In a rare TV appearance, John Travolta is set to guest star on TV Land’s new original sitcom Kirstie, reuniting with his Look Who’s Talking co-star Kirstie Alley. Set to shoot early next month, Travolta will play a stagehand on Maddie’s (Alley) Broadway show. After a one-night stand together, Maddie is surprised to find that her fling refuses to be flung. Kirstie, which debuts Dec. 4, centers around Broadway star Madison Banks (Alley) whose life turns upside down when Arlo (Eric Petersen), the son she gave up at birth, suddenly appears, hoping to connect after his adoptive parents have died. Rhea Perlman stars as Maddie’s assistant and best friend alongside Michael Richards as Maddie’s outlandish driver. “I’m excited about working with Kirstie again, in addition to such terrific talent on the show,” Travolta said. “It’s always a treat to be surrounded by people you respect so much both personally and professionally.”
EXCLUSIVE: TV Land‘s upcoming sitcom Kirstie already is reuniting two stars of Cheers, Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman. Now it is bringing back together two of the leads of another iconic NBC sitcom, Seinfeld. Jason Alexander has signed on for a guest (and potential recurring) role on Kirstie, joining his Seinfeld cohort Michael Richards who is a regular on the show. Kirstie centers around Broadway star Madison Banks (Alley) whose life turns upside down when Arlo (Eric Petersen), the son she gave up at birth, suddenly appears, hoping to connect after his adoptive parents have died. Alexander will play Maddie’s agent. Perlman stars as Maddie’s assistant and best friend alongside Richards as Maddie’s outlandish driver. “It is a strange and wonderful thing to be working on a brand new show yet surrounded by familiar faces and friends,” Alexander said. Alley, Perlman, Richards and Alexander are back together after sharing NBC’s Thursday 9 PM hour as Cheers helped launch Seinfeld before the Jerry Seinfeld/Larry David series succeeded the Boston bar sitcom as the peacock network’s flagship comedy. Kirstie is written and executive produced by Marco Pennette and is also executive produced by Kirstie Alley and Jason Weinberg.
EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has greenlighted Babysellers, a two-hour original movie about the dark international crime enterprise of infant trafficking under the guise of seemingly regulated adoption. Executive produced by veteran longform producer Robert Halmi Sr, Babysellers is a follow-up to his praised 2005 Lifetime movie Human Trafficking, starring Mira Sorvino, Donald Sutherland and Robert Carlyle, as the films tackle a cause Halmi has been very passionate about.
Babysellers stars Kirstie Alley and Jennifer Finnigan. Alley plays Carla Hughes, a well-respected, influential owner of a major U.S.-based adoption agency that helps prospective parents fulfill their dream of having a family. While presenting an innocent veneer of kindness and good intentions to her trusting clients, behind-the-scenes Hughes functions as a ruthless international kingpin, controlling an expansive syndicate spanning the world and manned by subordinates authorized to use any means necessary to procure children for her business. Finnigan plays Nic Kingman, the dedicated, tough-as-nails Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent who believes Hughes is fueling a global business that stops at nothing to find the right child for the right owner — at the right price – and goes undercover to bring her sordid operation down.
UPDATED: Cheers‘ Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman and Seinfeld‘s Michael Richards are officially returning to primetime. TV Land has given a 12-episode series order to Alley’s multi-camera comedy, which was titled Giant Baby at the pilot stage. It is now being renamed Kirstie’s New Show and will premiere in the fall. Created by Marco Pennette, it revolves around Madison “Maddie” Banks (Alley), a Broadway star who finds her life turned upside down when Arlo (Eric Petersen), her long-lost son, turns up looking to connect after his adopted mother dies. Perlman plays Maddie’s assistant and best friend; Richards plays Maddie’s outlandish driver. “This cast is a TV Land dream team of stars,” said TV Land President Larry W. Jones. “Seeing them all together is truly mind-blowing.” Gilles Marini guest starred in the pilot as Maddie’s chef. It is unclear if he will continue on the show as recurring. Of TV Land’s two other pilots, the multi-camera Brothers-in-Law is dead, while I’m Not Dead Yet is living up to its title and is still in contention. Kirstie’s New Show, which ends a two-year quest by TV Land to get a show with the sitcom star on the air, is executive produced by Pennette, Alley and her manager Jason Weinberg. Alley announced the pickup in a YouTube video:
EXCLUSIVE: Cheers was once a staple on TV Land. Now the cable network, which has shifted its focus from classic sitcom reruns to original comedy series, is reuniting two of the stars of iconic the NBC series. Rhea Perlman is set to co-star opposite Kirstie Alley in the TV Land pilot Giant Baby. Created by Marco Pennette, the project revolves around Madison “Maddie” Banks (Alley), a Broadway star who finds her life turned upside down when Arlo, her long-lost son, turns up looking to connect after his adopted mother has died. Perlman will play Thelma, Maddie’s long-suffering assistant and best friend, who encourages her boss to form a relationship with her son. “We’ve hit the jackpot getting Kirstie and Rhea back together,” said Keith Cox, TV Land’s EVP Development and Original Programming. “It’s a dream to work with such talented comedic actors like these ladies and create a show for them that’s funny and has interesting characters — Giant Baby hits all of those notes.”
TV Land has given a cast-contingent presentation order to Giant Baby, a multi-camera comedy written by Marco Pennette starring Cheers alumna Kirstie Alley. The project centers on Madison “Maddie” Banks (Alley), a Broadway star who finds her life turned upside down when Owen, the son she gave up for adoption 26 years ago, turns up looking to connect after his adopted mother dies. “We’ve had our eye on Kirstie Alley for a long time, and we finally got her!” said TV Land president Larry W. Jones.
TV Land brass took a look at Pennette’s ABC pilot The Manzanis after the network passed on it in May. The multi-camera comedy also starred Alley, as well as her former Cheers co-star Rhea Perlman. Ultimately, TV Land opted to develop a new project with Pennette and Alley. It resulted in Giant Baby, which the two executive produce with Alley’s manager Jason Weinberg.
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Rispoli (The Black Donnellys) has landed the male lead opposite Kirstie Alley in ABC’s multi-camera comedy pilot The Manzanis. Also cast in the family comedy is veteran actor Robert Costanzo. Written by sitcom veterans Marco Pennette and Dave Flebotte, The Manzanis stars Alley as Angela Manzani, an opinionated wife/mother who, along with her Italian American husband, Nick Manzani (Rispoli), and their 3 kids moves to a quiet New Jersey neighborhood where they clash with their new, WASPy neighbors. Constanzo will play Nick’s father, Joe, while Rhea Perlman was recently cast to play Nick’s mother, Camille. ABC Studios and studio-based Brillstein Entertainment Partners are producing, with Pennette, Flebotte, JoAnn Alfano, Aaron Kaplan and Jason Weinberg executive producing. Rispoli next co-stars on Starz’s period drama Magic City.
EXCLUSIVE: Rebecca and Carla together again! Rhea Perlman is reuniting with her Cheers co-star Kirstie Alley on a potential new multi-camera comedy series, this time on ABC. Perlman has closed a deal to co-star opposite Alley in Alley’s ABC comedy pilot The Manzanis. The family comedy written by sitcom veterans Marco Pennette and Dave Flebotte stars Alley as Angela Manzani, an opinionated wife/mother who, along with her Italian American family, moves to a quiet New Jersey neighborhood where they clash with their new, WASPy neighbors. Perlman will play Angela’s mother in law Camille Manzani. ABC Studios and studio-based Brillstein Entertainment Partners are producing, with Pennette, Flebotte, JoAnn Alfano, Aaron Kaplan and Jason Weinberg executive producing. Since their six-season stint together on Cheers, Perlman and Alley have appeared together only once — when Perlman played herself in an episode of Alley’s Showtime docu-series Fat Actress.
EXCLUSIVE: Following her memorable run on Dancing With the Stars last spring, Kirstie Alley is returning to ABC as the star of a new comedy project. I’ve learned that ABC is finalizing the deals for a pilot order to The Manzanis, a multi-camera family comedy written by sitcom veterans Marco Pennette and Dave Flebotte, with Alley attached to star. ABC Studios and studio-based Brillstein Entertainment are producing. The sitcom is described as a new take on Roseanne, and stars Alley as a very opinionated wife/mother who, along with her family, the Manzanis, moves to repressed country-club town. Pennette and Flebotte are executive producing with Brillstein’s new TV president JoAnn Alfano. Also expected to executive produce are Aaron Kaplan (Good Christian Belles) and Alley’s manager Jason Weinberg.
ABC made the announcement tonight about the 11 so-called celebrities heading to the dance floor this season via Dancing With The Stars hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke in a live press conference during The Bachelor. And it really looks as if the network scraped the bottom of the celebrity barrel. Many of those booked aren’t even household names. (Heck, I have no idea who most of them are!) They’re a boxer, a talk-show somebody, a Super Bowl Steeler, one of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriends, and a has-been comedic actress. Then again, it was going to be hard if not impossible for ABC to match last season’s stunt casting of Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol. The Season 12 list is as follows:
“PSYCHO” MIKE CATHERWOOD
SUGAR RAY LEONARD
ROMEO (Percy Romeo Miller, Jr)
All are set to compete each week on the dance floor in the 2-hour season premiere on Monday, March 21 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. The 11 couples will dance for the first time on live national television either performing the Foxtrot or the Cha Cha Cha. The couple with the lowest combined judges’ scores and public votes for their performance will be sent home the following week until the season finale on Tuesday, May 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET).