The remnants of what was Artists Television Group continue to scatter around Hollywood.
NBC Studios and Paramount Network Television are closing in on a deal to share the services of former “Friends” scribe Adam Chase, who is in the second year of a four-year, $14 million overall deal with ATG. Meanwhile, two ATG-produced series headed for the WB — “Cedric the Entertainer” and “No Ordinary Girl” — are barely clinging to life.
Officially, the Frog says it “still wants to do” both midseason player “Cedric” and summer 2002 contender “Girl.”
But industry insiders say that several studios, including Warner Bros. TV, have already passed on picking up both series. As a result, WB execs seem resigned to the fact that neither series will make it into production.
Nonetheless, “Cedric” may not be quite dead yet. Insiders close to the production said reps for the show’s producers are still in talks with a couple of studios about taking on production of the laffer.
As for the Chase pact, NBC Studios and Par had both actively lobbied to land Chase for themselves. NBC Studios was particularly keen since the Peacock web had an existing 13-episode commitment to Chase that emerged from Chase’s work on the short-lived “The Weber Show.”
But after several days of negotiations, the two studios now appear ready to partner to assume the remaining three years of his deal.
While the original pact was worth roughly $14 million, industry insiders believe ATG has already paid about half the cost of the deal, leaving NBC and Par to cover about $7 million over three years.
The ICM-repped Chase spent six years on “Friends,” starting as story editor and working his way up to exec producer; he started out his career as a writer on the short-lived comedy “Phenom.” He took over “Cursed,” renamed “The Weber Show,” after the series’ original showrunners bowed out.
(Michael Schneider contributed to this report.)