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Chubby Skinny Kids in VARIETY

Mar 16, 2015

Endemol Slates Scripted Shows
Studio developing projects at four networks


Reality powerhouse Endemol USA is stepping up its efforts to expand into scripted programming, setting up projects at four networks and inking a pair of talent holding deals.

Under recently appointed division topper Jeremy Gold, the Deal or No Deal studio is developing hourlong projects at FX and the CW, with half-hour comedies in the works at ABC Family and TBS. Concepts range from a horseracing-themed family drama to a high-concept laffer about an accidental fairy godfather.

Talent inked to holding deals include comic Mike Pace and the improv troupe Chubby Skinny Kids.

Gold said Endemol is looking to come up with ideas that grab attention in the manner of Fear Factor and Big Brother, which put Endemol on the map as a reality player in the States.

'The goal is for our scripted shows to be as noisy as our unscripted projects,' he said.

And since Endemol is part of an international conglom, the company is looking for ideas with export potential.

'We look for universality to a concept so it could work well within the entire Endemol universe,' Gold said. 'I already have interest in several projects from other territories.'

Gold's boss, Endemol USA topper David Goldberg, said he expects to partner with other studios on some projects but is also willing to stake his own coin on certain ideas.

'If the (financial) number isn't astronomical, and we think there's international appeal, we'll do some deficit financing of projects,' he said. 'It'll be case by case.'

Goldberg said Gold -- who came to Endemol last year from his gig heading up comedy at Fox -- has made 'nice progress' setting up Endemol's first slate of scripted ideas.

'He's been successful in attracting some good talent,' he said.

'The strategy and expectation was to introduce ourselves to the community, get Jeremy armed with some development resources and then unleash him.'

Gold's staff includes Jordan Feiner and Sean Loughlin, who serve as manager and coordinator of scripted programming, respectively.

On the comedy front, Endemol has sold Larry Godfather to ABC Family. Penned by Mark Palmer (Kim Possible), the ensemble comedy revolves around a 21-year-old guy who discovers that while he appears to be human, he's actually a fairy godfather.

'He's lived all his life thinking he was a human, but he was switched at birth,' Gold said. 'He's part of the next generation of fairy godmothers. The older ones are being put out to pasture.'

For TBS, Endemol is developing a multicamera half-hour about a no-B.S. Southern judge who balances her busy career with a crazy family life. Brian Hargrove, exec producer of the Fox laffer Titus, is writing the pilot script.

Meanwhile, the FX project is a family drama set at Churchill Downs amid the world of thoroughbred horseracing. Bruce Marshall Romans is writing the pilot for the show, which is loosely based on his own family.

At the CW, Joe Livecchi (She Spies) and Ann Hamilton (Grey's Anatomy) created Nanny Dallas, a comedic drama revolving around four families and their four nannies. Pilot, to be written by Hamilton, is set in a gated community in Dallas.

The CW considers the project part of its early slate of 2008 development and could make a pilot pickup over the summer if it decides to go forward with the project.

As for its talent deals, Endemol inked Chubby Skinny Kids after seeing the group's sitcom script We Are Internet Millionaires. Group consists of Upright Citizens Brigade vets Dan Gregor, Doug Mand and Adam Pally.

'Their brand of comedy is youthful, a bit self-deprecating and a little bit dangerous,' Gold said. In addition to securing their acting services, Endemol also has inked a blind script deal with the trio.

Paceis a standup from the Midwest who's done extensive touring and has appeared in several TV shows, including Curb Your Enthusiasm. Pace will be paired with another writer to develop a half-hour based on his family life. Management shingle ROAR is attached to exec produce.

'He's got a great voice that he's honed over years of performing comedy,' Gold said. 'He has a lot to talk about.'

While Endemol USA's scripted slate is mostly filled with originals, Gold said he's also looking to import some ideas from other Endemol outlets around the world.

'We're developing in both directions,' he said.
NY General

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Steve Guttenberg @ UCBT! - May 24

Mar 16, 2015

INSIDE JOKE

with Steve Guttenberg!


A cross between Charlie Rose and This Old House, minus the interruptions and power tools, Inside Joke answers the question "What makes people laugh?" without ever asking it.

Past guests at Inside Joke include Mike Myers, David Cross, Stephen Colbert, the Al Franken & Tom Davis reunion, Adam McKay, Bob Odenkirk and Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson of The Kids in the Hall, among others. Need more? See inside-joke.com for details.

Hosted by Carl Arnheiter.

This month's guest is Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy, Short Circuit, Cocoon, etc.)

"In a perfect world, Inside Joke would be seen by millions on Comedy Central." -Joe Grossman, Time Out NY

'The simple setup of Inside Joke, two chairs facing each other on a bare stage, reflects the refreshing candor of its concept: a conversation about the art of comedy with some of its best practitioners. At first glance, it might resemble an Inside the Actor's Studio for comedians, but Carl Arnheiter's ease with his guests is far more entertaining than James Lipton's awe-inspiring pretension and obsequiousness. Of course, the guests are a lot funnier, too.'
- The Onion


NY Shows

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Eliza Skinner is: Shameless in TIME OUT NY

Mar 16, 2015

Show review

Eliza Skinner Is: Shameless


****


Lingering onstage during most theatrical performances is the silent scream of actors begging, "Look at me! I'm pretty! Love me!" Eliza Skinner Is: Shameless succeeds where other one-person comedies wouldn't even go: Instead of simply concealing it, Skinner puts raw, repellent desperation front and center. Through a collection of stand-alone scenes, she portrays three attention-hungry women recklessly manipulating those around them.

The tragedy makes for vivid comedy. Both in her writing and in her nuanced performance, Skinner wrenches humor from awkward circumstances and cringe-inducing comments. Karen, an overbearing modern-day mom, hopes to impress her daughter's new African-American college roommate by letting her feel her boob job. After giving up on the venture, Karen suffers through several moments of silence before offering, "I loved Martin Luther King-so sad about that. You know what happened, right?" Then Debra, a young mother in search of her youth, seduces a 14-year-old neighborhood boy in her minivan. After slowly, erotically and hilariously consuming a Go-Gurt, she suddenly spins around to scream, "Shut up, Amber!," revealing the toddler who's been in the car seat all along.

Rather than simply mocking these poor souls, Skinner imbues them with pathos and roots out the sources of their sadness-at times, to touching effect. Still, as the actions of Amy, the boy-crazy party girl, suggest in the show's final moments, these women will never find resolution; no amount of love could ever be enough. It's the process of asking for it they feed on-ah, actors. In other words, do look at Eliza. She is pretty. And you will love her.
NY Shows

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