EXCLUSIVE: In his first foray into animation, director-producer Jake Kasdan has teamed with writer-producer Lew Morton for comedy Wentworth Hall, which has been put in development by Fox. 20th Century Fox TV, where Kasdan is under an overall deal, will produce. Based on an idea by Morton, who will write the script, Wentworth Hall follows a group of misfit college students making plenty of bad decisions while attending a once-prestigious university. Morton and Kasdan executive produce, and Kasdan’s producing partner Melvin Mar is producing. This marks Morton’s return to animation. The former Futurama writer-producer, repped by CAA, most recently co-created and executive the CBS comedy Rob. Wentworth Hall reunites Kasdan and Morton; they previously worked together on Fox series Undeclared and the movie Walk Hard.
Rob Schneider is officially returning to primetime. CBS has handed a midseason series order to Schneider’s untitled family comedy. I hear the pickup is for eight episodes. While it was tracking well, the pilot didn’t make the cut for a fall series order at the upfronts, but CBS liked it enough to order a revamped second pilot that included major casting changes as well as several backup scripts. The multi-camera comedy, which Schneider co-wrote with Lew Morton based on the actor’s real-life experiences, stars Schneider as Rob, a confirmed bachelor who has just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Spanish actress Claudia Bassols plays his wife, Maggie. Diana Maria Riva plays his mother-in-law, Rosa. Both roles were recast from the pilot, as was the role of Schneider’s father-in-law, now played by Cheech Marin. Remaining from the original cast are Schneider,
EXCLUSIVE: CBS has solidified the midseason chances of the untitled Rob Schneider comedy pilot with an order for a new pilot as well as a number of additional scripts. The multi-camera comedy, which Schneider co-wrote with Lew Morton based on the actor’s real-life experience, stars Schneider as a confirmed bachelor who has just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. I hear CBS liked the concept and Schneider, who tested very well, but wants to make some tweaks. Several actors who played members of the family, Schneider’s on-screen wife and her parents, will be recast. By ordering backup scripts, CBS puts the project on track for midseason. If the network likes the new pilot, the comedy will be able to go into production right away for a midseason launch. Back in May, CBS didn’t order any midseason comedy series, leaving that decision for after the upfronts. The Rob Schneider project, from CBS TV Studios and the Tannenbaum Co., was one of two pilots left in contention, along with the Sony TV-produced Peter Knight half-hour.
CBS has a history of ordering second pilots and recasting projects that its executives like but feel their original pilots are not quite there. The practice worked out well for The Big Bang Theory and Numbers, which went on to have successful runs on the network.
EXCLUSIVE: Eric and Kim Tannenbaum are fashionably late to the marketplace in their first development season at their new home, CBS TV Studios. But their last-minute comedy sale to CBS is a big one: a half-hour starring Rob Schneider in his first TV series gig in 13 years. The untitled project, to be written by Lew Morton (Saturday Night Live, Big Lake) and Schneider, is based on Schneider’s life and centers on a solitary guy who marries into a huge Mexican-American family. Morton, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum are executive producing, with Schneider and his brother John Schneider producing through their From Out of Nowhere Prods. CBS TV Studios and the Tannenbaum Co. are producing the comedy, which has received a script order.