EXCLUSIVE: It would be the biggest star pairing on a TV series in a long long time. Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence are considering pairing up to star in and produce a multi-camera comedy together for Lionsgate TV and its subsidiary Debmar-Mercury. We hear it started with a November meeting right before Thanksgiving between Grammer, Lawrence and Lionsgate where the two actors showed great chemistry. The pair are repped by different agencies: Grammer by WME, and Lawrence by UTA. But Grammer’s financial settlement with recently divorced wife Camille wasn’t yet finalized and he ordered everybody not to discuss the project until it was. (We hear the concern was that Camille might try to lay claim to the project. She reportedly owned half of Grammnet Productions with its television shows including Girlfriends, Medium, and The Game and worked as a creator, writer, and executive producer within the production company.) That financial settlement finalized right before Christmas and now the project is on a fast track. In the past few weeks, the studio has quietly sent out feelers to writers. In coming weeks, the studio will start meeting with potential creators/showrunners to pin down a concept for the buddy series which sources say may have an “odd couple” feel. READ MORE »
It feels like the window for picking up broadcast pilots has shrunk over the past few years. The network used to start slowly after the holidays, focusing almost entirely on drama pilot orders in January before moving to comedy in February. And here we are at the end of January, with the networks almost done with their picks after juggling both drama and comedy orders from the get-go. I hear done for the season are CBS drama, NBC comedy and Fox drama (with the possible exception of an off-cycle order to action drama Hieroglyph.) Of course, there is always the chance for a last-minute hot spec like the Joe Port-Joe Wiseman-Steve Levitan comedy, which hit the marketplace yesterday.
The $2 million question remaining at NBC is the Eric Kripke/JJ Abrams drama Revolution, the last big piece on the NBC slate still in limbo. The thriller, which has a production commitment, went through a rewrite and is yet to get a green light, which is surprising given the fact that it carries a massive $2 million penalty rolled over from Abrams’ project at NBC last year.
Another project from A-list auspices with a big commitment attached to it is eying what could be the last comedy slot at Fox, Goodwin Games, from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays & Craig Thomas and the show’s EP Chris Harris.