Comedy, Jennings prep game
Comedy Central is teaming up with gameshow impresario Michael Davies for a top-secret quizzer starring “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings.
Davies and Jennings will exec produce the project. Should the skein receive a full series commitment, laffer net will bow it as a 7 p.m. strip — a time period execs have been looking to revive for years. Last high-profile occupant was “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” also produced by Davies.
Comedy Central execs are still working with the pair to refine the concept for the show, which could premiere as early as the fourth quarter.
Programming head Lauren Corrao was mum on the various ideas floating around, but she said Jennings would not simply serve as host.
“He’ll be sort of a co-host and a participant,” said Corrao, quickly dismissing comparisons to “Ben Stein,” in which Stein hosted and competed against contestants. “We’re still working on it, but I can say the tone and conceit of the show are very different from ‘Ben Stein.’ Michael and I are trusting in Ken’s gut because he’s the gameshow guru.”
Said Davies: “The greatest thing about the Ken Jennings development is that it hasn’t been rejected by anyone else, and that it features a software engineer from Utah. As to the format, I’m giving nothing away. Except it might feature questions … and answers.”
Lou Wallach will serve as executive in charge of production for Comedy Central.
Jennings spent six months and scored $2.52 million on “Jeopardy!” He has since appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “The Late Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Live With Regis and Kelly” and “Sesame Street.”
Davies, head of Embassy Row, exec produces “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” His credits include “Wife Swap,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and “Studio 7.”