Studio, Katalyst set to crash TV
New Line is bringing “Wedding Crashers” to television, walking down the aisle with “Punk’d” producer Katalyst Films to create a hidden-camera reality take on the comedy feature.
NBC has hitched itself to the concept, ordering six hourlong episodes for a possible 2007 midseason bow. Jon Kroll (“Amish in the City”) will exec produce for New Line Television, with Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg and Karey Burke exec producing for Katalyst.
Goldberg, who was showrunner on “Punk’d,” will take on the same role with “Crashers,” working closely with Kroll. Also involved: New Line director of development Erin Cristall and Colleen Hall, who’s just joined Katalyst as the company’s new VP of alternative programming.
Kroll, exec VP of New Line Television, said the studio began thinking about a TV take on “Crashers” even before the movie’s release. After figuring out some details about how to transform the feature into a TV show, New Line quickly sought out Katalyst.
“We asked Katalyst if they could use their evil ‘Punk’d’ powers for good,” Kroll told Daily Variety. “We came to them with some structural elements and then they went crazy on how the (show) would work.”
Idea of “Crashers” is not to embarrass the bride and groom but rather unleash a series of comic stunts and pranks that will make the event memorable for them and their guests.
“If you watch the first 20 minutes of the movie, you’ll understand the tone of the show,” Burke said. “It takes a rite of passage that everyone’s familiar with and puts a lot of twists on it.”
Producers wouldn’t discuss specifics of just how the show would work, though they said there will be a “Punk’d”-like troupe of improv actors who will play different characters who crash various weddings. Goldberg said he sees the show “as an 8 p.m. family comedy,” with just a bit of edge — more like Katalyst’s CW skein “Beauty and the Geek” than “Punk’d.”
“Every single person in this country has either been married or been to a wedding, so it’s a completely relatable show,” he added.
NBC alternative chief Craig Plestis said “Crashers” fills a hole in the Big Four’s current reality lineup.
“There’s hasn’t been a truly good hidden-camera show on network TV … since (NBC’s) ‘Spy TV,’ ” he said. “That show just made you laugh, and that’s what ‘Wedding Crashers’ will do.”
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, who starred in the feature, won’t be involved in the TV version. Project was co-packaged by William Morris and Endeavor, with Julie Shapiro overseeing for New Line.
Project will be produced outside of Katalyst’s overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV’s Fox 21, which is loaning out the company for “Crashers.” In exchange, 20th will get a stake in the show’s international and format rights.
As for new Katalyst hire Hall, she comes to the company from Sci Fi Channel, where she was director of reality. She’s a former producer on “The Swan” who’s also done shows for E! and Style.
Burke and Goldberg said they needed to add Hall because of Katalyst’s increasing volume of production.
“We were looking for someone with taste and instincts, and she has both,” Goldberg said.