Kevin Smith, Adam Carolla feud over syndie pilot

Telepictures eyed series as 'TMZ' companion

A pilot being kept under wraps at Warner Bros. Television’s Telepictures unit as a potential companion to syndie staple “TMZ” has emerged as the source of a public feud between director Kevin Smith and comedian Adam Carolla.

While the untitled project was originally to have featured both in on-air roles, it is continuing in development with only Smith. The circumstances under which Carolla fell out of the project are being disputed by both sides.

Carolla took to his top-rated podcast Wednesday along with his agent, James Dixon, to dissect the dissolution of a pact they characterized as a holding deal for Carolla in the mid-six-figure range. But as they described it, the day after Carolla signed the contract, Telepictures called to say the deal was off because Smith had issues with Carolla dropping out of an appearance on Smith’s own podcast, which Carolla denied doing.

Smith previously addressed the controversy on his own podcast with a different version of what transpired. By his account, Telepictures got “antsy” because Carolla’s reps dragged out negotiations and never closed the deal.

“If Kevin Smith really feels it went down the way it went, and maybe he does, he should get a CAT Scan and a functional MRI because there’s going to be problems,” Carolla said on the podcast.

A spokesman for Telepictures declined comment. But sources say the company continues to work with Smith on the pilot, which like “TMZ” is said to be an irreverent take on pop-culture news, but has no plans to take it out into the currently crowded syndie marketplace. If all goes well, Smith could find a 2013 berth.

Some tweets Thursday from both Carolla and Smith hinted at possible rapprochment, as they floated the prospect of discussing the situation on one of their respective podcasts.