'Fockers' scribe joins golf club laffer
“Meet the Fockers” scribe Jim Herzfeld has landed a rich pilot commitment from NBC for a half-hour comedy set at a Los Angeles country club.
Imagine Television’s Brian Grazer and David Nevins will join Herzfeld as exec producers on the project, which will be produced under Imagine’s overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV. Peacock has backed up its pilot commitment with a hefty penalty.
It’s the first TV project from Herzfeld since he wrote “Meet the Parents” and last year’s successful sequel, “Meet the Fockers.” Combined, two pics have grossed $845 million worldwide.
Herzfeld told Daily Variety he’s basing the show on his own experience during his 20s, when he worked at the Bel-Air Country Club while attending film school at UCLA.
“Country clubs are like a great microcosm of society, and I got a good glimpse of that,” he said, adding that he plans to “mine a lot of that for laughs.
“I tell the stories at cocktail parties, and people laugh,” Herzfeld added. “If that works on a grand scale, then great.”
One of the main characters in the untitled show will be a Midwestern transplant who ends up working at the club.
“It’s an outsider’s perspective on L.A. and L.A. society,” Nevins explained.
Herzfeld said he’s been sitting on the idea for the NBC show for years, ever since he worked on the short-lived 1993 CBS laffer “The Trouble With Larry.” Work on various features, as well as Herzfeld’s desire to spend more time with his family, put the project on the backburner.
Now that he’s back in television, this time as a creator, Herzfeld said one of his goals is “to do a good show where the people who work on it can still have a life.”
He’s also looking forward to collaborating with other writers again after the relatively solitary lifestyle of a feature scribe.
“Unless the avian flu hits,” he said. “Then I’m going to lock myself in for six months, work only on features and order food in from delivery.”
Nevins said he’s not the country club type.
“But I’ve always found them to be this weird and slightly fascinating microculture,” he said. “I’ve also played golf with (NBC Entertainment prexy) Kevin Reilly, and I can vouch for his skills.”
CAA-repped Herzfeld is at work on “Toy Story 3” for Disney, and has at least one other film project in the works.