforce, leaving it with around 420 employees worldwide. Refinery29 targets young female audiences with a mix of news, lifestyle, and video content.