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TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Multi-Generational Comedy Series ‘Family Reunion,’ Starring Tia Mowry

In Wednesday’s roundup, Netflix announces family comedy series “Family Reunion,” and the company is also bringing back its Spanish original series “Elite” for a second season.

DEVELOPMENT

Netflix has announced “Family Reunion,” a multi-generational live action comedy series. The series, which recently began production, stars Loretta Devine (“The Carmichael Show”) and Tia Mowry (“Sister, Sister”). Mowry will play Cocoa McKellan, a free-spirited mother who travels from the big city with her family to a small town for her family reunion and gets to know their extended clan. Devine will portray the loving but strict matriarch of the family, M’Dear, and Anthony Alabi (“Insecure”) plays Cocoa’s husband. Rounding out the cast as the McKellan children are Talia Jackson as 14-year old Jade, Isaiah Russell-Bailey as 12-year old Shaka, Cameron J. “CJ” Wright as 10-year old Mazzi, and Jordyn James as 8-year old Ami. The show is executive produced and created by Meg DeLoatch (“Fuller House”) and directed by Eric Dean Seaton (“Modern Family”).

Toby Haynes has been tapped to direct “Utopia,” Amazon Prime Video‘s upcoming drama series. It is a nine-episode series from Gillian Flynn, the author and screenwriter of “Gone Girl” and HBO’s “Sharp Objects.” The one-hour drama will focus on a group of young adults who are hunted by a deep state organization after they come in to possession of an underground graphic novel. Haynes is known for his previous work on “Black Mirror,” “Doctor Who,” “Sherlock,” and more. Flynn will executive produce, along with Jessica RhoadesSharon Hall, Karen Wilson, Dennis Kelly and Diederick Santer. “Utopia” is based on the British series of the same name by Kelly. It is a co-production between Endemol Shine North America and Kudos, an Endemol Shine Group UK production studio, and Amazon Studios.

CBS Television Studios and Amazon Studios are developing a contemporary musical television series inspired by William Shakespeare’sTwelfth Night.” The series tells the love story between a young man and biological young woman who, over the course of the series, begins to identify as gender-fluid. Steven Sater (“Spring Awakening”) and Lauren Gussis (“Insatiable”) are writing and executive producing the series, and Marc Webb (“The Amazing Spider-Man”) will direct. Duncan Shiek, who co-wrote “Spring Awakening,” is attached to co-write the songs in the pilot with Sater. Black Lamb will also executive produce, along with Nina Wass and Ryan Seacrest for Ryan Seacrest Productions.

RENEWALS

Netflix’s Elite” will return for a second season, following the series’ debut on Oct. 5. The show is Netflix’s second original Spanish series and follows an elite high school in Spain where the students’ clashing cultures result in forbidden friendship and murder. Season 2 is expected to drop in 2019, but no cast or creative talent can be confirmed at this time. Like the first season, it will be executive produced by Zeta Audiovisual and consist of eight episodes.

CASTING

ABC’s Single Parents” has released its list of guest stars for new episodes to air in late October to November. Hannah Simone (“New Girl”) returns as Dr. Monica Dewan, a doctor who was Will’s (Taran Killam) first attempt at dating after his divorce. Al Madrigal (“Night School”) plays Angie’s (Leighton Meester) immature boss at her law firm, Rhys Darby (“Wrecked”) is new drama teacher Dr. Biscuits, and Steve Zissis (“I’m Sorry”) is set to play a former protégée of Douglas (Brad Garrett). The series premiered Sept. 26 and stars Killam as a 30-something hapless single dad.

EXECUTIVE NEWS 

Lionsgate has promoted Nannette Diacovo to the role of executive vice president of legal affairs. In her new role, Diacovo manages day-to-day operations of the Lionsgate Television legal affairs department, which she formed when joining the company in 2013 as senior vice president and head of Legal Affairs. Her responsibilities include drafting and executing agreements for scripted series across broadcast, cable, and streaming, and overseeing all development and production legal affairs matters as well as assisting with corporate television issues.

Entertainment Studios has appointed Ronnie Ng as chief financial officer and head of corporate development. Ng will work out of the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles and report directly to Entertainment Studios/Allen Media founder, chairman, and CEO Byron Allen. In his new position, Ng will manage corporate finances, strategic investments, risk management, and data analysis for all Entertainment Studios corporate entities under Allen Media, including broadcast television syndication, advertising sales, all eight 24-hour HD television networks, and digital platforms — as well as theatrical motion picture co-productions and global distribution for Allen’s theatrical and digital movie distribution divisions Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures and Entertainment Studios Digital Media.

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