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ABC Orders Family Comedy Pilot From Writer Bobby Bowman

ABC has given a pilot order to an untitled single-camera comedy from writer Bobby Bowman about a family dealing with mental illness.

The ABC Studios pilot was inspired by Bowman’s experience growing up with a father who grappled with mental illness. The project is described as an uplifting look at a dysfunctional family that “perseveres despite their differences and finds happiness in unexpected places.”

Bowman wrote the script and will executive produce with Dawn Ostroff and Jon Koa of Conde Nast Entertainment. Greg Walter of 3 Arts Entertainment is a producer.

Bowman is a broadcast sitcom veteran, having worked on CBS’ “Yes, Dear” and “The Millers,” NBC’s “My Name Is Earl,” and Fox’s “Raising Hope.” This pilot season he also co-wrote a Fox comedy with Peter Murrieta, “Bell Heights,” for Eva Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment.

Pilot Season Scorecard: Network Listings

The untitled ABC project marks one of Conde Nast Entertainment’s first forays into scripted
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Jerry Van Dyke Dead at 86

  • TMZ
Jerry Van Dyke Dead at 86
Jerry Van Dyke, the famed younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, has died TMZ has learned. Jerry's wife, Shirley, tells us he died Friday afternoon at their Arkansas ranch with her by his side. She says they were involved in a car accident over 2 years ago and Jerry's health had deteriorated since. We're told Dick visited them at the ranch over the Christmas holiday. A beloved comedian just like his brother, Jerry pursued stand-up as a young man and performed at military bases around the world. He made his acting debut on "The Dick Van Dyke" show and followed that up with appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" before becoming a regular on "The Judy Garland Show." Jerry's best known for his role on "Coach," where he played Asst. Coach Luther Van Dam alongside Craig T. Nelson. He also had major roles on "Yes, Dear" and most recently, "The Middle." He was 86. RIP
See full article at TMZ »

Comedy Showrunner Alan Kirschenbaum Dies at 51

Alan Kirschenbaum died on Friday, his agency, CAA, has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 51 years old. The TV vet spent over three decades writing for various sitcoms, starting with work on Everything's Relative and Dear John in the late 1980's. He later wrote for Coach and Everybody Loves Raymond, then served as co-exec producer and writer on Stark Raving Mad and Yes, Dear, the Anthony Clark-Jean Louisa Kelly CBS comedy that he also co-created.

More recently, Kirschenbaum was a consulting producer on NBC's My Name is Earl and

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

'Earl' producer inks deal with 20th TV

'Earl' producer inks deal with 20th TV
My Name Is Earl executive producer Bobby Bowman has inked a new two-year overall deal with series producer 20th Century Fox TV.

Under the seven-figure pact, Bowman will continue on Earl, where he runs the writers' room and manages the show's writing staff, serving as an executive producer alongside creator Greg Garcia and director Marc Buckland. He also will develop new projects for the studio.

Bowman has spent the past eight years at 20th TV, working on Family Guy, Yes, Dear and Earl.

The studio's continuous collaboration with Bowman is "no coincidence," 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said.

"He can do it all -- animation, multicamera, single-camera," he said. "He's as versatile as it gets, and that's particularly important to this studio, which prides itself on being adventurous in our comedy development."

Bowman also joked about his "monogamous relationship with 20th."

"They do exciting shows and have great executives," he said. "Sure, I would prefer it if 20th were monogamous in return, and didn't feel the need to have multiple partners. But they're not going to change."

CBS, NBC make schedule shifts

CBS announced a flurry of midseason changes to its schedule Wednesday. The eye is giving The New Adventures of Old Christine the Monday 9:30 p.m. slot after Two and a Half Men beginning March 13. Christine, which stars Julia-Louis Dreyfus, will mark the third sitcom in that slot this season, following Out of Practice and Courting Alex. Beginning March 22, those two sitcoms will move to Wednesday from 8-9 p.m., replacing the pairing of Yes, Dear and Still Standing. Neither of those series is being yanked early; both will have fulfilled their episode orders for the season. Also new to the CBS schedule is the new drama The Unit, which starts Tuesdays at 9 p.m. beginning March 7. On Tuesday, NBC declared its intent to keep the lights on at The Office through the rest of the season. The peacock reconsidered its intent to end the sitcom's current season March 30, scheduling the season finale for May 11.

'Idol' out front Wed. but 'Skating' slips

'Idol' out front Wed. but 'Skating' slips
American Idol mowed down everything in its path Wednesday, but ABC made it a horse race at 9 p.m. with Lost squaring off against the premiere of Fox's Skating With Celebrities. Idol opened up the second night of its fifth-season premiere with no less than 31.7 million viewers and an eye-popping 13.0 rating/33 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to Nielsen Media Research. The rest of the 8 p.m. competition combined couldn't match Idol's oomph; UPN's new drama South Beach (1.7 million, 0.7/2) and NBC's E-Ring (7.9 million, 1.9/5) in particular took a drubbing. At 9 p.m., however, Skating (18.7 million, 7.2/17) slipped to No. 2 against Lost (19.1 million, 8.0/18), which was a feat for Lost given Skating's lead-in advantage. CBS' Criminal Minds (14.1 million, 4.0/9), which has performed well against Lost in recent weeks, felt the pinch but still managed to spike from its 8:30 p.m. Yes, Dear (7.1 million, 2.2/5) lead-in.

ABC's 'Lost' return flight takes off Wed.

Let's get Lost -- that's what 20 million fans did Wednesday night as the network served up its first fresh episode of the drama series since Nov. 30. Lost pulled in 20.5 million viewers and 8.4 rating/20 share in the adults 18-49 demographic at 9 p.m., according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. At 8 p.m., a Lost clip special dubbed Lost: Revelation garnered a healthy 13.5 million and 5.0/13 in 18-49. ABC's momentum ebbed at 10 p.m., however, as rookie drama Invasion (9.6 million, 3.8/10) plunged from its Lost lead-in. CBS' Criminal Minds (15.8 million, 4.8/11) performed well against Lost in the 9 p.m. hour and posted a growth spurt from its 8:30 p.m. lead-in, comedy Yes, Dear (9.1 million, 3.2/8). At 10 p.m., it was a tighter race between CBS' CSI: NY (13.1 million, 4.3/11) and NBC's Law & Order (12.9 million, 4.0/10), which spiked from its 9 p.m. lead-in, The Biggest Loser (6.6 million, 2.7/6).

Primetime placements jump 30%

The number of product placements on network primetime television jumped about 30% in 2005 to 106,808, up from 82,014 the previous year, according to Nielsen Media Research's product placement tracking service Place Views. The total duration of product placements on network primetime rose 22%, from 157 hours in 2004 to about 191 hours last year. Visual onscreen placements increased 33.5%, from 64,920 to 86,668, while brand mentions rose 24%, from 19,876 to 24,723. The 10 TV shows with the most product placement in 2005, measured in terms of total duration, were The Contender (NBC), Fear Factor (NBC), American Idol (Fox), The King of Queens (CBS), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC), The Apprentice (NBC), The Amazing Race Family Edition (CBS), What I Like About You (WB Network), The Amazing Race (CBS) and Yes, Dear (CBS). Contender, from reality and brand integration maven Mark Burnett, scored a total of 7,514 brand occurrences in just 15 telecasts, compared with American Idol's 3,497 occurrences in 43 telecasts and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's 3,318 occurrences in 73 telecasts.

CBS rolls 8 new series; 'Joan,' 'Amy' on bubble

CBS rolls 8 new series; 'Joan,' 'Amy' on bubble
CBS is planning to infuse more fresh blood into its schedule next season than it had last year. The network will add at least eight new series: three comedies and five dramas. The dramas picked up for 2005-06 range from CBS' bread-and-butter crime procedurals (American Crime, Quantico) to the supernatural (Threshold, Ghost Whisperer) to the military-themed The Unit, starring Dennis Haysbert. After years of total domination of the male point of view on CBS' comedies, the network is going for a more balanced approach next season with its new sitcoms Everything I Know About Men and Flesh & Blood. Another comedy, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus starrer Old Christine, is a subject of last-minute negotiations between CBS and producer Warner Bros. TV for a midseason order. As of Monday night, the two sides were still apart on several key terms. Meanwhile, the midseason drama Numbers was poised to return for a second season, with the comedies Still Standing and Yes, Dear also looking good to come back.

Bowman does funny business at Fox

Comedy writer-producer Bobby Bowman has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the seven-figure pact, Bowman will develop new half-hour projects for the studio and likely will join an existing 20th TV series. Bowman is no stranger to 20th TV, having worked on two studio comedy series in the past several years -- first on Family Guy and most recently Yes, Dear, on which he rose through the ranks to co-executive producer. The deal with Bowman is one in a slew of overall pacts 20th TV has inked in the past few weeks. It is part of the studio's strategy to "get ahead of the curve" and do "advance planning" ahead of the competitive writer market in June, 20th TV president Dana Walden said.

'Idol' tops Wednesday for Fox

The West Wing perked up for NBC in its season finale Wednesday while Yes, Dear delivered another strong performance for CBS. Fox took the nightly bragging rights as usual with a half-hour injection of American Idol, which brought in 23.2 million viewers and 9.9 rating/25 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. ABC opened the night on top with 8 p.m. drama Lost (16.5 million, 5.7/17), which was a little off its usual game but dominated the hour nonetheless. At 9 p.m., West Wing delivered its highest poll numbers since January with its sixth-season closer averaging 11.5 million viewers and 3.5/9 in adults 18-49.

'Lost' leads ABC on Wed.

Lost packed 'em in again for ABC on Wednesday, but it was slower going for the 10 p.m. debut of the network's midseason drama Eyes. Fox won the night overall in the key adults 18-49 demographic on the strength of 9 p.m.'s American Idol, which brought in 24.9 million viewers and a 10.6 rating/26 share in the demo, according to Nielsen Media Research. The network's new 9:30 p.m. comedy Life on a Stick (9.5 million, 4.4/11) had little luck in capitalizing on its lead-in. Stick slipped behind ABC's 9 p.m. drama Alias (10.8 million, 4.4/11) and NBC's The West Wing (9.9 million, 3.0/7) in total viewers. CBS' The King of Queens (9 million, 2.8/7) was pounded by Idol at 9 p.m., but the eye network's fortunes perked up some at 9:30 p.m. with Yes, Dear (9.7 million, 3.5/9).

'Lost' helps ABC to total viewers win Wed.

Lost packed 'em in again for ABC on Wednesday but it was slower going for the 10 p.m. debut of the network's midseason drama Eyes. Fox won the night overall in the key adults 18-49 demographic on the strength of 9 p.m.'s American Idol, which brought in 24.6 million viewers and 10.5 rating/26 share in the demo, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. The network's new 9:30 p.m. comedy Life on a Stick (9.4 million, 4.3/11) had a hard time capitalizing on its lead-in. Stick slipped behind ABC's 9 p.m. drama Alias (11.1 million, 4.5/11) and NBC's The West Wing (9.8 million, 3.0/7) in total viewers. CBS' The King of Queens (9.1 million, 2.8/7) was pounded by Idol at 9 p.m. but the eye network's fortunes perked up some at 9:30 p.m. with Yes, Dear (9.8 million, 3.5/9).

Kirschenbaum inks deal with Paramount TV

Alan Kirschenbaum, co-creator/executive producer of CBS' comedy Yes, Dear, has inked a two-year overall deal with Paramount Network TV. Under the seven-figure pact, Kirschenbaum will develop new projects for the studio. If Yes, Dear -- a co-production between 20th Century Fox TV and CBS Prods., which was folded into Paramount last year -- is picked up for a sixth season, Kirschenbaum will continue to run the series with co-creator/exec producer Gregory Thomas Garcia while developing for Paramount. Yes, Dear, which marked its 100th episode this week, returned to the CBS schedule in February with a 13-episode fifth-season order.

Fox, 'Idol' overpowering again in Wednesday race

NEW YORK -- American Idol came up big again Wednesday night, plowing through the competition at 9 p.m. Fox's Idol averaged 26.1 million viewers and an 11.5 rating/27 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. Its performance was more than double its nearest rival, ABC's Alias (10.5 million, 4.2/10) and better than NBC's West Wing (10.2 million, 3.1/7), CBS's comedy duo of King of Queens (10.4 million, 3.4/8) and Yes, Dear (9.3 million, 3.1/7) as well as WB's Jack & Bobby (2.3 million, 1.0/2) and UPN's Kevin Hill (2.4 million, 1.0/2).

'Earl,' 'Home' pilots licensed

'Earl,' 'Home' pilots licensed
Two comedy projects have received cast-contingent pilot orders at NBC and Fox. NBC has given a thumbs up to My Name Is Earl, while Fox's is betting on The War at Home. Earl, from 20th Century Fox TV and Yes, Dear co-creator/executive producer Greg Garcia, centers on a low-rent crook who, after winning the lottery, decides to use his limited yet oddly effective intelligence to right the wrongs he has made in his life. CAA-repped Garcia wrote the pilot and is executive producing. War at Home, from Warner Bros. TV and studio-based Acme Prods., revolves around hypocritical parents who struggle to maintain dominance over their kids. Rob Lotterstein, who penned the script, is exec producing with Acme's Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel. Lotterstein most recently co-created and exec produced with Schultheis and Hanel the WB Network comedy project Sixteen to Life. He is repped by BWCS.

'Perfect' men: Noth, O'Malley set for Uni pic

'Perfect' men: Noth, O'Malley set for Uni pic
Chris Noth and Mike O'Malley are set to play opposite Hilary Duff in The Perfect Man, which Mark Rosman is directing for Universal Pictures. The story centers on a teenager (Duff) who is trying to find the best mate for her single mom. Noth plays a friend of the family who, unbeknownst to the women, just might have all the qualities they are looking for. O'Malley is one of the potential suitors. The role of the mother has yet to be cast. Marc Platt, Susan Duff and Dawn Wolfrom are producing. Holly Bario and Drew Crevello are overseeing for the studio. Production starts April 29 in Toronto. Noth is best known for playing Mr. Big on HBO's Sex and the City and Detective Mike Logan on Law & Order. The UTA-repped actor recently starred in the TV movie Bad Apple. O'Malley stars on CBS' Yes, Dear and has appeared in such features as Pushing Tin and Deep Impact. He is repped by CAA.

TBS says yes to 'Dear'

TBS says yes to 'Dear'
TBS Superstation has acquired multiyear syndicated rights to the CBS sitcom Yes, Dear from Twentieth Television. Dear will join the cable network's Non-Stop Comedy Block beginning in August. TBS is guaranteed up to six seasons of Dear, which is in its fourth season on CBS. Meanwhile, Twentieth continues to lock clearances for Dear in local syndication, which would begin its run in September mostly at Fox-owned stations. Dear is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and CBS Prods.

20th TV says 'Yes, Dear' to syndication

20th TV says 'Yes, Dear' to syndication
Twentieth Television has sealed its first wave of off-network sales for the 20th Century Fox TV-produced CBS sitcom Yes, Dear, which will bow in syndication this fall. Twentieth has cleared the show on Fox O&Os and other stations covering 67% of U.S. TV households, including Fox-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The domestic comedy, revolving around two young couples with children who live together but have very different parenting styles, is being offered to stations on an all-barter, no-cash basis for a two-year license term. Yes, Dear, starring Anthony Clark and Mike O'Malley, bowed as part of CBS' Monday sitcom block in fall 2000. "Every time 'Yes, Dear' has been asked to perform, it's done well, and now it's successfully leading off CBS' pivotal Monday night comedy lineup," Twentieth president and chief operating officer Bob Cook said. "Sitcoms run for many years (in syndication), play in multiple dayparts and deliver a high concentration of adults 18-49."

'CSI: Miami' shines on sports-heavy Monday night

'CSI: Miami' shines on sports-heavy Monday night
NBC's Fear Factor and CBS' CSI: Miami were the standouts on Monday despite tougher-than-usual sports competition from the one-two punch of ABC's Monday Night Football and Fox's coverage of the Boston Red Sox's win against the Oakland Athletics to clinch their American League playoff berth against the New York Yankees. ABC was poised to win the night on the strength of MNF, but Fox's baseball coverage likely sapped some viewers away from the gridiron action as the MNF numbers took a dip from recent weeks, according to preliminary Nielsen estimates. (Reliable estimates for ABC's and Fox's live game coverage won't be available until later today.) NBC won the opening hour of primetime with Fear Factor bringing in an average of 13.2 million viewers and 5.7 rating/16 share in the adults 18-49 demographic. CBS' 8-9 p.m. comedies Yes, Dear (10.3 million, 3.3/10) and Still Standing (11.7 million, 3.8/10) were a little soft against Fox's baseball competition, as was CBS' 9 p.m. tentpole Everybody Loves Raymond (17.9 million, 5.9/15).
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