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A&E Studio Head Exits, Relativity CEO Steps Down, Chevy Chase in New Comedy, Marlene King Gets New Overall, Kit Harington in BBC Miniseries

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A&E Studios Head Robert DeBitetto Exits Company After 14 Years

A&E Studios head Bob DeBitetto is exiting the company after 14 years. DeBitetto will stay on until the end of the year. (WRAP)

Joe Nicholas Said To Be Stepping Down As Co-CEO Of Relativity Media As Company Goes Up For Sale

Joe Nicholas, Relativity Media’s financial backer from Chicago who helped the struggling company out of bankruptcy by pumping millions into it, is said to have stepped down as its co-CEO.  (DH)

Chevy Chase To Star In Raunchy Road Comedy ‘Federal Offense’

Chevy Chase is attached to star in Federal Offense, a raunchy comedy spec just picked up by Boundless Pictures. (THR)

Marlene King Inks Multi-Year Deal With WBTV, Warner Horizon Television

Marlene King has inked a new overall deal with Warner Bros. Television and Warner Horizon Television, the studio that’s behind her mega-hit Pretty Little Liars. (VAR)

‘Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington Eyed For Guy Fawkes BBC Miniseries

Game of Thrones star Kit Harington is in talks to star in a three-part miniseries based on 17th Century British radical Guy Fawkes. The project, titled Gunpowder, , is in conjunction with Kudos. (TVL)

TBS Nabs Syndication Rights To ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’

TBS has closed a deal with NBCUniversal for the cable syndication rights to the first five seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The pact, which starts in 2017, is for exclusive linear and associated on-demand rights. (DH)

Netflix’s ‘Iron Fist’ Gets A Release Date And A Teaser

Marvel has announced that Iron Fist will debut on March 17th, 2017 and released a teaser to go with the announcement. (BC)

‘Suspiria’ Remake: Chloë Grace Moretz To Star In Luca Guadagnino’s Update

The actress will soon appear in a remake of Suspiria directed by Luca Guadagnino. Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton will co-star. (IW)

Billy Zane, Sadie Frost Join Cast Of Romantic Drama ‘Lucid’

Billy Zane and Sadie Frost have joined the cast of romantic drama Lucid, which has started a three-week shoot in London. Up-and-coming filmmaker Adam Morse makes his feature film debut. (VAR)

Product Placement Marketing, Free Coffee For ‘Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee,’ Honda Partners with Adam Savage

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Branded Entertainment News

For Product Placement Marketing, It’s All About The Moolah

Marketers are finding new places beyond film and television to promote their products. (SA)

The New Advertising And How We Watch It

Broadcast television is no longer necessarily the best way to get to people, which also means that spots do not have to conform to specific 30- or 60-second long constraints. (TB)

Top Deals

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ Partners With Cafe Grumpy To Celebrate National Coffee Day With Free Coffee

Crackle gave away free coffee to New Yorkers on September 29th in celebration of National Coffee Day for Jerry Seinfeld’s show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. (FC)

Honda Partners With Adam Savage,Tested For Ridgeline

Honda is joining forces with Tested and Adam Savage for six original “Features Not Standard” episodes spotlighting the 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck. (MP)

Digital Sports Network Whistle Sports Lands Partnership With NFL

Whistle Sports and the NFL have announced a content partnership that will extend across multiple social media platforms. (TF)

Fox’s New Brand Partnerships And Integrations For The 2016-2017 Season Including Samsung And Shazam

The network is embracing brands in major new marketing partnerships and integrations. Fox is teaming with Samsung for its 24: Legacy and creating a new game show based on Shazam. (AW)

Kingsley, Jenn McAllister, Tyler Oakley, Andrea Russett Urge Fans To ‘Lose Their V-Cards’ Via Partnership With nonprofit Do Something

Kingsley, Jenn McAllister, Tyler Oakley, and Andrea Russett are all taking part in a new social campaign urging first-time voters to register and turn up at the polls this Election Day. Spearheaded by the youth-oriented nonprofit Do Something, the campaign is titled Lose Your V-Card. (TF)

Hot Projects

The Mountain Between Us

Fox 2000’s dramatic survival story will be directed by Henry Abu-Assad.  Idris Elba and Kate Winslet will star. (SE)

USA/ Untitled Dick Wolf FBI Project

USA gave a series order to this docuseries from executive producers Dick Wolf and Tom Thayer of Wolf Entertainment (“Chicago PD”), Marc Levin (“Jersey Strong”), and Anne C Beagan of the FBI. (SE)

Bela Bajaria Joins Netflix, ‘Mulan’ Goes Live Action, Streamy Award Winners, Nicholas Hoult Joins ‘Current War’

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Bela Bajaria Joins Netflix To Lead Licensing, Co-Productions, Unscripted

The former Universal Television chief has joined Netflix as vice president of content. She will lead Netflix’s television- and film-licensing efforts as well as co-productions with U.S. networks. She will also be responsible for developing original unscripted programming for the service. (VAR)

Live-Action Version Of Disney’s ‘Mulan’ To Hit Theaters In 2018

The new Mulan will hit theaters Nov. 2, 2018, and is being rewritten by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. (LAT)

Streamy Awards 2016: Full Winners List

The Los Angeles ceremony honored Yousef Erakat, Liza Koshy, and The Philip DeFranco Show as big winners. Grace Helbig and Todrick Hall were among the big names who won at Saturday’s preliminary ceremony. (EW)

Nicholas Hoult In Talks To Join Benedict Cumberbatch In ‘The Current War’

X-Men star Nicholas Hoult is in talks to join Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon in The Weinstein Co. period drama The Current War. (THR)

Limited ‘Live By Night’ Release Set For Christmas Day

The Ben Affleck film will now get a limited theatrical debut on December 25, allowing for the Dennis LeHane adaptation to be eligible for the next Academy Awards. The wide Live by Night release date is still set for January 13, 2017. (CS)

Paul Giamatti Drama ‘Lodge 49’ Gets Series Order At AMC

The series, from writer and creator Jim Gavin, was picked up for a 10-episode first season at the cable net. Peter Ocko serves as showrunner. (WRAP)

‘Early Man’: First Look At Prehistoric Comedy From Aardman & Studiocanal

Aardman has released the first character animation for Early Man. Nick Park is directing the film and Eddie Redmayne is the voice of Dug. (DH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Allied’

The spy drama, directed by Robert Zemeckis, features a classic movie star pairing in Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt. (IW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Patriots Day’

An account of the Boston Marathon bombing, Patriots Day is the powerful story of a community’s courage in the face of terror, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg. (YT)

HBO Orders Drama from Keshet, USA Drama Taps Killian Scott, CBS Orders Modern Day Robin Hood Pilot, AHS Renewed

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HBO Orders Drama Series From Keshet & Hagai Levi To Film In Israel With Michael Lombardo Producing

HBO has given a 10-episode series order to a drama about the tragic events involving the disappearance of three teens that unfolded in Israel two years ago. (DH)

USA Drama ‘Damnation’ Taps ‘Ripper Street’ Alum To Replace Aden Young

Irish actor Killian Scott has signed on to star in the drama pilot in the role formerly belonging to Rectify star Aden Young. (THR)

CBS Orders ‘Modern-Day Robin Hoods’ Pilot From ‘Scorpion’ Team

CBS has given a put pilot commitment to an adaptation of A Burglar’s Guide to the City. Penned by Scorpion co-executive producer Paul Grellong, the series will follow a team of “modern-day Robin Hoods.” (TVL)

Robert De Niro And Christopher Walken Reunite For Family Comedy ‘The War With Grandpa’

Tim Hill’s The War with Grandpa has announced additional cast members Christopher Walken and Eugene Levy.  The story is based on a children’s book by Robert Kimmel Smith. (COLL)

Variety’s 10 Actors To Watch For 2016

Here are Variety‘s 10 Actors to Watch for 2016, an honor the publication has bestowed since 1998. (VAR)

Candice Bergen, Michael Sheen Join Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s Comedy ‘Home Again’

Candice Bergen and Michael Sheen are joining Reese Witherspoon in the indie Home Again, written and to be directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer. Open Road will distribute the picture. (DH)

‘American Horror Story’ Renewed For Season 7

The network announced it has ordered a seventh installment of American Horror Story, the anthology series from co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. (CNN)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Jackie’

Chilean director Pablo Larraín’s first English-language film, Jackie, has debuted its first trailer for the Natalie Portman-starring biopic debute. (EW)

Screenwriters: Story Structure – The Linus Blanket

Paul Peditto discusses the Linus Blanket as part of structure and outlining in the screenwriting process. (SM)

Oceans 8 Release Date, Han Solo Film Cast Shortlist, Grindstone Lands ‘Solace,’ Mindy Kaling’s New Show

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Ocean’s Eleven Spinoff Ocean’s 8 Gets 2018 Release Date

Ocean’s 8 has officially been given a midsummer 2018 release date. Gary Ross is set to direct the female cast and his film will hit theaters on June 8, 2018. (SR)

Han Solo Film: Tessa Thompson and Zoe Kravitz Among Those Testing for Female Lead

Selma and Creed star Tessa Thompson, Power Rangers Naomi Scott, and Zoe Kravitz tested in London this week for the female lead in the yet-untitled project. (VAR)

Grindstone Lands Anthony Hopkins-Starrer ‘Solace’ As Pic Escapes Relativity Orbit

Lionsgate’s Grindstone Entertainment has acquired the U.S. rights for Solace, the Afonso Poyart-directed psychological thriller that stars Westworld‘s Anthony Hopkins. (DH)

Mindy Kaling Is Working On An NBC Pilot About Hot Brothers

Mindy Kaling has a potential series in the works at NBC about two hot dudes who happen to be brothers. Kaling is sharing writing duties with her Mindy executive producer Charlie Grandy. (AV)

Jay Z And Spike TV Are Joining Forces For A ‘Groundbreaking’ Kalief Browder Docuseries

As part of Jay Z’s new first-look deal with the Weinstein Company, he has partnered with Spike TV for a docuseries about Kalief Browder. (VUL)

Netflix Orders Six New Kids Series Including ‘LEGO Elves’ & Avi Arad’s ‘Super Monsters’

Netflix has added six new original animated kids shows to its lineup, including LEGO Elves, and Super Monsters, a series targeted for preschoolers, from Iron Man and Spider-Man producer Avi Arad, for premiere in 2017 and 2018. (DH)

‘OITNB’ Star To Lead ‘Jane the Virgin’ Team’s CBS Immigration Drama Pilot

The actress, who plays inmate Maritza Ramos on the Netflix series, has signed on to portray a corporate attorney who begins defending undocumented immigrants for free in a drama in development at CBS. (TVL)

‘Nice Guys’ Actress Joins Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Beguiled’ Remake

Angourie Rice joins Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst and Colin Farrell in the film. (THR)

The CW Shows That Being A Fifth Place Network Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

No other network has such a seamless feel to its programming. It allows for the taking of chances that other networks are too big or too beholden to ratings and numbers to try. (TB)

Netflix Pacts with IPic, YouTube Discloses Branded Videos, GSN Lines Up Partners for ‘Window Warriors’

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Branded Entertainment News

Netflix Pacts With iPic To Release Original Films Online And In Theaters Simultaneously

In a new deal with movie theater chain iPic Entertainment, Netflix is set to hone a multi-pronged release approach whereby its original films will premiere in theaters and online simultaneously. (TF)

YouTube Adds New Tool To Help Creators Disclose Branded Videos

YouTube has launched a new feature that lets creators disclosed paid promotions by way of a small notice that appears in the bottom-left corner of the video player. (TF)

Will People Ever Pay For Branded Entertainment?

Will brand-funded programming ever really go beyond “ROI” and “brand lift” and generate revenue like a Hollywood blockbuster or reality format does? (VI)

GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced that many of the biggest names in retail have lined up as promotional partners for the new skill-based competition series Window Warriors. (FC)

Didn’t Catch NYC’s Gilmore Girls Coffee Shop Pop-up? Here’s What You Missed

Netflix threw Gilmore Girls a birthday bash to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the show’s premiere From 7 a.m. until noon customers could get free coffee in a custom Luke’s cup. (AW)

Chance the Rapper Is All Dressed Up For Halloween And Here To Sell Kit Kat Bars

A Halloween-themed ad for Kit-Kat stars 23-year-old hip-hop wunderkind Chance the Rapper as himself. (FCC)

Hot Projects

Heathers

TV Land ordered a pilot for this dark teen comedy based on the 1989 film Heathers directed by Michael Lehmann. The series will be executive produced by Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi of Lakeshore Entertainment and Jason Micallef who wrote the pilot. (SE)

The Machine

Syfy gave a pilot order to this sci-fi drama based on the film of the same name directed by Charadog James. James wrote the pilot and will executive produce alongside John Giwa-Amu via their Red & Black Films. Universal Cable Productions will produce the project. (SE)

Lifetime’s Pilot ‘A Midsummer’s Nightmare’, ‘Monster’ Cast, Barry Jenkins Writing Female Boxer Movie, ‘Wonder Woman’ Biopic to Sony

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‘A Midsummer’s Nightmare’: Dominic Monaghan To Star, Gary Fleder To Direct 

Dominic Monaghan has signed on for a key role in Lifetime’s psychological thriller pilot A Midsummer’s Nightmare. Gary Fleder is set to direct and executive produce the hourlong scripted pilot, from A+E Studios and The Firm. (DH)

Jennifer Hudson, Kelvin Harrison Jr. To Star In Drama ‘Monster’

Kelvin Harrison, Jr. and Jennifer Hudson are starring in the independent drama Monster, which is starting production this week in New York City. (VAR)

Barry Jenkins Will Write Script For Fact-Based Female Boxer Coming-of-Age Drama

Universal Pictures recently picked up the life rights to the boundary-busting athlete’s life. (IW)

Wonder Woman’ Creator William Moulton Marston Gets Biopic From Sony

Sony has just announced Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, about Wonder Woman co-creator Dr. William Moulton Marston. (BC)

USA Sets ‘Elements,’ Canadian Series Adaptation With James Frey & Amblin TV

USA Network has put in development Elements, a high-concept drama from writer James Frey and his Full Fathom Five, Amblin TV, Intrigue and Universal Cable Prods. (DH)

‘Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind’ TV Series In The Works

Anonymous Content is packaging the reboot from Universal Cable Productions. (THR)

Ash Vs Evil Dead Renewed For A Third Season

Following the second season premiere of Ash vs Evil Dead this past Sunday, the series has been renewed for a 10-episode third season set to air in the fall of 2017. (CS)

‘Paranormal Activity’ Writers Developing Haunted House Drama At NBC

Jason Pagan and Andrew Deutschman, writers from the fifth installment of the franchise, are taking their horror interests to the small screen with The Eight at NBC. (TB)

Tyrese Gibson Joins Fox’s ‘Star’ As Love Interest For Queen Latifah

Tyrese Gibson is joining the music-themed series as a recurring love interest for Queen Latifah’s quasi-matriarch Carlotta. (TVL)

 

Weekend Box Office, Amblin Pacts With Alibaba, Relativity Woes, ‘Fraggle Rock’ To Return, ‘John Wick 3′ In Works

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Weekend Box Office: ‘The Girl On The Train’ Tops ‘The Birth Of A Nation’

The Girl on the Train brought in $24.7 million this weekend, far surpassing Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, which opened with just $7.1 million. (TI)

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Pacts With China’s Alibaba Pictures Group

The legendary director joined Alibaba boss Jack Ma at a signing ceremony in Beijing that will see Alibaba Pictures take an equity stake in Amblin. (THR)

Relativity Not Paying Vendors as Financial Woes Escalate

Relativity Media owes vendors close to $1 million in unpaid bills and has defaulted on its overhead, according to company insiders. (VAR)

‘Fraggle Rock’ To Return To HBO

The children’s series, which aired on HBO in the 1980s, will soon be available to watch again in digitally remastered form. (TVL)

‘John Wick 3’ Already In The Works, Reveals Director Chad Stahelski

The first official trailer for Chapter 2 was just released and now director Chad Stahelski revealed at NY Comic-Con that a third installment is in the works. (COLL)

Shout! Factory Acquires ‘The Ticket’ For 2017 Slate

Shout! Factory has acquired North American distribution rights to The Ticket, which had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. (DH)

Sony’s Emoji Movie Has Lined Up A Very Funny Cast

Sony Entertainment has revealed the initial blast of casting for EmojiMovie: Express Yourself, including James Corden and Ilana Glazer. (CB)

Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Adds Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, And Florence Kasumba

The Rogue One star has just signed on for Black Panther, Marvel’s upcoming superhero pic starring Chadwick Boseman. Also just added are Daniel Kaluuya and Florence Kasumba. (SF)

Dan Dworkin And Jay Beattie Sell ‘Still At Large’ Drama

Drama writer-producing duo Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie have sold two hourlong projects. They have teamed with Chris Brancato for U.S. Marshals drama Still At Large, which has received a put pilot commitment at CBS, and also have set up sci-fi drama The Crossing at ABC. (DH)

Guy Ritchie to Direct ‘Aladdin,’ Clint Eastwood to Direct Jessica Buchanan Movie, Brittany Maynard Movie to Good Universe

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Guy Ritchie Will Direct Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ For Disney

Guy Ritchie is in talks to direct Disney’s next live-action remake; Aladdin. John August is on screenplay duty, while Dan Lin is producing. (IW)

Clint Eastwood To Direct Movie About Kidnapped Aid Worker Jessica Buchanan

Warner Bros. has optioned the rights to Buchanan and her husband’s memoir Impossible Odds, which was written with Anthony Flacco. Brian Helgeland is writing the script with Eastwood directing. (WRAP)

Brittany Maynard ‘Right to Death’ Story To Be Subject Of Good Universe Film

Good Universe has optioned the life rights to Brittany Maynard, the young woman who was an outspoken advocate for medical aid in dying. (THR)

Fox Lands College Rape Drama ‘Controversy’ From Sheldon Turner, Judy Smith & ‘This Is Us’ Helmers

The network has given a put pilot commitment to Controversy from co-writer Sheldon Turner, co-executive producer Judy Smith and This Is Us directors/exec producers John Requa & Glenn Ficarra. (DH)

‘The Grinder’ Creators Developing Workplace Comedy At Fox

Fox has given a put-pilot commitment to an untitled single-camera workplace comedy from Jarrad Paul and Andy Mogel, the creators of The Grinder. The project hails from 20th Century Fox Television. (VAR)

Michelle Williams In Talks To Star As Janis Joplin In Biopic

Sean Durkin, the filmmaker behind Martha, Marcy, May Marlene, is on board to direct the film on the rock icon. (THR)

STX Announces ‘Bad Moms’ Spinoff, ‘Bad Dads’

The global media company has announced its first film offshoot of the brand, Bad Dads, will be released next year on July 14, 2017.  (CS)

‘Krypton’ Adds ‘Game Of Thrones’ Alum Ian McElhinney, Five Others To Cast

Ian McElhinney has joined the cast of Syfy’s upcoming Superman prequel Krypton as a series regular, along with five other actors. (TVL)

The Complex Reality Of Chinese Money In Hollywood

China’s box office will be the biggest in the world and dwarf the one here in North America come 2020 and Chinese money is flowing so fast into the entertainment industry that even the US government is getting involved. (TB)

Netflix Gets Jake Gyllenhaal Drama, Discovery Reorganization, ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Renewed, ‘Clue’ On Stage

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Netflix And Gyllenhaal Plan A ‘Helicopter Heist’

Netflix has reportedly taken lead in an auction to acquire the rights to the fact-based drama The Helicopter Heist which has Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star and produce. (DAR)

Kaplan Leaving Discovery In International Reorganization

Former Animal Planet and TLC head Marjorie Kaplan is leaving Discovery Communications as part of a reorganization of the company’s international creative group. (BC)

‘Halt And Catch Fire’ Renewed For Fourth And Final Season

The network announced that the series had been renewed for a fourth and final season of 10 episodes.  (CS)

‘Bob’s Burgers’ Producer Launches Kids Unit, Teams With ‘Teletubbies’ Co-Creator

Bob’s Burgers producer Bento Box Entertainment unveiled the launch of a kids and family division, Sutikki, and a partnership with Teletubbies co-creator Andrew Davenport. (THR)

‘Clue’ On Stage: Play By Movie’s Writer-Director To Bow In 2017

Clue, the Hasbro board game and 1985 movie it inspired, is headed to the stage in a new play penned by the movie’s writer-director, Jonathan Lynn, and bowing regionally at the Bucks County Playhouse. (VAR)

HBO Inks Overall Deal With Writer-Producer Ron Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald began his career as a writer on Showtime’s long-running dark comedy Weeds. (DH)

Kevin Smith Pitching ‘Mallrats’ Sequel Series To Netflix, Amazon, And More

Kevin Smith announced over social media that he’s shopping the project around to networks like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Showtime. (COLL)

ABC Nabs Rapper Mayor Comedy From Jeremy Bronson, Daveed Diggs & Bluegrass FanFare

ABC has given a cast-contingent pilot production commitment to a single-camera comedy from writer Jeremy Bronson, Daveed Diggs and Jamie Tarses, Scott Stuber & Dylan Clark’s Bluegrass FanFare. (DH)

Screenwriters: Cutting Scenes; Pace Or Play

If your reader doesn’t beg to turn the page, your story’s pace is off. Doug Richardson discusses cutting scenes to get the pace just right. (SM)

 

L.A. Media Stars List, AT&T and ‘Pitch,’ Chuck E. Cheese Joins Cartoon Network in Anti-Bullying, Netflix Germany Hunts for Pablo Esobar

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Branded Entertainment News

Meet The 12 Most Successful Media Agency Execs In Southern California

Adweek’s inaugural L.A. Media Stars spotlighting the most important people in that universe. (AW)

Top Deals

AT&T will sponsor calls to the bullpen during Fox’s baseball drama Pitch, just as it does during the MLB games covered by Fox Sports. (BC)

Chuck E. Cheese’s Joins Cartoon Network Anti-Bullying Effort

The two companies will work together to get kids to sign a pledge against bullying behavior. Kids who bring their signed pledges to Chuck E. Cheese’s locations get rewarded with 50 free tickets redeemable for prizes. (BC)

Netflix Germany Launches A Live Hunt For Pablo Escobar On Twitch And Facebook

In order to promote the second season of Narcos, Netflix Germany invited four popular gamers to hunt down Escobar themselves by competing in a number of challenges. (BT)

#eBayUnboxed: Celeb Karlie Kloss Redecorates Via Social Media

Karlie Kloss is collaborating with eBay on a new Unboxed collection. Curated by Kloss, the collection included a variety of home, tech and fashion items from designers such as Nate Berkus and brands such as KitchenAid. (BRC)

Canon Turns To Anna Akana For ‘Rebel With A Cause’ Video Around Anti-Bullying

Canon turned to social influencer Anna Akana, who has over 1.5 million subscribers to her YouTube, for their “Rebel With a Cause” piece around anti-bullying. (DM)

Action Movie Kid, Other Maker Studios Partners Promote ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Fan Contest

The digital network, which also lives within the Disney family, enlisted some of its creative partners for a video series that promotes a user-generated video contest called #GoRogue. (TF)

Hot Projects

She’s Gotta Have It

Netflix gave a series order to this drama created by Spike Lee who will executive produce alongside Tonya Lewis Lee. Anthony Ramos will star in the series. (SE)

The Wife

Anonymous Content’s drama starring Glenn Close, Frances McDormand, Logan Lerman, Brit Marling, and Christian Slater.  Bjorn Runge will direct. (SE)

Lionsgate Bobby Cohen Leaving, CBS Buys ‘Black Book,’‘Murder in the First’ Cancelled, Boyd Holbrook in ‘Predator’

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Lionsgate Co-President Of Production Bobby Cohen Is Leaving

Bobby Cohen, Lionsgate’s co-president of production, is leaving his position. Peter Kang, the mini-major studio’s other co-president of production, will take over the combined role. (WRAP)

CBS Buys ‘Black Book’ Crime Drama From Glenn Gordon Caron & James Patterson

Medium creator Glenn Gordon Caron is back at CBS and CBS Studios, teaming with James Patterson for Black Book, a drama series based on Patterson’s upcoming novel of the same name. (DH)

‘Murder In The First’ Cancelled At TNT

The cabler has pulled the plug on the Taye Diggs-Kathleen Robertson crime drama after three seasons. (TVL)

‘The Predator': Benicio Del Toro Out, ‘Wolverine 3’s’ Boyd Holbrook In To Star

Boyd Holbrook (Narcos) is in talks to join the cast of The Predator. Holbrook is set to take on the film’s lead role, which has reportedly been left vacant by the departure of Benicio Del Toro. (IGN)

Caitlin Gerard Joins Rod Lurie’s TNT Drama Pilot ‘Monsters Of God’

American Crime alumna Caitlin Gerard has signed on for a key role opposite Garret Dillahunt in Rod Lurie’s post-Civil War drama pilot Monsters of God for TNT, from Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. (DH)

Hollywood’s 50 Most Powerful Showrunners 2016

THR’s annual rundown of TV showrunners reigning and rising, including the newbies behind Stranger Things, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Underground. (THR)

Justin Theroux Joins The Cast Of Netflix Thriller ‘Mute’

Justin Theroux has joined Paul Rudd and Alexander Skarsgard in science-fiction thriller Mute, with Duncan Jones directing. (VAR)

‘Mulan’ Mania: Disney, Sony Hunt For Asian Directors To Helm Rival Action Pics

A global search is on as the studios look to cast Chinese leads for their upcoming live-action adaptations of the animated hit (Disney’s take is slated for a Nov. 2, 2018, release). (THR)

Screenwriters: ‘The Girl On The Train’ Screenplay

Final shooting script by Erin Cressida Wilson. (UNI)

 

‘Lethal Weapon’ Gets Order, Aubrey Plaza’s New Pilot, Comedy Central Orders ‘Comedy Jam,’ Warner Bros. Acquiring Machinima

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Fox Orders Full Season Of ‘Lethal Weapon’

Fox has ordered a full season of the hit action drama Lethal Weapon, picking up an additional five episodes. This brings the total order to 18 episodes for the 2016-17 season. (CS)

Aubrey Plaza’s ‘Nightmare Time’ Snags Pilot Order At TBS

The Parks and Rec alum will exec-produce and play herself in Nightmare Time, a scripted half-hour horror-comedy pilot for TB. (TVL)

Comedy Central Orders Stand-Up/Music Hybrid Series ‘The Comedy Jam’

The format is based on a popular Los Angeles live show and first aired as a special on the cabler in August. (THR)

Warner Bros. Nears Deal To Acquire Machinima

Warner Bros. is close to clinching a deal acquire full control of Machinima, the gamer-and-fandom-oriented digital network in which the studio is already an investor. (VAR)

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Casts Jimmy Smits As Amy’s Dad

The NYPD alum will guest-star on the Thanksgiving-themed episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine airing Nov. 22. (EW)

MTV Developing Thriller ‘Socio’ From Judy McGrath, Digital Veteran Bernie Su

The Viacom-owned cable channel has teamed with Judy McGrath’s Astronauts Wanted and digital studio Canvas to develop drama series Socio. (THR)

Esquire Orders ‘Joyride’ Series With Mischa Barton From ‘Car Matchmaker’ Producers

Esquire Network ordered six half-hour episodes of Joyride from the team behind the popular Car Matchmaker franchise. It’s set to premiere November 15 at 10 PM on Esquire. (DH)

Fantastic Fest Horror Short ‘Givertaker’

Directed by Paul Gandersman from a script by Peter S. Hall, Givertaker is a fun throwback to YA horror of the 90s about a pissed off teenager who conjures an ancient entity known as the Givertaker to get her revenge against the mean girls who ruined her life. (COLL)

It’s HBO, Which Means It’s Definitely TV

Home Box Office started out as a second-run movie network, and slowly became the most respected broadcaster of original content on television. While it has some challenges, it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t continue to hold that spot. (TB)

Lionsgate Extends Feltheimer, ABC Greenlights Ricky Gervais Game Show, Fede Alvarez’s Next Movie, ‘Rogue One’ Trailer

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Lionsgate Extends Jon Feltheimer’s Deal To 2023

In an impressive vote of confidence, Lionsgate has extended the employment deal for Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer until May, 2023. (VAR)

ABC Greenlights Ricky Gervais Game Show ‘Five To Survive’

ABC announced a series order for Five to Survive, a new hour-long game show from executive producer Ricky Gervais. (TVL)

Fede Alvarez To Direct ‘Incognito’ Film Adaptation

The Don’t Breathe director will helm the comic book adaptation written by Daniel Casey. (IW)

‘Inside Amy Schumer’ Co-Creator Dan Powell Signs First Look Deal With First Look Media

Dan Powell, Emmy-winning co-creator and executive producer of Inside Amy Schumer, has signed a first-look deal with First Look Media to develop a variety of film, TV and digital projects. (DH)

BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, Keshet Studios Developing Israeli Game Show ‘Touch’

BuzzFeed’s brand, content and talent will be involved in the game show, which asks contestants to point out incongruities in photos. (THR)

From ‘Buffy’ Extra To Creating An ‘Empire': The Unlikely Journey Of Danny Strong

How a bit-part actor stepped up to become one of the top screenwriters in Hollywood, co-creator of Empire, and burgeoning director. (FCC)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

Watch the official second trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which Jyn Erso leads a group of unlikely heroes to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. (YT)

Screenwriters: 3 Kick-Ass Methods To Fix A Broken Screenplay Scene

When it comes to writing a screenplay scene, many spec scripts fall into the same traps again and again. But here are 3 easy hacks you can use to avoid them. (SM)

Google Acquires FameBit, ABC and Mattel Launch a Series, UPS Store Launches YouTube Series

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Branded Entertainment News

Google Acquires FameBit To Help YouTubers Cozy Up To Brands

Google announced that it has acquired FameBit, an “influencer marketing platform for branded content.” (VER)

Top Deals

ABC and Mattel Announce ‘The Toy Box,’ Bringing Amateur Toy Inventors Face-to-Face With Their Ultimate Judges: Kids

ABC and Mattel Creations, the content creation and distribution division of Mattel, Inc., have partnered to  launch a primetime television series that brings to life the toy invention process in a competition format that will entertain viewers of all ages. (FC)

The UPS Store Launches YouTube Miniseries ‘The Elevator Pitch’ With Marcus Lemonis

The Elevator Pitch is a three-part reality TV miniseries where contestants ride the Chicago Tribune Tower elevator and deliver a business pitch to Marcus Lemonis, the billionaire host of CNBC’s The Profit. (AA)

Cruise Industry Gets PR Boost With Big Part In ‘Transparent’ Episode

The last episode of the third season of the Emmy-winning Amazon series Transparent took place on the Norwegian Jewel Cruise Ship. (AA)

Vampire Web Series ‘Carmilla,’ Funded By Kotex, Is Getting A Movie

The two Shaftesbury subsidiaries behind Carmilla, Smokebomb Entertainment and shift2, have announced their plan to turn the series into a feature film that will premiere in the fall of 2017. (TF)

Google To Distribute VR Couch Gag With ‘The Simpsons’

For the upcoming Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons’s 28th season, Google Spotlight Stories will distribute a VR couch gag on iOS and Android devices. (TF)

Hot Projects

Claws

TNT gave a pilot order to this drama from writer Eliot Laurence and executive producers Rashida Jones & Will McCormack of Le Train Train Productions, and Janine Sherman-Barrois who will serve as showrunner. Niecy Nash will star and Warner Horizon Television will produce the project. (SE)

Seven Seconds

Netflix gave a series order to this drama from writer Veena Sud and director Bennett Miller who will both executive produce alongside Lawrence Bender, Kevin Brown and Alex Reznik. Fox 21 will produce the project. (SE)

Jeff Nathanson to Write ‘Lion King,’ MGM Gets 9/11 Article, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise, ‘War of the Worlds’ TV Series

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Disney’s Live-Action ‘Lion King’ Finds Writer In Jeff Nathanson

Jeff Nathanson has been tapped to write Disney’s live-action Lion King, the latest animated classic being reworked. Jon Favreau is already attached to direct. (VAR)

MGM Picks Up Politico’s 9/11 Article ‘We’re The Only Plane In The Sky’ For Film

MGM has optioned the rights to We’re the Only Plane in the Sky, a unique oral history from Politico magazine of a rarely told event that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. (THR)

JK Rowling Unveils Plans For Five-Part ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise

Harry Potter author reveals intentions at event in Leicester Square, saying it was always her and director David Yates’s intention to do more than one film. (GUAR)

Scribe Robert Schenkkan To Write KKK Drama For Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Amazon Studios

Writer Robert Schenkkan has been brought on to write the drama K Troop for Amazon Studios. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is attached to star in and produce the film through his hitRECord Film. (TB)

MTV Developing ‘War Of The Worlds’ TV Series

MTV is adapting the H.G. Wells classic, War of the Worlds. Teen Wolf creator and executive producer Jeff Davis will executive produce along with writer Andrew Cochran and Salem‘s Josh Barry and Jeff Kwatinetz. (CS)

Mark Rylance To Star In “Barbarians” Adaptation

Actor Mark Rylance, Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra and producer Michael Fitzgerald are set to team on a film adaptation of Nobel Prize literature winner J.M. Coetzee’s award-winning political thriller novel Waiting For The Barbarians. (DAR)

‘Scream’ Renewed For Season 3

Tuesday’s Scream Halloween special won’t be the last you see of the Lakewood Six; the slasher drama will return for a six-episode third season. (TVL)

Amazon Picks Up ‘Little Big Awesome’ & ‘Ronja the Robber’s Daughter’ Kids Series, Renews ‘The Stinky & Dirty Show’

Amazon has added two new kids original series, giving a series order to pilot Little Big Awesome, and picking up the Japanese CG series Ronja the Robber’s Daughter. (DH)

 

Weekend Box Office, Lionsgate Circling Relativity, Witherspoon and Wright Adapting First Lady Series, ‘Walking Dead’ and ‘Bosch’ Renewed

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Weekend Box Office: ‘The Accountant’ Adds Up To Number One, ‘Max Steel’ Melts Down

The Accountant snagged first place with $24 million. Max Steel, the latest action toy-turned-tv-show movie adaptation, arrived with just $2.1 million and didn’t even break into the top ten, settling for a eleventh place start. (CB)

Lionsgate Circling Relativity Library As Chapter 7 Filing Looms

Lionsgate is circling Relativity’s 40-plus title library after it has become clear that CEO Ryan Kavanaugh’s company is backed into a financial corner with cash flow rapidly declining. (DH)

Robin Wright And Reese Witherspoon Are Adapting A TV Series About U.S. First Ladies

Wright and Witherspoon are enlisting the help of Anonymous Content. The show will be based on Kate Andersen Brower’s bestselling book First Women: The Grace & Power Of America’s Modern First Ladies. (VF)

Andrew Haigh Teams With See-Saw, BBC On ‘North Water’ TV Series

Andrew Haigh will adapt and direct the limited series The North Water, based on Ian McGuire’s novel. The series is being developed with the BBC and See-Saw Films. (THR)

‘The Walking Dead’ Renewed For Season 8

AMC renewed The Walking Dead for Season 8 a week before the Season 7 premiere. The news came Sunday during the show’s two-hour retrospective. (HP)

Amazon’s ‘Bosch’ Renewed For Season 4

Amazon has renewed Bosch for Season 4, well ahead of the crime drama’s Season 3 premiere. (TVL)

‘Hidden Figures’ Will Be Released On December 25

The qualifying run will make Theodore Melfi’s film eligible for the Academy Awards. It will then go into wide release on January 6, up a week from Twentieth Century Fox’s original date of January 13. (IW)

DMG Nabs Rights To Ken Liu’s Fantasy Epic ‘Grace of Kings,’ Plans Film Franchise

DMG Entertainment has nabbed worldwide film and licensing rights to The Grace of Kings, with an eye toward turning the fantasy series into a franchise and tapped Michael Ross to write the screenplay. (VAR)

Nikki Finke Signs First-Look Deal With HBO

Deadline founder Nikki Finke has inked a first-look deal with HBO which gives the premium cabler access to the short stories published on Finke’s website Hollywood Dementia. (TB)

 

Cleo Anthony in Netflix Series, ‘Shrek 5′ Gets Writer, Alyssa Milano’s CW Show, Tracy Morgan to TBS

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‘She’s Gotta Have It’: Cleo Anthony Cast As A Male Lead In Spike Lee Netflix Series

Cleo Anthony has been cast as one of the male leads opposite DaWanda Wise in Spike Lee’s 10-episode Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It, a contemporary update of Lee’s 1986 indie film. (DH)

‘Shrek 5’ Adds ‘Austin Powers’ Writer

DreamWorks Animation is ready to pick the Shrek franchise back up for the fifth installment for release sometime in 2019. The sequel has writer Mike McCullers on board. (COLL)

Alyssa Milano’s Hacktivist To Be Adapted For The CW

Alyssa Milano created the graphic novel Hacktivist, published by BOOM! Studios. Now the book is being adapted for a CW television series by the creators of Covert Affairs, Matt Corman and Chris Ord. (BC)

Tracy Morgan To Return To Series TV In Jordan Peele’s Greenlit TBS Comedy

TBS has given a straight-to-series order to a comedy starring Tracy Morgan, created by Jordan Peele and John Carcieri. (TVL)

‘Bull,’ ‘Kevin Can Wait’ And ‘MacGyver’ Grab Full-Season Pickups At CBS

The network has handed out full-season orders to freshman dramas Bull and MacGyver, and first-year comedy Kevin Can Wait. All three series have received orders for an additional nine episodes, bringing their season totals to 22 each. (THR)

Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood To Star In Adaptation Of Stephen King’s ‘Gerald’s Game’

Gugino and Greenwood are set for the feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s suspense novel Gerald’s Game. The film, which will be released worldwide by Netflix, will be directed by Mike Flanagan. (EW)

YouTube Orders Shows From Dwayne Johnson, Dan Harmon, Doug Liman

YouTube announced series from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions, Dan Harmon and Doug Liman, which will be available exclusively on its YouTube Red subscription service. (VAR)

Freeform Picks Up ‘Brown Girls’ Comedy Pilot

Freeform has picked up a comedy pilot, Brown Girls, with two Indian leads, from writers Shilpi Roy and Nastaran Dibai. (VUL)

‘Borrowed Time’ Short Film: Two Pixar Animators Made A Gorgeous Western For Adults

Co-directors Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj tap into a different kind of magic in this tragic tale of two sheriffs. Watch it here. (IW)

Kevin Costner in Sorkin’s ‘Molly’s Game,’ Alex Graves to Helm ‘Mulan,’ Don DeLillo Novels Optioned, ‘Captain Planet’ Movie in the Works

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 Kevin Costner Eyes Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Molly’s Game’ With Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba

Kevin Costner is in talks to join Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba in STX’s Molly’s Game. Aaron Sorkin is making his directorial debut with Chastain on board to play Molly Bloom. (VAR)

Sony Taps ‘Game of Thrones’ Director To Helm Live-Action ‘Mulan’

Game of Thrones director Alex Graves is in early talks to helm Sony’s live-action film Mulan. (THR)

‘White Noise’: Michael Almereyda Adapting Don DeLillo’s Classic Novel For New Film

Uri Singer has optioned the rights to White Noise, with Experimenter writer/director Michael Almereyda set to adapt the screenplay. (IW)

‘Captain Planet’ Movie In The Works With Leonardo DiCaprio & Glen Powell

Paramount is about to secure the rights to the beloved TBS cartoon series that ran in the early 1990s with environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio producing and Glen Powell co-writing the script with Jono Matt. (COLL)

CBS Is Adapting ‘Candy Crush’ Into A Live-Action Game Show

The network has partnered with Lionsgate Television and Candy Crush developer King to adapt the puzzle game into a live-action game show. (VER)

‘Paddington 2′ Is Now Filming; Cast Adds Hugh Grant & Brendan Gleeson

Principle photography on the Paddington sequel, with Paul King again both writing and directing the film, is now officially underway and formally includes Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson as cast. (SR)

Chuck Hogan To Pen ‘Crossfire’ Film

Veteran scribe Chuck Hogan is set to write a film adaptation of the popular online action game Crossfire for Korean game developer Smilegate and Original Film. (DAR)

CBS Buys Pararescue Drama ‘Jumpmen’

CBS has put in development Jumpmen, an hourlong drama from former The Good Wife executive producer Craig Turk and Jane the Virgin executive producer Ben Silverman. (DH)

‘BrainDead’, ‘American Gothic’ Not Returning For Season 2

CBS wound up 0-for-2 with this past summer’s new offerings, as neither BrainDead nor American Gothic will be returning for second seasons. (TVL)

Content Production and Brands, NBC and American Express on Today Show, Investigation Discovery and People Create New Series

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Branded Entertainment News

Why You Should Put People First With Branded Content

Recently brands have looked to grow audiences by marketing to the public through content production and are turning to the concept of branded content to reach their existing audiences and target new ones. (MT)

Top Deals

NBC And American Express Team Up Again To Replace More Today Show Ad Time

After replacing 30 minutes of prime-time spots with branded content on Leap Day, NBC and American Express are teaming up again next week. But this time, the partnership will feature longer Today segments instead of linear branded content. (AW)

Investigation Discovery And People Magazine Team For True Crime Series

 Investigation Discovery is teaming up with People magazine for a new true crime series. People Magazine Investigates will premiere Monday, Nov. 7 on the channel with a two-hour installment focusing on the 2010 rash of murders of Long Island escorts. (VAR)

Ram Teams Up With Paramount For ‘Monster Trucks’

Paramount Pictures took the highly unusual step of booking a $115 million impairment charge on an as-yet-unreleased and thrice-delayed film, Monster Trucks, starring a 2015 Ram Rebel. (AN)

Windex Seized On ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ Sequel

When SCJohnson learned about the sequel, it started working with EnergyBBDO to launch an integrated effort that includes TV, in-store, experiential and social programs, incorporating the sponsored hashtag. (AA)

Expect Helicopter Crashes, Guns And 5-Series Product Placement In BMW’s ‘The Escape’ Short

BMW has released another trailer for its The Escape short film, featuring explosive action, Jon Bernthal and – of course – the new ‘G30′ 5-series. (CT)

Hot Projects

Showtime/ Untitled Frankie Shaw Project

Showtime gave a pilot order to this comedy created by and starring Frankie Shaw who will executive produce alongside Gene Stupnitsky, Emily Brecht,  and Lee Eisenberg of Quantity Entertainment, Janice Williams and Michael London. (SE)

Terry

Comedy Central gave a pilot order to this comedy from writers Mark Proksch and Andrew Weinberg. Proksch will star in the series. (SE)