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Wayans seals deal with CBS

Keenen Ivory Wayans, creator of the Fox Broadcasting series “In Living Color, ” has entered into a partnership with CBS to form a joint venture that will develop and produce TV programming.

The pact appears to be structurally similar to that recently forged by Brillstein/Grey Entertainment with ABC: The company will be positioned as a separate entity equally owned by Wayans’ Ivory Way Prods. and CBS Inc. That’s a breakthrough for CBS, which recently signed its first overall deal, through inhouse production arm CBS Entertainment Prods., with “Dave’s World” producers Jonathan Axelrod and James Widdoes.

The agreement consummates CBS’ long courtship of Wayans. The web appears to be trying to broaden its reach with the sort of programming and new talent it hopes the star-producer can attract.

Wayans’ manager, Eric Gold, will be active in running the new venture, but it will also have its own exec and development staff.

Because it’s a first-look arrangement, the Ivory Way-CBS partnership could also generate programming for other outlets. Creative Artist Agency, which signed Wayans last May, put together the deal.

Wayans ended an overall deal with Twentieth TV on a sour note in December 1992. The dispute stemmed largely from Fox Broadcasting’s multiple primetime airings of “Living Color”–“strip mining” the series’ syndication value, in Wayans’ eyes.

In addition to his Fox series, Wayans produced, directed and starred in the feature “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and is doing another writer-director-star turn in “A Low-Down Dirty Shame,” a Caravan Pictures/Disney production targeted for fall ’94.

Wayans is the eldest sibling of a showbiz family that includes brother Damon, next to be seen in the feature “Blankman,” and brothers Shawn and Marlon, who are currently headlining a Warner Bros. TV pilot for NBC. All of them appeared on “In Living Color,” along with sister Kim.

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