NEW YORK — The man who helped shape NBC’s Thursday night comedy dominance is now looking to take a bite out of that very same juggernaut.
In an ironic Hollywood twist, the first skein from former NBC prexy Warren Littlefield’s Paramount-based production banner — the family comedy “Do Over” — has been slotted on the WB Thursday nights at 8:30. So after years of rooting for strong NBC Thursday Nielsens, Littlefield will now be hoping to put a little dent in the Peacock.
“It’s crazy,” Littlefield laughed Sunday, just hours after getting the good news from Frog execs.
The ex-NBC programmer isn’t expecting his first at-bat to bring down whatever comedy NBC ends ups skedding at 8:30 (likely “Scrubs”). Instead, both he and his new WB partners are simply looking to get a little traction in a notoriously tough slot.
“I remember when I was at NBC and we went in Tuesdays at 9 with ‘Frasier’ vs. ‘Roseanne,’ ” Littlefield said. “We didn’t want to beat ‘Roseanne.’ We just wanted to be the comedy alternative to ABC. And that’s what I think we’re providing now on Thursdays.”
After not having much luck while based at the Peacock, the Littlefield Co. is poised to have a very good first season at Par. “Do Over” is now on the grids, and later this week, Littlefield could also get a pickup for the other pilot he produced this year: the buzz-heavy Fox actioner “Keen Eddie.”
Fox execs still haven’t made up their minds about ordering the show, but it’s looking good.
“Crazy things can happen (between now and Fox’s Thursday announcement), but I feel very optimistic,” Littlefield said. “I said to Sandy Grushow this morning that, in a very cluttered environment, it’s hard to get shows that break through the clutter. And ‘Keen Eddie’ does that.”
Unlike the old days, Littlefield will just have to wait to find out the answer.
“It’s insane being on the other side, having to wait for word,” he said. “Maybe it’s Zen paying me back for making people wait for answers all these years.”