EXCLUSIVE: Rob Schneider is teaming up with comedian pal Max Amini to direct the LA-based stand up’s hourlong special Max Amini: Authentically Absurd. Amini is set to perform two live shows this month at the Wallis Annenberg Theater in Beverly Hills, with filming slated to take place during the sold-out Saturday July 26 show. The comedy special marks the latest indie venture for Schneider, who ventured out back in January with his DIY comedy series Real Rob, which he co-created, financed, directed, and starred in. Amini has been a resident comic at LA’s Laugh Factory, was a finalist in NBC’s Diversity Showcase, and is a series regular on Real Rob. His TV credits include NBC’s Heroes and Mind of Mencia. Authentically Absurd is produced by Abstraction Media and all proceeds from the evening will be donated to ALS research. Amini’s repped by Parallel Entertainment and Schneider is a client of The Gersh Agency.
Rob Schneider Challenges TV Biz Model With Independently Produced Comedy Series He Co-Created, Financed & Stars In
Rob Schneider is returning to series television, this time on his own terms. In a endeavor he hopes “shakes up Hollywood”, the actor-comedian is self-financing and starring in an eight-episode independently produced comedy series he co-wrote with his wife, Mexican writer-producer Patricia Azarcoya Schneider, who will co-star on the show, and his friend, comedian Jamie Lissow. “I want to do my own Fawlty Towers,” said Rob Schneider, referring to the popular British sitcom, which John Cleese co-wrote and starred in with his then-wife Connie Booth. Like his 2012 comedy Rob on CBS, where his wife was played by a professional actress, the new show will be loosely based on Schneider’s life. But the similarities end there. Rob, which is the subject of a joke in the pilot of the new series, was a traditional multi-camera, multi-generational sitcom about a guy, his Mexican wife and his in-laws. As the title of the new series, Real Rob, indicates, it is a more honest portrayal of “an exaggerated version of my life,” Schneider said. “I’m not afraid to expose aspects of my life; this is close to the bone.” The single-camera, documentary-style half-hour is edgier, geared to cable networks. It centers on Rob, playing a version of himself, his Mexican wife Patricia, also playing herself, Rob’s incompetent assistant whom he cannot fire because he is his friend, and Rob’s personal stalker. The narrative is punctuated by Schneider doing stand-up bits in the vein of FX’s Louie and the early years of Seinfeld. The Schneiders and Lissow have written all eight scripts. Casting of the remaining roles is underway with filming slated to begin March 3 in Los Angeles (exteriors) and Florida’s Full Sail University studio facilities (interiors).
As an independent production, Real Rob is being made for less than a network show by keeping costs down. “The biggest expense on Rob was Rob Schneider, and we managed to cut that cost down to zero,” quipped Schneider, who is not getting paid for his services. To mount a series production without the backing of a studio, the Schneiders have relied on help from friends. Schneider is footing most of the bill as “the majority shareholder on the show” — “I’m putting my money where my mouth is,” he said — but he also has silent financial partners. Also helping out are veteran casting director and former Disney head of casting Marcia Ross, who is doing the casting, and Mexican cinematographer Carlos Hidalgo Valdes, who is behind the camera.
Rob Schneider has signed with New Wave Entertainment for management. Saturday Night Live alum Schneider most recently toplined his own comedy series Rob on CBS. His feature credits include Deuce Bigelow, Hot Chick and Grown Ups. Schneider continues to be represented by Gersh and attorney Howard Fishman, and he will continue to work with his brother/producing partner John Schneider at their From Out of Nowhere Prods.
EXCLUSIVE: The remaking of Rob Schneider as comic leading man continues! After scoring in the CBS sitcom Rob, Schneider’s teaming with Terminator and The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd on the feature comedy vehicle Teach Me to Dance. He’ll star and she’ll produce and the film has a script by Patricia Azarcoya Schneider and Marion Douglas, based on an idea by Azarcoya Schneider (the producer of Mexican TV shows is Rob’s wife). The comedy is about a man who schemes to win back his ex-girlfriend by learning how to dance. Schneider, who regularly shows up in Adam Sandler movies in quirky roles, of course played the iconic man-whore Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, a funny sleeper hit that Schneider wrote. The R-rated sequel, European Gigolo, didn’t fare nearly as well, but was still pretty funny. Gersh reps Schneider and the writers.
As usual, CBS will be making only minor tweaks to its schedule in midseason. The network’s new mulch-ethnic family comedy series ¡Rob! starring Rob Schneider will air in the Thursday 8:30 PM slot beginning January 12. To make room, CBS just cut the order for Rules Of Engagement, which airs in the time period; Rules will return later in the spring following ¡Rob!’s eight-week run. Based on Schneider’s real-life experiences, ¡Rob! stars the actor as a lifelong bachelor who just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. (Thus the Spanish-style punctuation of the title) Meanwhile, CBS’ reality series Undercover Boss will return to Sundays, serving as a bridge between the two cycles of The Amazing Race at 8 PM. It premieres on January 15. No word yet when and where CBS’ midseason drama The 2-2 will air.
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: Diana Maria Riva and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols are set to co-star opposite Rob Schneider and Cheech Marin in the Schneider’s untitled CBS comedy, which is shooting a new pilot for midseason consideration as part of a recent order that also includes several backup scripts. The multi-camera comedy, which Schneider co-wrote with Lew Morton based on the actor’s real-life experience, stars Schneider as Rob, a confirmed bachelor who has just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Bassols will play his wife Maggie and Riva his mother-in-law Rosa, roles played in the original pilot by Nadine Velazquez and Ada Maris, respectively. Riva’s age (she is younger than Schneider, who plays her son-in-law, and way younger than Marin, who plays her husband) suggests a possible trophy wife scenario. This completes the recasting of the CBS Studios/Tannenbaum Co. project, with new cast members Marin, Riva and Bassols joining pilot regulars Schneider, Eugenio Derbez as the wife’s uncle and Lupe Ontiveros as her grandmother. Bassols is a virually unknown in the U.S. but has has done a number of series in her native Spain. Riva, who recurred on Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing and Studio 60, recently co-starred on the Fox dramedy The Good Guys.
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.
This is an update of my Tuesday story that the Rob Schneider comedy pilot is in serious contention for a midseason order. CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler confirmed this morning that she plans to pick up comedy series for midseason and will focus on that when she goes back to Los Angeles. While she wouldn’t elaborate which pilots are still in the running, I hear that the two that have a real shot are the untitled Rob Schneider and Peter Knight half-hours. The Rob Schneider/Lew Morton comedy is considered likely to go to series, while the Peter Knight still has a shot too.
CBS is keeping the untitled Rob Schneider comedy in strong contention for midseason. Since CBS ordered only two new comedy series, Two Broke Girls and How to Be a Gentleman, there has been speculation that the network may pick up a third one. Chatter quickly focused on the untitled Rob Schneider multi-ethnic comedy. I hear the show has been given permission to hire writers, which is usually a promising sign. There is no pickup decision by CBS yet, but the network has been in active discussions on the project, and a midseason order as early as today is a possibility. Alternatively, the network also has been mulling ordering a second pilot. In any case, the project is expected to undergo some retooling if it goes forward. The multi-camera comedy, which Schneider co-wrote with Lew Morton, stars Schneider as a confirmed bachelor who has just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Nadine Velazquez, Tony Plana and Lupe Ontiveros co-starred in the pilot.
Former My Name Is Earl co-star Nadine Velazquez, Ugly Betty alum Tony Plana and Lupe Ontiveros and are set to co-star opposite Rob Schneider in his untitled comedy pilot for CBS. The project, from CBS TV Studios and the Tannenbaum Co., was written by Schneider and Lew Morton. Based on Schneider’s life, it centers on solitary guy Rob (Schneider) who marries into a huge Mexican-American family. Velazquez will play Rob’s younger, Mexican-American wife Maggie whom he married after knowing her for only 6 weeks. Plana will play Maggie’s conservative and authoritative Mexican-born father. Ontiveros will play Maggie’s tough and feisty maternal grandmother who only speaks Spanish. APA-repped Plana played Betty’s (America Ferrera) Mexican-born father for the entire run of ABC’s Ugly Betty. Velazquez most recently did an arc on the FX comedy The League.
Danny Comden has been cast in another untitled CBS comedy pilot from CBS TV Studios and the Tannenbaums, the untitled sports radio show sitcom inspired by ESPN personality Colin Cowherd’s outspoken sports talk show. On the workplace comedy set behind the scenes of a sports radio show, which was written by Bill Martin and Mike Schiff, Comden will play the show’s manipulative producer.
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.