Sky Arts HD is getting ready for its annual Playhouse Presents series which returns to the channel this May. The showcase is devoted to one-off comedies and dramas with talent lined up this year to include …
Dylan McDermott To Star In CBS’ Kevin Williamson Drama Pilot
By Nellie Andreeva – Hostages‘ Dylan McDermott is set as the male lead in another CBS/Warner Bros TV drama project, the untitled Kevin Williamson pilot.
Neil Simon’s classic The Odd Couple is getting closer to a primetime return with a pilot order by CBS to the multi-camera version starring, co-written and executive produced by Matthew Perry. The project, which had a script commitment with penalty, is a new take on two mismatched roommates — the messy Oscar Madison (Perry) and the neat freak Felix Unger. It was written by Perry and Frasier veteran Joe Keenan, the latter replacing original co-writer Danny Jacobson. The Odd Couple pilot hails from CBS TV Studios and two of its top pods, Timberman-Beverly and The Tannenbaum Co. It marks Friends alum Perry’s return to multi-camera comedy after two single-camera shows — ABC’s Mr. Sunshine, which he also co-created, and NBC’s Go On. Simon’s play The Odd Couple premiered on Broadway in 1965 with Walter Matthau as Oscar and Art Carney as Felix and spawned a successful 1968 movie in which Matthau reprised his role alongside Jack Lemmon as Felix, and the 1970 ABC/Paramount TV series in which Oscar was played by Jack Klugman and Felix by Tony Randall. It ran for five seasons.
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EXCLUSIVE: Neil Simon’s classic The Odd Couple is eying a return to television, with Matthew Perry as the star, co-writer and executive producer of a multi-camera comedy project for CBS, which has received a script commitment plus penalty. The new take on two mismatched roommates — the messy Oscar Madison (Perry) and the neat freak Felix Unger — will be co-written by Perry and comedy veteran Danny Jacobson, who previously co-wrote another multi-camera couple comedy with the series’ co-lead: NBC’s Paul Reiser vehicle Mad About You. The Odd Couple hails from CBS TV Studios and two of its top pods, Timberman-Beverly and The Tannenbaum Co. It marks Friends alum Perry’s return to multi-camera comedy filmed in front of a live audience after two single-camera shows — ABC’s Mr. Sunshine, which he also co-created, and NBC’s Go On. Simon’s play The Odd Couple premiered on Broadway in 1965 with Walter Matthau as Oscar and Art Carney as Felix and spawned a successful 1968 movie, in which Matthau reprises his role alongside Jack Lemmon as Felix, and the 1970 ABC/Paramount TV series, in which Oscar was played by Jack Klugman and Felix by Tony Randall. It ran for five seasons.
For Perry, doing The Odd Couple has been a dream 34 years in the making. “Ever since seeing the movie The Odd Couple when I was 10 years old, it has been a dream for me to play Oscar Madison,” he said. “To be given the opportunity to develop a modern version of it for CBS has put a permanent smile across my face. I met up with a wonderful writing partner in Danny Jacobson. We both have such a passion for the source material that we have instantly become obsessed with making this great. Plus, I think it’s time for me to be in front of a live audience again. I miss that. The search for Felix Ungar is on!”
Perry and Jacobson are executive producing the project with Carl Beverly & Sarah Timberman and Eric Tannenbaum & Kim Tannenbaum.
It’s not surprising when a video goes viral for parodies to start cropping up. That is the case with Two And A Half Men co-star Angus T. Jones, whose “‘stop watching’ Men because it’s ‘filth’” testimonial spurred a string of video skits. But entrepreneurial actors who have comedy series on the air are using Jones parodies to plug their shows, as is the case with these mildly amusing videos of Matthew Perry of Go On and Rainn Wilson of The Office. Of course, neither of the shows hail from CBS or Warner Bros. TV, the network and studio behind Men.
EXCLUSIVE: Good news for The Good Wife fans, bad news for the Florricks. Go On star Matthew Perry will reprise his guest role on the praised CBS legal drama in an episode to air in early 2013. Perry will return as Mike Kresteva, a slick Chicago attorney who clashed with Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) during a blue-ribbon panel investigation into a police shooting. Kresteva later announced that he would run against Alicia’s husband, Peter (Chris Noth), for the governorship and has taken out a series of attack ads against him.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Matthew Perry’s last shot at sitcom stardom, ABC’s Mr. Sunshine in 2011, didn’t work out so well, lasting less than a season. Undaunted, he’s back again — and at the scene of his greatest success, NBC — for Go On, produced by Friends writer-producer Scott Silveri and starring Perry as a sports talk radio host and recent widower who reluctantly joins a grief counseling support group. “I gravitate toward broken characters who try to be better people”, Perry said this afternoon at TCA. He added that Mr. Sunshine, too, was about such a character but believes, “This is a much better setup”. He added of his Mr. Sunshine character, “That guy was sort of in a bad mood and no one really knew why”. When it was pointed that a lot of people in the room liked Mr. Sunshine, Perry was befuddled. “This is the room”? he quipped. I wish I’d just stayed in this room all year”. He even tried today to stress, clearly in jest, that this new role is the best he’s ever had. “It’s either this or The Whole Ten Yards”, he concluded. But Perry later reflected on what made Friends such a blockbuster success. “Friends was just great chemistry, great writing, great lighting, great acting — and a little bit of magic thrown in”.
And we have the first pilot from this year’s crop to make it to the schedule for next season: I’ve learned that NBC has picked up comedy pilot Go On to series with a 13-episode order. The project brings back to NBC’s primetime former Friends star Matthew Perry and co-showrunner Scott Silveri. (Will they return to the Thursday 8 PM slot?) Perry stars in and co-executive produces Go On, a single-camera project written by Silveri and directed by Todd Holland. Produced by Universal TV, it centers on an irreverent yet charming sportscaster (Perry) who, trying to move on from a loss, finds surprising solace from the members of his mandatory support group. The series hails from Holland and Karey Burke’s production company Dark Toy, which just re-upped its overall deal at Universal TV. Silveri, Holland and Burke executive produce. The cast of the pilot also includes Laura Benanti, Julie White, Suzy Nakamura, Allison Miller and Khary Payton. The early pickup for Go On will allow the show to start staffing right away and get its pick of available writers. The move may also put pressure on the other networks to start picking up pilots they believe in so they can start locking in writers too.
Friends alum Matthew Perry is returning to NBC and reuniting with former Friends co-showrunner Scott Silveri. Perry is set to star in and co-executive produce Go On, a single-camera NBC comedy pilot written by Silveri and directed by Todd Holland. Produced by Universal TV, Go On centers on an irreverent yet charming sportscaster (Perry) who, trying to move on from a loss, finds surprising solace from the members of his mandatory support group. “Scott has written a very funny, touching pilot,” said Perry, who was approached for several pilots this season both on the comedy and drama side. “I’m very excited to be working with him again. I asked him to turn this into an ice show. He said no. We have picked up right where we left off.”
Silveri wrote the script for Perry without actually intending to. “When I started writing the character, no matter who I was thinking of at 9 AM, by 10 AM I was writing with Matthew’s voice,” Silveri said. Despite doing it subconsciously, writing for Perry felt natural. “Writing for him (on Friends) was one of the great creative experiences of my life,” he said. Needless to say, when NBC picked up Go On to pilot, Silveri’s first choice for the lead was Perry. “Thank god he was open to it,” Silveri said, adding, “Matthew is a mightily talented actor and one of our great comedic voices. He and I worked together for eight wonderful years on Friends. I’m thrilled for this opportunity for him to learn my name.”
This trend of comedies at 10 PM seems to be catching on quickly at the broadcast networks. Right after NBC announced that it will expand its 8-10 PM Thursday comedy block to 11 PM in midseason, ABC is doing the …
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At ABC’s TCA panel on his new show Mr. Sunshine, which he stars in, executive produces, and co-writes, Matthew Perry was in fine form. He was sardonic about everything, even his own well-publicized problems with Vicodin addiction in the mid-1990s that made him something less than a Mr. Sunshine. Perry made clear that his character, Ben Donovan, who’s the manager of a second-tier sports arena in San Diego and in Perry’s words a “selfish jerk, was not-so-loosely based on himself. “The reason that my character has only thought about himself is I knew somebody for whom that was the case for a long time.. I’m much nicer now.” Perry, now 40, was asked whether anything specific changed him for the better. “I would say if you want to find out the answer to that, just pick up any newspaper from 1996 or look at any magazine cover.” Perry cracked. “They say, hey, write what you know. I knew if I wrote something, I would like that to be a component of it.”