Fresh off a sale to Discovery of its sex therapy documentary Real 40 Year Old Virgins, British indie Zig Zag Productions has taken options on three new formats for the UK market. First up is Hide & Seek, a Japanese game show that Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite and Japan’s T Group are co-producing in the U.S. With the help of camouflage, set design and special effects experts, a family is hidden inside their own home while a celebrity ‘seeker’ searches for them. If the celeb fails, the family wins a cash prize. Discussions are underway with UK broadcasters. Zig Zag also picked up UK rights to Jockey Stars from Galway’s Abu Media. The reality series follows hopefuls through three months of training to become the next great jockey. The show was voted Best Reality Series at this year’s Irish Film and Television Awards. Finally, the company pacted with Montreal’s Trio Orange for social media dating/manhunt show Wanted.
EXCLUSIVE: Adult Swim has handed a pilot order to Shredd: The Jon Johnsonsen Story, a live-action comedy starring Jason Lee from Reveille and Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite. Luke Watson and Jason Lee co-wrote the script for the 11-minute pilot, with Lee also set to direct. Shredd centers on Jon Johnsonsen (Lee) who, as a 17-year-old superstar skateboarder in 1985 was on top of the world until a risky skate move landed him in a coma for 25 years. When he wakes up, he is 42 but stuck in the 1980s mindset of a teenage boy and must cope with all the changes in his life. Lee and Watson are executive producing the project alongside Carolyn Bernstein, Todd Cohen and Howard T. Owens of Reveille and Black, Ben Cooley and Priyanka Mattoo of Electric Dynamite. This marks the first pilot pickup to come out of Electric Dynamite’s two-year TV overall deal with Reveille. The two companies have several other projects in development, including My Life As an Experiment, a half-hour comedy at NBC written by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith. If Shredd goes to series, Lee will do it alongside his starring role on the series Memphis Beat, which runs on Adult Swim’s Turner Broadcasting sibling TNT. Memphis Beat, which premiered in June, has been renewed for a second season.
NBC has picked up My Life As an Experiment, a half-hour comedy project produced by Jack Black and written by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith. Based on the best-selling non-fiction book Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life As An Experiment by journalist/author A.J. Jacobs, the show chronicles the adventures of an immersion journalist and how these unusual assignments comedically affect his home life with his wife and two kids. It hails from Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite Prods., Reveille, where Electric Dynamite has a production deal, and Sony Pictures Television. Sony TV-based comedy writing duo Yuspa and Goldsmith will write/executive produce My Life as an Experiement, which I hear landed a seven-figure penalty, one of the biggest for a comedy project so far this development season. Yuspa and Goldsmith, who have been at Sony since 1997, executive produced and ran the studio’s long-running comedy The King of Queens before segueing to development. They created and executive produced 2 series, Fox’s ‘Til Death and ABC’s Big Day.
EXCLUSIVE: Reveille and Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite Prods. have optioned the TV rights to journalist/author A.J. Jacobs’ best-selling non-fiction book My Life As An Experiment for a potential half-hour comedy series. This marks one of the first projects under Black’s two-year exclusive production deal with Reveille inked in April. The book, whose full title is My Life As An Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest To Improve Himself By Living As a Woman, Becoming George Washington, Telling No Lies, And Other Radical Tests, is being released by Simon & Schuster in paperback today.
Esquire Editor-at-Large Jacob is known for immersing himself in a self-improvement project and then writing about it. In My Life As an Experiment, he provides a humorous account of his 10 month-long exercises in self-improvement—from assuming the identity of a beautiful young woman to outsourcing his life to a couple of Indian assistants, to living a life of Radical Honesty. ”I’m being radically honest when I say I’m thrilled to be working with Reveille and Jack Black, and I’m looking forward to helping them transform these stories from my life into a series,” Jacobs quipped. Reveille’s EVP scripted TV Carolyn Bernstein called the stories “tailor-made for television,” noting that they “chronicle A.J.’s real-life adventures in immersion journalism and their unexpected comedic impact on his domestic life.” Search is underway for a writer to adapt the book.
ICM-repped Jacobs previously spent a year reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and another year following every rule …