The former Fox Television Stations Prods, arm now known as Foxlab has concocted a mix of development projects encompassing kids, reality, talk and even dramatic concepts.
If the projects – designed to bolster the 7-year-old unit’s image as a producer of inexpensive, cutting-edge fare – make it out of the larval stage, the supplier responsible for “Cops,” “America’s Most Wanted” and “Studs” will be free to sell some of its 40 development projects to buyers outside Fox.
After moving into the Twentieth TV fold in April, Foxlab continues to focus most of its attention on reality and talk. But the senior VP in charge of the division, Brian Graden, is also flapping his wing in new directions.
The first dramatic project he has put into development is based on an underground sci-fi radio show in North Carolina.
And Graden is moving into the children’s arena with “Time Warped,” a live-action “Oklahoma!”-meets-“You Are There” series for Fox Children’s Network. The premise: An ensemble comedy troupe travels through time, its members portraying historical figures in a series of musicals.
Foxlab is looking to dive into the animation waters with “Southpark,” about a group of third-graders who solidify their friendships against the backdrop of a supernatural crisis.
Among its numerous talk and reality development projects, Foxlab has a crime magazine from “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh and his production company, Straight Shooter Prods.; “Firehouse,” a potential “Cops” companion series for Fox Broadcasting described as “a revealing look at the lives of real firefighters”; and a reality project for Fox Broadcasting from “The Thin Blue Line” filmmaker Errol Morris. Other reality shows on the Foxlab development plate include “Northern League,” a takeoff on MTV’s “Real World” but focused on minor league baseball players in St. Paul, Minn., and the horror series “Scary Planet.”
Its talk offerings encompass a show shot in an Orange County millionaire’s garage, an astrological entertainment series hosted by a popular British stargazer and “Get the Boot,” a project from producers Claude Brooks and former “Cosby” kid Malcolm Jamal Warner.
As previously reported, Foxlab is also producing the test series “Liars” this summer on several Fox-owned stations. Graden said a talk hybrid of “Liars” called “Drop the Bomb” is already in the works.
The Fox testing lab is also co-producing a talkshow with the former Tammy Faye Bakker (now Messner) and comedian Jim J. Bullock – “Tammy Faye and Jim J.” – in association with former Fox syndication president Michael Lambert’s Partner Stations Network, a consortium of midsize broadcast groups that test shows.