Romance taking a comic turn

Fox catches Kutcher's 'Grandpa' pilot

Ashton Kutcher is turning his real-life relationship with Demi Moore into a sitcom — sort of.

Fox has made a pilot commitment to the tentatively titled “30 Year Old Grandpa,” a half-hour laffer from scribe Holly Hester (“The Drew Carey Show”) about a young man who marries an older woman and becomes the stepfather to kids nearly his age.

Kutcher, Jason Goldberg and Karey Burke will exec produce for 20th Century Fox TV via the trio’s Katalyst Television shingle. Hester will write the pilot and exec produce the series.

Katalyst also has set up a reality pilot at Fox and is working on several other scripted projects at various broadcast networks. Development comes in the wake of Burke joining Katalyst as a partner earlier this year (Daily Variety, July 14).

“Grandpa” will be set in Chicago and won’t include any of the showbiz trappings involved in the Kutcher-Moore romance. Indeed, according to Burke, idea for the project actually began as a much different concept.

“It started out as an idea about a mother and daughter having kids at the same time,” she said. “It then dawned on us that the guy’s point of view on this was the comedy hook.”

“Grandpa” will now tell the story of a 30-year-old club owner who ends up marrying a successful fortysomething businesswoman. Not long after the wedding, the couple discovers they’re expecting a child, while the woman’s 22-year-old unmarried daughter announces she’s pregnant and plans to move back home to raise her baby. Meanwhile, the woman’s youngest daughter — who had been living with her dad — decides she wants to move in with her mom and stepdad.

“It becomes a very modern, messy look at an extended American family,” Burke said.

So while the show will share some things in commons with Kutcher’s situation, it won’t be anything close to a comic expose on his marriage to Moore.

“Grandpa” also will explore the generation gap between the two female leads. While the mom is a career woman who raised two kids, the eldest daughter is happy to put a promising architectural career on hold in order to focus on her child.

Fox also has given a pilot commitment to an unscripted project from Katalyst that also has a family skew.

Dubbed “Parenteen,” skein is designed to tackle some of the same parenting issues addressed in ABC’s “Supernanny,” but with a focus on teenagers. “It’s a handbook for both parents and teens (to help) navigate those difficult years,” Burke said.

Fox and Katalyst are keeping mum about the details of “Parenteen,” which would be produced by 20th sibling Fox 21.

Also at Fox, Katalyst has set up an untitled drama script from scribe Trent Jones that revolves around a man with seven siblings who marries a woman with an even larger family. Project’s based on Jones’ own experience with wife Francie Calfo, ABC’s head of development.

Over at ABC, Katalyst has set up the provocatively titled laffer “Daisy Dooley Does Divorce.” Ben Wexler (“Still Standing”) and Anna Pasternack are writing the pilot, which is based on a series of newspaper columns for Blighty’s the Mail.

Project, a comedic drama with serialized storylines, will chronicle the post-divorce love lives of an ensemble cast. Michael Engler (“Sex and the City”) is aboard to exec produce and direct the pilot, while John Peters is also set to exec produce.

Touchstone and 20th will co-produce.

ABC is also developing an untitled Katalyst drama script from Mark Lord about a fictitious community where single parents and kids go after the parents divorce. In the absence of strong parental units, the teens of the neighborhood form a loose urban tribe of their own.

Kutcher, Goldberg and Burke serve as exec producers on all Katalyst Television projects.

Katalyst is one of the producers on the WB hit “Beauty and the Geek” and recently snagged a series order from the Frog for the “Amazing Race”-like unscripted project “Fountain of Youth.”

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