TV Land adding original sitcoms

TV Arts


TV Land orders up pilots
Network branches out into original programming

TV Land is in the market for homegrown sitcoms.

Viacom cabler is venturing into the arena of original scripted series
for the first time, giving cast-contingent pilot orders last week to
two projects, one from Sean Hayes' Hazy Mills shingle, the other from
sitcom vets Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel.

TV Land is hoping to have as many as three original laffers ready to
roll by July after it adds reruns of "Everybody Loves Raymond" to its
slate of vintage sitcoms.

Most network and basic cable laffers target adults 18-49, but TV Land
prexy Larry Jones sees an opening for the cabler to deliver
traditional multicamera yuks to a slightly older demographic, adults

"It's a natural progression for us," Jones told Daily Variety.
"There's not that many (original) shows being made for the audience
that comes to us for our classic sitcoms. It's a format that our
viewers are very comfortable with."

It's also welcome news in the creative community, where comedy series
gigs have been in short supply on the major nets. The cabler has
fielded nonscripted originals for several years, but the expansion
into scripted marks a sizable financial commitment from Viacom.

TV Land began canvassing for projects earlier this year and wound up
developing nine scripts. There's a chance that it may roll the dice on
a third pilot, Jones said.

"Hot in Cleveland" comes from scribe Suzanne Martin ("Frasier") and
Hazy Mills Prods., headed by Hayes and Todd Milliner. Pilot revolves
around three fortysomething femme friends from L.A. who wind up stuck
in Cleveland and decide to stay there when they realize the locals
consider them glamorous.

"Retired at 35" follows a successful businessman who leaves the Gotham
rat race for his parents' Florida retirement home. Chris Case ("Reba")
penned the pilot and will exec produce with Schultheis and Hanel.

Casting familiar sitcom faces will be key to generating attention for
the new shows, Jones said. The plan is to pepper the new shows into TV
Land's primetime lineup and promo them as worthy companions to
"Raymond" and TV Land's other sked anchors, "Roseanne" and "The Cosby

"We have great lead-ins" for launching laffers, Jones said. "But we
know the bar for our shows is very high."
Yes! Multi-cam! And I want a laugh track or live studio audience.
Too many sitcoms today are made by pretentious auteurs who forget that
they're supposed to make us laugh.
Little Larry Jones, rumored to often play with his 3" tweeter while
pursing through little boy nudist mags, has thumbed his nose at TV
Land's core audience who STILL want the old classics from the 50's and
60s to the extent they have lost 25% of their former viewers. He has
been a DISASTER for TV Land! He POLLUTED the station with such VILE
garbage as "Chasing Farrah" "Tickled Pink" a homo show, "That's What
I'm Talking About" negros bad mouthing "whities" was the theme here,
and "I Pity the Fool" starring that moron from "The A Team" who only
had one line, "I pity the fool!" and had a really bad hair
cut....forgot the fools name. 5 years ago TV Land was a top cable
station, in the top 15, but now they are even lower in ratings than
"The Food Channel" or many infomercials. They STINK! And little Larry
Jones is why. AVOID!!!!