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TV Land picks up 'Hot in Cleveland'

TV Land picks up 'Hot in Cleveland'
TV Land has the hots for "Hot in Cleveland."

The cable network has ordered its first original scripted series, handing out a 10-episode order to multicamera pilot "Hot."

Sitcom veterans Valerie Bertinelli ("One Day at a Time"), Jane Leeves ("Frasier"), Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me") and Betty White ("The Golden Girls") star in "Hot in Cleveland," which is executive produced by "Will & Grace's" Sean Hayes.

Written by "Frasier" alum Suzanne Martin, "Hot" revolves around three eccentric fortysomething best friends from L.A. (Bertinelli, Leeves, Malick) who wind up stuck in Cleveland and decide to stay there when they realize the locals consider them glamorous.

White plays a grumpy and opinionated lady who has lived in the cottage of the trio's Cleveland house for 50 years.

"Hot," from Hayes' Hazy Mills Prods., is one of TV Land's first two pilots, along with the comedy "Retired at 35," which is toplined by Malick's "Shoot Me" co-star George Segal.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

TV Land wants more from Betty White than reruns

I have recurring dreams about Betty White.

No, not those kinds of dreams. Betty just seems to show up a lot — in the elevator, at dinner, in a movie I’m filming. If, as dream interpretation books suggest, famous people represent the qualities you associate with them, then my dreams are full of awesome.

Soon, my waking hours may be full of awesome, too. TV Land just announced a new original comedy, Hot in Cleveland, with Betty White starring. And she’s just one of the veteran sitcom personalities in the show: Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time), Jane Leeves (Frasier) and Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me) also star.

Hot revolves around three fortysomething BFFs from L.A. who get stranded in Ohio, then decide to stay because the local folks think they’re glamorous. Hey, it’s happened before.

White plays “a grumpy and opinionated lady who has
See full article at AfterEllen.com »

Gregory exits BBC America for TV Land

Gregory exits BBC America for TV Land
Scott Gregory has been named vp programming at TV Land, where he will be responsible for the development and management of scheduling strategies for both longform original and acquired programming, such as the network's upcoming original High School Reunion, the annual TV Land Awards and acquired series Scrubs and Just Shoot Me.

Based in New York, he also will be responsible for building promotional strategies in partnership with the network's ad sales and marketing teams and managing multiplatform scheduling. Gregory, who was vp scheduling at BBC America, will report to TV Land senior vp programming Jaclyn Rann Cohen.

Before BBC America, Gregory held several positions at TV Land sister network Comedy Central.

McCall driving 'Carpoolers'

McCall driving 'Carpoolers'
Marsh McCall has been tapped to serve as executive producer/showrunner on ABC's upcoming comedy series Carpoolers, from ABC TV Studio.

McCall's assignment on Carpoolers stems from his overall deal with ABC TV Studio, which produces the show with DreamWorks TV and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Carpoolers follows the lives of four men (Fred Goss, Jerry Minor, Jerry O'Connell, Tim Peper) who carpool to work together each day.

On the series, McCall will serve as an executive producer alongside creator Bruce McCulloch, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and David Miner.

McCall most recently created and executive produced the short-lived NBC comedy series Twenty Good Years, from Warner Bros. TV and Werner-Gold-Miller.

His series credits also include Just Shoot Me, My Big Fat Greek Life and Modern Men.

He is repped by CAA.

8 make 'Three Strikes' team

Eight actors have stepped up to the plate for Comedy Central's baseball-set pilot Three Strikes, from Jon Stewart's Busboy Prods.

Hamilton Von Watts, Frank John Hughes, Adrian Martinez, Reno Wilson, Phil Hendrie, Toby Huss, Nathanial Moon and Ken Jeong comprise the ensemble cast of Three Strikes, a character-based comedy set in the world of minor league baseball. Their characters are part of the team at the center of the half-hour project.

Three Strikes is based on an idea from Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck (Fox's King of the Hill, NBC's Frasier). The pilot will be executive produced by Stewart, Ben Karlin, Gregory and Huyck. Jim Sharp is the executive in charge of production.

Von Watts' credits include WB Network's Charmed and Grosse Pointe, CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and NBC's Just Shoot Me! He is repped by Lisa DiSante-Frank at DiSante Frank & Co.

Locklear and Spade Split

  • WENN
Heather Locklear and David Spade are taking a break from their six-month relationship, according to media reports in the US. The couple were first spotted kissing at an afterparty for Spade's series Showbiz Show in March - one month after Locklear filed for divorce from Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora. A source tells American publication People, "Heather is still going through a lot with Denise Richards and Richie. It's just too soon for her to get serious. They are still friends. It's not ugly." Another source close to Spade says that the break "was a mutual decision." The couple has been seen regularly cuddling, holding hands and kissing over the last several months, but have never publicly spoken about their relationship. Locklear was even seen with a new tattoo on her ankle with the words "Finch" - the character Spade played on the TV show Just Shoot Me. A source close to Locklear adds, "They are friends. They've always been friends. And they continue to be friends. There's nothing more than that."

Cho turns to mom for Fox comedy script

Cho turns to mom for Fox comedy script
Fox Broadcasting Co. is developing a comedy script from Regency TV with comedienne Margaret Cho and Just Shoot Me writer Susan Dickes. Cho would star and executive produce with Dickes in the ethnic, multigenerational family comedy, said to involve a character based on Cho's mother that she has made a fixture of her stand-up routine. "I'm very excited about this project because, finally, I get to become my mother," said Cho, who is also under a talent holding deal. "The people at Fox and Regency TV get the humor and the heart of this character, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be working with them on this project."

Fitzgerald Star's 'ambassador'

Susie Fitzgerald has been named head of development for Sony Pictures TV-based Darren Star Prods. Fitzgerald joins Star's production banner after most recently serving as co-president of Brad Grey TV, where she helped shepherd such series as the NBC sitcoms NewsRadio and Just Shoot Me and HBO's The Sopranos. After cutting an overall deal with Sony Pictures TV in January, Star took his time in recruiting a head of development to help him increase the volume of projects in the pipeline at his company.

Fox unleashes 'Stacked' in April

Fox unleashes 'Stacked' in April
Fox Broadcasting Co. has set April 13 as the premiere date for its Pamela Anderson sitcom Stacked. The comedy will move into the Wednesday 8:30 p.m. slot occupied by The Simple Life: Interns. The new series stars Anderson as a party girl who decides to make a major change in her life by going to work for a small, family-run bookstore. Fox has had Stacked on the fast track ever since it gave the project a six-episode commitment in early December before the pilot script had been completed. The series, which also stars Tom Everett Scott, Brian Scolaro and Christopher Lloyd, is executive produced for 20th Century Fox TV by Steven Levitan (Just Shoot Me) and Jeffrey Richman (Frasier).

Pilots for Arquette, Henner, Johnston

David Arquette has been tapped to star in CBS' one-hour pilot The Commuters. Meanwhile, Marilu Henner is returning to series television. She and up-and-comer Nick D'Agosto are set to star in ABC's comedy pilot Joint Custody. Also making a return to series are 3rd Rock from the Sun alumna Kristen Johnston, cast in Fox's Don't Ask, and Just Shoot Me's Laura San Giacomo, who will co-star in the WB Network's untitled Liz Tuccillo project. Other pilot-casting highlights include Gina Torres, tapped to star opposite Kristin Davis in ABC's Soccer Moms; Bill Bellamy joining Fox's Amy Coyne; and Susanna Thompson coming on board NBC's Book of Daniel. The Commuters, from Paramount Network TV, revolves around the lives of three couples in the New York suburbs whose husbands, one of them played by Arquette, commute to the city.

Pilots for Arquette, Henner, Johnston

David Arquette has been tapped to star in CBS' one-hour pilot The Commuters. Meanwhile, Marilu Henner is returning to series television. She and up-and-comer Nick D'Agosto are set to star in ABC's comedy pilot Joint Custody. Also making a return to series are 3rd Rock from the Sun alumna Kristen Johnston, cast in Fox's Don't Ask, and Just Shoot Me's Laura San Giacomo, who will co-star in the WB Network's untitled Liz Tuccillo project. Other pilot-casting highlights include Gina Torres, tapped to star opposite Kristin Davis in ABC's Soccer Moms; Bill Bellamy joining Fox's Amy Coyne; and Susanna Thompson coming on board NBC's Book of Daniel. The Commuters, from Paramount Network TV, revolves around the lives of three couples in the New York suburbs whose husbands, one of them played by Arquette, commute to the city.

Grey area: Can TV vet make films?

Grey area: Can TV vet make films?
Now that Viacom co-president Tom Freston has decided talent manager Brad Grey is the man to inject new life into Paramount Pictures, Hollywood is naturally asking whether Grey has the film production expertise required for his new role as Paramount chairman and CEO. As the one-time partner and now owner of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, Grey made a natural transition to television production by overseeing shows starring his management company's clients. He has been involved in both lucrative sitcoms such as NBC's NewsRadio and Just Shoot Me and prestige awards winners like HBO's The Sopranos.

He's a player: Chestnut tops NBC's 'Dante'

Morris Chestnut has been tapped to star in NBC's football-themed sitcom Dante from Just Shoot Me creator Steven Levitan. Bad Santa co-star Tony Cox also has been cast in the 20th Century Fox TV project, which the network has greenlighted to pilot. Dante, from Levitan and commercial writer-director John Immesoete, creator of the popular series of humorous Budweiser ad spots featuring the egotistical football player Leon, was originally picked up by NBC in October with a put pilot commitment with a significant penalty (HR 10/15). Dante revolves around the life and family of a football superstar (Chestnut) who has an extra-large sense of entitlement and often is out of touch with reality. Cox will play Uncle Goldey.

He's a player: Chestnut tops NBC's 'Dante'

Morris Chestnut has been tapped to star in NBC's football-themed sitcom Dante from Just Shoot Me creator Steven Levitan. Bad Santa co-star Tony Cox also has been cast in the 20th Century Fox TV project, which the network has greenlighted to pilot. Dante, from Levitan and commercial writer-director John Immesoete, creator of the popular series of humorous Budweiser ad spots featuring the egotistical football player Leon, was originally picked up by NBC in October with a put pilot commitment with a significant penalty (HR 10/15). Dante revolves around the life and family of a football superstar (Chestnut) who has an extra-large sense of entitlement and often is out of touch with reality. Cox will play Uncle Goldey.

NBC tells 'Lies' for pilot order

NBC tells 'Lies' for pilot order
NBC has given a cast-contingent pilot order to Lies and the Wives We Tell Them To, a comedy project from writer-producers David Guarascio and Moses Port, creators/executive producers of the network's short-lived comedy Happy Family. The project, produced by NBC Universal TV, centers on four married best friends and explores the secrets and lies that keep marriages and friendships happy. Guarascio and Port, who are under an overall deal at NBC Uni TV, also served as exec producers on NBC's Just Shoot Me. The duo, who started their careers on another NBC comedy, Mad About You, is repped by UTA and attorney Jeanne Newman.

Fox commits to Anderson series

Fox commits to Anderson series
Fox Broadcasting Co. has given a six-episode commitment to a comedy series from writer-producer Steven Levitan to star Pamela Anderson. The series from 20th Century Fox TV will center on a woman who's trying to change her life and break her habit of falling for less-than-responsible men. Fox is so high on the concept and the prospect of Levitan teaming with Anderson that network brass gave it the six-episode commitment before even reading a completed script. Anderson, a former Baywatch babe, has become as well known for her headline-generating personal life during the past few years as she has for her acting work in such features as Scary Movie 3 and the 1998-2002 syndicated drama V.I.P. Levitan, who has an overall development deal with 20th, created and executive produced the offbeat Fox comedy Greg the Bunny and was an executive producer on Fox's family comedy Oliver Beene. He also created and executive produced the 1997-2003 NBC workplace comedy Just Shoot Me. Levitan and Anderson are repped by UTA.

'Retirement' package for veteran cast

Jack Warden, George Segal, Ossie Davis and Rip Torn are heading into Retirement for director Charlie Picerni. Billy Burke also has been cast in the indie feature being produced by Corner Stone Pictures. The comedy revolves around four grumpy old men who must go on a road trip to prevent one of their daughters from marrying the wrong guy. The script was written by Michael Pietrzak and Jon Warner. Pietrzak and Picerni are producing. Shooting is scheduled to begin shooting in February in Florida's South Beach, New Orleans and Las Vegas. Warden, who was nominated for best supporting Oscars for Heaven Can Wait and Shampoo, most recently appeared in 2000's The Replacements. He is repped by APA Agency. Segal, who starred in NBC's Just Shoot Me, is repped by ICM and Douglas Urbanski of DMG. Davis' recent credits include She Hate Me and Bubba Ho-tep. He is repped by the Artists Agency. Gersh-repped Torn appeared in the summer hit Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Burke's credits include the recent Ladder 49 and Along Came a Spider. He is repped by CAA and manager Ellen Meyer. Corner Stone partners include Picerni, Pietrzak, Warner, and Jon Knutson. The company is developing and producing features, soundtracks and youth-oriented TV animation.

Fryman named leader of 'Men'

Veteran sitcom helmer Pamela Fryman has been tapped as the primary director of CBS' comedy Two and a Half Men. She will direct the bulk of the episodes of the Warner Bros. TV comedy, which returns for a second season in the fall. Fryman, whose extensive work on NBC's Frasier earned her three DGA nominations, most recently served as director/executive producer on NBC's Happy Family. She also directed and executive produced NBC's Just Shoot Me, for which she landed another DGA nomination. Fryman, whose long list of directing credits also includes NBC's Friends and the pilot for CBS' The King of Queens, is repped by BWCS.

McPherson taking risky plunge at ABC

McPherson taking risky plunge at ABC
On a hot July evening in Pasadena, after a day of being grilled about how NBC would survive its first season after Seinfeld, Warren Littlefield was in a feisty mood. Littlefield, who was then in the final months of his nine-year run as NBC Entertainment president, and the rest of the peacock's West Coast executive corps were enduring a humdrum party beside the pool at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington hotel during the summer 1998 Television Critics Assn. press tour. On a lark, Littlefield offered $400 to anyone willing to dive in to the pool and swim a lap, fully clothed. When the ante was upped to $500 -- thanks to $50 contributions from then-NBC executive Flody Suarez and Just Shoot Me creator/executive producer Steven Levitan -- Stephen McPherson headed for the water. "It was a moment of spontaneity that most definitely livened up the party," Littlefield recalled. McPherson, who at the time was vp primetime series at NBC, plunged headfirst into a far greater challenge this week, taking on the job of ABC Primetime Entertainment president following the Walt Disney Co.'s extreme makeover of ABC's senior management ranks during the past two weeks (HR 4/21).

McPherson taking risky plunge at ABC

McPherson taking risky plunge at ABC
On a hot July evening in Pasadena, after a day of being grilled about how NBC would survive its first season after Seinfeld, Warren Littlefield was in a feisty mood. Littlefield, who was then in the final months of his nine-year run as NBC Entertainment president, and the rest of the peacock's West Coast executive corps were enduring a humdrum party beside the pool at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington hotel during the summer 1998 Television Critics Assn. press tour. On a lark, Littlefield offered $400 to anyone willing to dive in to the pool and swim a lap, fully clothed. When the ante was upped to $500 -- thanks to $50 contributions from then-NBC executive Flody Suarez and Just Shoot Me creator/executive producer Steven Levitan -- Stephen McPherson headed for the water. "It was a moment of spontaneity that most definitely livened up the party," Littlefield recalled. McPherson, who at the time was vp primetime series at NBC, plunged headfirst into a far greater challenge this week, taking on the job of ABC Primetime Entertainment president following the Walt Disney Co.'s extreme makeover of ABC's senior management ranks during the past two weeks (HR 4/21).
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