Scribes Bill Martin and Mike Schiff (“Grounded for Life”) have inked a two-year, seven-figure deal at Warner Bros. TV to develop and produce new sitcoms.
Martin and Schiff are set to exec produce the upcoming season of “Grounded” while simultaneously creating projects for Warner Bros. TV. “Grounded,” which Carsey-Werner-Mandabach produces for the WB network, enters its fourth season this fall.
It’s still unclear whether Martin and Schiff will remain with the show after next year; that will largely depend on the success of the duo’s Warner Bros. TV development. And even though it doesn’t produce “Grounded,” the studio has a vested interest in the show’s continued health: Not only does it air on sib network the WB, it leads into Warner Bros. TV’s frosh laffer “All About the Andersons.”
“They have an obligation, both emotionally and contractually, to help service the series they created,” said Warner Bros. TV prexy Peter Roth. “We’re happy to both embrace their services on that show and eventually be able to work with them in development.”
Martin and Schiff said they haven’t yet determined where to head with their development, which the studio said will likely be targeted for the WB.
“We’re keeping everything open; I have several half-formed vague thoughts in my Palm Pilot,” Schiff said. “Hopefully, they’ll go from a germ of an idea to a disease.”
Roth said the deal reps a reunion of sorts with the scribes: He was at 20th Century Fox TV when Martin and Schiff wrote for the studio’s sketch laffer “In Living Color.”
“I’ve been fans of them for many years,” Roth said. “Bill and Mike are very unusual and uniquely talented producers. They’re also two of the funniest people I know, and they’re extremely well-organized, very methodical showrunners.”
Martin returned the compliment, noting that both sides had always shared a mutual admiration, even when the scribes didn’t work with the studio chief.
“I like his hugs,” Martin said. “He makes them feel natural.”
Martin and Schiff originally created “Grounded” for Fox, where the show debuted in 2000. The laffer, which stars Donal Logue and Megyn Price as young parents, moved over to the Frog last midseason.
The CAA-repped scribes were most recently set up at Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, where they created “Grounded” and also exec produced “3rd Rock From the Sun.”
The duo spent nearly ten years at indie Carsey-Werner-Mandabach.
“Coming from the last of the independent studios, we’re going to miss them,” Schiff said. “Warner Bros. TV is a bigger company, but Peter really sees to keep it personal in that same way.”
Besides “In Living Color,” Martin and Schiff wrote for sketch comedy skeins “She TV” and “House of Buggin’.”
“This is a great ‘get’ for our company,” Roth said. “We’ve been tracking and wanting to be in business with them for some time.”