The Morning News Update for Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hi all, here’s your Morning Update for Tuesday, March 20, 2018.


‘Sneaky Pete’ Relocates Production From New York to California

California is luring yet another TV show out West. Amazon’sSneaky Pete is relocating production from New York to the Golden State in its third season, though the show has yet to be officially renewed by the streamer. The crime drama marks the thirteenth TV series to relocate to California under the state’s revamped tax incentives program, which has a separate pot of funding designated to relocating shows.


Stranger Things Stars Score Big Raises Ahead of Season 3: Report

It pays to battle the Demogorgon: The stars of Netflix’s sci-fi hit Stranger Things will be getting big pay raises for the upcoming third season, our sister site Deadline is reporting.


Outlander Has Already Begun Working on Season 5

Outlander may be gearing up for Season 4 right now, but the time-traveling drama is already looking ahead to the future. The show has already begun laying the groundwork for Season 5 despite not yet receiving the official green light from Starz.


‘The Crown’ Production Company Takes Blame and Apologizes for Matt Smith Being Paid More Than Claire Foy

Left Bank Pictures, the production company behind Netflix’s drama series The Crown has issued a statement taking full responsibility for the pay gap that resulted in Matt Smith receiving a higher salary than lead actress Claire Foy during the first two seasons of the show. The pay gap was confirmed by producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries earlier this month. The producers said Smith was being paid more because of his popularity from Doctor Who.



Karimah Westbrook Joins CW’s April Blair/Spencer Paysinger Pilot; Justina Adorno Books ABC’s ‘Grand Hotel’

Karimah Westbrook (Suburbicon) is set as a series regular in the CW’s untitled April Blair/Spencer Paysinger drama pilot from writer April Blair, Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV.


‘Designated Survivor’: Nora Zehetner Set To Recur On ABC Drama Series

Nora Zehetner (It Happened In LA) is set for a recurring role opposite Kiefer Sutherland on ABC drama series Designated Survivor from Entertainment One/Mark Gordon and ABC Studios. Zehetner will play Valeria Poriskova. Intelligent, attractive and formidable, Valeria is officially a “cultural attaché” at Russia’s Washington, D.C. embassy.


Jenna Dewan Tatum to Star in Fox’s ‘Mixtape’ Pilot

Jenna Dewan Tatum has been cast as the lead in the Fox musical drama pilot Mixtape, from Quantico creator Joshua Safran.


‘The Code’: Mira Sorvino To Star In CBS Drama Pilot

Mira Sorvino is set for a lead role opposite Dave Annable and Anna Wood in CBS’ drama pilot The Code, from CBS Television Studios and studio-based Timberman/Beverly.


Ving Rhames to Co-Star in CBS’ ‘Cagney and Lacey’ Reboot

Ving Rhames is returning to the small screen. The Mission: Impossible and Pulp Fiction alum has joined the cast of CBS’Cagney and Lacey reboot.


Mike O’Gorman Joins Fox’s Erin Foster Comedy Pilot; CW’s ‘Playing Dead’ Casts Curran Walters

Mike O’Gorman(Vice Principals) has booked a series regular role opposite Erin Foster and Don Johnson in Fox’s untitled Erin Foster single-camera comedy pilot (fka Daddy Issues), from actress-writer Foster, New Girl creator Liz Meriwether and 20th Century Fox TV.


Lena Dunham’s ‘Camping’ Adds Juliette Lewis to Cast “Girls” creators Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner are rounding out the cast for their new HBO series. Juliette Lewis, Janicza Bravo, Arturo Del Puerto, and Brett Gelman have been cast as series regulars in “Camping,” joining previously announced stars Jennifer Garner and David Tennant. Bridget Everett has also been added in a recurring role.


Matt Ryan To Join ‘DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow’ As Series Regular For Season 4

John Constantine is permanently joining the team aboard the Waverider. Matt Ryan, who plays the antihero demon hunter, will join the CW’s superhero series DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow as a series regular in the upcoming Season 4.



Amazon Is Spending as Much as $500 Million on Its ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series — Report

Amazon’s attempt to launch a Game of Thrones–style TV show won’t be cheap: Reuters reports that the streaming service’s forthcoming Lord of the Rings series could cost as much as $500 million. The original film trilogy, released between 2001–03, came with a comparatively modest price tag of $281 million, whereas the more recent Hobbit trilogy cost a reported $623 million.



Live-Action ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Gets ‘Lego Ninjago Movie’ Director

Charlie Bean, director of The Lego Ninjago Movie, has been signed by Disney to direct a live-action adaptation of the 1955 animated classic Lady and the Tramp, a person with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.


‘Black Panther’ tops fifth-straight weekend box office, the third film in two decades to do so

Black Panther just achieved something that had occurred only twice before in two decades. Ryan Coogler’s cultural event of a film won its fifth consecutive weekend at the domestic box office, according to Sunday’s studio estimates.


Michael B. Jordan Enlists in WWII Drama About African-American ‘Liberators’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Hot off the billion-dollar success of Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan is on board to produce the World War II action-drama The Liberators through his Outlier Society Productions and with Safehouse Pictures.


Elisabeth Moss Joins Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy in Mob Drama ‘The Kitchen’

Elisabeth Moss will star with Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish in the mob drama The Kitchen for New Line Cinema and DC Entertainment. Straight Outta Compton writer Andrea Berloff will direct from her own script, based on the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle from DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint. The movie will mark Berloff’s feature directorial debut. Michael De Luca is producing the film.


Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac to Star in J.C. Chandor’s Crime Thriller

Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal and Adria Arjona are starring in J.C. Chandor’s crime thriller, the long-in-development project known as Triple Frontier.



Cheddar Raises $22M Series D Round; “Post-Cable” Business Network Expanding Into News, Overseas

Cheddar, which bills itself as a “post-cable” media network covering the business world, said it has raised a $22 million Series D round of financing, which includes new investors such as Liberty Global and Goldman Sachs. Existing investors, including major media players AT&T, Amazon, Comcast Ventures and Altice USA, all participated in the Series D round, which valued the company at $140 million prior to the round.


Jim Parsons Is All Hopped-Up About John Oliver’s Bunny Book

Jim Parsons apparently couldn’t be happier about hopping down the bunny trail with John Oliver. The Big Bang Theory star Parsons, who reads the audio version of Oliver’s new children’s book, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, took to Instagram on Monday to gush about the project, saying he was “honored beyond belief” to be involved with it.



ITV Orders Period Drama ‘Beecham House’ From ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ Director Gurinder Chadha

U.K. broadcaster ITV has ordered India-set period drama Beecham House from Gurinder Chadha, the writer, director, and producer behind Bend It Like Beckham.



International Chairman Andy Bird to Exit Disney

International chairman Andy Bird will leave Disney as part of a restructuring announced last week, though he’ll stay on through a transition period before exiting, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Bird joined Disney 14 years ago after a stint with Time Warner as president of TBS International, and he helped the company expand in Russia, China, India and other parts of the world.


John Musker, Co-Director of ‘Aladdin,’ ‘The Little Mermaid,’ and ‘Moana,’ Retires After Four Decades With Disney

One of the Disney Renaissance’s key figures is stepping down. John Musker, who’s responsible for such classics as Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, has announced his retirement after a 41-year tenure. Musker joined the company in 1977 and, alongside creative partner, also co-wrote and -directed The Great Mouse Detective, Hercules, Treasure Planet, The Princess and the Frog, and Moana.



AMC Entertainment Names Wanda Film Group President John Zeng As Chairman

Wanda Film Group President Zeng Maojun (aka John Zeng) has been elected unanimously as non-executive Chairman of the AMC Entertainment Board of Directors, effective immediately. This follows last week’s resignation of Lincoln Zhang from the Chairman role at North America’s leading exhibition chain. He was due to transition to a new senior position within AMC parent Dalian Wanda Group.


MGM to replace Gary Barber as CEO

MGM Holdings announced Monday night that Gary Barber, who helped rebuild the once-iconic studio, is stepping down as chief executive in a surprise shakeup.


Tronc Chairman Michael Ferro Steps Down Hours Before Report Detailing Unwanted Sexual Advances

Michael Ferro, the former Tronc chairman, stepped down from the company’s board on Monday, effective immediately, just hours before a report from Fortune outlined allegations of sexual advances by two women who were doing business with him.



Women In Entertainment & TV Academy Foundation Launch Women In Television Summit

Women in Entertainment, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women working in the entertainment industry, is partnering with the Television Academy Foundation for the first Women in Television Summit. Organizers say the initiative will bring together preeminent intersectional leaders in television for a series of discussions centered on case-histories and best practices in the television industry. The day- long event will be held at the Television Academy’s Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, CA, on May 21.


Weinstein Company Releases All Accusers From Nondisclosure Agreements With Bankruptcy Filing

The Weinstein Company has dissolved its nondisclosure agreements with Harvey Weinstein’s many sexual misconduct accusers, Bob Weinstein said on Monday, In step with announcing its bankruptcy filing, the TWC chairman said his brother “Harvey Weinstein used non-disclosure agreements as a secret weapon to silence his accusers. Effective immediately, those ‘agreements’ end.”