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Upfronts’ Longest Traditions: A Breakfast, A Dinner And Midnight Karaoke

By | Monday May 19, 2014 @ 11:42am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Upfronts2014_badge__140505214755 (1)It seems like Jimmy Kimmel’s annual roast has been a highlight of the upfronts forever. It’s been around for a while — Kimmel has been insulting networks, executives and ad buyers alike for the past 12 years. But it is not the longest upfront tradition, not by a long stretch.

LoxIn 1996, in his first upfront at CBS as president of entertainment, Leslie Moonves, ever the showman, gathered journalists the morning of the network upfront presentation for a breakfast where he revealed the fall schedule. It became an annual thing, and 19 upfronts later, it still is going strong. Some things have changed — Moonves runs CBS Corp. now, and the magnet board has been replaced by a computer. But the schedule unveiling ceremony and the menu — bagels and lox — have remained the same, and Moonves is still there every year to kick things off.

Related: Upfronts 2014: Comedy Sputters, Diversity & Adaptations Flourish; Other Trends, Oddities

lugerA year earlier, in 1995, the Endeavor agency was less than 2 months old. Co-founders Ari Emanuel and Rick Rosen went to the upfronts to see clients — Rosen staying with his uncle, Emanuel with friends. People took them out to dinner the first two nights but on the third, they were on their own. With no money, their options were very limited. Rosen had a Peter Luger credit card, so they decided to go the Brooklyn steakhouse for dinner where they were joined by fellow Endeavor co-founder David Greenblatt, Dean Valentine, then president of Walt Disney TV, and attorney Jim Jackoway. From five, the dinner party grew to 10 the following year and soon became a tradition. It never expanded too much — 135 attended this year’s 20th anniversary dinner — but that is by design. The organizers keep the event exclusive — open only to top-level network and studio executives as well as clients with new shows. That exclusivity has made the Endeavor — now WME Peter Luger dinner — one of the hottest tickets during upfronts.

Related: Upfronts 2014: The Overachievers

karaokeGoing back even further, to the early 1990s (some pinpoint the year as 1994), then-NBC SVP Primetime Series Jamie Tarses decided to throw a karaoke party on Sunday, the night before the NBC upfront presentation. Organized with the help of her assistant (now Amblin TV co-head Justin Falvey), the party was held late Sunday night at a karaoke place in Koreatown, attended by fellow NBC executives like Karey Burke, Flody Suarez and Steve McPherson. Read More »

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Greg Malins, Jamie Tarses And Keshet’s Adaption Of Hit Israeli Family Comedy Gets TBS Pilot Order

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 12:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

malinsTBS has given a pilot order to Your Family Or Mine, a multi-camera comedy from veteran comedy showrunner Greg Malins, Sony Pictures TV and Jamie Tarses’ studio-based Fanfare. The project, originally set up at ABC during the 2012-13 development season as a single-cam, is based on hit Israeli comedy series Your Family Or Mine? from leading Israeli broadcaster Keshet. Written by Friends and How I Met Your Mother alum Malins, the adaptation centers on Oliver and Kelli who are living proof of the adage “When you marry someone, you don’t just marry them, you marry their whole family.” It is a family comedy with an unusual structure — each episode focuses on a different side of the family: one week featuring the couple dealing with Kelli’s family, the tbs__130104185937next spent with Oliver’s. Your Family Or Mine?, created by Rubi Duanias, Yaniv Polishuk and produced by Teddy Prods., aired 50 episodes and ranked as the No.1 comedy in Israel. (Watch an English-language trailer below). Malins is executive producing with Tarses, Duanias & Polishuk, Keshet’s Avi Nir & Ran Telem and Teddy’s Tamira Yardeni. Fanfare/Sony and Malins, who has an overall deal at Sony, already are in business with TBS with comedy series Men at Work and Ground Floor, respectively. Tarses’ Fanfare also has two broadcast comedy pilots, Marry Me and Cuz-Bros.

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Relationship Comedy From David Caspe, Seth Gordon & Jamie Tarses Lands At NBC With Pilot Production Commitment

By | Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 7:28pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In what is believed to be the biggest commitment for a comedy project so far this development season, Marry Me, a single-camera half-hour from Happy Endings creator David Caspe, just landed at NBC. The Sony Pictures TV project — which has Seth Gordon, who exited Horrible Bosses 2 today, attached to direct and executive produce and Jamie Tarses to executive produce — sparked a bidding war when it was taken out two weeks ago. It ultimately commanded a pilot production commitment in a deal which I hear also includes a full license fee and series penalty. Last summer, NBC nabbed another Sony TV single-camera comedy project with a big commitment, giving a 22-episode order to The Michael J. Fox Show, one of four new Sony series on the NBC schedule next season along with fall drama The Blacklist, fall comedy Welcome To The Family and midseason drama The Night Shift. Read More »

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Jamie Tarses Signs New Deal With Sony TV

By | Wednesday March 28, 2012 @ 2:42am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Jamie Tarses and her Fan Fare banner are staying at Sony Pictures Television with a new two-year overall deal. The decision for Sony to re-up Tarses is a no-brainier as she is the studio’s most prolific non-writing producer. Tarses has 3 series on the air, ABC comedy Happy Endings, which is expected to be renewed for a third season, TNT’s Franklin & Bash, which returns for a second season this summer, and the upcoming TBS comedy series Men At Work. Additionally, Fan Fare has 2 broadcast pilots, CBS drama Baby Big Shot and the NBC Hilary Winston comedy. Former NBC and ABC executive Tarses came to Sony in 2005 when she joined Gavin Polone at his Sony-based Pariah. After selling a few projects, including the TBS series My Boys, the two parted ways at the end of 2006 when WME-repped Tarses launched her company Fan Fare and inked an overall deal with Sony. Her series for Sony also include Hawthorne, which ran on TNT for 3 seasons, ABC’s Mr. Sunshine and CBS’ Mad Love. Tarses has recently been working with Julia Franz who executive produces with her Men At Work as well as Fan Fare’s broadcast pilots.

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Primetime Pilot Season: The Overachievers

By | Friday February 17, 2012 @ 8:16am PST
Nellie Andreeva

If the broadcast development season were a reality competition show, we would now be in the final round where some 85 pilots are battling for spots on next season’s schedule. And while the winners won’t be known until the upfronts in May, here are the overachievers in the pilot stage of the competition.

Greg Berlanti — he killed it in his first development season at his new (old) studio home, Warner Bros. Television. Berlanti and his company Berlanti Prods. sold five projects to the broadcast networks. Four of them netted pilot orders: Guilty at Fox written by Marc Guggenheim, an Nicholas Wootton-written drama at CBS, Arrow at the CW, penned by Berlanti, Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg, and a comedy at CBS written by Berlanti and Greg Malins. And if that’s not enough, while working on his broadcast development Berlanti found time to write a cable spec, Political Animals, which just received a six-episode straight-to-series order by USA Network and is now casting alongside Berlanti’s broadcast pilots.

Aaron Kaplan — the one-man selling machine. Since founding his company, Kapital Entertainment, two-and-a-half years ago with his own money, the former WMA agent has landed 12 pilot orders while operating independently without the backing of a studio. Four of them came from the broadcast networks this season, all comedies: The Manzanies and the untitled Dan Fogelman project at ABC and Daddy’s Girls and Isabel at NBC. (Technically, there are 5 Aaron Kaplan broadcast pilots this season. The lit manager by the same name is executive producing the Adam Sztykiel ABC comedy pilot, and the matching names have created a lot of confusion and wrongly addressed emails.) Like Berlanti, Kaplan is casting a cable project along with his 4 broadcast pilots, Darren Star’s HBO comedy pilot Viagra Diaries starring Goldie Hawn. He also has several other projects in pilot contention, two upcoming series: ABC’s GCB and MTV’s The Inbetweeners, and a third one awaiting word on Season 2, Fox’s Terra Nova.

Mark Gordon, Marty Adelstein & Shawn Levy and Jamie Tarses. The Mark Gordon Co., Adelstein & Levy’s 21 Laps/Adelstein Prods. and Tarses’ Fanfare landed 3 pilot orders each this broadcast pilot season. The ABC Studios-based Mark Gordon Co., which has 4 series on the air, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, CBS’ Criminal Minds and Lifetime’s Army Wives, is behind 3 ABC pilots: dramas Americana and the Roland Emmerich project and comedy White Van Man. Additionally, the company has a cable pilot casting, the Showtime drama Roy Donovan starring Liev Schreiber. In its second year, 20th TV-based 21 Laps/Adelstein, whose first development season produced ABC’s solid freshman Last Man Standing, is fielding the untitled Karyn Usher drama pilot at Fox and comedies Little Brother at Fox and the Mandy Moore project at ABC. Sony TV-based Fanfare, which has 3 series on the air, ABC’s Happy Endings, TNT’s Franklin & Bash and TBS’ upcoming Men At Work, is shepherding CBS’ Baby Big Shot, NBC’s Hilary Winston and Fox’s cast-contingent Must Hire. Additionally, 3 Arts’ Howard Klein is an executive producer on 3 pilots, Greg Daniels’ Friday Night Dinner at NBC, Mindy Kaling’s Fox comedy and Melissa Rosenberg’s ABC drama Penoza. Read More »

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Black List Scribes Make ‘Pregnancy Pact’ With New Line, Red Hour

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: New Line has acquired Pregnancy Pact, a comedy pitch that Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly will write for Red Hour Productions. The comedy follows three lifelong best friends who make an ill-conceived pact to get the women in their lives pregnant at the same time. Their goal is to avoid having to make friends with other new parents when their child is born. Instead, it tests their friendship and marriages. It’s considered a strong vehicle for three young actors, and already some are circling, though no one is attached yet. The project will be produced by Red Hour’s Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld. Erica Steinberg, who brought it in, will be exec producer. The writers, who first got on the map when their script The Diversification of Noah Miller made the Black List, are also rewriting a Russell Brand comic vehicle at Paramount, and they have just set up a pair of TV pilots. They are writing First Ones In for Jamie Tarses, Sony and CBS, and Ex-Laws for Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and ABC Television Studios and ABC. The scribes are repped by WME and Management 360.

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TBS Orders Multi-Camera Pilot From Breckin Meyer And Jamie Tarses

By | Friday August 26, 2011 @ 7:08pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After veering into developing hourlong comedies for the past 2 years, TBS is returning to the half-hour comedy genre with Men At Work, a multi-camera sitcom created by Breckin Meyer, star of TNT’s new dramedy Franklin & Bash, which originated at TBS. The project is being produced by Sony Pictures TV and Jamie Tarses’ studio-based Fanfare, the companies behind Franklin & Bash. Men at Work is described as an ensemble multi-camera comedy that explores bromance, sexcapades and office adventures of four buddies who work at a magazine. It centers on Milo, who finds comfort in his three best friends. They help reinvent his manhood after being dumped by his girlfriend while navigating their own personal and professional lives. In addition to his acting career, Meyer, repped by Gersh and the Collective, has been a writer on Adult Swim’s hit animated comedy Robot Chicken, on which he also voices a number of characters. He is executive producing Men At Work with Tarses.

TBS started its original programming efforts with half-hour comedies to complement its off-network comedy acquisitions, putting on the air such shows as the single-camera My Boys, also from Sony and Tarses, and the multi-camera The Bill Engvall Show. Then at the end of 2009, TBS shifted development to hourlong comedies with such shows as Glory Daze and the upcoming The Wedding Read More »

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Pod Script Sales: Koppelman/Levien Set Up First TV Project, Jamie Tarses Sells Drama

By | Friday August 26, 2011 @ 4:07am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Filmmakers Brian Koppelman and David Levien have sold the first project under their their first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the duo’s first formal TV deal. The project, drama Yard Dogs, which has received a script commitment from Fox, will be written by Malcolm Spellman (Our Family Wedding). It revolves around two cops who specialize in getting information from prisoners pertaining to cases that the police can’t crack in the outside world. Koppleman and Levien are executive producing. Spellman is currently writing the animated musical Welcome To the Jungle for Jamie Foxx at Fox Animation.

Sony TV and Jamie Tarses’ studio-based Fanfare banner have landed a script commitment with penalty at CBS for Baby Big Shot, a legal drama written by Dana Calvo, a supervising producer for the Sony/Fanfare TNT series Franklin & Bash. It centers on a working-class woman who uses her street smarts to compete with her more polished colleagues at a tony Manhattan law firm. Calvo, Tarses and her Fanfare partner Julia Franz are executive producing along with Sony TV-based writer-producer Kevin Falls. This is a rare foray into drama for comedy-focused Fanfare, which has already sold several half-hour projects this season, including a comedy to CBS with writer Jeff Rake.

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Jeff Rake Sets Up 2 Projects At CBS

By | Thursday August 25, 2011 @ 8:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The $treet and Miss Match co-creator Jeff Rake has sold two projects — a drama and a comedy — to CBS. Both are from Sony Pictures TV, where Rake is based, and both will be written by him. The drama, which he is executive producing with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, centers on a female detective who finds she can interact with dead people — the victims of murders she investigates. The comedy, which Rake is executive producing with Fanfare’s Jamie Tarses, is about a well-intentioned family man who struggles with being the perfect dad while his perfect dad lives under his roof. Rake’s series credits also include Hawthorne, Cashmere Mafia and Bones. He recently signed with WME.

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