Donald Petrie (“My Favorite Martian”) is in negotiations to direct Sandra Bullock in the Castle Rock Entertainment/Village Roadshow co-production “Miss Congeniality.” Petrie will replace Hugh Wilson (“The First Wives Club”), who exited the project last week over creative differences (Daily Variety, Feb. 24).
Warner Bros. will release the comedy, in which Bullock portrays an FBI agent who goes undercover as Miss New Jersey at a beauty pageant in order to thwart the efforts of a group that threatens to bomb the event. Production on “Miss Congeniality,” slated for a holiday release, is expected to begin by the end of the month.
Petrie’s helming credits include “Grumpy Old Men” and “Mystic Pizza.” He is repped by the William Morris Agency.
– Dana Harris
Salt Lake’s KSL damns ‘God’ toon
Hell hath no fury like NBC’s Salt Lake City affiliate, which has refused to air the web’s upcoming animated series “God, the Devil and Bob.”
KSL-TV VP and general manager Al Henderson said the station decided to preempt “God” because it “was not very funny.”
“We didn’t think it was written well,” Henderson said. “We found some of the humor tasteless.”
Henderson said the show wasn’t pulled by KSL owner Bonneville Intl. — which is owned by the Mormon church — due to religious concerns.
The exec said he knew the station might be accused of censorship. “We don’t apologize for setting a standard in what we believe in,” he declared.
KSL has frequently been a thorn in NBC’s side: The station didn’t air another animated sitcom, “Stressed Eric,” last summer, and hasn’t run “Saturday Night Live” since acquiring the network’s affiliation.
NBC has signed with local WB affil KUWB to air “God” Saturdays at 10 p.m. KUWB already runs “SNL.”
“I’m a little bit in shock,” said “God” exec producer Matthew Carlson. “I do know with some people, anytime you do anything about God they’ll be upset.”
– Michael Schneider
UPN’s ‘Shasta’ may spawn spinoff
UPN’s “Shasta” has become the show that just won’t die.
It’s one of the lowest-rated skeins of the season. Critics were appalled by its raunchy humor. Show’s best asset — its bizarre yet catchy original title, “Shasta McNasty” — was clipped this midseason.
Nonetheless, the weblet has considered developing a “Shasta” spinoff for next season starring two of the show’s regulars: Jake Busey (best known as Gary Busey’s son) and Verne Troyer (best known as “Austin Powers’ ” Mini-Me). The duo would play bartenders.
The final episode of “Shasta” would serve as a pilot to the as-yet unnamed spinoff. “Shasta’s” creative team, including exec producers Neal Moritz, Richard Gurman and Jeff Eastin, would be behind the new show.
Sources say the project is a long shot, and that Columbia TriStar is less than eager to keep the “Shasta” franchise going. Besides, it’s pretty rare for a spinoff to rise from the ashes of a failed show — although it’s happened before: Anybody remember Fox’s “Open House,” the sequel to its short-lived “Duet”?
– Michael Schneider