CBS planning comedy 'The Buddy System'
Will Smith is making a return trip to China for a series in development at Fox.Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment have partnered with Chinese-born filmmaker Eva Jin to develop a crime drama set in that country. In other development news, CBS is working on comedy project “The Buddy System,” from writer Matt Lawton and New Wave Entertainment. Overbrook’s untitled hourlong, which focuses on a crime-fighting female college student China, has a script order at Fox. Twentieth Century Fox TV is the studio. Smith, Lassiter and Overbrook are also developing an hourlong based on the feature “Hitch,” which starred Smith. Smith is no stranger to China; he produced this year’s “The Karate Kid” reboot, which starred his son Jaden (opposite Jackie Chan) and was shot there. There’s no word on whether this project would be produced overseas. Jin, who went to school in the U.S., is a cartoonist-turned-filmmaker who was behind the Zhang Ziyi romantic comedy “Sophie’s Revenge.” Overbrook’s past TV credits include the comedy “All of Us.” Shingle’s recent feature work includes “Hancock,” “Lakeview Terrace,” “Seven Pounds,” “The Secret Life of Bees” and “I Am Legend.” As for “Buddy System” at CBS, Sony Pictures TV and Jamie Tarses’ Fan Fare are also behind the show. It centers on four new dads who attempt to revive their friendships. Lawton’s credits include “Crank Yankers” and “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment.” Lawton, Tarses, Julia Franz, Barry Katz, Brian Volk-Weiss and Michael Pelmont are also exec producers. New Wave has six half-hour scripted projects in development at the nets, including NBC’s “Several Children,” from Dan Levy, and Jake Lentz and David Weinstein’s “Murses” at CBS.