Hollywood Notes

Sep 9, 2002  •  Post A Comment

‘Spy TV’ contestant sues NBC, Endemol
One alleged “victim” of NBC’s “Spy TV” failed to see the humor in the series and has filed a lawsuit with the superior court of California against NBC and Endemol for, among other things, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and fraud. The unwitting contestant claims that she was sent on a fake temp assignment in which her exasperated “boss” received news of his wife’s leaving, an IRS audit and a police arrest. She claims these incidents injured her nervous system and person due to the shock of the program’s “trick.” The event took place last October, and the damages requested by the plaintiff have yet to be determined. Studio spokespeople could not be reached for comment.
Fremantle plans more reality fare
FremantleMedia announced last week that after the success of Fox’s “American Idol,” the company will continue to expand its North American programming activities with such fare as “Date Squad,” “Real Life Adventure” and “Man vs. Beast” as well as season two of “Idol.” In addition, the company named Jason Daniel head of drama development for FremantleMedia, North America, and he will be responsible for the United States expansion and development of drama programming for FremantleMedia.
`Tucson’ SAP-enabled
The WB has joined forces with Big Ticket Television, the series producer of its comedy “Greetings From Tucson,” to broadcast the Hispanic-American family sitcom with a second-channel Spanish-language audio track. “Tucson,” which premieres in the 9:30 p.m.-to-10 p.m. (ET) Friday time slot Sept. 20, will have The WB working in conjunction with its local affiliates to provide Hispanic viewers the opportunity to watch and listen to the new comedy in Spanish via Second Audio Programming (SAP). Seen through the eyes of 15-year-old David (Pablo Santos, “American Family”), “Tucson” is an autobiographical comedy created by Peter Murrieta about the challenges of growing up in an ethnically mixed, upwardly mobile family.
Breuer inks a Comedy Central deal
Comedy Central has inked a multifaceted deal with comedian Jim Breuer that includes a commitment to shoot a pilot for a half-hour sketch/variety show by the end of the year. Other elements of the deal include sponsorship of “Jim Breuer-The Lighten Up Tour,” his national stand-up tour, which kicks off Sept. 22, and the release of both “Smoke `n’ Breu,” his new comedy CD, and “Jim Breuer: Hardcore,” the DVD of his recent one-hour Comedy Central special. Both the CD and the DVD will be released by Comedy Central Records.
NBC Studios hires Steinberg
Dawn Steinberg, who has been serving as casting director on the midseason comedy pilot “Couplings,” has been retained as a casting consultant for NBC Studios. In her new position, Ms. Steinberg will continue to work on “Coupling,” a new sitcom based on a British series about six “30-something” singles who are in various stages of romantic involvement with each other. The project is a production of NBC Studios and Reveille Entertainment, the latter of which was recently formed by former William Morris Agency network series packager Ben Silverman. Ms. Steinberg previously served as executive in charge of all NBC Studios casting for the fall 2002 pilot season.
TNN’s `Taboo’ gets 40 more episodes
The New TNN has picked up 40 episodes of “Taboo,” a half-hour game show set to premiere in first quarter 2003. The show, based on the Hasbro board game, is produced by Radio … With Pictures. Brian Hersch, creator of the board game, will serve as an executive producer.
TBS launches `Movie Break’
TBS Superstation is launching “The Movie Break,” its latest weekly hosted movie franchise. “TMB,” which debuts Oct. 3 with “Disclosure,” the 1991 drama starring Michael Douglas and Demi Moore, and will feature entertainment news and be hosted by Mike Siegel (“Payback,” “24”) and Lesley Ann Machado (“Latin Access,” “Noticias 41” in New York).