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SHOWBERT SPINOFF

Fox TV developing 'Dilbert' series

Fox Broadcasting Co. is looking to develop a TV show based on the Scott Adams comic strip “Dilbert,” which has caught fire during the past year.

The strip, which chronicles the drudgeries of corporate life and evil bosses, is being developed for next season through the net’s sister production arm, 20th Century Fox Television.

Interestingly, the show is being developed as a live action program, not as an animated series. That could lead to dramatic changes from the comic strip since several of the characters are animals.

The TV show is just the latest exploitation of the “Dilbert” strip. United Media, which holds the exclusive syndicate and license rights of “Dilbert,” last month announced an eight-figure deal for books and calendars featuring the beleaguered Dilbert, Dogbert and their cronies.

HarperBusiness will publish five hardcover books in the next five years and Andrews & McMeel will publish two softcover collections of strips and five formats of calendars each year for the next seven years.

Adams, as part of his initial three-book deal with HarperBusiness, already has written the bestselling “The Dilbert Principle” and “Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook.” The final book of the pact will be a spoof of Microsoft topper Bill Gates’ “The Road Ahead,” scheduled for May.

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