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Pilots land in sand

Fox toons in desert, Lopez goes to 'Beach'

“Rugrats” producer-animator Chuck Swenson is teaming with scribe Brian Lynch for an animated family comedy set up at Fox Broadcasting.

Meanwhile, UPN has made room for Jennifer Lopez, who’s cooking up the drama pilot “South Beach,” along with Tony Krantz (“24”), Philip Levens (“Smallville”) and her manager, Simon Fields.

Swenson and Lynch’s project will revolve around a 31-year-old divorcee and father of three who moves his family back into his parents’ home. Fox has made a pilot presentation commitment to the laffer, which came out of alternative studio Fox 21’s deals with both management/production shingle Benderspink and Swenson.

Swenson said he had the idea for the show after taking part in Fox’s Naked Angels alternative development showcase earlier this year.

“The show’s set in the near desert of California, that area that used to be a hellhole you drove through but is now a hellhole with rows of tract homes and strip malls,” he said. “It’s the very fringe of Los Angeles. It’s a weird juxtaposition of generations and climate that plays into this idea of trying to go back home and pick up the pieces.”

Swenson said the show will contain elements of physical comedy that lend themselves to animation.

“It steps outside the mold of a traditional four-camera sitcom,” he said.

Emmy-winner Swenson, who was the creative producer on Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” for the hit show’s first three season, is also a former VP at Klasky Csupo. Lynch is a feature scribe who’s sold projects to Warner Bros., Fox and Artisan.

Meanwhile, “South Beach” reps Lopez’s latest stab at TV. Drama will follow the exploits of three young adults who wind up living in the sexy and dangerous world of Miami (Daily Variety, Dec. 8, 2004).

Paramount Network TV is producing the UPN pilot, along with Lopez’s Nuyorican Prods. and Krantz’s Flame TV. Lopez, Krantz, Fields and Levens will exec produce. Levens’ other credits include “Wolf Lake.”

Lopez and Nuyorican last season held a first-look deal with Regency TV and Fox TV Studios; singer-actress developed a series at NBC several years ago loosely based on her upbringing.

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