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‘All in the Family,’ ‘Maude’ Writer Austin Kalish Dies at 95

‘All in the Family,’ ‘Maude’ Writer Austin Kalish Dies at 95
Prolific comedy writer Austin Kalish, who with his wife Irma wrote landmark episodes of “Maude” and “All in the Family,” as well as the pilot for “Gilligan’s Island,” died early Wednesday. He was 95.

Kalish’s son, writer-producer Bruce Kalish, confirmed his death in a Facebook post Thursday. “He squeezed every bit of life he had out of his 95 years here on this planet,” Bruce Kalish wrote. “You may not have known him but you watched his shows.”

Austin “Rocky” Kalish and Irma Kalish wrote one of the most talked-about episodes of comedy in primetime history, the 1973 “Maude’s Choice” episode of the Bea Arthur comedy in which the titular character wrestles with the decision to have an abortion after an unexpected pregnancy. Airing in the same year that the Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, the episode brought the polarizing issue squarely into America’s living rooms.

The
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Cookie Jar continues shift to live action

Toronto -- Canadian animation producer Cookie Jar Entertainment has stepped up its push into live-action comedy with a Cartoon Network pilot from scribe Steven de Souza ("Die Hard," "48 Hours").

The new live-action programming remit also has Cookie Jar developing "Decidedly Debra" for Family Channel Canada, a tween live-action comedy from the veteran Los Angeles comedy writing team of Andrew Nicholls and Darrell Vickers.

The Family Channel pilot, to be directed by Stacey Curtis ("Majority Rules!") with Peter Benison ("The Wild Girl") as director of photography, follows 14-year-old Debra, who sprinkles her magic and special skills to bring out the best in people.

Cookie Jar's live-action development slate also includes a primetime young adult romantic comedy for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. set in a Montreal coffee shop.

While the Canadian producer's lineup is still mostly animation -- Cookie Jar showcased at Miptv the new animated series "Doodlebops Rockin' Road Show" and new seasons of "Caillou,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Cookie Jar cuts 35 animation jobs

Toronto -- Canadian indie producer Cookie Jar Entertainment has cut 35 animation production jobs as it pivots toward more live-action series production.

Toronto-based Cookie Jar in a statement said it was "realigning" its production dollars amid the economic downturn to move deeper into live-action programming.

The Canadian producer added it will expand its copyright promotions licensing group, based in London, and maintain all of its 16 offices internationally.

Cookie Jar is best known for its cartoon properties that include "Caillou," "The Doodlebops" and "Richard Scarry's Busytown Mysteries."

But the studio has also expanded into consumer products and educational publishing. Cookie Jar has broadened its entertainment programming reach into U.S. network series and syndicated fare after acquiring the global brand management group Dic Entertainment for $83 million in 2008.

Cookie Jar has since hired former Columbia TriStar and Paramount TV division boss Tom Mazza to lead a foray into U.S. network series production,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Bruce Kalish enters 'Mudpit'

Toronto -- Cookie Jar Entertainment has tapped Bruce Kalish ("Power Rangers") to show-run its hybrid tween series "Mudpit" for the indie Canadian producer's teen and adult label, The Jar.

Production on 26 half-hours of "Mudpit" will start in April.

Kalish most recently created, wrote and executive produced the Disney Xd live action series "Aaron Stone," which was shot in Toronto.

"Mudpit," a blended live action and animated comedy, portrays four teens in a virtual band called Mudpit that are forced by a sudden hit single to balance their off-line teen lives with their virtual world stardom.

Kalish was hired by Burbank-based Tom Mazza, executive vp and head of worldwide TV, who was brought in last year to broaden Cookie Jar's programming into U.S. network series and syndicated fare after the Toronto-based producer acquired the global brand management group Dic Entertainment for $83 million in 2008.

Cookie Jar, best known for its animated kids series,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Disney Xd renews 'Aaron Stone'

Disney Xd renews 'Aaron Stone'
Disney Xd has renewed its flagship show, the live-action adventure "Aaron Stone," for a second season and picked up the new comedy "Viper Slap."

"Slap" is about a teenage boy (Logan Miller) who is living his dream as the new lead guitarist of his favorite '80s rock band, Viper Slap, while helping them on the comeback trail.

The project, from Icm-repped creators Michael Kaplan and Ron Rappaport, marks the first multicamera comedy series for the boy-centric Disney Xd, which launched in February after the rebranding of Toon Disney.

Disney Channel senior vp Adam Bonnett, who oversees development and current series for Disney Xd, said his team had been looking for a "Hannah Montana"-type music-flavored comedy vehicle for boys and found it in "Slap."

"It represents a fresh way to approach a music-driven concept that targets boys," he said.

Production on "Slap," exec produced by Kaplan and Richard Gurman,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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