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Leah Remini & Sara Rue Join ABC Comedies

By | Thursday March 1, 2012 @ 5:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Former The Talk co-host Leah Remini is set as the only female cast member of ABC’s comedy pilot White Van Man. The single-camera comedy is a blue collar ensemble based on the British format and centers on Jack (Kyle Bornheimer), who is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family handyman business from his father Tony (J.K. Simmons). Remini, repped by UTA and the Collective, will play Tony’s happy massage therapist sister. The casting stems from The King Of Queens alumna’s talent deal with ABC. Bobby Bowman wrote the pilot, produced by ABC Studios. Also co-starring are Jonny Pemberton and Edi Gathegi.

Former Less Than Perfect star Sara Rue is back at ABC with a co-starring role opposite Reba McEntire in the network’s comedy pilot Malibu Country. The project, from writer Kevin Abbott, centers on Reba Gallagher (McEntire) who, after her “good ol boy” rock star husband cheats on her and burns through most of their money, divorces him and moves her family from Nashville to the only asset she has left — a little house in Malibu. Rue, repped by APA and the Alan David Group, will play Kim, Reba’s upbeat new neighbor who is a share-too-much, hug-too-freely, trophy wife.

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J.K. Simmons Boards ABC ‘White Van Man’

By | Monday February 13, 2012 @ 6:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

J.K. Simmons, who is wrapping a seven-season run on TNT’s hit drama series The Closer, is making a switch to comedy with a co-starring role opposite Kyle Bornheimer in ABC/ABC Studios’ half-hour pilot White Van Man. The single-camera comedy, written by Bobby Bowman and directed by Michael Fresco, is a blue collar ensemble based on the British format and centers on a man (Bornheimer) who is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family handyman business from his father (Simmons). The series takes its name from the UK phrase that describes the stereotype for drivers of light commercial vehicles, often self-employed or owning small businesses such as handyman services. On The Closer, Gersh-repped Simmons, has played Deputy Chief Branda Johnson’s (Kyra Sedgwick) boss, Assistant Chief Will Pope, since the pilot. Available for pilot season for the first time in 8 years, Simmons was offered multiple pilots. He had his eye set on doing a comedy and ultimately chose White Man Van. Another Closer co-star, Corey Reynolds, also is expected to do a broadcast pilot this season — he has a talent deal with NBC.

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Kyle Bornheimer To Star In ABC’s ‘White Van Man’ Comedy Pilot, Lifts Cast-Contingency

By | Tuesday February 7, 2012 @ 3:11pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Kyle Bornheimer is set to star in ABC’s comedy pilot White Van Man. With him on board, the pilot, originally picked up as cast-contingent, is moving forward to production. Michael Fresco has come on board to direct. The single-camera White Van Man is a blue collar ensemble based on the British format and centers on a man (Bornheimer) who is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family handyman business from his father. The series takes its name from the UK phrase that describes the stereotype for drivers of light commercial vehicles, often self-employed or owning small businesses such as handyman services. The ABC Studios-produced adaptation of the Adrian Poynton-created original was written by Bobby Bowman who executive produces with Mark Gordon and Andrea Shay.

Earlier this season, Bornheimer, along with his brother Ryan, sold a comedy pitch to ABC with Kyle attached to star and produce. When that project didn’t go to pilot, ABC moved in quickly to keep the always in-demand actor in the fold with an offer for White Van Man. Ever since his breakout starring role on the CBS comedy series Worst Week, like White Van Man also an adaptation of a British format, Bornheimer has been actively pursued for pilots and series. His recent credits include the series Romantically Challenged and Perfect Couples and the pilots Council Of Dads last year and and the untitled Bays/Thomas project in 2010. … Read More »

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ABC Picks Up ‘White Van Man’ Comedy Pilot From Bobby Bowman And Mark Gordon

By | Wednesday January 25, 2012 @ 5:35pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

ABC has given a cast-contingent pilot order to White Van Man,  a blue collar ensemble comedy based on the British series of the same name. Former My Name Is Earl executive producer Bobby Bowman wrote the adaptation for ABC Studios and studio-based Mark Gordon Co. The single-camera show centers on a man who is forced to put his dreams on hold in order to take over the family handyman business from his father. The ITV Studios-produced original, which premiered on BBC Three last year, was created by Adrian Poynton. The series takes its name from the UK phrase that describes the stereotype for drivers of light commercial vehicles, often self-employed or owning small businesses such as handyman services. After working with Greg Garcia on his previous 2 series, CBS’ Yes, Dear and NBC’s My Name Is Earl, ICM-repped Bowman serves as a co-executive producer on Garcia’s newest series, Fox’s Raising Hope.

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