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10 largely forgotten UK sci-fi sitcoms

Remember Kinvig, Clone, Not With A Bang? These are the UK sci-fi sitcoms you’re unlikely to see on comedy best-of lists…

With E4 sci-fi comedy commissions, Tripped and Aliens, and in-development Channel 4 projects, Space Ark and Graham Linehan/Adam Buxton collaboration The Cloud, in the works, a new crop of sci-fi sitcom could be making its way to UK TV.

Making funny sci-fi on a small-screen budget is tough enough without the additional pressure of having to attract viewers more traditionally down-to-earth in their sitcom tastes. Sci-fi sets and effects can be seen as prohibitively expensive by comedy commissioners (which is perhaps why the best UK sci-fi sitcoms of recent years has been on BBC Radio), and the genre’s niche status doesn’t scream mainstream hit. Over the years, one or two stand-outs have managed to straddle the sci-fi and comedy TV worlds, but plenty more have stumbled in the attempt.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Craig Ferguson Teams With Adam Chase & Aaron Shure For CBS Comedy Projects

Exclusive: CBS’ late-night host Craig Ferguson has sold two comedy projects to the eye network through his Green Mountain West production company, which has been under an overall deal at CBS TV Studios since 2006. Both are with well known comedy writers: Friends alum Adam Chase and Everybody Loves Raymond veteran Aaron Shure. Ferguson will serve as an executive producer on the two multi-camera projects, with his producing partner Rebecca Tucker also expected to have a producing role. CBS TV Studios is the studio. The untitled Ferguson/Chase project, written and executive produced by Chase, revolves around a group of male friends in their early 30s who decide to defy convention and try to stay single as long as possible even though everyone they know is getting married and having kids. Wme-repped Chase recently worked with CBS and CBS Studios on last season’s How To Be A Gentleman. The untitled
See full article at Deadline TV »

The Friends Mafia Takes Over Hollywood

The Friends Mafia Takes Over Hollywood
Next month, a new sitcom called "Work It," about two out-of-work salesmen who dress up as women to get jobs, will make its debut on ABC. There's nothing new about the premise -- Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari covered the same ground on the early-80s sitcom "Bosom Buddies" -- and the tone isn't exactly novel either. The stars of the show, Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco, are operating in the prevailing frat-boy mode perfected by Bradley Cooper and Seann William Scott.

In May, an 84-second trailer of "Work It" hit the Internet, instantly attracting more blogger rage than most shows accumulate over the course of several seasons. Gobsmacked by the very fact that "This got made! And is going to series!", The Futon Critic lambasted the show's "limp attempts at misogyny," "groan worthy madcappery" and "Mrs. Doubtfire hijinx."

The Best Week Ever blog took special umbrage at the network's
See full article at Huffington Post »

The Friends Mafia Takes Over Hollywood

  • Aol TV.
The Friends Mafia Takes Over Hollywood
Next month, a new sitcom called "Work It," about two out-of-work salesmen who dress up as women to get jobs, will make its debut on ABC. There's nothing new about the premise -- Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari covered the same ground on the early-80s sitcom "Bosom Buddies" -- and the tone isn't exactly novel either. The stars of the show, Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco, are operating in the prevailing frat-boy mode perfected by Bradley Cooper and Seann William Scott.

In May, an 84-second trailer of "Work It" hit the Internet, instantly attracting more blogger rage than most shows accumulate over the course of several seasons. Gobsmacked by the very fact that "This got made! And is going to series!", The Futon Critic lambasted the show's "limp attempts at misogyny," "groan worthy madcappery" and "Mrs. Doubtfire hijinx."

The Best Week Ever blog took special umbrage at the network's
See full article at Aol TV. »

Producer Of The British ‘Office’ & ‘It Crowd’ Sells First U.S. Projects

British TV producer Ash Atalla has sold his first 2 American projects — both comedies — to CBS. They are being produced by CBS TV Studios where Atalla and his company Roughcut TV signed a first-look deal last year. In the UK, Atalla served as a producer on The Office and executive producer on The It Crowd, both of which were remade in the U.S. by NBC. The formats’ travel to the U.S. put Atalla in contact with U.S. producers, executives and agents and got him thinking about a move across the pond for himself, too. “I thought the world of comedy was getting smaller and smaller, and I found myself knowing more and more about American television,” he said. “I really enjoyed the Americans, liked the longer runs of their shows and through that one day it may be interesting to develop shows directly for the American networks.” Atalla
See full article at Deadline TV »

John Swihart Scoring ‘How to Be a Gentleman’

John Swihart is scoring the new CBS comedy How to Be a Gentleman. The show created by David Hornsby (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and based on the nonfiction book of the same name by John Bridges chronicles the friendship between an uptight columnist and his more freewheeling trainer. Hornsby also stars in the comedy alongside Kevin Dillon, Dave Foley, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rhys Darby and Nancy Lenehan. Adam Chase (Friends) and Ted Schachter are executive producing the project with Hornsby. How to Be a Gentleman is set to debut on September 29, 2011 and will be airing every Thursday night on CBS. For more information about the comedy, visit the official show website.

Swihart is also scoring How I Met Your Mother, which is entering it’s seventh season on CBS, as well as the ABC Family hit show Switched at Birth, which recently has been given a back-season order
See full article at Film Music Reporter »

CBS Announces 2011-2012 Schedule – 5 New Shows

As the networks roll out their fall schedules, CBS gets a chance to spend a lot of its day milling around the free snack table while surfing for new Apps. Whatever your thoughts might be on whether or not CBS has hot women, and is or isn't a network for old people (which it A- does, and B- nevertheless largely is), the fact is that they aren't rolling out a lot of new shows. P.S. don't write letters, if you haven't heard about CBS claiming it isn't for old people (or just for old people, I suppose) and has "hot women," that's not my fault.

You could go either way with the general idea that CBS is only putting out five new shows, while the other networks seem to have more new shows than they can juggle at once. On the one hand, CBS might be resting on its
See full article at AreYouScreening »

Person of Interest, Unforgettable, A Gifted Man, How to Be a Gentleman and Two Broke Girls Trailers from CBS

Person of Interest, Unforgettable, A Gifted Man, How to Be a Gentleman and Two Broke Girls Trailers from CBS
CBS unveiled its 2011-2012 fall lineup yesterday, which included three new dramas and two new comedies. The network has released trailers for the new shows Person of Interest, Unforgettable, A Gifted Man, How to Be a Gentleman, and Two Broke Girls. Take a look at all of these trailers, plus the series descriptions, below.

Person of Interest

Click to watch Person of Interest Trailer!

Person of Interest stars James Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson in a crime thriller about a presumed dead former-cia agent who teams up with a mysterious billionaire to prevent violent crimes by using their own brand of vigilante justice. Reese's (Caviezel) special training in covert operations appeals to Finch (Emerson), a software genius who invented a program that uses pattern recognition to identify people about to be involved in violent crimes. Using state-of-the-art surveillance technology, the two work
See full article at MovieWeb »

'How to Be a Gentleman' video: Men behaving badly, and also properly

CBS has its own entry in the wave of "men struggle to find their place in today's world" comedies hitting the air next season. Say hello to "How to Be a Gentleman."

The show centers on Andrew Carlson (David Hornsby of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), an etiquette columnist at a men's magazine who finds his job -- and outlook on life -- when the magazine's new owners want more Maxim-style content. He strikes up an unlikely relationship with Bert ("Entourage's" Kevin Dillon), a personal trainer who used to torment Andrew in high school but now may hold the key to his continued livelihood.

The series also stars Mary Lynn Rajskub ("24") as Andrew's sister, Rhys Darby ("Flight of the Conchords") as her husband, Dave Foley ("NewsRadio," "The Kids in the Hall") as Andrew's boss and Nancy Lenehan ("Worst Week," "My Name Is Earl") as Andrew's mom. Hornsby also created
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

CBS Announces 2011-2012 Fall Primetime Schedule

CBS Announces 2011-2012 Fall Primetime Schedule
CBS announced today its new 2011-2012 primetime schedule, ordering five new series and making key time-period moves for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and The Good Wife to strengthen its already top-rated primetime lineup. CBS will, once again, finish the season as America's most watched network, marking the eighth time it has done so in the last nine years.

The new series include three new dramas and two new comedies: Person of Interest, a crime thriller from renowned executive producer J.J. Abrams starring James Caviezel, Emmy Award winner Michael Emerson and Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson; Unforgettable, starring Dylan Walsh and Poppy Montgomery as a former detective with a rare condition that enables her to remember virtually every detail from every day of her life; A Gifted Man about a preeminent surgeon whose life changes forever when his deceased ex-wife returns, starring Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Ehle; Two Broke Girls,
See full article at MovieWeb »

TV News: CBS Announces Fall Schedule With Changes to Every Night

Chicago – What do you do when your iron grip on success is getting weaker? Shake things up. That’s what CBS is doing this Fall by shuffling their line-up more significantly than any other network and adding five new series, which are detailed below.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Photo credit: CBS

The new dramas include J.J. Abrams’ “Person of Interest,” “Unforgettable,” and “A Gifted Man,” and the new comedies are called “2 Broke Girls” & “How to Be a Gentleman.”

In major schedule changes, “CSI” will move to Wednesdays, “The Good Wife” airs on Sundays, and “Rules of Engagement” has been shuffled off to Saturdays of all places.

19 shows return including “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Criminal Minds,” “CSI,” “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: NY,” “The Mentalist,” “Blue Bloods,” “Rules of Engagement,” “48 Hours Mystery,” “The Good Wife,” “60 Minutes,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Mike & Molly,” “Survivor,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Two and a Half Men,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

CBS announces fall lineup including J.J. Abrams' Person Of Interest

CBS announced its 2011-2012 primetime fall schedule today. The most anticipated show for me is J.J. Abrams' Person of Interest starring Jim Caviezel, Michael Emmerson and Taraji P. Henson. I am also a huge fan of Kat Dennings, so it will be neat to see how 2 Broke Girls turns out. There are a total of three new dramas, two new comedies, and 19 returning series.

Here is the press release:

CBS announced today its new 2011-2012 primetime schedule, ordering five new series and making key time-period moves for CSI and The Good Wife to strengthen its already top-rated primetime lineup. CBS will, once again, finish the season as America's most watched network, marking the eighth time it has done so in the last nine years.

The new series include three new dramas and two new comedies: Person Of Interest, a crime thriller from renowned executive producer J.J. Abrams starring Jim Caviezel,
See full article at GeekTyrant »

CBS unveils 2011-12 fall schedule

CBS unveils 2011-12 fall schedule
Two and a Half Men is staying put and CSI is getting the boot.

CBS unveiled its fall scheduled keeping Big Bang Theory on Thursdays and shifts veteran CSI from its longtime Thursday night anchor slot.

The network announced several new drams. J.J. AbramsPerson of Interest stars Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson as an ex-cia agent and a billionaire who team to stop crimes. Interest gets to take over the coveted CSI spot on Thursdays. CBS also shifted The Good Wife to Sundays. “To move CSI out of that time period you need big guns and we do,” says CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler.
See full article at EW.com - Inside TV »

‘Entourage’ Star Kevin Dillon Joins CBS Pilot ‘How To Be A Gentleman’

Kevin Dillon, a regular member of HBO’s Entourage, has landed a starring role in CBS’ upcoming comedy pilot, How To Be A Gentleman.

The actor has been a regular on Entourage since its inception in 2004. His “victorious”a role of C-lister Johnny ‘Drama’ Chase gave him enough notoriety for starring spots in the Poseidon remake and Hotel For Dogs. Prior to Entourage, Dillon played small recurring roles on NYPD Blue and 24.

How To Be A Gentleman is a comedy to keep your eye on. The show is written and executive produced by David Hornsby of FX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Adam Chase, who produced some of the early seasons of Friends, is also on board. This new series is based on the ...

Click to continue reading ‘Entourage’ Star Kevin Dillon Joins CBS Pilot ‘How To Be A Gentleman
See full article at Screen Rant »

After Entourage, Kevin Dillon will be in a male Sex and the City on CBS (sort of)

It's easy to forget that Entourage is still a thing, and it'll be even easier once it stops being a thing. In fact, Kevin Dillon, who plays Johnny Drama on the decreasingly popular show, is ready to move on as well. The actor has been tapped to star as a magazine columnist in a new CBS pilot called How to Be a Gentleman.  As per The Hollywood Reporter: The comedy, penned by It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's David Hornsby, centers on Alan, a magazine writer who pens a column on how to be a gentleman. Hornsby will serve as an executive producer on the project, and Friends veteran Adam Chase will executive produce. Chase currently works on ABC comedy Better With You. The project is based off the book How to Be a Gentleman: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy. So all in all, it [...]
See full article at Nerve »

'Entourage's' Kevin Dillon joins CBS' 'How to Be a Gentleman'

It's almost closing time, "Entourage" fans and Johnny Drama is already moving on.

Kevin Dillon has signed on to star in CBS' "How to Be a Gentleman" after playing Johnny "Drama" Chase for eight seasons on HBO's hit show "Entourage." Dillon will star opposite David Hornsby in the comedy pilot.

Hornsby wrote the project, based on the book of the same name, which is a buddy comedy about Allan (Hornsby) and his old high school classmate Bert (Dillon). Uptight Allan will learn to live his life with the help of the genial and optimistic Bert, who doesn't quite understand personal boundaries.

Dillon has earned three Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Johnny Drama.

"Friends" executive producer Adam Chase is serving as executive producer and co-showrunner alongside "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's" Hornsby. Also executive producing the pilot is Ted Schachter.
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

Kevin Dillon Says, No More “Entourage”? No Problem!

Kevin Dillon has been tapped to star in CBS pilot, “How to Be a Gentleman.” The comedy, penned by “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”’s David Hornsby, centers on Alan (Hornsby), a magazine writer who pens a column on how to be a gentleman. Dillon, a regular on HBO’s soon-to-be-ending “Entourage,” will play the role of Bert. Hornsby will serve as an executive producer on the project, and “Friends” veteran Adam Chase will executive produce. The project is based off the book “How to Be a Gentleman: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy.”

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/kevin-dillon-star-cbs-how-169224
See full article at FilmNewsBriefs »

Adam Chase Joins CBS' 'How To Be A Gentleman' Comedy Pilot As Ep

Former Friends executive producer Adam Chase has joined CBS' comedy pilot How To Be A Gentleman, written by and starring It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's David Hornsby. Chase will serve as executive producer/co-showrunner on the pilot alongside Hornsby. If the pilot goes to series, for Chase it would be in second position to ABC's freshman comedy Better with You, on which Chase serves as a co-executive producer. Loosely based on John Bridges' book How To Be a Gentleman: A Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy, the CBS TV Studios-produced show revolves around a magazine that has changed ownership and centers on Alan (Hornsby) who writes a column on how to be a gentleman - in all aspects of life. Also executive producing the pilot with Hornsby and Chase are Ted Schachter and Mrc. On Better with You, Chase, repped by Wme and Mosaic, reunited with fellow Friends exec
See full article at Deadline TV »

'Friends', 'Office' pair unite for BBC3

Comedy heavyweights from the Us and UK are teaming up on a new sci-fi comedy series for BBC Three. Adam Chase, an executive producer on Friends, has written the show and recruited Ash Atalla, who produced the UK version of The Office, to help him make it. Clone will star Jonathan Pryce (Pirates Of The Caribbean) as Dr Victor Blenkinsop, a scientist who creates the first human clone. The product is meant to be an elite super soldier, but turns out kindly and wimpish. Chase, whose only previous work in the UK was for the two London Friends episodes, said his idea was too radical (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Adam Chase goes London for 'Clone'

Adam Chase goes London for 'Clone'
Adam Chase is back at it. The former "Friends" executive producer begins filming Friday on his new comedy series "Clone," which is directed by "The King of Queens" alum Rob Schiller.

What's wrong with this picture? Well, "Clone" is a British show shot in London for BBC3.

With British scripted formats invading the U.S. marketplace in the wake of the success of "The Office," Chase went against the current, creating a show for the U.K.

"Clone" is a multicamera sci-fi comedy with single-camera and greenscreen elements. It stars Jonathan Pryce as a scientist who creates the first human clone. Intended to be a prototype supersoldier, the doctor quickly realizes his creation is more likely to hug someone than shoot them.

"Clone" is described as a fish-out-of-water tale, and that's exactly what Americans Chase and Schiller are in the British TV industry.

Chase's only British production experience was filming the two-part London episode of "Friends."

"I'd been thinking about doing a sci-fi comedy for a while but was concerned about getting it through the American development process," said Chase, who grew up with genre-mixing British fare like Monty Python. " 'Clone' is extremely violent; people die every week. Audiences (in the U.K.) are very sophisticated, and they have no problem switching form genre to genre."

A couple of years ago, Chase met Ash Atalla, producer of the British version of "The Office," when they served as judges on a sitcom-writing competition on BBC3. Chase shared his idea for "Clone," and Atalla quickly came aboard.

After letting it percolate for a while, Chase set out in summer 2007 to write it as a spec. He rented a one-bedroom apartment in London and penned the script in 2 1/2 months.

He and Atalla sent it to several networks; a couple were interested, and BBC3 offered a series order.

"It was a dream come true," Chase said. "Then I saw the budget. Here you get amazing creative freedom and a tiny budget."

The BBC commissioned the series for what is said to be $500,000 an episode -- less than a third of what a similar show would cost in the U.S. The money is transferred upfront, and there no overages are tolerated.

Schiller said he initially was shocked by the budget constraints but adjusted and even found a silver lining.

"It's good as it makes us lean and mean, thinking twice about what we do," he said.

"Clone" has only one 12-hour day onstage per episode for blocking, rehearsal and taping -- something done in the U.S. over three to four days. Chase and Schiller found themselves extensively prepping -- writing and rewriting every scene and storyboarding every shot.

During production, the actors rehearse in a church, and the writers do rewrites in a room next to the soup kitchen.

"There's a sign outside the entrance of the kitchen that says, 'Please don't use the yard as a lavatory,' " Chase said. "I don't walk through the yard anymore."

One good piece of news is that in the U.K., most TV shows pay talent little money. And with short orders of six to seven episodes, feature stars are willing to do them. That's how Chase was able to land Pryce.

For "Clone," Chase employed the American writers room model. His team consisted of five scribes: two Yanks, including old "Friends" pal Alexa Junge, and three Brits. That number has dropped to two part-timers during production.

Chase follows in the footsteps of former "Seinfeld" executive producer Fred Barron, who created the long-running BBC sitcom "My Family," which also uses the writers room model. Additionally, veteran sitcom producer Caryn Mandabach opened shop in the U.K. several years ago and is producing projects for BBC and ITV.

The BBC, which has a 25% quota for indie producers, recently opened its doors to outsiders even further with the implementation of Window of Creative Competition, a program reserving another 25% of BBC's programming real estate for anybody with an idea.

U.S. writers might get attracted by the prospect of getting paid in British pounds. With the dollar sliding against the pound, "I've got a de facto raise," Chase quipped.

Chase is looking to one day do a U.S. version of "Clone."

With the heat surrounding British formats, that might come soon. In fact, Chase recalls some advice he got from a Hollywood agent when he was contemplating doing a U.K. show: "The shortest route to get to American television is to produce for British television."

The work on "Clone" has taught Chase a thing or two about the U.K. TV business, including, "People are really polite when they give you bad news," and "They really like to stop for tea at 4 p.m."

But most of all, "we take a lot of things for granted in an American production," Chase says. "Bottom line, I've leaned how to produce a show of equal quality for a lot less money."
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »
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