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TBS Gets Real With `Gilligan’s’

Apr 26, 2004  •  Post A Comment

TBS is embracing comedy with a new version of a classic sitcom.
TBS last week presented its new identity-tbs very funny-to ad buyers and showed off reality shows that will join the off-network sitcoms on its schedule.
Even before shooting the first episode of the first season of a reality version of “Gilligan’s Island,” Steve Koonin, executive VP and chief operating officer for TBS and TNT, announced TBS is ordering a second season of the show, executive produced by Mike Fleiss.
The familiar “Gilligan’s” theme song will be heard on TBS in December, when the first season of the new “Gilligan’s” premieres. “Gilligan’s” second season, with fresh castaways, is scheduled to air in June 2005. Advertisers S.C. Johnson, which makes bug spray and other products, and Verizon have signed up for product placement.
TBS’s first new reality show is “Outback Jack,” which drops a bevy of city girls in Australian bush country to compete for an Aussie hunk. TBS is also retooling the house-giveaway program “Home Rules” as a Saturday morning show tentatively titled “The Fix.” Mr. Koonin said it attracted more viewers on Saturday mornings than in prime time and had the benefit of being very advertiser-friendly.
Mr. Koonin is also in charge of TNT, the drama channel. At TNT, senior VP Michael Wright has been assigned to oversee development of recurring series in addition to original movies and miniseries. The network has eight to 10 series in development and hopes to have three pilots ready by late summer.
TNT is also planning an original movie about Evel Knievel.