Hollywood Notes

Nov 25, 2002  •  Post A Comment

”Grounded for Life” is switching networks. The sitcom, currently airing on Fox, will move to The WB early next year. The WB has picked up six new episodes of the family comedy, starring Donal Logue and Megyn Price, and has gained rights to repeats. Fox will air new episodes of the series, which has been frequently pre-empted from its Tuesday 8:30 p.m. time slot, in December and January. The earliest The WB can air the series would be right after February sweeps. While The WB has yet to schedule the series, it seems to be a good fit with the network’s family-oriented Friday night comedy block.
Fox had ordered 13 episodes of ”Grounded for Life” from producer Carsey-Werner-Mandabach for this season, with the option to pick up the back nine. When Fox decided not to pick up the back nine, the studio received permission from the network to shop the series around, which led to the deal with The WB, according to several sources. “Grounded for Life” has averaged a 5.1 Nielsen Media Research rating and 16 share in its key demographic of persons 12 to 34, ranking No. 15 in the demo out of all network shows. It is averaging 8.3 million viewers so far this season.
Fox officials won’t comment on what will take “Grounded’s” place on the schedule, but there has been much speculation that Fox will slate the second season of ”American Idol” on Mondays at 9 p.m., making the Tuesday 8:30 p.m. time slot a logical place for the half-hour ”American Idol” results show.
Hit British series comes to ABC
Granada Entertainment USA has partnered with Touchstone Television to bring the hit British series ”Cutting It” to ABC. It will be written by Mark Perry (”Party of Five,” ”Law & Order”) and directed by Jon Turteltaub of Junction Entertainment (”While You Were Sleeping,” “Phenomenon”). Mr. Turteltaub, Mr. Perry and GEUSA’s Ann Johnson will act as executive producers. “Cutting It” is set in the world of hairdressing in Atlanta.
ABC plans `Hot’ reality series
ABC is readying a new reality series called “Are You Hot?” from Mike Fleiss, the executive producer and creator of “The Bachelor.” The new series will give viewers the chance to choose the hottest man and woman in the nation. The six-episode series, from Mr. Fleiss’ Next Entertainment in association with Telepictures Productions, is slated to air on ABC in 2003. “Are You Hot” was developed by Mr. Fleiss and “The Bachelor’s” co-executive producer, Lisa Levenson. Mr. Fleiss is the executive producer.
UPN orders more sitcom episodes
UPN has ordered three additional episodes of Monday sitcoms “The Parkers” (8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., ET) and “Girlfriends” (9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), bringing the total order for each show to 25 episodes for this season. The network has also ordered one additional episode of its sophomore Monday comedy “One on One” (8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and its freshman Monday sitcom “Half & Half” (9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.), increasing each series’ season order to 23 episodes.
WB plans reality surfing series
The WB Television Network will kick off summer 2003 with “North Shore,” a reality series that will follow seven professional surfers who live together in a beach house in Hawaii while battling each other in a surfing competition. The series will consist of six one-hour episodes and is produced by Basic Elements.
Maher gets HBO talker
Bill Maher is returning to television in a new late-night one-hour HBO talk show. The show, debuting Feb. 21, has a 20-episode commitment. “Politically Incorrect,” Mr. Maher’s political talk show on ABC, was canceled earlier this year. The new series will be produced by HBO in association with Brad Grey Television. The executive producers are Brad Grey, Bill Maher and Marc Gurvitz.