Peacock hopes to lift ‘Cursed’

Katlin, Bernstein dumped; show could be pulled

NBC’s new Steven Weber comedy “Cursed” may be just that.

The Peacock has fired the show’s exec producers and is threatening to pull the ATG-produced laffer from its fall lineup unless ATG replaces them with former “Friends” scribe-producer Adam Chase.

Mitchel Katlin, who is repped by Endeavor, and Nat Bernstein were told late Friday that they were being dumped as showrunners, effective immediately.

Only two episodes of the program (including its pilot) had been lensed, but Peacock execs who had seen advance scripts were not satisfied with the show’s creative direction and ordered ATG to make a change at the top.

What’s more, NBC execs have strongly suggested that “Cursed” will not make its scheduled Oct. 12 debut unless ATG installs Chase as showrunner. Studio inked a lucrative development deal with Chase and was hoping to have a new series from him to shop to networks for 2001-02.

In any case, there’s a good chance “Cursed” will halt production for at least a few weeks to allow for a transition to a new showrunner.

NBC and ATG execs were negotiating a deal for Chase late Monday evening; industry insiders expected an agreement would be reached.

If not, pushing “Cursed” to midseason remains a legitimate option. Show is skedded to air in one of NBC’s best timeslots (8:30 p.m. Thursday after “Friends”), and Peacock execs aren’t anxious to put another bomb in the slot.

NBC has two series that could slide into the slot: a Kristen Chenoweth laffer from Paramount and the NBC Studios comedy “Three Sisters.” A decision would have to be made soon to allow time for NBC to hype the replacement series during its upcoming Olympics coverage.

NBC’s preference remains launching “Cursed” with Chase on board for the fall, Peacock insiders said.

“Cursed” has been troubled from the start, undergoing several changes in direction (and name) since NBC ordered the show in May.

Katlin and Bernstein’s other credits include writing for “Doogie Howser, M.D.” and “The Gregory Hines Show.”

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