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Sony keen on ‘Queens’ team

Writers to remain as showrunners, work on new projects

This article was corrected on Jun. 17, 2003.

“King of Queens” scribes/showrunners Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith will be reppin’ the 718 a little while longer.

Duo, who made their mark on the feature world with the Mel Gibson hit “What Women Want,” have extended their seven-figure overall deal with Sony Pictures Television by one year, through May 2006. Scribes had been set to begin developing new projects for the studio this year, but will instead remain as showrunners on the hit CBS comedy for at least one more season.

As part of the deal to stay on “Queens,” Sony will let Yuspa and Goldsmith put off the two-year development component of their deal for another year. They’ll now begin working on new comedy projects for the studio next summer.

Sony Pictures Television programming exec VP Jeanie Bradley said the studio was glad Yuspa and Goldsmith will be around to guide “Queens” through what promises to be a critical sixth season for the skein, which is moving from its safe Monday night slot to a tougher Wednesday berth.

Got it nailed

“They grew up with ‘The King of Queens,’ so they really have the voice and essence of this show,” Bradley said. “They’re great writers, and they’ve got the show on a creative track with which we’re really happy. We’ll probably come back next year and ask them to stay on for another year (as showrunners.)”

Goldsmith and Yuspa will be entering their third season as showrunners on “Queens,” and Goldsmith jokingly compared himself and his partner to the college students who linger around campus after graduation.

“We’ve become the people who just won’t leave,” he said. “We get great support from the network and studio. (‘Queens’ creators) David Litt and Michael Weithorn created something great, and then gave us the keys to the car. We’re just trying to not drive it off a cliff.”

Weithorn remains an exec producer of “Queens” along with Kevin James and Tony Sheehan. Skein, from Hanley Prods. and CBS Prods. in association with Sony, hits syndication this fall.

Leaving would be hard

Goldsmith said he and Yuspa, who are married, are still looking forward to creating their own series, even though leaving “Queens” won’t be easy. Duo have been with the skein since its first season.

“We always joke that when we finally do leave the show, we’ll say to everyone else, ‘Later, losers! We’ll never have this much control and this much fun again,’ ” Goldsmith said.

While Yuspa and Goldsmith remain focused on TV, the duo have managed to find some time for film. They wrote the upcoming Jennifer Garner starrer “13 Going on 30,” described as a sort of female take on “Big.”

Deal was brokered by Ted Chervin of BWCS, Gina Matthews and Ken Richman.

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