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Parachute, Viacom bring ‘Fear’ to TV

Viacom Prods. has inked a development deal with Parachute Entertainment to produce a primetime series based on bestselling author R.L. Stine’s books “Fear Street” and “Ghosts of Fear Street.”

The show is being created for midseason 1997-98 or for the 1998-99 TV season, according to Viacom Prods. presi-dent Perry Simon. Stine will be actively involved in script development for the series. The show is the first prime-time program created under the Parachute banner in association with Viacom Prods.

Karl Schaefer (“Eerie, Indiana,” “Strange Luck”) will create and executive produce the series. Schaefer already has an overall development deal with Viacom Prods. Also on board are Parachute Properties CEO Joan Waricha as an executive producer along with Parachute Entertainment president Jane Stine, who is also the author’s wife.

In an example of cross-media promotion, Viacom’s Pocket Books, which publishes the “Fear Street” and “Ghosts of Fear Street” books, has agreed to publish titles concurrent with new episodes in support of the series.

Some of the shows may be based on stories in Stine’s previous works that could be re-released, while original scripts could be issued as a novelization, according to Waricha.

The series will be about a family living on Fear Street and the quirky things that go on in the neighborhood. Simon said the show will have “the blend of humor and scariness that is distinct to his work.”

This is Stine’s second recent foray into television. On the kids programming front, the Fox hit “Goosebumps” is based on his work.

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