USA gets a handle on ‘Candles’

Newman, Merryman to pen TV sequel to Hughes pic

USA Network is planning a class reunion for Sam, the Geek and the rest of the “Sixteen Candles” alumni.

Cabler and “Blue Crush” producers Buffy Shutt and Kathy Jones are developing “32 Candles,” a sequel to the 1984 John Hughes comedy.

Shutt-Jones Prods.’ Ken Holdren will also produce.

Universal Pictures’ original starred ’80s teen queen Molly Ringwald as an angst-ridden teen who suffers through a birthday from hell and Anthony Michael Hall as her geek suitor. John Cusack and Edward Andrews also starred.

Scribes David A. Newman and Keith Merryman will pen the project , set 16 years after the original. Telepic will pick up around Samantha Baker’s 32nd birthday with updates on the whereabouts of Farmer Ted and Long Duk Dong.

‘Comfort movie’

“Sixteen Candles” is a “film that anyone who’s Gen X on down has seen a hundred times. It’s like a comfort movie,” Merryman said. “We just freaked out when we were approached to write it.”

“We’re all so concerned about getting it right because it’s such a beloved property,” Jones said.

No word yet on whether any of the original stars will be approached for the special should USA greenlight the project. Hall stars in the net’s signature series “The Dead Zone.”

“Our goal is to pay homage to as many of the original characters as possible,” Newman said. “Who wouldn’t want to write this?”

(Dana Harris contributed to this report.)

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