WB secures Viacom pilot commitment

'Hayley' part of 'Sabrina' acquisition

As part of its negotiations to move “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” to the WB from ABC, Viacom Prods has secured a pilot commitment from the Frog net.

The WB has ordered the Viacom sitcom pilot “Hayley Wagner, Star” for fall contention. The project had previously been in development at ABC but didn’t advance to the pilot stage.

With that in mind, Viacom worked “Haley Wagner” into the WB’s “Sabrina” acquisition. The weblet last week picked up “Sabrina” for two seasons at a license fee of around $675,000 per seg, with the second season contingent on demo ratings goals.

“Hayley Wagner” was created as a possible post- “Sabrina” TGIF skein by Nell Scovell, who also created “Sabrina.” Just like “Sabrina,” “Hayley Wagner” began its life as a Showtime made-for-TV movie that also served as a backdoor pilot.

Scovell wrote, directed and executive produced the “Hayley Wagner” telefilm, which appeared on Showtime in September.

“Who better to create a companion piece for ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’ than Nell Scovell, whose work I have great respect for,” said WB Entertainment prexy Susanne Daniels.

“Haley Wagner” stars Bethany Richards as a child star who moves back to New Jersey after her career fades. “Thirtysomething’s” Mel Harris and “Married with Children’s” Ted McGinley also star.

Robbie Benson will direct the series pilot, which goes into production on Saturday in Vancouver. Benson also directed the “Sabrina” pilot in 1996.

Scovell’s other creds include stints as supervising producer of “Murphy Brown” and producer on “Coach.”

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