UPDATE: Looks like I was premature in describing this as a sex tape movie. CBS Films informs me that yeah, there is a tape that circulates from a bachelor party that is the propulsion for the guys going to wilderness camp. But the guys in it keep their clothes on and merely act like complete doofuses and off they go to learn some street smarts. So the sex tape analogy has no staying power. Sorry about that.
EARLIER: While the rest of us will wait till the weekend climaxes to see if the Sony Pictures comedy Sex Tape measures up, others seem sold on the concept. CBS Films ends the week acquiring Man Up, a comedy that has Zac Levi attached to star and Hall Pass scribes Chris Pappas and Kevin Barnett writing. The log line: after a video of a disastrous and embarrassing bachelor party goes viral, four metro-sexual guys decide to go to survival camp and learn how to man up. Pic’s based on an idea by Levi.
Nicky Weinstock is producing with Levi. Invention Films’ Whitney Thomas will be exec producer. Levi recently starred in Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakwel, lent his voice to Tangled, and was seen in Thor: The Dark World. CAA and Peter Principato rep Levi, Pappas and Barnett are at CAA with Jeff Okin at Anonymous.
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off her critically acclaimed comedy In A World…, Lake Bell is set to star opposite Simon Pegg in Big Talk Productions and Studio Canal’s Man Up. The romantic comedy centers on single gal Nancy (Bell), who’s mistaken for a stranger’s blind date en route to her parents’ anniversary, leading to her finally finding the perfect boyfriend. Tess Morris penned the script which made the 2011 Brit List, a UK-centric riff on the Black List. Pegg and Nira Park will produce Man Up for their Big Talk banner (Shaun of the Dead, Attack the Block) and have set British TV and film helmer Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners, The Inbetweeners Movie) to direct. Filming begins in January. Bell recently shot Disney’s 2014 sports drama Million Dollar Arm with Jon Hamm and is currently filming the thriller The Coup with Owen Wilson. She also lends her voice to Fox’s March 2014 animated pic Mr. Peabody & Sherman. On the small screen Bell recently appeared on Season 4 of Childrens Hospital and directed four episodes of the Adult Swim comedy series. August release In A World… marked Bell’s feature writing and directing debut and nabbed her Sundance’s Waldo Salt screenwriting award. Bell is repped by UTA and Burstein Company. Palmer is repped by WME and Independent Talent Group in the UK.
Tim Allen is indeed TV’s last man standing this fall. Allen’s Last Man Standing series, which has received a full-season pickup, is the only one of the three new fall comedies centered on guys to still be on the air after ABC today pulled its companion Man Up!. Effective next Tuesday, the network will air reruns of Last Man Standing in the 8:30 PM slot just like NBC runs repeats of Up All Night at 8:30 PM on Wednesdays following the cancellation of Free Agents. Today’s move by ABC, which comes on the heels of Man Up! posting another series low on Tuesday, only hastens the exit of the comedy, which had already been canceled after the network opted not to order additional episodes beyond the original 13-episode order and left the series off its midseason schedule. It is reminiscent of the early pullout of the other new “guy” series, CBS’ How To Be A Gentleman. Both Gentleman and Man Up! were created by actors (David Hornsby and Chris Moynihan, respectively) as starring vehicles for themselves. Eight episode of Man Up! have aired. It is unclear when the remaining five will run as a burnoff.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
Because they are introducing a show about men into the traditionally female-skewing ABC primetime lineup, the producers and performers of Man Up! were called upon to spend much of their time addressing reporters at TCA today about what it means — or doesn’t mean — to be a man in America in 2011. The show stars Christopher Moynihan (also the creator and one of the executive producers), Mather Zickel and Dan Fogler (Tony winner for his role in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as three confused guys in their late 30s who would love to grow up if they could only figure out how.
One reporter went so far as to ask that, in a new season that includes many of what the network has been calling “female empowerment” shows, if Man Up! might actually be a show about male emasculation. Fogler thinks not. “[It] reflects what’s going on with people right now in society,” he said. “I feel very close to my character, Kenny — I have a lot of friends out there who will watch … that’s me up there, man … I think they’ll dig it. I don’t think the show is about men being emasculated; [it’s about men] finding themselves.” Moynihan joked that the three, being actors, “are soft guys already … face it, I have a lot of product in my hair.” On a more … Read More »
Exactly 20 years ago, German rock band Scorpions released Wind of Change, which became an anthem for our generation of young Eastern Europeans going through a dramatic political change: the fall of communism. Coming back from the broadcast upfront presentations in New York last week, I’ve been having a hard time getting the catchy tune out of my head. While less far-reaching and profound, there is a clear sense of changing of the guard and a new direction for the broadcast networks this year. I can’t remember a time where the majority of the networks had new heads at their upfront presentations. Paul Lee took over for Steve McPherson at ABC, Bob Greenblatt for Jeff Gaspin and Angela Bromstad at NBC, and Mark Pedowitz is succeeding Dawn Ostroff at the CW. There is a similar changing of the guard among the top TV producers this year. Upstart Chernin Entertainment and DreamWorks TV, which is re-entering the broadcast arena, topped the pods with the most new series, three each, with another recently launched company, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, scoring two new shows. And in its first season, Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps/Adelstein Prods.got one pilot, Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing, picked up to pilot, with another, Fox’s Family Album, in serious contention. Meanwhile, such longtime upfront fixtures as Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Mark Gordon Co. and Wonderland didn’t land any new series for next season. Read More »
Running out of slots for comedy series and striking out with new dramas in the fall, NBC and ABC in midseason expanded their existing two-hour comedy blocks on Thursday and Wednesday, respectively, to three hours, to largely uninspiring results. Going into next fall, the 10-11 PM comedy hours are being scrapped in favor of opening up more traditional 8-9 PM comedy blocks on other nights. In another sign of the resurgence of the comedy genre, for the first time in six years, each of the Big Four broadcast networks will have two comedy blocks on the fall schedule. Interestingly, both NBC and ABC opted to launch their new comedy blocks in the time periods where they most recently ran comedies. And just like the last time, both NBC and ABC populated the blocks with new comedies. In fall 2006, NBC launched 30 Rock and Twenty Good Years from 8-9 PM on Wednesday, the same time slot the network is using this year for new comedies Up All Night and Free Agents. ABC, which is going with the Tim Allen vehicle Last Man Standing and Chris Moynihan’s Man Up Tuesdays 8-9 PM, last tried comedies on the night in the fall of 2007, with then-newbies Cavemen and Carpoolers.
Something else happened this season: the return of the 10 PM drama. Scores of new dramas met their demise trying to get off the ground in the hour over the past few years, with the only shows to make it were modest hits Brothers and Sisters, Castle and The Good Wife. Uncertain about the prospects of 10 PM dramas, NBC even tried a Jay Leno talk show in the slot two seasons ago and had since kept the hour comedy/reality branded. But this season, all four freshman dramas to make it to Season 2 were 10 PM shows: CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods, ABC’s Body of Proof and NBC’s Harry’s Law. What’s more, for the first time in five years, all Big 3 networks have scheduled dramas in the 10 PM slot every night Sunday through Thursday. Read More »
We already told you what several advertisers thought of NBC’s and Fox’s upfront presentations. As for the last two major networks, the people with whom we spoke were much more impressed by CBS than ABC and identified four shows that seem to have a better-than-even shot at succeeding: CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, How To Be A Gentleman and A Gifted Man, and ABC’s Man Up. Some dinged ABC for providing little insight into the eight shows the network will introduce this fall. “I guess you throw something against the wall and hope,” says Brad Adgate of Horizon Media. By contrast, he says that CBS demonstrated that “the shows they’re really high on are protected” in time slots where they either face anemic competition or where they are flanked by hits. Targetcast’s Gary Carr says that CBS “did a great job” of explaining the strategies behind its five new shows. ABC, he added, ”was down and dirty — one hour with no entertainment and no celebrities.” Read More »
ABC Unveils 2011-12 Primetime Schedule
We may have the first head-to-head faceoff of two-hour comedy blocks in years this spring. ABC, which is launching a new Tuesday 8-9 PM comedy block with the Tim Allen starrer Last Man Standing and Chris Moynihan’s Man Up, leading into the Dancing With the Stars result show, plans to extend the block to two hours between the two cycles of Dancing, ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee announced at a press conference this morning. In what could be dubbed “men vs. women,” the two comedies with male leads will be followed by Courteney Cox’s Cougar Town and freshman Apartment 23 starring Krysten Ritter. Fox, of course, already has a 8-10 PM comedy block anchored by Glee at 8 PM and announced yesterday that it will convert it into a four-show block in March when Glee goes on hiatus. Since Dancing usually returns at the end of March, there is a good chance for the two four-comedy blocks to go toe to toe for a couple of weeks, a return to the old times when comedy ruled primetime with blocks on virtually every night of the week. Read More »
Eamonn Walker has landed the lead in Ron Moore’s drama pilot for NBC 17th Precinct, set in the fictional town of Excelsior where magic and supernatural elements rule over science and revolving around the cops at the local 17th Precinct. Walker, repped by ICM and manager Joan Fields, will play Detective Chief Inspector Wilder Blanks. Also cast in the pilot is Jamie Bamber as a homicide detective.
Dan Fogler has been tapped as a lead in ABC’s comedy pilot Man Up. Written by Chris Moynihan, the project centers on happily married father of two Will (Mather Zickel), his brother-in-law Kenny (Fogler) and the lovelorn Craig (Chris Moynihan) Fogler , repped by WME and Management 360, will next be seen in Take Me Home Tonight and Mars Needs Moms.
Teri Polo and Mather Zickel have landed co-starring roles on the ABC comedy pilot Man Up!. The project, from 100 Questions creator Chris Moynihan, ABC Studios and Tagline, is a look at what it takes to survive as a modern man, as told through the eyes of three best friends and the women in their lives. Moynihan and Zickel (I Love You, Man) will play two of the friends, while Polo will play the wife of the third friend, a playful super-mom who is addicted to Facebook. Additionally, Polo also booked the lead in the Hallmark comedic movie A Taste of Romance. The Little Fockers co-star recurs on Law & Order: Los Angeles, just wrapped the feature Beyond and is in pre-production on Material Lies.
Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond is in negotiations to join the TBS pilot Hound Dogs, written and directed by Ron Shelton. Set in the world of minor league baseball, the project, which has moved from Sony TV to Warner Horizon, centers on minor league team the Nashville Hound Dogs and its endlessly upbeat general manager (Tom Verica), a gambling addict trying to outrun his past, as they try to handle life’s ups and downs, both in and out of the locker room. Hammond, who spent 14 years on SNL, more than any other … Read More »
ABC has made its first comedy pilot pickups this season, ordering Man Up, from 100 Questions creator Chris Moynihan and an Smothered, from Friends alums Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen.
The ABC Studios/Tagline-produced Man Up stems from writer-actor Moynihan’s two-script deal with the studio. In addition to writing and executive producing, Moynihan is set to co-star in the project, a look at what it takes to survive as a modern man, as told through the eyes of three best friends and the women in their lives. Also executive producing are Tagline’s Ron West and Kelly Kulchak. Moynihan is with Rothman Brecher and Thruline. (This is not to be confused with Jack Burditt’s comedy script Man Up, also at ABC, which has Tim Allen circling.)
The Warner Bros. TV-produced Smothered is based on Reich and Cohen’s real-life experiences and centers on a young couple who find themselves smothered by their two very different sets of parents whose only thing in common is that their children are married to each other. Reich and Cohen are with WME.
After a heated bidding between ABC and CBS that stretched over the weekend, Man Up, a new half-hour project from veteran comedy writer-producer Jack Burditt (30 Rock) and a potential starring vehicle for Tim Allen, has landed at ABC with a put pilot commitment. Word is new ABC programming chief Paul Lee was personally involved in the network’s efforts to get the comedy that would bring Allen back to ABC where he toplined one of the network’s biggest comedies, Home Improvement. Man Up, from 20th TV and studio-based 21 Laps/Adelstein, is a multi-camera family comedy about a guy fighting for his manhood in a world of women. Burditt is writing as well as executive producing along with Marty Adelstein, Shawn Levy and Becky Clements. Allen has been looking to return to TV and met with a number of writers in the past few months.