[03/13/07 - 10:08 AM]
TBS Attracts Top Names for New Prime Time and Late-Night Original Series
The cable channel renews "10 Items or Less" for a second season as well as releases info on its various projects in development.

[via press release from TBS]

TBS Attracts Top Names for New Prime Time And Late-Night Original Series

Bob Newhart and Larry Miller Featured in New Development Projects;

Executive Producers Jamie Foxx and Kenny Smith Working on BIG SHOT

Premiere Season of THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW

And New Episodes of MY BOYS Coming to TBS this Summer

Late-Night Series 10 ITEMS OR LESS Renewed;

THE FRANK SHOW Gears Up for Launch

In a two-pronged approach to original programming, TBS has signed development deals for projects to feature such top-name comedic talents as Bob Newhart and Larry Miller for the network's very funny prime-time and late-night line-ups, joining such previously announced production and development projects as THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW, starring Blue Collar TV's Bill Engvall, and THE FRANK SHOW, featuring master of impersonation Frank Caliendo (MadTV), according to an announcement by Michael Wright, senior vice president of original programming for TBS and TNT. THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW will be part of the network's prime time line-up this summer, which will also mark the premiere of new episodes of TBS's critically acclaimed hit comedy series MY BOYS, while THE FRANK SHOW will join the late-night line-up with the hit series 10 ITEMS OR LESS, which will be returning with eight more episodes.

For prime time, Miller and co-writer Eileen Conn (Just Shoot Me) are developing UNCOMMON SENSE, a domestic comedy about a newspaper columnist and his family, while executive producers Jamie Foxx, Kenny Smith, Adrienne Lopez and Marcus King are developing BIG SHOT, about a teenage NBA rookie, and comedy writer Dave Caplan (The Drew Carey Show) is working on a prime-time series about a woman who manages to find the humor in her life despite the personal adversity she faces. For late night, Bob Newhart is developing and executive-producing a late-night comedy anthology tentatively titled BOB NEWHART: IN SEARCH OF COMEDY, and former Daily Show associate producer Jenny Hunter is developing a sketch comedy series.

�Our original programming strategy is to entertain the fans of Friends, Sex and the City and Everybody Loves Raymond, viewers who are looking for humor based on smartly drawn, relatable characters and good storytelling full of clever, contemporary humor,� said Wright. �We're very proud of the programming we're offering this year. It delivers on TBS's brand promise and reflects our commitment to create comedy that respects viewers' intelligence. And we're proud to bring the best and brightest talent to the network to help us put this line-up together.�

In addition to announcing original projects in production or development, Wright announced that TBS will be ramping up digital extensions of its original programming through TBS's new broadband destination VeryFunny.com. For example, MY BOYS' digital extensions will include exclusive set visits and cast interviews available on a weekly basis. All episodes of TBS's original series will also be made available at VeryFunny.com after their initial run on the linear network.

The following are TBS's original projects slated for premiere this summer or being put into production or development:

Prime Time

MY BOYS � Half-hour scripted comedy returning with new episodes in Summer 2007

In this critically acclaimed half-hour comedy series, PJ, played by Jordana Spiro (JAG, Must Love Dogs), is a 20-something �guy's girl� who tries to find romance within her world dominated by male friends. As a huge sports fan and professional sportswriter, she's got a masculine, no-nonsense, sports-analogous approach to dating that often freaks out potential boyfriends. Her only female friend advises her to dress and act more feminine, but it's hard for PJ to shake off her tomboy qualities. Jim Gaffigan (That �70s Show, Ed), Jamie Kaler (The Family Stone), Michael Bunin (Scrubs), Reid Scott (American Dreams), Kyle Howard (Related, Orange County) and Kellee Stewart (Guess Who?) co-star. Special digital extensions of MY BOYS will be available this year on TBS's new broadband destination veryfunny.com. MY BOYS, which ranked as ad-supported cable's #1 original sitcom among key adult demos in its first season, is produced by Pariah and Two Out Rally Productions, Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television, with Betsy Thomas, Jamie Tarses and Gavin Polone serving as executive producers.

THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW � Half-hour scripted comedy premiering in Summer 2007

Set in a Denver suburb, this new original domestic comedy stars Bill Engvall (Blue Collar TV) as Will Pearson, a family counselor whose own family could maybe use a little dose of counseling. Nancy Travis (Becker, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) plays his wife, Susan, who is trying to make sure their three children turn out all right. Filling out the rest of the family, Jennifer Lawrence (Devil You Know) plays Will and Susan's teenage daughter, Lauren, while their sons are played by Graham Patrick Martin (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) as Trent, a sports and video game enthusiast, and Skyler Gisondo (Huff) as Bryan, a musically talented neat freak with a pet snake. Tim Meadows (Saturday Night Live) and Steve Hytner (Seinfeld) co-star as Will's friends. THE BILL ENGVALL SHOW is written and created by Engvall and Michael Leeson (The War of the Roses), who also serve as executive producers with J.P. Williams (Blue Collar TV). The series is being produced by TBS with Leeson's Welladay, Inc. and Williams' Parallel Entertainment. The pilot was directed by James Widdoes (Two and a Half Men), who will return to direct and executive-produce new episodes. TBS's tbs.com will also present a broadband extension of the series in which Dr. Will answers questions from viewers.

UNCOMMON SENSE � Half-hour scripted comedy series in development

Stand-up comedian and actor Larry Miller provides a unique take on suburbia as he plays a dad, husband and newspaper columnist with two kids. Miller and Eileen Conn (Just Shoot Me) co-wrote the series and serve as executive producers. This series is being developed for TBS by Sony Pictures Television.

BIG SHOT � Half-hour scripted comedy series in development

Oscar�-winning actor Jamie Foxx and NBA announcer and superstar Kenny Smith, Adrienne Lopez and Marcus King are executive-producing this family comedy about a teenage NBA rookie who still lives at home under his parents' rules despite his fame and money. Lamont Farrell (The Parent �Hood) is writing.

UNTITLED DAVE CAPLAN PROJECT � Half-hour scripted comedy series in development

Dave Caplan (The Drew Carey Show) is writing this project from Sony Pictures Television and Original Films. It follows the life of a woman who manages to get through the day with surprising good humor despite very difficult circumstances: Her husband walks out, leaving her with two kids and a struggling lumberyard. Caplan is basing the premise on his own life, in which his single mother raised him and his two sisters while running a business. He serves as executive producer along with Original Films' Neal Moritz (The Fast and the Furious, I Am Legend) and Vivian Cannon (Emily's Reasons Why Not).


10 ITEMS OR LESS � Half-hour scripted and improvised comedy series for late night

Last year, during its initial run, this loosely scripted late-night comedy series consistently ranked as one of the top ad-supported cable programs in its time slot among young adults. It will return with John Lehr once again starring as a less-than-successful businessman from New York City who moves back home to take over the family supermarket after the death of his father. But his management style is markedly different from that of his father, making for a comically chaotic workplace. In addition to Lehr, this show features Robert Clendenin, Jennifer Elise Cox, Greg Davis Jr., Chris Payne Gilbert, Kirsten Gronfield, Christopher Liam Moore and Roberta Valderrama. Robert Hickey, Nancy Hower and John Lehr are executive producers on the series, which is produced for TBS by Sony Pictures Television.

THE FRANK SHOW � Half-hour sketch comedy series for late night

This sketch comedy features comedian and master of impersonation Frank Caliendo (MadTV, Hype). It will feature his pitch-perfect takes on Dr. Phil and Presidents Bush and Clinton, as well as many new characters he has created. The show will be shot in front of a live audience, with taped segments on location. THE FRANK SHOW is being executive-produced and written by Caliendo, Matt Wickline (In Living Color) and John Bowman (Saturday Night Live), with Barry Katz (Last Comic Standing) also serving as executive producer. The pilot was directed by Jason Karas.

BOB NEWHART: IN SEARCH OF COMEDY � Half-hour comedy anthology for late night

Comedy legend Bob Newhart executive-produces and hosts this late-night comedy anthology series.


Jenny Hunter, associate producer on the Emmy-winning series The Daily Show and executive producer on the series Man Bites Dog, is developing and writing a new sketch comedy series for TBS.

TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television's �very funny� network. It serves as home to such hot contemporary comedies as Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, Seinfeld and Friends; original comedy series like My Boys, The Bill Engvall Show, 10 Items or Less and The Frank Show; first-run series like Tyler Perry's House of Payne; specials and special events, such as Funniest Commercials of the Year and The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming to the cable industry.

  [march 2007]  

· ED (NBC)

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