Phase Two taps Lemke for hourlong real-time thriller
“Wedding Crashers” helmer David Dobkin is walking down the small-screen aisle with former Fox Entertainment TV Group chairman Sandy Grushow.Duo are teaming with feature scribe Darren Lemke (“Boogeyman”) for “Crisis,” an hourlong real-time thriller in the vein of “24” and “Die Hard” that’s been set up at Fox Broadcasting. Net has attached a low- to mid-six-figure penalty to its script for the project, being developed for Dobkin to direct. “Crisis” will be produced via Grushow’s 20th Century Fox TV-based Phase Two banner, which has set up a laffer-heavy slate boasting nearly a dozen projects in various stages of development. Phase Two’s roster also includes a high-profile laffer from former “Everybody Loves Raymond” exec producer Steve Skrovan and an offbeat half-hour in which thesp Adam Goldberg (“Saving Private Ryan”) is set to play himself. As for “Crisis,” serialized drama will concern a terrorist takeover of a luxury resort in Miami’s South Beach district. Grushow, who greenlit “24” at Fox and also worked on the marketing for the original “Die Hard,” said it was no accident that the idea for the show originated inhouse at Phase Two. “We came back this year with a slightly clearer sense of how the game needs to be played,” Grushow said. “That means we have to be extremely proactive about generating homegrown ideas in the hope those ideas will attract quality writers. If you look at our slate, half of our shows are based on ideas that were self-generated.” Dobkin and Lemke had already quietly inked a deal with 20th, and it was the studio that hooked up the helmer-scribe team with Grushow. In addition to “Crisis,” Phase Two has sold four other projects to Fox, including the Skrovan laffer. Latter project is being built around standup Bill Burr and will focus on an unmarried 30ish man whose friends all seem to have married. After deciding to pursue a deal with Burr, Grushow played something of a waiting game when it came to landing Skrovan to pen the project. Scribe had been set to be one of the creators of a possible Brad Garrett laffer, but when that project went away, Skrovan was available to come aboard the Burr show. Grushow credited WMA, which reps both Skrovan and Phase Two, for putting the laffer together. Also at Fox: an untitled drama set in a high-end Beverly Hills animal hospital. Feature scribe Lou Berney (“Tangled Up”) is writing the pilot.Barry Safchik and Michael Platt (“Weeds”) are teaming for “Wacko,” a hybrid laffer based on Platt’s true-to-life experience keeping the peace between his mother and sister after his father leaves the entire family fortune in the hands of the certifiably insane mom. Fox has also bought the script for “Bust,” a single-camera half-hour about a single mom in Reno, Nev., who decides to apply her anger issues to the profitable field of bounty hunting. Michael Ross (“Andy Richter Controls the Universe”) is creating the show. Grushow will exec produce all of the projects, which were developed under the watch of Phase Two development head Paul Shapiro, director of development Jono Golding and manager Robin Harwood. In addition to the five projects sold to Fox, Grushow is also developing a trio of scripts on spec. That includes the Goldberg laffer, dubbed “The Assistant.” Bill Masters (“Seinfeld”) and Peter Cohen are developing the single-camera skein that explores the relationship between a neurotic, needy thesp — i.e., Goldberg — and his naive new assistant. Phase Two is also working on an untitled serial killer project from screenwriter Hannah Shakespeare, whose feature “Retribution” is set up at the Weinstein Co. Other spec project, “Last Man Standing,” is a hybrid relationship comedy from scribe Rob Pearlstein (“The Inside”). Elsewhere, Grushow has struck a deal with Eric Horsted (“The Boondocks”) for an animated laffer called “The Moonbeamers,” which follows a conservative American family in 2030 that decides to flee to a gated community — on the moon. Marc Wilmore (“The Simpsons”) is also set to write a half-hour hybrid laffer about a newly elected African-American mayor of Los Angeles. Phase Two has also optioned the Web-based toon “You Darn Kid,” pacting with creator Owen Dunn to develop a comedy based on his idea. Finally, company is working with what Grushow calls a “major national advertiser” on a brand integration project; details are being kept under wraps.
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