×

Comedy Central vetoes laffer ‘Bush’

'South Park' duo to pick up pieces for film

NEW YORK — Comedy Central has canceled its satirical sitcom “That’s My Bush” after only eight half-hour episodes, but the creators of the show, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, plan to transform it into “George Bush & the Secret of the Glass Tiger,” a theatrical movie.

Stone told Daily Variety that he and his partner, who write and produce Comedy Central’s hit series “South Park,” have scheduled pitch meetings next week with executives at Paramount and DreamWorks. Stone said he’s using as one of his models “Police Squad,” the failed 1982 ABC sitcom that became the hit 1988 movie “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad” and two theatrical sequels, “Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear” (1991) and “Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult” (1994).

In the series “That’s My Bush,” Parker and Stone conceived George W. Bush as the bumbling husband in a domestic sitcom who just happened to be president of the U.S.

“But in the movie, we’re going to turn him into a superhero who battles the enemies of the country, in this case the Chinese,” Stone said. “We want it to look like a John Woo action movie.”

Comedy Central prevented Parker and Stone from using Bush’s twin daughters as characters in the series, a restriction Stone said he and Parker chafed at. The twins will be front and center as party animals in the movie, Stone said, adding that they’ll get kidnapped by the Chinese, fueling Bush’s drive for revenge.

Stone said Comedy Central canceled “That’s My Bush” because, at a production cost of just under $1 million a half-hour, it was the most expensive series ever commissioned by the network.

To stay afloat, “Bush” would have had to generate a Nielsen rating of at least a 4.0 in cable homes, he said. The 1.7 rating “Bush” did deliver for its eight originals was almost triple the 0.6 rating Comedy Central averages in primetime, but it just wasn’t good enough.

More TV

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Seeks to Stop Appointment of Special Prosecutor

    Jussie Smollett’s lawyers filed a motion on Friday to overturn the appointment of a special prosecutor in his hate crime hoax case, arguing the appointment would expose the “Empire” actor to double jeopardy. Smollett is seeking to reverse an order issued last month by Judge Michael Toomin, who faulted Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx [...]

  • Jimmy Pitaro ESPN

    Dan Le Batard Tests ESPN's - and Jimmy Pitaro's - No-Politics Policy

    Perhaps someone didn’t get the memo. Ever since Jimmy Pitaro took the helm of ESPN in early 2018, employees at the Walt Disney-owned sports-media juggernaut were made aware of at least one thing: The new boss didn’t want sportscasters yakking it up about politics any longer. But Dan Le Batard, the popular radio and TV [...]

  • Rick Rubin Spotify Secret Genius Awards,

    Seven Things We Learned About 'Shangri-La' and Rick Rubin from Showtime's Series

    Showtime’s documentary series “Shangri-La” insists it is not a biographical documentary on uber-producer Rick Rubin, and it’s not meant as a four-hour advertisement for Rubin’s legendary Malibu studio, after which the four-part series is named … but it feels like a little bit of both those things. “Shangri-La” is primarily filmed at the studio where [...]

  • Elaine Paul - Amazon Studios

    Elaine Paul Exits as Hulu CFO to Join Amazon Studios

    Elaine Paul has departed Hulu after nearly six years as chief financial officer to join Amazon Studios as CFO/VP of finance. She started at the ecommerce company’s studio division on July 15, reporting to Dan Jedda, VP of digital, advertising and corporate development finance for Amazon, a company rep said. Paul’s move to Amazon, first [...]

  • Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour

    Major Expansion Planned at Belfast Harbour Studios, Home of ‘Krypton’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Belfast Harbour Studios in Northern Ireland, where the Syfy series “Krypton” is shot, is set for a major expansion. The Warner Horizon-produced series has occupied the full site, which currently has two stages, since it opened in 2017. The landowners had signaled that they wanted to expand, and Variety has learned that plans for the [...]

  • Rola-Bauer-and-Tim-Halkin

    Bauer, Halkin Ride in Tandem

    ROLA BAUERExecutive managing director, Studiocanal TV; managing director, Tandem Productions “I simply wanted to continue creating great stories,” Bauer says about why she resigned as exec VP of international fiction at Germany’s ProSieben and founded Tandem. The Canadian had worked at Alliance Intl. in Paris before moving to ProSieben. “I loved doing it from a [...]

  • Shadowplay stars

    Tandem's Berlin-Set ‘Shadowplay’ Goes for Edge

    Period dramas rarely break the fourth wall, but for Mans Marlind, the creator-writer-director of Tandem’s “Shadowlands,” “we don’t have to be traditional. Especially with period, you need to be even more modern, to avoid the stiffness of costume drama,” he says. “Television’s development [is] creating audiences that are smarter, meaning we can be more and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content