SMELLS LIKE PILOT SEASON
Emmy winner Camryn Manheim is testing out her comedic chops in a pilot for the WB, while Mark-Paul Gosselaar has landed his first post-“NYPD Blue” gig, and Natasha Henstridge has been cast in ABC’s “Pros and Cons.”
Also Wednesday, Fox has ordered the comedy project “Dirtbags,” from Will Gluck, Matt Boren and Doug Segal. Comedy reps the first pilot to come out of the net’s Creative Writer Development and “Naked TV” programs. And UPN greenlit the pilot “Wingwoman.”
Manheim will star in the WB project, which comes from scribes Anne Flett Giordano and Chuck Ranberg, as the single mother of three kids. Pilot presentation follows Manheim’s character as she relocates to soccer mom suburbia.
Eric and Kim Tannenbaum will exec produce alongside Flett Giordano and Ranberg for Warner Bros. TV and the Tannenbaum Co.
Manheim scored the Emmy for her portrayal of Ellenor Frutt on “The Practice.” Her other recent credits include guest spots on “Strong Medicine” and “Two and a Half Men.”
Gosselaar, meanwhile, has been picked to play the lead, Michael, in Fox’s untitled wedding chapel pilot from scribe Jeffrey Lieber.
Hourlong project revolves around a brother and sister who operate a wedding chapel in Las Vegas. Warren Littlefield has come on board to exec produce the Spelling TV pilot, along with Lieber, Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent.
Gosselaar spent the last several seasons as Det. John Clark on “Blue.” His other credits include “Hyperion Bay,” “D.C.” and “Saved by the Bell.”
Littlefield is also behind “Wingwoman,” which he’ll exec produce with Adam Chase (“Friends”), Mark Burg and Oren Koules (“Two And A Half Men”) for Paramount Network TV and the Littlefield Co. and Evolution Entertainment.
Project follows the exploits of a woman who helps men talk to other women.
Henstridge (“Species”) will star as Charlie on “Pros and Cons,” the Touchstone/Bad Robot drama about ex-criminals who work inside the FBI. J.J. Abrams, Raven Metzner, Stu Zicherman and Thom Sherman exec produce.
Henstridge’s other credits include “The Whole Ten Yards” and the series “She Spies.”
As for “Dirtbags,” laffer revolves around twentysomething pals in a blue-collar Boston suburb. Gluck (“Luis,” “Method & Red”) will exec produce with Boren and Segal.
Concept was originally staged at “Naked TV,” a partnership between Fox and the Naked Angels Theater Co. (Daily Variety, Feb. 23).
“When I saw the play, I was floored by how original the world was and how well-defined the characters were,” Gluck said. “It became clear that whatever the medium, Matt Boren and Doug Segal are incredible storytellers and have the passion and talent to make something great.”
Twentieth Century Fox TV is producing the laffer. Separately, Gluck is also exec producing another sitcom pilot with Pam Brady for Fox.
With the success of last year’s crop of “Naked TV” performers, Fox announced last month that it had renewed its deal with Naked Angels. This year, freelance journalist Tony Horkins, novelist Veronica Chambers, director Segal and playwrights Patricia Cotter, Evan Smith and Aida Croal are all creating concepts for a “Naked TV” showcase this April.
SMELLS LIKE PILOT SEASON