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Engel’s slate is broadened

New projects include primetime reality series for NBC, pilots

Teen sitcom powerhouse Peter Engel Prods. is Discovering a new way of life.

The Peacock-based production company — whose shows previously fueled much of NBC’s Saturday morning lineup — has broadened its development slate in the months since Discovery gained control of NBC’s kids block (Daily Variety, Dec. 7).

The shingle behind such shows as “Saved By the Bell” and “City Guys” now has a slate of scripted and reality projects for syndication, cable and network consideration.

Among the new projects, the company is working on a primetime reality series for NBC, as well as pilots with Sony Pictures Television and with E! Entertainment Television.

“We had reached syndication levels on most of our teen comedies, NBC sold the daypart to Discovery, and the market was saturated with these types of shows,” Linda Mancuso president-chief operating officer of Peter Engel Prods., told Daily Variety.

“So our development team hit the pavement, letting the community know that we can produce for cable, syndication and network in the areas of comedy, drama and reality,” she said.

The company signed with CAA as it was transitioning, and the agency has been integral to reshaping the company’s direction, Mancuso said.

“Some smart buyers have figured out we’re really good producers and we produce on budget,” she added. “And that’s become even more important to buyers now. We’ve always done it, it’s just in fashion now.”

Peter Engel Prods.’ current five-year, non-exclusive deal at NBC Enterprises concludes at the end of the year.

Here are some of the latest projects in the works:

  • The deal at Sony Pictures Television is for a comedy-reality pilot from comedians John Heffron and Joel Zimmer. The half-hour project is being aimed at the firstrun syndication market.

  • Peter Engel Prods. is developing the comedy “Table Read” in association with David Salzman Prods. The laffer originally was developed for cable network FX, and the companies are shopping the series to other outlets. Project is a single camera, half-hour comedy written by Jeff Kahn, the creator of “The Ben Stiller Show.”

  • The company also has signed a development deal to create a primetime, half-hour comedy with actress/comedienne Adele Givens (“The Hughleys”). Josh Goldstein (“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”) will serve as writer.

  • NBC recently picked-up eight episodes of the reality series “Funniest Person in America” (working title) with Jay Mohr (Daily Variety, Sept. 13).

  • And E! recently ordered a pilot for “America’s Houseguest,” a comedy-reality series during which a comedian is paired with a normal, all-American home for 48 hours. Engel, Robert Goodman and Brittany Levin are exec producing.

With Engel as chairman, Mancuso as president and chief operating officer and a development team that includes Levin and Kerry Holmwood, Peter Engel Prods. has produced more than 800 half-hours of television seen in 85 countries.

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