3 Arts renews HBO pact

Management and production company 3 Arts Entertainment has renewed a first-look arrangement with HBO Independent Prods. and revved up its television production slate with four pilots ordered and a half-dozen other projects in the works.

The company, which produces the Fox Broadcasting Co. series “Down the Shore” in association with HIP, has been most active dealing with Fox, including a previously reported pilot starring Richard Lewis (a 3 Arts client) and Don Rickles that’s proceeding under the working title “My Son the Bastard.”

In addition, Fox has extended a six-episode pickup to the 3 Arts-HIP collaboration “Hollywood Boulevard,” starring comics Dom Irrera and Felicia Michaels, produced by “Roc” creator Stan Daniels. Several other series are in development for the weblet.

The 2 1/2-year-old 3 Arts has also broadened its base with a pilot for next season to star Lauren Tom as an entrepreneur who, to market her product, teams up with the granny from hell, written by Pat Dougherty; and “Little Niagara,” a previously mentioned ABC sitcom vehicle for comic Richard Jeni from writer-producers Harold Kimmel and Russ Woody.

The lone series currently being developed by 3 Arts without HIP is a comedy for Howie Mandel in association with Castle Rock Entertainment, where writer-producer Alan Zweibel, of “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” has an overall deal.

The show would feature Mandel in a more conventional sitcom as the married father of three after a short-lived CBS summer variety show and his continuing Fox Children’s Network series “Bobby’s World.”

Michael Dinner and Tracy Torme (who wrote the just-released Paramount feature “Fire in the Sky”) are working on a novel marketing concept through HBO Independent Prods.: A post-apocalyptic Western movie that would air originally on HBO in advance of a possible hourlong series for Fox Broadcasting.

Other shows still in development include a Fox comedy about three generations of an Italian family working at a snooty country club, written and directed by “Midnight Run” scribe George Gallo; an on-the-road comedy, “The Runners,” from Gene Quintano, director of the recent movie spoof “National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon I,” also at Fox; and an animated series about black youths from the producer team of David Cohen and Roger Schulman (“Parker Lewis”).

According to 3 Arts partner Erwin Stoff, involvement in production has become “just another way of servicing the client” and a logical extension of the management business. Once a client is established, he added, if a manager doesn’t broaden his scope, “you take the chance of outliving your usefulness.”

Partners in 3 Arts are Stoff, Howard Klein and Michael Rotenberg, who merged his operation with Stoff and Klein after they hooked up in October 1990. Before that, Klein was at the Brillstein Co. and Stoff had been partnered in Elsboy Entertainment.

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