According to USA Today, NBC is set to announce that they've signed the actor to a development deal; under the deal, Washington will star in an action drama that he pitched the network, starting in the 2008-09 season. In the meantime, he will have a guest role on the network's upcoming remake of The Bionic Woman, playing a mysterious figure that will either help or hurt the main character, Jamie Sommers. He's signed for at least five episodes.
Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz, who both serve as executive producers on American Dad, have signed a development deal with 20th Century Fox TV.
The men won't have to leave American Dad under the deal, but will be allowed to develop new projects for the studio. Previously, the men worked on such shows as Two Guys and a Girl (which they co-created), Do Over and Like Family.
Why else would he start his own production company? To develop young talent, he told The Hollywood Reporter. In his job, he told the industry trade paper, "You meet everybody. You get to see every actor who is doing stuff, and you get to see the younger comedians on their way up. That is a natural symbiosis." The company, Green Mountain West, has already signed a development deal with CBS Paramount that gives his home network first-look rights at anything he develops.
Cedric is, of course, known for his comedy specials and Barbershop films, but did you know that Larry Wilmore is an on-air contributor to The Daily Show and consulting producer to The Office? Personally, I hadn't connected those dots before now. Combining these talents could add up to funny, but the failsafe stand-up material - airport anxiety - could go either way -- a welcome pressure valve letting off America's collective steam or groan-worthy security gags that just aren't funny the 100th time around.
For now, he'll still be doing Howard's show, because there is not sitcom vehicle imminent; but if a project does come along in ten months or so, he'll have to leave.
Alternately, you can just ask the husband and wife team of Gary and Julie Auerbach, creators of MTV's hit "reality" series Laguna Beach. According to Variety (registration required to see the entire article), they have signed a deal with CBS Paramount Networks to develop scripted comedies and dramas for the company. Apparently the company's president and vice president are big fans of Laguna, and like the fact that the reality series is being presented with the narrative arcs usually seen in scripted shows. They want a little of the reality element brought to scripted shows, and they feel the Auerbachs are the best people to do that.
My theory as to why they got the deal? See the first paragraph. Boobs. Gossip. Sand. Beach. It doesn't take a programming genius to see the money making potential here.
This isn't Singer's first TV venture; he was involved as an executive producer and director for House. Let's hope whatever pilot comes out of this deal is closer to the House aesthetic (and maybe that of Singer's first hit feature, The Usual Suspects) than the comic-book genre he's been involved with lately. We already have Heroes and Smallville; that's plenty for me.
Knowing that Spike Lee is creating a television drama is very exciting. I'm not sure how his work will translate onto television, but you can bet that whatever he comes up with will be thoughtful and poignant. At least, that's what I'm hoping. In the meantime, Lee is premiering a four-hour documentary on HBO on August 16th about the government's response to Hurricane Katrina.
(Ok, Schwimmer's pretty much fallen off the face of the earth since the show ended. But Kudrow's certainly been lower-profile than the other four.)
Most of what Kudrow's been doing is developing shows (including The Comeback) under her production company's banner for Warner Brothers. But now her company, Is or Isn't Productions, has signed on with NBC Universal in a two-year development deal. Kudrow and her partner Dan Bucatinsky will keep working on shows in the background, though Kudrow might star in one of them if the right project comes along. Nice. Sounds like she's doing a lot better job handling her post-Friends career than, say, Jennifer Aniston, no?
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