‘Wayans’ takes off

BVTV taps Planet 24 to produce latenighter

“Keenen Ivory Wayans” soon will be in orbit with Planet 24 Inc.

Buena Vista Television has tapped the London-based company to produce its new syndie latenight strip hosted by the “In Living Color” creator.

Charlie Parsons, managing director of Planet 24, will serve as an executive producer on the much-anticipated new talk-variety show, which bows Aug. 4. Parsons will oversee day-to-day operations, sharing executive producing credits with Wayans and his manager, Eric L. Gold.

Planet 24’s “daring and unorthodox take on programming is a great match for Keenen’s unlimited creative talent,” said Michael Davies, senior VP of development for Buena Vista Prods.

Planet 24’s unorthodox approach to the U.S. latenight landscape may include assembling an all-female house band for the Wayans show, although Buena Vista officials declined comment concerning musical matters.

Planet 24 has made a name for itself in the U.K. over the past decade with such hits as the offbeat morning show “The Big Breakfast” and the latenight talk-entertainment vehicle “The Word.” The company struck an overall development/distribution deal with Buena Vista Television in 1995.

Parsons, who began his career as a producer for ITV commercial broadcaster London Weekend Television, co-founded Planet 24 in 1991 along with rocker Bob Geldof and businessman Waheed Alli. Liz Murdoch, general manger of broadcasting for British Sky Broadcasting, is said to have played a small part in Fox’s decision to clear the Wayans show on its domestic O&O group based on her admiration for Planet 24’s work.

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