Disney cross-pollenates nets with series
Roseanne Barr’s really cooking now, landing a 13-episode pickup at ABC Family to host a food-centric variety show.
Here’s the rub: “The Domestic Goddess Hour” is actually an offshoot of Barr’s upcoming untitled ABC reality series. Barr and R.J. Cutler (“American High”) will exec produce both series.
Call it the ultimate bout of synergy between Disney sibs ABC and ABC Family. The Alphabet reality show, expected to launch this July, will follow the comedian as she pitches “Domestic Goddess” around town.
The reality show, which may also get a secondary run on ABC Family, will even document the moment when Barr sells “Domestic Goddess” to ABC Family senior VP Linda Mancuso.
Then, when the ABC reality show ends its 13-episode run, ABC Family will immediately launch “Domestic Goddess” — perhaps even on the same night.
“To have very distinct personalities on our schedule is one way to get people over here,” Mancuso said. “Roseanne doesn’t get much better than that. On a weekly basis it will become a mini-event. She’s an unpredictable personality.”
Although viewers of the ABC reality show will see Barr (who recently re-adopted her original last name) and company pitching the show to a wide variety of networks, the ABC Family pickup had an obvious synergistic fit.
“The network decided to pick up this show, and we saw an opportunity to grow that and take it to the next level,” said ABC Family prexy Angela Shapiro. “We talk about it all the time, co-developing or working on sequels (with ABC).”
Cutler said the “concept of the (ABC) reality show from day one has been this adventurous idea that would tell the story of Roseanne’s return to TV in another show.”
Indeed, when Cutler first met with Roseanne last summer, comic said she wanted to do a reality show about another show, rather than a simple “Osbournes”-style doc about her life.
Not surprisingly, “Domestic Goddess” will not be a typical cooking show or gabfest. The show will feature Barr as she cooks with famous chefs, meets with celeb guests and features in-studio musical performances.
“The show is conceived of as cooking and food and lifestyle show for real people,” Cutler said. “It’s been called the anti-Martha Stewart.”
The ABC skein, meanwhile, promises to hold special interest for many in the TV industry since it will include many “Larry Sanders Show”-style cameos from network execs and agents repping both Cutler and Roseanne. One UTA rep is likely to get a big chunk of airtime.
“Roseanne’s representatives will be well-represented,” Cutler said. “New stars will be born.”
If ABC’s Roseanne show does well, the first season of “Domestic Goddess” will serve as the backdrop for a second season of the ABC reality show. Besides UTA, Jeannie Newman packaged the deal.
“This deal represents the best kind of synergy,” said ABC Entertainment prexy Susan Lyne. “The kind that comes about simply because it makes the most sense for everyone involved.”
Cutler’s Actual Reality Prods. has a full slate in the works over the next few months.
In addition to the two Roseanne starrers, UTA-repped Cutler is exec producing the Showtime docu skein “Going to College,” which will begin a 10-week run this September. Cutler sees the series as a sort-of follow-up to his Emmy winning Fox/PBS skein “American High.”
Also expected this summer is Cutler’s “The Residents,” a four-hour unscripted mini for TNT dealing with young doctors.