On the heels of FX renewing its comedy Wilfred for a third season, Wilfred producer FX Prods has inked an overall deal with the series’ executive producer/director Randall Einhorn. The pact locks in a key player on the show following the recent departure of executive producer/showrunner David Zuckerman. (Writer-producers Reed Agnew and Eli Jorné are taking the reins of the comedy in Season 3. READ MORE »
After lengthy negotiations, FX has renewed comedy Wilfred for a third season with a 13-episode order. The pickup was never in doubt, but it took longer than usual as FX had been trying to hammer out a new deal with the series’ showrunner David Zuckerman. (Most FX series have their showrunners locked in for the first two years only). In the end, Zuckerman, who adapted Wilfred for American television and has served as executive producer and showrunner for the first two seasons, closed a pact to continue as an executive producer but opted to step down as showrunner. He will still be involved in the show on a daily basis, likely not full-time.
Adam Buckman is a contributor to AwardsLine.
Viewers have embraced a certain degree of raunch in their TV comedies, but the Emmys have not quite caught up with them.
Though there have been exceptions in recent years – with nominations and scattered awards going to some of TV’s more adult-oriented comedy series, such as Curb Your Enthusiasm or Nurse Jackie – the lion’s share of Emmy attention continues to be paid to mainstream comedies on broadcast television, even though some of them, too, have pushed the content envelope in recent seasons.
Producers of some of TV’s raunchier comedies say they’d love Emmy recognition, but they’re not holding their breath. “I think it would be a huge honor obviously to have that sort of recognition,” says Danny McBride, co-creator, executive producer and star of the decidedly off-color Eastbound & Down on HBO. “Eastbound & Down is of a very crude nature, and the comic sensibility is dark. I don’t think you really see shows of that nature awarded in that way,” he said.
EXCLUSIVE: These days, Jeff Kwatinetz’s Prospect Park is known mostly for its headline-making deal to continue to produce ABC’s canceled soaps All My Children and One Life To Live. But the new daytime player has quietly been building a primetime presence since the company’s 2008 launch and is now making a push to expand it, with former ABC exec Josh Barry recently joining Paul Frank as a partner in the TV division. Prospect Park has set up seven series projects at networks and studios around town, all executive produced by Kwatinetz, Barry, Frank and his father, Prospect Park partner Rich Frank, as well as the projects’ writers. So far, the company has had a perfect pilot-to-series batting average, with both of its pilots, USA Network’s Royal Pains and FX’s Wilfred, going to series that have become breakout hits for their networks. Wilfred was renewed for a second season last month, while Royal Pains was picked up for Season 4 yesterday.
One of Prospect Park’s new projects reunites the company with FX and Wilfred co-creator and star Jason Gann. GILF, which will be written by Gann, centers on an adopted man who, at the urging of his wife, seeks out his biological mother, discovers she’s a former porn star, invites her to move in, and forces his family to deal with the unpredictable consequences. Here is a list of Prospect Park’s other projects in development:
FX has renewed three comedy series. Elijah Wood starrer Wilfred, which has become the highest-rated first-season comedy on the network with a cumulative 5 million viewers a week, has been picked up a second season of 13 episodes. Louie, which just landed an Emmy nomination for star Louis CK and has averaged 3 million viewers a week, has been renewed for a third season of 13 episodes. Meanwhile, veteran It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has been renewed for two more seasons — Seasons 8 and 9 — to become the longest-running live-action comedy on basic cable. The network also has an option for a 10th season, FX president John Landgraf said, adding that the show seems to have gotten a second wind in Season 7. Additionally, FX Prods. has signed a three-year exclusive deal with RCG, the production company of Sunny masterminds Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton. I hear the deal is worth $40 million-$50 million for all services. “With Sunny, FX and FX Prods. and RCG reinvented the production model for television comedies,” Landgraf said. “In embracing a low‑cost production model and taking less money upfront, Rob, Glenn, and Charlie were afforded more creative freedom, a true financial partnership, and less pressure on ratings so there was time to let the show find an audience. Sunny not only became a hit, but the cornerstone of FX’s successful comedy brand, establishing a production model that has become favored by many in the creative community and has led to Archer, Louie, The League and Wilfred.” In addition to Sunny, RCG is involved in the new CBS comedy series How To Be a Gentleman, created by and starring Sunny player David Hornsby, and has two comedy projects in the works: Fox’s Living Loaded and FX’s animated Townies.
Deadline Comic-Con TV Contributor Gary Hodges reports:
While a studio presence for movies is shaping up to be a little thin at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con (save for notable exceptions like the Cowboys and Aliens premiere and a rumored Steven Spielberg pop-in), the television side of things doesn’t seem bad at all. In fact, it already is looking pretty meaty, promising to keep small-screen aficionados (and this Deadline writer) hustling if they want to see every panel the convention has to offer. The announcements are still rolling in and the official schedule is probably still a couple weeks away, but here are a few of the juicier tidbits about what to expect at the July 21-24 event that we’ve heard so far.
20th Century Fox has announced that it will be promoting at least 13 shows this year with panels, from the familiar (Bones, Family Guy, The Simpsons and Glee, all with their respective casts) to a handful of new offerings. Probably the one garnering the most interest is Terra Nova, the sci-fi drama that boasts Spielberg as an executive producer and a ballsy commitment from Fox, which has already ordered 13 episodes (said to cost about $4 million apiece). The show should find a receptive audience at the convention, as it tells the story of how Earth in the year 2149 is apparently so bad, time-traveling to 85 million years ago to be chased and eaten by expensive CGI dinosaurs is considered an improvement. Another new Fox offering that’s interesting and destined to be fodder for the talking heads is Allen Gregory, an animated series about the titular precocious 7-year-old boy (voiced by Judd Apatow-darling Jonah Hill) and his gay dads. There’s also an animated Napoleon Dynamite series on the way, with the film’s original cast returning to do the voice work, and Awake, a sci-fi drama about a detective (Jason Isaacs) who, after a car accident, finds he can occupy two parallel realities: one where his wife died in the crash, and a second where it was his son who perished. No word yet on which reality has Fox canceling every other new series because they poured all their money into Terra Nova’s gaping prehistoric mouth.
Warner Bros will also be there in force, with a 3,000-square-foot booth on the show floor and 16 shows in their lineup. Most of the shows are old standbys; then again, most are also beloved by the average convention-goer. The Big Bang Theory cast is always welcomed with enthusiasm, making their scheduled appearance a no-brainer. Likewise Chuck, Fringe, Nikita, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and curiously apostrophe-free Childrens Hospital all will have no problem finding happy, receptive attendees to fill seats for a chance to glimpse their favorite star in the flesh. As for new fare, the enigmatic drama Alcatraz opens present-day with 302 people — wardens and prisoners — suddenly reappearing in the infamous prison, 50 years after their mysterious disappearance. It also stars Lost alumnus Jorge Garcia as a “hippie geek” Alcatraz expert, a challenging-sounding role that I hope he’s up for. Person of Interest is a sci-fi series about a computer program that predicts future crime victims (sounding a bit like Minority Report, but minus the precognitive crack babies who sit in a bathtub all day) and the former CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) who is tasked with trying to solve the crimes. Lastly, WB will roll out The Secret Circle, a young-adult fantasy-horror-romance series based on the book of the same name. In the series, teenaged Cassie (played by Britt Robertson) discovers she comes from a family of witches. Oh, and love; she also discovers love.
EXCLUSIVE: Anna Chlumsky is set to co-star opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus in HBO’s comedy pilot Veep. In a recasting, Dorian Brown (ABC Family’s Roommates) has landed a lead on FX’s new comedy series Wilfred starring Elijah Wood, while Kelly Rowan (The O.C.) has gotten a lead role in the TNT drama …
Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood is set to make his series debut with a lead role opposite Jason Gann in the FX comedy pilot Wilfred, which is based on the acclaimed Australian series of the same name, co-created and …