Culture Clash gets Fox show

Culture Clash, the edgy, decade-old Hispanic comedy sketch group that had its last series project scuttled by Fox Broadcasting Co. late in the development process, is about to experience a TV rebirth of sorts.

Fox Television Stations Prods. will launch a half-hour Saturday series featuring the group on Fox-owned KTTV, following the path established with “Studs,””Cops” and other series that achieved success on the weblet and in syndication.

The six-episode test run on the local O&O, which begins at 7 p.m. July 31, will feature celeb guests, standup comics and social satire with a Latino point-of-view.

This new stab at TV for Culture Clash, which attracted the attention of Hollywood a few years ago during a stint at the Los Angeles Theater Center, will allow the group to do the type of comedy it performs on stage.

During its LATC show, the Fox weblet sought to launch the group in a midseason sitcom for the 1991-92 season, part of an overall development deal with Cheech Marin.

After announcing the series, Fox suddenly scrubbed the project.

That led members of the group — Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza — to publicly complain that Fox was not ready for a comedy featuring Latinos. But the weblet countered the project simply didn’t work creatively.

Brian Graden, VP of program development for FTSP, said the decision to go ahead with the new show “is completely independent” of the last Fox effort.

The O&O production arm had originally wanted to do this type of program, but bowed out when Culture Clash made the FBC deal, Graden said.

After seeing the group perform a month ago, FTSP exex approached the members again about taking their act to TV.

Graden has yet to decide what TV path theshow will take following its local tryout. If the program is a broadcast success in L.A., the most likely course would be network or syndication — a decision that will be made “when we see what the show is,” he said.

Fox also is developing a basic cable network that will be hungry for programming.

With L.A.’s large Hispanic population, Graden said, this is the best market in which to launch the series, titled “Culture Clash.”

Like “In Living Color,” the group’s sketch comedy is broad-based enough to appeal to all segments of society, Graden said.

The show, slated to be taped at the downtown Mayan Theatre, will be exec produced by Joe Ravello and Ken Ceizler, the team behind another FTSP production , “Comic Strip Live.”

Culture Clash will also receive an exec producer credit and Scott St. John, FTSP’s director of program development, will serve as the executive in charge.

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