‘Cruise’ launched in development at MGM

The old “Love Boat” crew might recognize the white uniforms, but probably not much else in rookie writers Jeff Astrof and Mike Sikowitz’s new comedy “The Cruise,” which sources said is in active development at MGM and tentatively slated for a spring 1994 shoot.

No director or talent have been attached to the project, which sources estimate will be in the $ 5 million-10 million budget range.

Paul Maslansky (“Cop and a Half”) is expected to exec produce.

MGM chairman Alan Ladd Jr., production veep David Ladd and motion picture company chief operating officer-chairman Jay Kanter reportedly accepted the writers’ first draft two weeks ago.

After a weeklong “rigorous research junket” on a Caribbean-bound Carnival cruise ship earlier this summer, the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop grads came up with a story about a group of young people with dead-end jobs who set out to sea for a 10-month stint as crew members.

“Some crazy things happen when you do that,” said Sikowitz, who characterized the script as similar in style to the 1981 Bill Murray comedy “Stripes.”

“This will be more like a romp, not a spoof,” explained Astrof. “It will look at what goes on behind the scenes aboard the ship…You can’t even imagine how different that is from what the passengers see.”

After their 10-week course at Warners last year, the duo penned for the ABC show “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” which has been renewed for next season. Astrof and Sikowitz, who are repped by Writers & Artists’ Rob Golenberg, also are developing an undisclosed Paramount Television comedy series.

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