'South Park' duo to pick up pieces for film

NEW YORK — Comedy Central has canceled its satirical sitcom “That’s My Bush” after only eight half-hour episodes, but the creators of the show, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, plan to transform it into “George Bush & the Secret of the Glass Tiger,” a theatrical movie.

Stone told Daily Variety that he and his partner, who write and produce Comedy Central’s hit series “South Park,” have scheduled pitch meetings next week with executives at Paramount and DreamWorks. Stone said he’s using as one of his models “Police Squad,” the failed 1982 ABC sitcom that became the hit 1988 movie “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad” and two theatrical sequels, “Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear” (1991) and “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult” (1994).

In the series “That’s My Bush,” Parker and Stone conceived George W. Bush as the bumbling husband in a domestic sitcom who just happened to be president of the U.S.

“But in the movie, we’re going to turn him into a superhero who battles the enemies of the country, in this case the Chinese,” Stone said. “We want it to look like a John Woo action movie.”

Comedy Central prevented Parker and Stone from using Bush’s twin daughters as characters in the series, a restriction Stone said he and Parker chafed at. The twins will be front and center as party animals in the movie, Stone said, adding that they’ll get kidnapped by the Chinese, fueling Bush’s drive for revenge.

Stone said Comedy Central canceled “That’s My Bush” because, at a production cost of just under $1 million a half-hour, it was the most expensive series ever commissioned by the network.

To stay afloat, “Bush” would have had to generate a Nielsen rating of at least a 4.0 in cable homes, he said. The 1.7 rating “Bush” did deliver for its eight originals was almost triple the 0.6 rating Comedy Central averages in primetime, but it just wasn’t good enough.

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