Eye net on board for LMNO’s pet project

Pilot puts animals to the test

LMNO Prods., the company behind reality series “Kids Say the Darndest Things” for CBS and “Guinness World Records” for Fox, has sold CBS a one-hour pet reality special that will serve as a series pilot.

The special, tentatively titled “Pet I.Q.,” is described as “Pets Say the Darndest Things.” The special/pilot could turn into a Friday midseason companion to “Kids Say” or “Candid Camera.”

“The special is about comedy and pets; we’ll probably have a segment called ‘How Smart is Your Pet?’ ” said Eric Schotz, CEO of LMNO Prods. “The two hottest characters on TV right now are the ‘Frasier’ dog and the ‘yo quiero Taco Bell’ dog. This will be a mixture of comedy, reality and heart.”

While CBS Entertainment president Nancy Tellem recently said the networks have exceeded the balance when it comes to newsmags and reality shows, “Kids Say” and “Candid Camera” are solid Friday performers for the Eye web, and if something else fails, reality shows are a decent stopgap.

LMNO Prods. has benefited from the increasing reliance on inexpensive reality shows at the webs, and Schotz said the next step is to expand into dramas and longform programming, perhaps with stories adapted from those featured in the reality series and specials.

“We have a unique opportunity to get rights in the fiction world,” Schotz said.

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