×

Stern, CBS pact for sitcom ‘Kane’

Firstrun comedy could fill latenight slot

Howard Stern’s down, but not out, at CBS.

The Eye and its syndie distributor King World are developing a firstrun syndicated comedy with Stern’s production company that could fill the Saturday latenight slot vacated by the recently canceled “The Howard Stern Radio Show.”

“Kane” will follow the antics of an oddball Southern family and its strong-willed patriarch. The lead character’s life is altered when his previously long-lost wife returns home to him and their group of eccentric children.

Ron Zimmerman (“7th Heaven,” “V.I.P.”) is on board to pen the script, while Stern will exec produce. CBS’ network comedy team are overseeing the project’s development; insiders promise the show will push some content boundaries thanks to its potential late-night time period.

CBS and King World are still determining whether “Kane” will be developed as an hour or half-hour skein. There is also a slight chance that “Kane” could end up a candidate for primetime duty on the CBS network.

Deal comes as the hourlong syndicated “Howard Stern Radio Show” goes off the air after this weekend (Daily Variety, Nov. 15). Stern lambasted CBS CEO Leslie Moonves on his radio show Thursday for the cancellation.

There will be no seamless transition between the old show and the new show, however. No pilot has been shot as of yet, although sources said it’s in “very active development.” Eye execs are targeting the weekly laffer for later this season or the beginning of next season.

Insiders say CBS’ owned-and-operated stations are on board to pick up “Kane.” Beyond that, stations that ran “Howard Stern Radio Show” will be given first crack to clear the show. For now, those stations are scrambling to fill the post-Saturday night news slot with other programming.

CBS’ sister Viacom company King World has distributed “The Howard Stern Radio Show” since the company merged with CBS and absorbed former CBS syndie arm Eyemark.

The show now is seen in about half the country, although it preemed in August 1998 on stations repping about 70% of the country. Skein has seen its distribution level sink due partly to some local stations’ concerns about the often risque content. Ratings also have waned over the years, and the show has been in repeats since August.

Producing a half-hour comedy would not be new to Stern, whose “Son of the Beach” continues to work for cable net FX. But “Kane” would be the first weekly sitcom in syndication in years. Once a staple of the genre (“Charles in Charge,” “Small Wonder”), firstrun laffers have all but disappeared from syndication.

In other CBS news, the net hopes to boost frosh laffer “The Ellen Show” by giving it a Monday timeslot throughout December. It will air at 8:30 on Dec. 10, 17 and 24 and at 9:30 on Dec. 31.

More TV

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content