×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

WB buys into ‘Hype,’ orders pilot

'Mad' scribe-producers creating sketch comedy skein

The WB believes in “Hype!”

The Frog net today will announce a formal production commitment to “Hype!,” a Warner Bros. Television/

Marquee Tollin-Robbins-produced primetime sketch comedy skein being created by “Mad TV” scribe-producers Scott King, Laney Lanier and Terry Sweeney. The WB has so far ordered only a pilot, but the project is said to be a high priority to Frog suits.

The trio of King, Lanier and Sweeney were responsible for a much buzzed-about “Mad” sketch dubbed “Intensity,” which mercilessly parodied the Frog’s “Felicity.” Despite the ribbing their skein took, WB execs decided to go after the trio soon after.

Like the “Intensity” sketch, “Hype!” will focus its comedic venom on pop culture as opposed to politics or social ills. King, Lanier and Sweeney will serve as exec producers.

Already set to star are comics Michael Roof (aka “The Chicken”) and Frank Caliendo. The rest of the cast will be a multiethnic ensemble culled from a group of thesps now rehearsing together at the HBO Workspace.

CAA packaged most of the talent for the skein, with the participation of agents from UTA. Three Arts Television and manager Barry Katz will also be producers of the pilot.

“A lot of times, sketch comedy shows are not focused,” said WB exec veep Jordan Levin. “Terry, Scott and Laney really bring a strong point of view … Finding talent early with Frank and Mike was also critical.”

Among the creators of “Hype!,” Sweeney has perhaps the longest sketch comedy track record. A former “Saturday Night Live” actor-writer, he’s best known for his dead-on impersonation of Nancy Reagan.

Sketch comedy shows haven’t had much luck in primetime since the heyday of Fox’s “In Living Color.” “The Ben Stiller Show” and primetime showcases for Dana Carvey and Martin Short quickly fizzled.

Having so many producers and thesps lined up in advance, however, “made us really comfortable” about ordering a pilot of ‘Hype!’,” said Levin.

Sweeney and Laney, as well as Roof and Caliendo, are repped by CAA. King is repped by ICM.

More TV

  • 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre' Reviews: Behind

    TV Review: 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre'

    It seems in retrospect unavoidable that the week of release for a highly-anticipated documentary about a scammer began with an attention-grabbing stunt. On Monday, in advance of the planned Friday drop of Netflix’s “Fyre,” Hulu executed a surprise release of its own “Fyre Fraud”; both films assay the failed 2017 gathering Fyre Festival, a would-be [...]

  • Deadly Class Review

    TV Review: 'Deadly Class' on SyFy

    High school, according to TV and movies, is either the best or worst thing that can happen to a person. It’s almost always depicted as the most fun a kid can have, or a horrifying hellhole from which there’s no escape. “Deadly Class” is decidedly in the latter camp — and despite its edgy attempts [...]

  • Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn amazon series

    Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn Start Casting for New Amazon Series

    We’re getting a few more hints about Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn’s top-secret fashion project for Amazon Studios. Casting calls have gone out for designers interested in being a part of the unscripted series, which is set to shoot in Los Angeles in June and July. The casting notice mentions the “potential for additional travel [...]

  • TRIAL & ERROR: LADY, KILLER --

    'Trial and Error' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “Trial & Error” is officially done. The true crime spoof had effectively been canceled last year when NBC did not exercise its option to renew the show for a third season. Studio Warner Bros. TV had been trying to find it a new network home, but that search has come up short. The series took [...]

  • ELLEN'S GAME OF GAMES -- "Say

    'Ellen's Game of Games' Renewed for Season 3 at NBC

    NBC has renewed the competition series “Ellen’s Game of Games” for a third season. Season 2 of the show officially launched on Jan. 8, though a preview aired on Dec. 12. Ellen DeGeneres serves as host and executive producer of the one-hour show, which includes supersized versions of some of the most popular games from her [...]

  • Paul DeBenedittis Named Nickelodeon Programming, Content

    Paul DeBenedittis Named Nickelodeon Exec VP of Programming and Content Strategy

    Paul DeBenedittis has been named executive vice president of programming and content strategy at Nickelodeon. There, he will lead content and programming strategies, partnerships, acquisitions and media planning for the flagship network as well as Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick across linear television, digital, branded apps and video-on-demand channels, among other platforms. DeBenedittis will report to [...]

  • major r&b grammy fox star recurring

    R&B Artist MAJOR. Lands Recurring Role on Fox's 'Star' (EXCLUSIVE)

    R&B artist MAJOR. is on “cloud three million” right now. His track “Honest” scored a 2019 Grammy nomination for best traditional R&B performance, and, as he tells Variety exclusively, he recently landed a recurring role on Fox’s “Star.” The singer-songwriter, born Major Johnson Finley, is currently shooting the musical drama in Atlanta, and will make his [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content