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Nancy, Lionsgate plot ‘Nut’ job for TV

Reality show based on comic author's books

Jerry Seinfeld’s good pal Ted L. Nancy is once again plotting a move into television, this time in conjunction with Lionsgate.

Nancy is the author of the “Letters From a Nut” trilogy of comic tomes. Seinfeld has written the introduction to each of the books, leading to some speculation that the comic and/or his longtime pal Barry Marder could actually be the author.

Indeed, five years ago, Seinfeld’s aura helped Nancy (and Marder) sell ABC on the idea of a half-hour scripted comedy based on the books. A pilot was ordered, but the series never went forward.

Now, Nancy/Marder/Seinfeld are trying again.

For “Nut” 2.0, Nancy has teamed with Lionsgate Television, “Laguna Beach” producers Go Go Luckey and Bayonne Entertainment’s Rob Lee. Rather than go the scripted route, however, the new project will be a nonscripted laffer.

Potential skein will play off the content of the books, which are filled with Nancy’s prank letters to real companies, celebs and politicos. For the show, Nancy will finally reveal his true identity in order to star in “video adventures, which will take his comedic pranks well beyond the letters’ original intentions,” according to Lionsgate.

“In comedy, timing is everything — and that also applies to the making of comedies,” said Lionsgate prexy of TV programming and production Kevin Beggs, who said Nancy’s letters “appeal to the prankster in all of us.”

“We see great potential here for a very funny show,” Beggs added.

To help pump up interest in the project, Nancy has been sending teaser e-mails to Daily Variety for the past few weeks. Wacky missives live up to the off-kilter letters from his books.

“I will for the first time, be starring front and center in my show,” Nancy wrote. “Therefore, perhaps a photo of me dressed as our finest president, Martin Van Buren, is appropriate for your paper. Mr. Van Buren was the first president to allow shrimp in the White House. Please include a photo of some shrimp also as that was what he was known for during his administration. Van Buren was a shrimp fanatic. He introduced deveining in his first term, which was popular with his constituents. We will cover this in my show.”

In addition to Nancy/Marder, exec producers for the “Nut” TV project are Gary Auerbach of Go Go Luckey and Lee.

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