All of Us (2003) - News Poster

(2003–2007)

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TV One hits 'Funny Spot'

TV One, the network that targets black viewers, on Wednesday announced a new stand-up comedy series hosted by Tony Rock, brother of Chris Rock and former cast member on the sitcom All of Us. The series, titled The Funny Spot, will feature comedians offering up their perspectives of the world as well as glimpses of the action behind-the-scenes and a regular segment, On the Spot, where the performers answer tough questions from Rock and the audience.

Comics set to perform on the show include Last Comic Standing finalists Geoff Brown, Corey Holcomb and Retha Jones as well as Joe Clair, Rudy Rush, Alex Thomas, Franklyn Ajaye, Chris Spencer, Michael Colyar, Esau McGraw, David Arnold and Rodney Perry. Damon Wayans and Kevin Hart also planning to make appearances. The weekly, hourlong series -- filmed at the Comedy Union in Los Angeles -- debuts at 10 p.m. ET on Jan. 19. It's exec produced by Rock, Comedy Union owner Enss Mitchell and Jamie Balthazar and Gina Holland of Ruby Red Media.

Hitch 'em up: Overbrook dives deep into TV

Overbrook Entertainment is making a major push in television with the company's most ambitious development slate to date, which includes a series version of Will Smith's hit feature Hitch and a comedy starring OutKast's Big Boi.

"It is the most active season we've had in television," said Ken Stovitz, who joined Smith and James Lassiter as a partner at the company in May.

The slate, overseen by Heather Courtney, also includes Raw Materials, a relationship comedy for ABC from the Oscar-nominated writing duo Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel; Almost, a supernatural drama for A&E; a drama for FX about a "straight edge" punk crew; and Gimmee Twenty, a special starring investment guru Mellody Hobson, at ABC News.

During the past year, cable has been a major priority for Overbrook. It had been focused primarily on broadcast TV, where it landed its first series, the comedy All of Us.

In April, the company scored an animated series on BET. The Cipha, a futuristic hip-hop series about rappers with superpowers, is slated to premiere in 2008.

Additionally, Overbrook has the half-hour I Hate Pink, about a plain Jane in high school.

CW sees 'Aliens,' CBS renews 'Christine'

CW has handed out series orders to comedy Aliens In America and dramas Gossip Girl, Reaper and the untitled South Africa project.

Additionally, the network has renewed sci-fi dramas 'Smallville' and 'Supernatural' and teen soap One Tree Hill for next season, while comedy All of Us and drama veronica Mars won't be coming back.

Over at CBS, the network has renewed comedies How I Met Your Mother and Old Christine and dramas The Unit, Shark, Criminal Minds and Ghost Whisperer.

Not coming back are comedy The Class and dramas Jericho and Close to Home.

Aliens, now to be produced by CBS Paramount Network TV and Warner Bros. TV, centers on a teen Pakistani Muslim in the U.S.

The pickup of Gossip, also from WBTV, makes it two new series orders for The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz, who also has dramedy Chuck ordered at NBC.

Reaper, from ABC Studios, is a comedic drama about the devil and his bounty hunter, while the CBS Par TV-produced South Africa project is an adaptation of the British family drama set at a South African game preserve.

Scribe Bush, NL going on 'Mancation'

New Line is packing the cooler, throwing on some sunscreen and leaving for a Mancation. The studio has picked up the comedy pitch from writer Jared Bush, with studio-based Benderspink producing.

The story follows a guy who decides that marriage has drained his Little Brother's manhood, so he drags him on a testosterone-filled getaway to help him get it back.

Chris Bender and JC Spink are producing, with the company's Jake Weiner exec producing.

New Line's Cale Boyter and Sam Brown are overseeing.

The deal was in the mid-six figures.

Bush, a writer-producer on the CW's All of Us, and Benderspink recently teamed on the romantic comedy Save the Date, in development at New Line.

Benderspink is developing the comedy Torrente, a remake of the hit Spanish comedy, and the sci-fi thriller Y: The Last Man for New Line. The company has Guy Not Taken set up at DreamWorks and A Fistful of Candy at Columbia.

Bush is repped by CAA, Foursight Management and Rohner & Walerstein.

Smiths have laugh tracks for CW, ABC

Smiths have laugh tracks for CW, ABC
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have set up two comedy projects, one at CW with Jack & Jill creator Randi Mayem Singer and one at ABC with Betsy Borns, who co-created All of Us with the couple.

The untitled CW project, from CBS Paramount Network TV and Overbrook Entertainment, is a single-camera half-hour about a group of mostly divorced mothers who live in a large apartment complex. From the point of view of a security guard who patrols the area, it focuses on the women's child-rearing problems and their dating lives.

"It's about making lunch and making love," Singer said.

Singer was one of several writers approached with the concept, a brainchild of Pinkett Smith, and she immediately responded.

"Single moms are nothing new, but it was the idea to set it in one of these communities that made it cohesive to me," Singer said. "The (apartment) development will be a character in the show in the way that New York City was a character in 'Sex and the City.' "

Singer is writing the project, which has received a script commitment from the network.

CW switches Sunday, Monday lineups

The CW is switching its Sunday and Monday night lineups. Starting next week, the network's Sunday night comedy block of Everybody Hates Chris, All of Us, Girlfriends and new series The Game will move to 8-10 p.m. Mondays. The CW will rebroadcast each comedy's season premiere on Monday, with original episodes returning Oct. 16. Meanwhile, the Monday dramas 7th Heaven and Runaway will move to Sunday nights starting Oct. 15. The new Sunday lineup will begin with a repeat airing of the previous Wednesday's America's Next Top Model at 7 p.m., followed by original episodes of 7th Heaven at 8 p.m. and freshman drama Runaway at 9 p.m.

Fleary heading comedy at CW

Kim Fleary, UPN's head of comedy, will make the switch to the CW, overseeing the comedy department of the new network. Fleary will take on an executive vp role at the CW, which is set to launch in the fall. The news follows the recent announcement that Thom Sherman will serve as executive vp drama development. Since joining UPN in 2002 as senior vp comedy development, Fleary oversaw the development of such series as Everybody Hates Chris and All of Us.

TV One inks with WB for pics, series

TV One inks with WB for pics, series
TV One, a channel that targets black viewers, said Monday that it has signed a multiyear agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution to acquire rights to a slew of theatrical titles and off-network series, including UPN's All of Us and Eve. The deal, which marks the biggest programming acquisition for the network in its two-year history, also includes rights to such series as Living Single, For Your Love, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, The Parent 'Hood, Wanda at Large, All About the Andersons, Fastlane and A Man Called Hawk as well as recent episodes of Showtime at the Apollo. Through the agreement, TV One also is renewing rights to air the comedies Roc and Martin. In addition, TV One has snapped up rights to a range of movie titles, including windows on such films as The Color Purple, Malcolm X, Lean on Me, New Jack City, Purple Rain, Shaft and Superfly. Other movies in the deal include Round Midnight, Rosewood, Boiling Point, Uptown Saturday Night, Strictly Business, Cabin in the Sky, Krush Groove and Sparkle.

UPN Rocks Thursday, beefs up Friday slate

UPN Rocks Thursday, beefs up Friday slate
UPN is planning a big shakeup for the fall, shifting its WWE SmackDown! wrestling block to Fridays to make room for comedies on Thursdays, anchored by a new coming-of-age series produced by Chris Rock. The fall 2005 schedule unveiled Thursday morning by UPN brass in New York includes the bold move of launching a comedy block on Thursdays, anchored by newcomer Everybody Loves Chris, followed by returning comedies Eve and Cuts and capped at 9:30 p.m. by new Shannen Doherty starrer Love Inc. UPN's Monday lineup remains a comedy stronghold stocked with returning shows: One on One, All of Us (which relocates from Tuesday), Girlfriends and Half & Half.

UPN Rocks Thursday, beefs up Friday slate

UPN Rocks Thursday, beefs up Friday slate
UPN is planning a big shakeup for the fall, shifting its WWE SmackDown! wrestling block to Fridays to make room for comedies on Thursdays, anchored by a new coming-of-age series produced by Chris Rock. The fall 2005 schedule unveiled Thursday morning by UPN brass in New York includes the bold move of launching a comedy block on Thursdays, anchored by newcomer Everybody Loves Chris, followed by returning comedies Eve and Cuts and capped at 9:30 p.m. by new Shannen Doherty starrer Love Inc. UPN's Monday lineup remains a comedy stronghold stocked with returning shows: One on One, All of Us (which relocates from Tuesday), Girlfriends and Half & Half.

Fox's 'Idol' crushes network rivals Tuesday

American Idol beat everything in its path again on Tuesday, topping the combined ratings of its broadcast competition in the 8 p.m. hour. Fox's Idol brought in a whopping 26.9 million viewers and 11.5 rating/30 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. That was lofty enough to beat the combined demo averages of CBS' NCIS (13.4 million, 2.9/7), ABC's combo of My Wife & Kids (6.5 million, 2.1/6) and George Lopez (6.4 million, 2.2/5), NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent repeat (4.3 million, 1.4/4), WB's Gilmore Girls (5.3 million, 2.2/6) and UPN's All of Us (2.2 million, 0.9/2) and Eve (2.2 million, 0.9/2). At 9 p.m., Fox's numbers came back down to earth with drama House, MD (14.4 million, 5.7/14) losing nearly half of its lead-in audience. Still, the drama did a slightly better job of holding its audience throughout the hour than it did last week. CBS was No. 2 in the hour in viewers with its Dr. Phil: Romance Rescued special (11 million, 3.5/8) while ABC nosed past CBS in adults 18-49 with According to Jim (9.7 million, 3.8/9) and Rodney (8.9 million, 3.5/8).

Leguizamo, Murrieta land in Fox family

Leguizamo, Murrieta land in Fox family
John Leguizamo has teamed with writer Peter Murrieta for a comedy series project for Fox based on Leguizamo's real life as a performer and a family man. The family life of feature and TV stars has successfully translated to a TV series in such projects as the UPN comedy All of Us, based on Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith's experiences. ABC is looking for similar success with the upcoming sitcom Complete Savages, inspired by the family life of executive producer Mel Gibson. The Leguizamo/Murrieta project, from 3 Arts Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV, is described as being in the vein of Make Room for Daddy.

Ostroff extols branding virtues

Ostroff extols branding virtues
UPN entertainment president Dawn Ostroff cited strong branding as the key to rebuilding her network in a speech Tuesday afternoon at the Museum of Television and Radio Industry Forum Luncheon in Los Angeles. Applying the same brand-building skills she learned as executive vp entertainment at Lifetime has given the network a clearer identity with younger demographics. "In today's crowded media environment, branding has become more important," she said. Ostroff also extolled the virtues of letting celebrities dedicate themselves to programming of personal interest to them, including All of Us from executive producers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. "Giving them the opportunity to do projects of passion was probably the best message we could put out," she said.

UPN sees glass as half-full

UPN sees glass as half-full
UPN may be having a tough time in the ratings so far this season, but there is a silver lining. Its rival, the WB Network, has been hit so hard that it makes UPN's woes seem almost mild in comparison. Down 17% in its core 18-34 demographic (to a 1.5 rating/5 share average for the season-to-date, Sept. 22-Dec. 19), UPN has nevertheless done reasonably well with a new block of ethnic comedies on Tuesdays this fall, including the freshman All of Us. And while it badly lagged the WB last year, the network has significantly narrowed the overall gap with its competitor this season (the WB is down 22%, to a 1.8). No wonder CBS chief Leslie Moonves, who also oversees UPN for parent company Viacom, finds some comfort in the numbers. "The good news for us is we're very close to the WB," Moonves said. "It was five-tenths (of a demo rating point margin last year), and now that's sort of cut in half." As for the percentage decline, Moonves noted that as a small network, UPN is naturally susceptible to dramatic statistical fluctuations. "When (a rating) goes down a tenth of a point, that's a lot because the base is so low," he said.

'Rock' rolls on as UPN plays back 9

'Rock' rolls on as UPN plays back 9
UPN has picked up its new comedy Rock Me Baby for a full season. The network has given a back-nine episode order to the Warner Bros. TV series, which in the Tuesday 9-9:30 p.m. slot has posted a 17% improvement vs. last year in total viewers as well as in the network's target demographic of adults 18-34. With the order for Rock Me, UPN has secured four of its five new series, including All of Us, Eve and Jake 2.0, for a full first season, with freshman comedy The Mullets still on hiatus.

UPN all about 'Eve,' 'Us'

UPN all about 'Eve,' 'Us'
The broadcast networks are starting to give their votes of confidence in the fall's new crop of primetime series. UPN has given a full-season order to two of its new comedies, the Will Smith- and Jada Pinkett Smith-produced All of Us as well as Eve, which features hip-hop diva Eve, both from Warner Bros. TV. The sitcoms are the first series to receive so-called back-nine pickups -- which fill out an initial 13-episode order to a full season's worth of 22 episodes -- since the formal start of the 2003-04 TV season Sept. 22. Last month, Fox also gave a full-season pickup to its teen drama The O.C., also from WBTV, which got a jump-start on the fall season by launching Aug. 5. While it has been a ho-hum season so far with no heat-seeking breakout hits along the lines of CBS' CSI: Miami last season, several freshman series look good to follow Eve, All of Us and The O.C. with full-season orders.

UPN poised for comedy push

UPN poised for comedy push
The code of silence imposed by CBS chief Leslie Moonves combined with the fatigue factor for industryites on the second to last day of the marathon week of upfront presentations added up to very little buzz circulating Wednesday about UPN's fall scheduling moves. UPN will unveil its 2003-04 schedule to advertisers at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York today. With the pickup of four new comedies -- All of Us, Opposite Sex, starring singer-actress Eve, Rock Me Baby and The Mullets -- and with all four UPN Monday comedies coming back, it is clear that the network will expand its comedy programming beyond its Monday stronghold.

UPN poised for comedy push

UPN poised for comedy push
The code of silence imposed by CBS chief Leslie Moonves combined with the fatigue factor for industryites on the second to last day of the marathon week of upfront presentations added up to very little buzz circulating Wednesday about UPN's fall scheduling moves. UPN will unveil its 2003-04 schedule to advertisers at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York today. With the pickup of four new comedies -- All of Us, Opposite Sex, starring singer-actress Eve, Rock Me Baby and The Mullets -- and with all four UPN Monday comedies coming back, it is clear that the network will expand its comedy programming beyond its Monday stronghold.

UPN invests in 2nd comedy block

UPN invests in 2nd comedy block
UPN has set its sights on relaunching a second comedy night next season. The network has ordered four new comedies for the fall, the most laughs it has carried on its schedule since 1997, sources said. The network picked up all four comedy pilots Warner Bros. TV produced for it this season -- the Duane Martin starrer All of Us, based on the real home life of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith; Opposite Sex, which stars Eve as a clothing designer; the family comedy Rock Me Baby; and an untitled project about two redneck brothers sporting mullet haircuts. With its current crop of Monday comedies all set to return in the fall, it's clear that UPN will be opening up a second comedy front for its four new sitcoms in the fall. As further evidence, UPN has so far picked up only one new drama, Viacom Prods.' sci-fi project Jake 2.0 (formerly untitled nanobot), though it will be saying goodbye to three dramas at next week's season close: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the canceled freshmen Haunted and The Twilight Zone.

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