Tom Werner has inked a new deal with Warner Bros. TV that will keep him on the studio’s lot for two more years.
Former WB exec Mike Clements will continue to serve as prexy of Werner’s shingle, which remains geared toward finding new comedy hits in the vein of past Werner successes such as “Roseanne” and “That 70s Show.”
Toward that end, Werner and Clements have teamed with “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal on an idea for a family comedy. The most interesting aspect of the deal, per Werner, is that Rosenthal is “interested in performing” in the project, a traditional multicamera family comedy he wrote with “Raymond” colleague Aaron Shure.
Werner said Rosenthal and Shure wrote the family comedy pilot on spec. Project was quietly floated to the nets several months ago, but no sales resulted as nets focused on earlier development amid the pilot season rush.
Several nets remain interested, and meetings on the project are expected to take place shortly after the upfronts.
As for the new deal at WBTV, while Werner and Clements will continue to be exclusive to WBTV, their former partners — Eric Gold and Jimmy Miller — will not. Gold and Miller dissolved their management partnership last July.
Clements will continue to serve as president of what had been known as Werner-Gold-Miller. Werner emphasized that he’s still developing projects with Miller and Gold, and hopes to collaborate further with the manager/producers.
Werner said the shingle’s laffer projects fit within the mandate of what he and Clements are trying to do with the company.
“The reason we did this is, we still believe there’s an appetite for broad-based comedy,” he said. “Somebody is going to be producing the next ‘Seinfeld’ or ‘The Cosby Show.’ ”
Werner, Clements and Miller are also working on another four-camera comedy, a NASCAR-themed laffer focusing on an auto racing pit crew.
NASCAR will be a producer on the project, which Miller helped put together via his connections to the auto racing circuit. Fox is developing a script for the laffer.
Werner and Clements have proved adept at getting projects produced, snagging four greenlights — including two series orders — in two years.
Company has two pilots in contention at Fox: The animated “The Life and Times of Tim” and the livingroom laffer “Playing Chicken.”
“The goal now is to have a hit comedy that sticks,” said Werner, whose resume of hits with former partner Marcy Carsey ranges from “Cosby” and “Roseanne” to “3rd Rock from the Sun” and “That 70s Show.”
Clements, who exited his gig at the WB to work with Werner, said he’s enjoying life as a producer.
“It’s much more gratifying being on this side, getting my hands dirty doing shows and not having to worry about the other things you have to worry about when you’re at a network,” he said.