Oxygen and ‘Slut’ consummate deal

Lonow to pen laffer set to premiere in April

On the heels of “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance,” the Oxygen network and Carsey-Werner-Mandabach have partnered to produce “My Best Friend Is a Big Fat Slut,” the cabler’s first original scripted series.

“Big Fat Slut,” created by scribe Claudia Lonow (“Less Than Perfect”), is a half-hour comedy about a pair of Minnesota twentysomethings who move to L.A. in search of the Hollywood life.

Half-hour laffer, set to premiere in April, reps CWM’s first foray into cable. Producers own a stake in Oxygen Media with co-founders Geraldine Laybourne, network chair-CEO, and Oprah Winfrey.

“Claudia has captured a tone that depicts modern single people of today. We like to think of this series as ‘Friends,’ uncensored,” CWM’s Caryn Mandabach said. “It’s funny, relatable and did we say funny?”

Oxygen programming president Debby Beece said the series’ over-the-top characters fit perfectly with the cabler’s programming.

“Oxygen likes to be playful, and our focus is on funny and heartfelt comedy — we’re not interested in drama or melodrama,” Beece said. “This show builds on the network’s sense of humor seen in shows like ‘Girls Behaving Badly’ and ‘Ab Fab.'”

Oxygen is aggressively ramping up its scripted projects with three hourlongs and two half-hours in development, as well as two potential original movies. Cabler also has ordered four reality pilots in hopes of finding a companion show for its hidden-cam series “Girls Behaving Badly.”

“We’re trying to get more sophisticated programming and more originals on the air. … This show is everything we love — it’s edgy, young and outrageous,” Beece said.

“Big Fat Slut” stars Bree Turner (“Bring It On Again”), Joy Gohring (“Not Another Teen Movie”), Kevin Christy (“Love Don’t Cost a Thing”), Brent King (“Without a Trace”) and Nicole Hiltz (“Cold Case”).

CWM produces “That ’70s Show,” “Whoopi,” “The Tracy Morgan Show,” and “Game Over.”

Oxygen is available in 49 million homes.

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