NEW YORK — The WB Network continues its quest to beef up comedy development, inking veteran film writer/director Harold Ramis to a two-pilot, seven-figure production deal.
Ramis, who most recently wrote and directed the mob comedy hit “Analyze This,” will exec produce pilots for both a half-hour comedy and an hourlong drama for the Frog net. It’s also possible Ramis will write one or both of the projects, though nothing has been finalized.
Skeins are being targeted for the 2000-2001 season. Deal guarantees two pilots will be produced, but does not include any episodic commitments.
Ramis is said to be particularly keen on the hour project, which will be set in the Chicago school system and is based on a concept Ramis, a Windy City native, has been developing for several years. Because of Ramis’ comic background, there’s a good chance the hour will mix elements of comedy and drama.
The half-hour sitcom may focus on a college town and is being developed with producer Arnie Rissman.
Ramis has written some of the most successful and enduring comedies of the past two decades, including “Ghostbusters,” “Animal House,” “Meatballs,” “Caddyshack,” “Stripes” and “Groundhog Day.” The sequels to “Ghostbusters” and “Caddyshack” were also penned by Ramis.
He also served as helmer on “Groundhog Day” and “Caddyshack,” as well as “Multiplicity” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”
And he acts, too
As a thesp, Ramis has appeared in the first season of “SCTV” and nearly a dozen films, including both “Ghostbusters” pics, “As Good as It Gets,” “Groundhog Day,” “Baby Boom” and “Stealing Home.”
Ramis is currently directing the pilot for the potential HBO laffer “Lloyd: What Happened,” based on the Stanley Bing novel of the same name.
Deal was brokered by CAA.