Trade Round-Up: Fox Elevates Its Reality Programming To Fifth-Grade Level

Fox orders eight episodes of the Mark Burnett game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Unfortunately, the competition won't pit adults against school kids, just ask them questions from fifth grade textbooks. The children will, however, be on hand as lifelines and to remind their elders how stupid they've become in their dotage, a decreased mental capacity probably resulting from watching the network's brain-smoothing reality TV programming. [Variety]
Frequent Academy Award nominee (but zero-time winner) Ennio Morricone will receive an honorary Oscar for his legendary score-composing work, a recognition the Academy hopes will make up for decades of painful snubs. [THR]
Johnny Depp's shingle goes on an acquisition spree, buying up the film rights to three books and hiring writer D.V. DeVincentis to adapt Nick Hornby's lighthearted suicide novel, A Long Way Down. [Variety]
The Devil Wears Prada actress and Texas fright wig model Anne Hathaway enters the supernatural thriller part of her career, signing up to star in Passengers, the story of a grief counselor to whom freaky, Sarah Michelle Gellar-level shit inevitably happens. [THR]
Film production company Bauer Martinez celebrates the holidays by laying off 20 percent of its staff, citing the recent bombing of their Van Wilder sequel and Harsh Times as reasons for the Yuletide firings. Merry Christmas, new job hunters! [Variety]