Fox is adding some Foster children to its primetime family.
Net is teaming with the producers of A&E hit “Growing Up Gotti” for a half-hour unscripted laffer focusing on music producer David Foster’s attempts to knock some sense into his slacker stepchildren.
Lensing will begin next month at Foster’s Malibu mansion, with Fox ordering an initial run of six half-hour episodes from producer GRB Entertainment. Gary Benz, Brant Pinvidic and Spencer Pratt will exec produce the project, which could be on the air as soon as this summer.
Fox senior VP of alternative programming Kary McHoul says the skein “is not just about rich people fooling around. It’s about a blended family that has the same problems as anyone else — just in a $70 million mansion.”
Stepkids Brandon and Brody Jenner, who are in their early 20s, will essentially serve as comic foils to Foster. Duo — who spend much of their time at the beach or dining at Nobu, McHoul quipped — don’t share Foster’s workaholic ethic, much to the producer’s consternation.
“The kids have the best of intentions, but the result is always a negative for David,” McHoul said.
GRB shot a six-minute spec pilot for the Foster skein, which McHoul said Fox execs found “funny, charming and different.”
Among the potential shenanigans: Foster tries to play a demo track for Clive Davis, only to find the stepkids have disconnected the computer speakers to play Xbox.
Given that Brandon and Brody hang out with the offspring of Hollywood types such as Leslie Moonves and Mel Gibson — and live in the same neighborhood as Barbra Streisand, Johnny Carson and the Spears-Federline clan — celeb cameos are a possibility.
Foster is using the Fox skein as an excuse to “get tough” with Brandon and Brody: If they don’t clean up their act and start paying their way, Foster plans to “cut them off completely,” said Pinvidic, VP of development at GRB.
“He might sell his house in order to get them out of it,” McHoul theorized, adding Fox hopes to mine multiple seasons out of the concept, much as it has with “The Simple Life.”
Foster’s wife, Linda, who has written hits for Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, is a former beauty queen who was once married to Olympian Bruce Jenner, Brandon and Brody’s dad. She has a different take on parenting than her husband, setting up more potential for comic conflict.
Pinvidic stressed Foster’s stepkids are not particularly spoiled or “ignorant.” “They know they’ll eventually have to grow up,” he said. “But they have a good thing, and they’re willing to fight for it.”
Pinvidic has firsthand knowledge of life in the Foster home. The two come from the same small city in Canada; for four months, Pinvidic lived in one of the wings of the Foster estate when Foster agreed to serve as a mentor to Pinvidic while he was getting started in the business.
“These are over-the-top characters in very relatable stories,” Pinvidic said, noting the Endeavor-packaged skein will be a mix of “structured concepts and real life.”
“It’s going to play like a sitcom, but with real people,” he said.
Foster has won 14 Grammy Awards, with collaborators including Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Earth, Wind & Fire.