EXCLUSIVE: NBC is looking to launch a family-friendly variety clip show franchise in the tradition of ABC’s stalwart America’s Funniest Home Videos. The network has given a six-episode order to an hourlong show from producers Stephen McPherson and Bruce Gersh. Tentatively titled NBC’s Epic Funnies, the series is built around the principles of Epic Fails and life moments gone wrong. McPherson and Gersh, who worked together at ABC, collaborated on several projects over the last year. That led to the duo recently launching a venture together, Hollywoodland Studio, with Epic Funnies as the first project. It was another ABC alum, Jeff Bader, now head of scheduling at NBC, that helped bring the show to the peacock network. Gersh has clip show experience. As an executive at ABC, he oversaw digital business for network shows including AFHV where he met the show’s creator/executive producer Vin di Bona, and the two launched FishBowl Worldwide Media in 2010. As the company’s president and CEO for four years until his exit last summer, he orchestrated the Web exploitation of AFHV‘s massive library of clips with the launch five YouTube channels. With Epic Fails, McPherson and Gersh are taking an opposite route, taking online clips to TV. The show is envisioned as being global, featuring original clips from around the world. Former ABC …
Bruce Gersh and Vin Di Bona’s FishBowl Worldwide Media announced today that former Warner Bros Women’s Digital Brands and Business Development GM Lisa Black has been hired as SVP Business Development and Enterprises. She will be tasked with identifying new revenue streams for the company, which is behind the original Yahoo Web series Ultimate Proposal, the Petsami YouTube channel as well as shows for Travel Channel and truTV. FishBowl also manages the world’s largest curated library of cleared user-generated content and a clearance management service used by advertisers and brands. At Warner Bros, Black was responsible for the overall strategy and alternative revenue generation for Telepictures’ daytime brands including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, TMZ, Anderson Cooper, Extra and MomLogic. Before that, she worked at Food Network, SiTV and Lifetime.
EXCLUSIVE: Vin Di Bona and Bruce Gersh’s FishBowl Worldwide Media has hired Shaleen Desai as SVP Comedy Development. He will be responsible for scripted comedy development for television and digital distribution, reporting to EVP creative affairs Susan Levison. For the past year, FishBowl’s scripted development was overseen by Jennifer Gwartz, SVP scripted development, who recently left to run Dan Lin’s Warner Bros TV-based company. Instead of going for a straight replacement, FishBowl has opted to split the job into comedy and drama development; a drama executive is expected to be appointed shortly. Desai most recently served as VP Programming at BBC Worldwide Prods. Before that, he served as VP Development for fox21, where he was active in digital media. Desai’s resume also include stints in the comedy department at the Fox network and David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants. FishBowl most recently announced Web series pilot The Potts, created by David & Goliath founder Todd Goldman and How I Met Your Mother exec producer Chuck Tatham.
EXCLUSIVE: Vin Di Bona and Bruce Gersh’s FishBowl Worldwide Media has begun production on a pilot episode for The Potts, an original animated web series. The show, whose voice cast includes Dave Coulier and Richard Kind, follows a family in search of fame and fortune who will do just about anything to get on reality TV. David & Goliath founder and Illustrator Todd Goldman and How I Met Your Mother executive producer Chuck Tatham created The Potts, which is being executive produced by DiBona, Gersh and FishBowl EVP Creative Affairs Susan Levison. The series will launch on YouTube, where FishBowl’s 2010 Web series CuteWinFail has received 25 million viewers. Talks with additional digital distributors are underway.
In its first development season, FishBowl Worldwide Media, the independent production company launched in January by Vin Di Bona and Bruce Gersh, has sold its first two scripted projects. Fox, where FishBowl EVP creative affairs Susan Levison previously worked as an executive, is developing The Danger List, a drama from writer Stephen Gallagher described as a medical thriller in which a doctor with a complicated past investigates medical abuses, crimes and conspiracies. And at the CW, the company has set up drama Beautiful Strangers written by Dan Thomsen. Rob Thomas, on whose comedy series Cupid and Party Down FishBowl SVP scripted development Jennifer Gwartz worked as a producer, is executive producing the project, about two young thieves who are caught and given a second chance as informants for a new FBI division. On the unscripted side, FishBowl in April received its first pilot order for Disclosure at TruTV.