Duo to give birth to reality skein
Weller/Grossman Prods. and Quirk Books (“The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook”) are giving birth to a new reality skein.The Emmy-winning producers and the publishing house are teaming up to develop a small-screen version of Quirk’s upcoming “The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips and Advice on First-Year Maintenance.” Written by Louis Borgenicht, M.D., and Joe Borgenicht (“The Action Hero’s Handbook”), book is an irreverent take on the traditional infant-rearing guide. Exec producers Robb Weller and Gary Grossman are finalizing details of how they’ll bring the book to TV. However, Grossman said the goal is to launch a series that would mix elements of traditional informational shows with some of the trappings of more recent reality skeins. “It’s sort of Dr. Spock in a reality TV setting,” Grossman told Daily Variety, referring to the legendary child care expert. “But we’re not going to vote any babies off the show.” Weller/Grossman development exec Seth Grahame-Smith said that in many ways “raising a baby is like being on a reality show. There’s conflict, fear, triumph and physical challenges.” Debbie Supnik, director of development for Weller/Grossman, said the show also will deal with “the strife between parents as they raise a baby. It’s not just about their interaction with the baby.” Weller/Grossman will begin pitching the concept to potential buyers within the next few weeks. Grossman said he hopes each season of the show will follow a different set of parents and babies, using the families to help bring to life the advice contained in “The Baby Owner’s Manual.” “We want to give people the straight poop,” Grossman said, pun clearly intended. Weller/Grossman has produced programming for a slew of cable and broadcast networks since its inception 10 years ago. Net won an Emmy for its Food Channel skein “Wolfgang Puck,” and currently produces programming for NBC, A&E, USA, Sci Fi, Discovery, ESPN, Court TV and HGTV, among others. Quirk’s “Worst-Case Scenario” was the basis for TBS’ weekly series of the same name. Deal for “Baby Owner’s Manual” was brokered by attorney Roger Armstrong.