Inside Move: Mel’s TV work’s Icon-ic

Gibson's 'Savages,' 'Hill,' bat boy drama generate buzz

After dominating the box office this spring, Mel Gibson’s career as a TV producer is looking just as hot.

His Icon Prods., which he runs with Bruce Davey, produced three pilots this year — and as of Monday, all three remained in the mix at their respective networks, according to various sources.

As with all pilot buzz, that could very well change as nets examine final testing results and examine their sked needs. But as of now, Gibson’s shows are all buzzworthy.

At ABC, Icon and Universal are teamed on “Savages,” an unapologetically masculine half-hour — directed by Gibson — best described as “My Five Sons” meets “Home Improvement.” UPN’s “Kevin Hill,” from Icon and Touchstone, stars Taye Diggs — a fact that’s made the show a frontrunner since it was cast.

And over at CBS, execs are notorious for keeping a lid on buzz, but the Icon/Spelling drama about a Yankee bat boy is said to have many fans at the Eye.

While not impossible, the odds of all three Gibson shows getting ordered for fall are long. Still, insiders expect Gibson to get one, if not two shows on the air next season.

Other buzzings Monday:

  • UPN’s Charisma Carpenter laffer, from Paramount and the Littlefield Co., is said to have screened particularly well. Skein’s about a brother/sister odd couple.

  • “Jonny Zero,” the “Equalizer”-like hour from “ER” team John Wells and Mimi Leder, is heating up at Fox.

  • Monday, we reported the Marsh McCall/Joel Stein laffer at ABC was on several shortlists. Never mind.

  • Schedule Scenario of the Day: With “Joey” red-hot, NBC might feel secure enough to move “Will & Grace” to Tuesdays. (To which naysayers reply: Over the dead bodies of the Peacock sales staff, who would hate to take the financial hit such a move might entail.)

  • An oft-heard reaction around town to ABC’s Jennifer Love Hewitt comedy? “What’s up with J. Love’s pitch-black hairdo?”
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