‘Grounded’ at WB

Frog gives firm commitment to ex-Fox show

HOLLYWOOD — The WB has given an early pickup to its recently acquired comedy “Grounded for Life,” ordering a full 22 episodes for next season.

Since joining the Frog this February, the Carsey-Werner-Mandabach laffer has held on to a solid 99% of its Friday night “Reba” lead-in. “Grounded” was cut loose from Fox in the fall after net decided it didn’t have room for the family oriented sitcom.

WB comedy co-senior VP Mike Clements said the net hoped the early greenlight would give “Grounded’s” exec producers a jump on recruiting its writing staff.

Earning renewal

“Not only from a ratings standpoint but from a pure creative standpoint the show deserves the pickup,” Clements continued. “We were real fortunate that this show became available. We got a show we loved and the kind of family show we wanted to do here at the WB.”

The net had ordered six segs of “Grounded” this season, as well as the rights to eight more unaired Fox episodes. “Grounded,” which launched in January 2001, produced 50 episodes at Fox.

By the end of next year, 78 segs of “Grounded” will have been produced — bringing it one step closer to eventual off-net syndication.

Safe course

“We have been plucked from the shoals of death and it’s great,” said Bill Martin, who exec produces the show with Mike Schiff. “It’s hard to believe it was only four months ago we were (trying to save the show).”

Martin said “Grounded” finally enters a fall season without huge question marks over its head. “This season will be fun, we know we’ll have a good timeslot and people will leave us in that slot.”

“Grounded” stars Donal Logue and Megyn Price as a thirtysomething couple that got married and had kids while still teenagers themselves.

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