News Briefs: Conan O'Brien Sold a Comedy Project to Fox

By Tim Surette

Jan 03, 2013

SLOW NEWS DAY HEADLINE NEWS

... Conan O'Brien's Conaco production house has sold a new comedy project to Fox. Bob's New Heart Show follows a young doctor who undergoes a heart transplant and has a change of, err, heart with regard to his hard-partying lifestyle and decides to move back to his hometown and head up a small practice. The project's creator, Ben Wexler, is currently a staff writer for Community's fourth season. But then again he also wrote on Nikki. [TV Guide]


BUSINESS TIME

... Starz is co-producing Crime, a drama from writer William Monahan (The Departed) about bad guys in 1960s Britain. If Crime makes it to series, Starz would have North American broadcast rights. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Al Jazeera has acquired Al Gore's Current TV, giving the Qatar-based news network a foothold in the American media circus. The company is expected to rebrand the channel as Al Jazeera America and produce original content out of New York. CNN just pooped its pants. [NY Times]


CASTING NEWS

... Jerry O'Connell has joined the cast of the untitled CBS pilot about four dudes, several of them divorced, who live in a short-term rental complex following upheaval in their lives. O'Connell will play Stuart, a gynecologist who's on divorce number two. Also staring are Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub, and Chris Smith. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Sandra Bernhard is guest-starring on ABC's The Neighbors. Yeah, that sounds about right. [TV Line]

... Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has booked My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos and Lost's Harold Perrineau for guest roles. Look for them in the back-to-back episodes ending January and beginning February. [TV Guide]


SAD NEWS

... Patti Page, the singer who parlayed that job into a career on television, has died at the age of 85. Page sang the hits "Tennessee Waltz" and "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window" and later hosted The Patti Page Show on NBC. [NY Times]

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  • KevinG87 Jan 05, 2013

    uh yeah, that Jerry O'Connell show is basically TV Land's The Exes, even has the same character basically, just substitute dentist with gynecologist..

  • fweak Jan 03, 2013

    I thought Current TV couldn't get any worse...until I read that Glenn Beck almost bought the network. Anyone else fondly remember "pods", Supernews and Infomania?

  • smorbie Jan 03, 2013

    yeah, it's so much better that Al Jezeera bought it. In case you don't know, that's sarcasm.

  • kanniballl Jan 03, 2013

    Wow, I'm torn. I was ready to write off that untitled CBS pilot with Jerry O'Connell based on the description alone. BUT, it has Tony Shalhoub! Tony Shalhoub has entertained me a LOT more than dissapointed me. Heck, the only time I didn't like his work was his role in the "Spy Kids" franchise.

    So if he took this TV role, then I have to wonder if there's more to this project than meets the eye. Sure, it's possible he picked poorly but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Plus, Kal Penn is worth a laugh and Jerry has been decent.

  • Writerpatrick Jan 03, 2013

    Conan doesn't have the best track record for his sitcoms so I wouldn't expect his new one to last, should it even get picked up.

  • dragon22a Jan 03, 2013

    And in future knews Jerry O'Connell's show has been cancelled. I like his work but all shows seem to fail with his name attached, sitcoms especially, no matter how good they actually are.

  • kanniballl Jan 03, 2013

    Yeh, I mean even the Munsters reboot failed before it got out of the gate. Which is a shame because it was quite decent.

    It's like he has one of those curses. He's not a bad actor, his comedic roles have been quite solid and even his bit on Sliders was good.

    But I don't know if he chooses poorly, has bad agents, or angered some Norse god back in college. But outside of Sliders and Crossing Jordan he hasn't had a lot of success with TV.

  • dragon22a Jan 03, 2013

    Honestly, I think that Mockingbird Lane failed not because it was a bad show, but because it was a reboot and changed many things from the original Munsters. If the original Munsters never existed, if we had never known those characters before, I think that the show would have been better received. It was the expectations set by the original series that may have done the new one in.

    Carpoolers was a pretty good show and I think it would have been a success. Unfortunately it was a casualty of the writers strike.

  • DavidJackson8 Jan 03, 2013

    Yes to Carpoolers. I remember quite liking the show.

  • kanniballl Jan 03, 2013

    True, but they never got the chance: the series was essentially cancelled before the pilot ever aired. Then they aired the pilot offering the *slight* chance that if enough people liked it that they might pick it up. I have a feeling they'd already made up their minds and would take insane ratings to change them.

    It's possible that your argument still holds: perhaps some test-audience or the execs saw the pilot months prior and said "too different, drop it"

    But, just the fact that it failed to even launch out the gate speaks towards bad luck more than too different. Had they just terminated it after 2-3 episodes due to viewer response I could see that. But here it was like the network woke up after a night of drinking and said "DO NOT WANT"

  • kanniballl Jan 03, 2013

    This comment has been removed.

  • EsmeBuffay Jan 03, 2013

    Good for Conan, he's a nice guy and pretty funny usually, his game reviews are absolutely hysterical.

  • Taccado Jan 03, 2013

    Maybe Conan should produce a nature documentary instead...about a masturbating bear.

  • darkitp Jan 03, 2013

    NBC would buy it give it a whole season and cancel it next morning ..

  • FringeFanatic Jan 03, 2013

    I was hoping for a creepy Duchovny to ring in the new year, Tim.

  • IndianaMom Jan 03, 2013

    Nice shout out to Patti Page. Her show was even before my time.

  • Akyriel Jan 03, 2013

    At least O'Connell isn't going to continue with the Munsters reboot. He performance was awfully dry and boring in that, which was surprising, as he can be a little too much in things.

    What's Nikki?

  • kanniballl Jan 03, 2013

    I think he did alright, he wasn't super dry... he was playing it more as a normal guy. While everyone else, who were born supernatural, were amping up the personality.

    He has comedic chops, the fact he played it so mellow leads me to believe it was either requested that way or he chose that way for the character.

  • dragon22a Jan 03, 2013

    Nikki was a sitcom in early 2000's starring Nikki Cox. She played a Las Vegas showgirl married to a independent professional wrestler.

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