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Lorimar TV, Sony fly high with fall pilots

Lorimar TV and Sony Pictures Entertainment divisions Columbia Pictures TV and TriStar TV appear to be the most prolific suppliers of prime time pilots for next fall, according to an early roster of more than 80 series aspirants obtained by Daily Variety.

Among projects not previously mentioned on that list are “The Good Policeman, ” a Columbia drama for Fox Broadcasting Co. starring and exec produced by Ron Silver; and a Norman Lear pilot for CBS, “Blatchford House,” to go with Lear’s previously uncovered Eye network hopeful “704 Hauser Street,” about a family moving into the address formerly occupied by Archie Bunker.

The Lorimar roster of more than a dozen pilots includes “Divas,” about a group of girl singers from exec producer Thomas Carter; a sitcom about couples living in an apartment building, with a possible series commitment, from the “Dream On” team of Marta Kauffman and David Crane; and previously reported sitcoms (Daily Variety, Feb. 16) that would star Faye Dunaway, James Garner and Teri Garr.

Universal, Paramount and Disney are also turning up prominently on the early pilot breakdowns, as well as independents like Reeves Entertainment and Spelling TV. However, most suppliers are reluctant to discuss pilots, which are of scant value unless they generate series pickups.

The networks will make pilot presentations to advertisers next month and announce their fall schedules in May.

As usual, a number of standup comics will be featured in sitcom vehicles, among them Sinbad (produced by Disney, for Fox), John Caponera (Disney, NBC), comedy duo the Mommies (Paramount, NBC), Ellen DeGeneris (Disney, ABC), David Chapelle (Disney, ABC), Kevin Meaney (HBO Independent Prods., ABC), Jeff Foxworthy (MTM/CBS Entertainment Prods., CBS) and Dom Irrera (HBO, Fox).

Other performers in pilot vehicles include Faith Prince (TriStar, CBS), Fran Drescher (TriStar, CBS), Carol Burnett (Brillstein/Grey, CBS), Harvey Fierstein (CBS Ent. Prods.), Peter Scolari (Par, Fox), Andrew Dice Clay (Columbia, ABC), Steve Guttenberg (Par, with a series commitment from ABC), Jasmine Guy (TriStar, NBC), Kenny Rogers (NBC), John Larroquette (Witt-Thomas, NBC), Kelsey Grammer (Par, NBC), George Wendt (NBC) and Gene Wilder (NBC Prods.).

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