Gutierrez & Burroughs still to o'see laffer, create projects
“Still Standing” creators-exec producers Joey Gutierrez and Diane Burroughs are still standing at 20th Century Fox TV after sealing a seven-figure overall deal at the studio.
Under the two-year pact, which includes an option for two more years, Gutierrez and Burroughs will continue to oversee the CBS laffer. The duo also will eventually create projects for 20th.
“Still Standing” was Gutierrez and Burroughs’ first pilot; previously they cut their chops on series including “Yes, Dear,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Martin” and “Murphy Brown.”
The coming year will be critical for “Still Standing.” Not only is it entering its third season — bringing it within striking distance of off-net syndication (where the magic number is 100 episodes, or about four seasons) — but the show moves to 8 p.m. this fall, leading off the Eye’s key Monday night sitcom lineup.
With the show about to face those tests, 20th execs made sure to lock up Gutierrez and Burroughs to keep their stewardship of the show intact. Twentieth Century Fox TV prexy Gary Newman said the writers had created a “genuine hit” in “Still Standing.” The skein stars Jami Gertz and Mark Addy as blue-collar parents in Chicago.
“It’s a funny and relatable family comedy that has clearly struck a chord with a broad audience,” Newman said.
Gutierrez and Burroughs said they don’t plan to make many changes to the show next season.
“Every year in some ways the show becomes a little easier, but it also becomes a little trickier trying to do something you haven’t done before,” Gutierrez said. “We don’t want the show to stall at this point. We’re opening the night for CBS, which is a big responsibility.”
The duo said they don’t plan to shy away from edgy storylines — such as an episode last year that revolved around a child with a large penis.
“As long as it’s done well, CBS doesn’t shy away from any of that,” Gutierrez said.
The writers, who are repped by CAA, said they’re not in a rush to develop new material. Given the depressed sitcom environment, Gutierrez and Burroughs said their priority remains keeping “Still Standing” going.
“When we named the show ‘Still Standing,’ we didn’t know how appropriate that would be, as the entire comedy environment has changed,” Burroughs said. “We’re concentrating on making this launch a strong one.”