Leah Remini, who co-hosts CBS’ recently picked up new mom daytime talk show, is expanding her relationship with CBS to primetime. Remini, best known for her starring role on the long-running CBS sitcom The King of Queens, has signed a development and talent holding deal with CBS and CBS Studios to headline a new half-hour comedy project for the network. She is looking to join other hosts such as Kelly Ripa and Sherri Shepherd who have juggled a daytime show and a primetime sitcom. Remini spent the past 2 years at ABC where she had a talent deal and starred in 2 comedy pilots, most recently It Takes a Village this past development season. On the upcoming CBS daytime show featuring moms taking on current events, Remini serves as co-host alongside Sara Gilbert, on whose idea the show is based, Julie Chen, Holly Robinson Peete, Sharon Osbourne and Marissa Jaret Winokur.
EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films and Sony Pictures are teaming to acquire It Takes A Village, a comedy pitch that Keenen Ivory Wayans will write and direct about a 30-something white single career-obsessed woman who decides on a whim to adopt a child from a South Pacific island. But she comes home with the tribe’s chief and seven elders until she proves she’s mommy material.
Todd Garner will produce with Wayans and Rick Alvarez. It took two studios to make the deal for It Takes A Village. The pact that UTA brokered for Wayans is mid 6-figures upfront, but contains aggressive progress to production stipulations: after Wayans turns in the script, the studios either make it or the reps take it elsewhere. Wayans, who last directed the 2006 comedy Little Man, hopes to make this his next film. CBS Films chief Amy Baer, who spent most of her career at Columbia, put the pact together with Sony’s Columbia co-president of production Doug Belgrad, who worked closely with Wayans on White Chicks.
The family theme makes the film a departure for Wayans. From his raucous sketch show creation In Living Color to his subsequent feature comedies, family-friendly meant lining the cast with his siblings. Here, Wayans sparked to an idea by Garner (The Zookeeper), who recently became a father and was struck by the litany of mandatory child-rearing accessories–from car seats to baby-wipe-warmers–and fantasized about a stripped-down version of parenting. That led to what Wayans saw as a …