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NBC Developing Comedy Based on Ben Stiller’s ‘Reality Bites’

Screenwriter Helen Childress to adapt 1994 pic for Red Hour, Universal TV

NBC hopes to tap a vein of early 1990s nostalgia with plans to adapt the 1994 pic “Reality Bites” as a half-hour comedy series. Ben Stiller is on board to exec produce, with screenwriter Helen Childress set to pen the pilot script.

The single-camera half-hour is being shepherded by Stiller’s Red Hour Films and Double Feature Films  for Universal TV.

Red Hour’s Stuart Cornfeld and Red Hour TV head Debbie Liebling are also exec producing along with Double Feature’s Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg. Sher and Shamberg were formerly principals in Jersey Films, which produced the 1994 pic that was distribbed by Universal.

The small screen rendition will be closely based on the movie and revolve around recent college grad Lelaina Pierce as she struggles to make her way romantically and professionally in the recession-plagued, pre-Internet early 1990s in Houston, where she shares an apartment with slacker friends.

The original pic starred Winona Ryder, Stiller, Ethan Hawke and Janeane Garofalo. “Bites” marked Stiller’s first notable success as a helmer, and it has endured as a touchstone pic for the Gen-X demo. The soundtrack yielded a hit single, “Stay,” for Lisa Loeb.

Childress most recently has been working on feature projects at 20th Century Fox, including two for Stiller.

Red Hour is repped by WME. Childress is repped by Jordan Bayer at Original Artists. Red Hour is repped by WME.

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