Popular YouTube personality Shane Dawson is bringing his brand to television. NBC has put in development Losin’ It, a single-camera comedy from Dawson, The Big C creator Darlene Hunt and producer Will Gluck. The workplace comedy, based on Dawson’s real-life experiences, is set at a suburban weight loss center franchise that gets thrown into upheaval when its most successful client decides to share his inspiration by becoming a consultant there, only to then find himself promoted to manager by the end of his first day. Hunt will write from a story she co-penned with Dawson and his producing partner Lauren Schnipper. Hunt, Dawson, Gluck and Richie Schwartz executive produce, with Schnipper producing. The project hails from Sony TV, where Gluck’s Olive Bridge and Hunt are under deals. 25-year-old Dawson, one of YouTube’s most popular stars, with over 9 million subscribers across three channels, was working at weight-loss company Jenny Craig, along with his mother and brother, when he launched his first YouTube channel in 2008. But soon thereafter he uploaded a pole-dancing video shot in the office and immediately was fired, along with his mother, brother and several other co-workers who appeared in the video. Dawson also has a successful personal weight loss story, having shed 150 pounds after a rough childhood marked by domestic abuse and school bullying. (Watch Dawson’s latest music parody after the jump.)
Related: UTA Signs YouTube Star Shane Dawson
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“New is always scary to the old and it is always about money and profit margins,” said Kurt Sutter today about the digital distribution and content models of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. “And the talk right now is how do we make money because we are all selling either soap or subscriptions,” the often blunt Sons of Anarchy producer added. “The upside for everyone at this table is we may not know what it looks like or what the profit margins are but more people want our content,” he also said. Sutter was appearing on this year’s Produced By Conference’s Hit The Ground Showrunning panel along with House of Cards‘ Beau Willimon, Parenthood‘s Jason Katims and The Big C creator Darlene Hunt. “I’m dying to do something for Netflix. They say we’ll throw money at you and leave you alone,” joked Hunt. The producer and performer added that her current deal with Sony limits her right now from going to do a project with the likes of Netflix but she wants that to change. “I’ve told them, you have to figure it out or I won’t reup my deal,” she added. Hunt inked a two-year seven-figure overall deal with Sony Pictures TV in early April.
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EXCLUSIVE: As her comedy-drama The Big C recently wrapped its four-season run on Showtime with a miniseries-style final installment, the series’ creator/executive producer Darlene Hunt is staying in business with its studio Sony Pictures TV. Hunt has signed a new two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Sony TV, where she has been since the 2010 launch of The Big C and under an overall deal since 2011. In addition to her work on The Big C, Hunt has been developing for Sony and sold a comedy to CBS this season. She also stepped in to help on the studio’s NBC series Save Me earlier this year as a showrunner. Hunt, repped by UTA, Mosaic and Joel McKuin, is also an actress and has been recurring on NBC’s Parks And Recreation.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has hit the pause button on midseason comedy series Save Me starring Anne Heche after two episodes for a major behind-the-scenes changeover. Alexa Junge, who joined the project after the pilot as executive producer/showrunner, is out. Production on the series has been put on hold while a new showrunner is put in place. I hear talks are underway with The Big C creator/executive producer Darlene Hunt to take over the reins of the show, produced by Sony TV and Original Film. The single-camera comedy, created by John Scott Shepherd, stars Heche as a woman who lets herself — and her marriage — go until she undergoes an “awakening” that transforms her spiritually and physically into a desirable and outspoken woman who just might be channeling god.
Save Me has not been scheduled, allowing NBC to take time and re-examine the series’ creative direction. The project has been a favorite of the network’s brass from the get-go, and I hear they are very invested in the show. Save Me was originally developed by NBC’s head of comedy Tal Rabinowitz while she was SVP comedy at Sony TV. It was initially set up at Showtime just as current NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was leaving the pay cable network in 2010. Save Me was the second pilot greenlighted by NBC last season, only behind comedy Go On. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: As her Showtime comedy series The Big C is heading into its four-hour final installment, Darlene Hunt has lined her next series project, a comedy for CBS, which she will executive produce with Josh Berman. The network has given a script commitment with penalty to the untitled single-camera half-hour based on Atlantic Monthly’s November 2011 cover story by Kate Bolick All The Single Ladies. The story, which quickly gained popularity and was published in six other countries, sparked a debate with its topic about the diminishing relevancy of marriage in a society where an ever-growing number of women choose to remain single. Bolick, who was featured on the cover of the magazine, shared her own story as a proud 39-year-old single woman and received a lot of attention, including appearing on the Today show.
The TV project, from Sony Pictures TV where Hunt and Berman are based, centers on a successful, thirty-something woman who doesn’t want it all. After her boyfriend proposes, her feelings of excitement about living the life she’s always dreamed (marriage, kids, career) turns to dread at the thought of giving up her current life (independence and good times with her best friend roommate). She therefore turns down the proposal, choosing to think of her single life as a destination, not a journey. UTA-repped Hunt, who is married with kids, will write the … Read More »
Jenny Bicks, formerly a writer on HBO’s long-running Sex And The City and creator of ABC’s short-lived Men In Trees, is the cancer survivor who runs The Big C, created by Darlene Hunt. It stars Laura Linney as a teacher, wife, and mother living with a diagnosis of a life-threatening melanoma. It joins Showtime’s other dramedies likely to compete with more traditional sitcoms and hour-longs for this year’s Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series. Bicks talks with Deadline TV Contributor Diane Haithman about her reaction to positive Emmy buzz and cancer as a laughing matter:
DEADLINE: How did you become involved in this show?
JENNY BICKS: I read the pilot scripts of The Big C because I shared the agency that created the script with Darlene Hunt and really loved the writing on it. I had cancer myself, and I was really impressed and kind of jealous that it had found the exact right way of talking about cancer in this darkly comedic way. Darlene and I sat down and I told her I liked the show, and it turned out they needed someone to come in and retool the pilot and recast some roles. And then I stayed around to do the show.
DEADLINE: When you give a character 18 months to live, don’t you also shorten the life of your series?
BICKS: Well, we’ve never said that she’s going to die at the end, and I don’t say that to be cute. We have to be very aware of what’s going on in the medical community. She has melanoma, and as soon as we went on the air, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Big C creator/executive producer Darlene Hunt has signed a two-year overall deal with the series’ producer Sony Pictures Television. Under the pact, part of the new breed of “showveralls,” writer-comedian-actress Hunt will continue on The Big C, which is now in production on Season 2. Hunt is focused on writing duties for the Showtime series, serving as an executive producer alongside showrunner Jenny Bicks, who also just signed an overall deal with Sony TV. Additionally, she will develop a project for the studio while The Big C is in hiatus.
“It was a long time coming,” Hunt said of landing her first series order with The Big C. “I’ve been writing pilots for 10 years.” That includes the 2003 ABC pilot Platonically Incorrect, directed by Tom Shadyac, and several projects at Sony TV in the last 3-4 years. “It was always a great experience,” Hunt said about working with the the studio.”You become a little family, you get used to getting notes from the same people and develop a shorthand.” One of those shows she developed with Sony was The Big C, the first project she ever pitched to a cable network. It went to pilot at Showtime and attracted Bill Condon as director in his pilot-directing debut and Laura Linney as star in her first regular series gig. The dark comedy about Cathy (Linney), a woman diagnosed with cancer, earned its first major awards … Read More »