The current rights rift between Granada Entertainment and Carsey-Werner over the development of the ABC comedy “Earth Scum” apparently stemmed from more than one single incident, sources say.
Carsey-Werner pitched a separate Granada series, the light drama “Passion Killers,” to HBO without Granada’s knowledge or permission, which also upset the British media conglom.
Carsey-Werner had previously approached Granada asking to purchase rights to both “Passion Killers” and the comedy “Puny Humans.” But Granada, which recently opened a U.S. production arm, is interested in co-productions rather than outright sales of format rights and did not agree to the sale.
Even without owning the rights, Carsey-Werner pitched “Passion Killers” and sold a script to ABC closely resembling “Puny Humans,” which also appeared on ABC’s development report titled “Puny Humans” before the name changed to “Earth Scum.”
Granada is now seeking to co-produce “Earth Scum” with Carsey-Werner (Daily Variety, May 6). Separately, HBO confirmed that Carsey-Werner pitched them “Passion Killers,” but the cabler passed and that project now appears to be dead, at least for now.
For its part, a Carsey-Werner spokesman said the purpose of the meeting with HBO was to pitch several light dramas and that “Passion Killers” was mentioned only to get a sense of whether there was a potential buyer before attempting to purchase the rights.
The spokesman added that they made it clear to HBO that they didn’t own the project and they were simply putting out feelers. Even so, Granada was not pleased and wrote a letter to Carsey-Werner asking the execs to stop pitching projects they don’t own.