TBS is set to pick up a TV version of the Ice Cube feature “Are We There Yet?”
Just like it did with the Tyler Perry comedies “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns,” TBS will initially pick up 10 episodes of “Are We There Yet,” with an option for 90 more. Show is expected to launch in June 2010.
Ali LeRoi (“Everybody Hates Chris”) has signed on to write the laffer, which comes from Revolution’s Joe Roth, as well as Cube Vision’s Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez.
Cube Vision will produce, while Debmar-Mercury, which distributes the Perry sitcoms, is also the distributor behind “Are We There Yet?”
“We are confident that ‘Are We There Yet?’ will fit extremely well within TBS’ popular and diverse comedy lineup,” said TBS/TNT/TCM exec VP and head of programming Michael Wright.
LeRoi, Roth, Cube and Alvarez will exec produce; Cube is also expected to occasionally appear in the series – although not in the same role he played in the movie and its sequel, “Are We Done Yet?”
Instead, Terry Crews, who earned raves as the father in “Everybody Hates Chris,” will reunite with LeRoi to star in the new show as Nick, a single man who starts dating a young divorcee with two kids.
In the 2005 movie, Nick takes the kids on a road trip to see their mother – and winds up clashing with them the entire way.
“Terry Crews is the perfect person to replace me as Nick,” Cube said. “His physical comedy is undeniable… (And) no one runs a show like Ali. We are dedicated to creating the new template for family comedy.”
“Are We There Yet?” wound up at TBS after intense bidding, with cablers such as USA Network and BET also in the running.
Cube and Alvarez are no stranger to turning their films into TV properties, having also produced “Barbershop: The Series” and an animated version of “Friday.”
Debmar-Mercury, which is owned by Lionsgate, earlier received a 100-episode pickup for “House of Payne,” after an initial 10-seg order. TBS has also picked up 80 episodes of “Meet the Browns.”
“When we set out to expand on the television comedy model that Tyler Perry has turned into a runaway success at TBS, we knew we had to be in business with Ice Cube,” said Debmar-Mercury’s Mort Marcus.
Debmar-Mercury also recently partnered with Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Prods. to sell a sitcom starring Jon Heder to Comedy Central under a similar model – a 10-episode pickup and option for an additional 90.
As for LeRoi, project reps his first following the finale of “Chris,” which earned critical raves during its four seasons on the air.
The original “Are We There Yet?” grosses more than $82 million at the box office.
“‘Are We There Yet?’ was a hit family movie that transition seamlessly into a television show,” Roth said. “There is nothing quite like it currently on television.”