“Frasier” scribe Jeffrey Richman is coming aboard ABC’s untitled John Stamos laffer, partnering with creator-exec producer Austin Winsberg to serve as showrunner of the 20th/Brad Grey TV skein.
And in a substantial vote of confidence, 20th is handing the 27-year-old Winsberg a hefty blind script commitment that’s set up behind his producing services on the Stamos skein.
Richman has had an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV since 2002. Studio prexy Dana Walden said the company had always planned to pair Winsberg with a more seasoned showrunner; Richman seemed the logical choice.
“Jeff will be there to support Austin as a partner and not overwhelm this young voice who has a real creative vision,” Walden said.
Richman said he was sold on the Stamos skein — a romantic comedy with the thesp playing a single PR guy — as soon as he had his first meeting with Winsberg.
“I came in basically to fulfill some of my obligation to Fox, (and) by the end of the meeting with Austin, I wanted to be completely involved,” Richman said.
Winsberg, most recently a story editor on 20th’s “Still Standing,” said he was glad to have a more experienced scribe-producer such as Richman “to help navigate the difficult waters” that come with a frosh skein.
“Jeff’s a guy who’s on my side,” Winsberg said. “He shares my love of romantic comedies, and there was an immediate clicking of our personalities.”
Richman said he sees his job as “coming in and supporting Austin’s vision for the show and augmenting that with my own experience.” As a bonus for Richman, the Stamos skein will tape on the Par lot — Stage 24 to be exact. That’s right across the way from where “Frasier” and “Cheers” were produced — or “lucky Stage 25,” as UTA-repped Richman put it.
As for 20th’s script deal with WMA-repped Winsberg, Walden said the studio simply wanted to show its support for tyro talent.
“He’s got a very good grasp on story, and he’s created a world in which youthful characters and feelings seem very authentic,” she said. According to ABC, the Stamos skein will shift somewhat from its original premise (Daily Variety, May 13). Rather than follow one date through the course of a season, Stamos’ single guy will interact with a number of women throughout the first year.