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Alphabet enthusiastic about helmer-producer

Weide inks ABC pact for new laffer

Emmy-winning director-producer Robert Weide (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) has sealed a major deal at ABC to develop his own project and direct pilots at the net.

Under the pact, Weide (and his Whyaduck Prods. shingle) will develop and exec produce a comedy for the net, with the project landing a script-plus-penalty order from ABC. He’ll also helm two pilots for the Alphabet web this season.

Scoring Weide is a major “get” for ABC, which has been looking to broaden its stable of laffers.

“We were out there telling the community early on that we were going to go beyond just our traditional brand (of family comedies),” said ABC Primetime Entertainment exec VP Francie Calfo. “We needed to ultimately evolve our comedies and shake up our brand.”

Weide has been nominated for three consecutive years for the best comedy direction Emmy; he won in 2003 for “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode “Krazee Eyez Killa.”

“Not only does he have an amazing eye for development, he’s also one of the few directors who know how to really milk the comedy out of single camera shows,” Calfo said.

Weide directed the HBO special “Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which set the stage for the TV series (which he now exec produces).

Other credits include the docu “Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth,” which earned him an Oscar nom in 1998. Weide also wrote and produced the feature “Mother Night,” based on the Kurt Vonnegut novel, and recently adapted Lois Lowry novel “The Giver” as a vehicle for Jeff Bridges.

Weide is currently adapting another Vonnegut book, “The Sirens of Titan,” and has several new documentaries in the works, including ones on Vonnegut and comedian Dick Gregory.

As an exec, Weide served as VP of development in the early ’90s for Rollins & Joffe Prods.

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