You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Monkey’ shines in a CBS pickup

'Love' is in the air with Eye midseason choice

A correction was made to this article on Aug. 10, 2005.

CBS has gone ape for “Love Monkey,” giving a midseason series order to the hourlong dramedy from exec producers Michael Rauch and Mark Johnson (“The Notebook”).

Skein, from Sony Pictures Television and Paramount Network TV, is based on Kyle Smith’s 2004 novel of the same name. Rauch (“Beautiful People”) wrote the pilot and will exec produce with Johnson.

“Love Monkey” revolves around a single thirtysomething record exec and his friends, all of whom have more advanced love lives than he. Tom Cavanagh (“Ed”) heads up the cast, which also includes Jason Priestley, Judy Greer and Larenz Tate.

Industry observers were watching closely to see if the Eye would move forward with the skein, which reps a major departure from the net’s winning formula of Bruckheimeresque crime dramas.

With “Monkey” and fall skeins “Threshold” and “Ghost Whisperer,” CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler seems determined not to repeat the mistakes made by NBC, whose insistence on producing “Friends” clones is a major reason the Peacock finds itself in fourth place.

Rauch called the Eye’s decision to greenlight his skein “ballsy” and said he believed the Big Six are moving toward more diversity in their slates.

“I feel like the pendulum has begun to swing back to relationship shows,” he said. “That’s really what’s going to be at the heart of this show: these characters, their loves, their heartbreaks.”

With “Monkey” greenlit, Sony now has snagged midseason orders for three broadcast series.

ABC is banking on Sony/Pariah-produced “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” for January, while NBC picked up “Book of Daniel” (a co-prod with NUTS) last month.

SPT programming/production prexy Russ Krasnoff said he’s happy with how the studio’s development for the 2005-06 season turned out. Studio shot a total of seven pilots last spring.

“To have three new shows at three (different) broadcast networks is above our expectations,” he said, calling “Love Monkey” a “major piece that we’ve been working very hard toward” getting picked up.

Par TV prexy David Stapf called “Monkey” the type of show “that’s not on TV now. It was a passion project for everyone at the studio.”

“Love Monkey” is the fourth Johnson-produced skein for CBS in the last decade. He also was behind Eye dramas “The Guardian,” “Falcone” and “L.A. Doctors.”

Elsewhere on the midseason front, Eye backup laffer “Everything I Know About Men,” which stars Jenna Elfman, is undergoing a behind-the-scenes shuffle.

Series creator/exec producer Fred Barron (“Dave’s World”) has ankled, just a few weeks after production on the series began. Rob Hanning, already on staff as exec producer, will take over showrunning duties.

Barron created the Blighty skein “According to Bex,” which serves as the basis for the Elfman skein. Having helped get “Men” off the ground— and successfully transplant a format from the U.K. to the U.S. — he’s now expected to return to London to take advantage of the recent loosening of restrictions on indie producers.

More TV

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    SAG Award Nominations: The Complete List

    Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations were announced Wednesday morning, with Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and Jay Roach’s “Bombshell” dominating nods on the film front. Among television shows, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” with Rachel Brosnanhan led the pack. “Superstore” star America Ferrera and “Black [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    How to Watch the SAG Awards Nominations Live

    America Ferrera and Danai Gurira will announce the nominations for the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif., beginning at 7 a.m. PT. The announcement will air live on TNT, TBS and truTV, and stream on YouTube, tntdrama.com/sag-awards, truTV.com and sagawards.org. The SAG Awards nominations [...]

  • Microsoft Helps CW Carry 'All American'

    Microsoft Helps CW Carry 'All American' Story Into Commercial Breaks

    There’s so much story in the CW’s “All American” that it has spilled out into the show’s commercial breaks. Over the course of five separate episodes and many weeks, Microsoft has worked with the network to present outside-the-show “story stretchers” that add new details to specific plot elements while highlighting the technology giant’s Surface device. [...]

  • Kasi LemmonsNew York Women in Film

    Kasi Lemmons, Jane Rosenthal, Ann Dowd Talk Golden Globes Female Director Snub

    The absence of women among director nominees for the Golden Globes is another example of how much work remains to be done to achieve gender parity in the entertainment industry, honorees said Tuesday night at the 40th annual Muse Awards presented by New York Women in Film and Television. “Harriet” director Kasi Lemmons, “The Irishman” [...]

  • The Flash -- "Crisis on Infinite

    'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Recap: A Rewritten Destiny Brings Another Superhero Death

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three,” “The Flash” episode of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover. Tuesday night was the official midpoint of the ambitious “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossovers, with an episode of “The Flash” that also marked the final episode of the year for the [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER tree identity ana

    'The Masked Singer' Reveals the Identity of the Tree

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead, if you have not watched the episode of “The Masked Singer,” which aired on Dec. 10 on Fox. “The Masked Singer” has sent home another character — and more importantly, has unmasked that contestant. On Tuesday’s episode, titled “A Pain in the Mask,” the tree was revealed to be [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER semi finals

    Everything to Know About 'The Masked Singer' Semi-Finals

    Television’s breakout reality show, “The Masked Singer,” wraps up its second season, unmasking a winner, next week — but first, the quirky competition show will celebrate the holidays. Teeing up the grand finale of the inarguable hit series, Fox is giving extra airtime to the show this week with a two-night event. Tuesday night, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content