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Nets season laffs

Byrne, Danza may lead fall comedies

Comedy development for fall 2000 is headed toward the home stretch, with several more laffer projects getting greenlights this week.

Casting for the potential skeins is also heating up, with Gabriel Byrne and Tony Danza the latest names circling various primetime contenders.

Byrne is in talks to star in the put comedy pilot being developed by “Sex and the City” scribe Cindy Chupack (Daily Variety, Oct. 7). Danza, meanwhile, is in serious conversations about toplining “Homewood P.I.,” the Columbia TriStar TV hourlong comedy about a retired cop who still manages to get drawn into cases.

ABC’s latest comedy pilot additions include a cast-contingent presentation order for “No Dinner, No Dessert,” from exec producer Ken Finkelman (“The Newsroom”), and a half-hour from Noah Baumbach (“Kicking and Screaming”) about a single man and his relationship with his sister’s son.

Over at CBS, the network has given cast-contingent orders to a Par-produced half-hour from “Dr. Katz” creator Jonathan Katz and ATG’s “It’s About This Guy” (from former “Gregory Hines Show” exec producers Mitch Katlin and Nat Bernstein). The Eye has also ordered ATG’s “Fourplay,” from exec producer Jeffrey Klarik.

Fox Broadcasting has been slow out of the comedy development gate this season, picking up just six laffers to date. Web has put out the word to agents and producers that it’s anxious to look at any available scripts that other nets may have passed over.

Still, Fox is likely to pick up at least five more comedies within the next week, according to industry sources. The net also has several big comedy guns on the fast-track for next year, including a series commitment to a Carsey-Werner laffer starring John Goodman as a gay father and a live-action take on “The Tick.”

New greenlights at Fox include a cast-contingent go-ahead for a half-hour Mafia laffer from former “Mad About You” exec producer Danny Jacobson and Warner Bros. Television’s adaptation of “National Lampoon’s Family Vacation.”

UPN, meanwhile, has greenlit a Greenblatt-Janollari Studio pilot presentation from Eunetta Boone (“The Hughleys”) starring Flex Alexander (“Homeboys in Outer Space”). Alexander will play a young TV sports reporter who’s also a single dad.

Weblet has also ordered an ATG comedy starring Freddy Soto as a misunderstood Latino man. Show is from exec producer Bill Diamond.

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