Goldberg’s ‘Champs’ Answers Opening Bell For DreamWorks

Producer Gary David Goldberg is developing the first project to be dreamed up under the auspices of DreamWorks SKG – a comedy pilot starring “thirtysomething’s” Timothy Busfield for ABC.

Goldberg is writing the show, “Champs,” which will go toward fulfilling ABC’s 13-episode commitment to the producer. It’s the first product generated under DreamWorks’ novel programming partnership with Capital Cities/ABC, which includes jointly financing programs and sharing in revenues – including those from advertising once a show reaches its third season.

DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg referred obliquely to a Goldberg-ABC project during a question-and-answer session in January without providing specifics. A candidate for next fall, the show will focus on a group of longtime friends who played on a championship basketball team together in 1973. The pilot will be shot in April, with Will Mackenzie directing.

Basketball also figures prominently in Goldberg’s other series, a preexisting CBS show about a high school girls team. That project also has been absorbed under the DreamWorks banner via the producer’s overall TV and feature deal.

Goldberg – whose television credits include “Family Ties” and “Brooklyn Bridge” – said he’s developing a romantic comedy feature with the Katzenberg-Steven Spielberg-David Geffen troika as well. The director of “Dad,” Goldberg also wrote (with Brad Hall) and produced “Bye Bye, Love,” a Matthew Modine-Paul Reiser-Randy Quaid comedy that 20th Century Fox will release this month.

Since “thirtysomething,” Busfield has appeared in several movies and telefilms, also starring in ABC’s short-lived drama series “The Byrds of Paradise.”

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