‘Uncle Buck’ Tries TV Again, This Time at ABC

The 1989 John Candy comedy “Uncle Buck” may be making a second trip to the small screen.

ABC is developing a new spin on the comedy written by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley for Universal TV. Prolific film producer Will Packer (“No Good Deed”) is exec producing with Cragg and Bradley through the first-look deal that Packer inked with Universal TV last year.

The John Hughes-directed Universal feature starred Candy as a childish bachelor who suddenly has to take care of his brother’s unruly kids.

CBS tried a sitcom rendition of “Uncle Buck” in the 1990-91 season that starred Kevin Meaney. It had a brief run and was mostly notable for spurring outrage among pundits and TV critics for what was then seen as coarse language — the phrase “you suck” — as delivered by a kid to an adult.

ABC’s stab at “Uncle Buck” is the just the latest example of dozens of vintage film and TV titles hauled out of storage for development this year — the surest sign that the TV biz is struggling to balance yearly development needs with the explosive growth of current series production. So many writers and producers are busy working on shows that few experienced scribes have time for the laborious work of developing original ideas.

The mania for film adaptations went into a bizarro tailspin on Monday, when Deadline reported that NBC was setting a deal for a series billed as a 10-years-later sequel to Cameron Crowe’s 1989 love story “Say Anything” from producer Aaron Kaplan. Crowe and star John Cusack took to Twitter a few hours later to bash the idea, which immediately put the project on ice — permanently.

“Uncle Buck” has a script order from ABC.


More TV

  • Hilary Duff Lizzie McGuire

    'Lizzie McGuire': How the Disney Plus Revival Ground to a Halt (EXCLUSIVE)

    Disney Plus does not seem to be figuring it out on the way when it comes to the “Lizzie McGuire” revival. Production on the show halted in January after the firing of original series creator and revival showrunner Terri Minsky after just two episodes were completed. Her unceremonious exit has led many industry insiders to [...]

  • mort marcus ira bernstein

    Listen: Why Debmar-Mercury Is Betting on Nick Cannon, 'Schitt's Creek' and Syndication

    They put their homes up as collateral to finance the business in its infancy more than 15 years ago. Today, Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein are getting ready to launch not one, but two new first-run series in the fall, adding to a roster that includes “The Wendy Williams Show” and “Family Feud.” [...]

  • Bob Chapek Disney CEO

    Why Wall Street Is Unhappy (for Now) With Disney's CEO Change

    We all knew the end was coming. Bob Iger had promised, time and again, that the end was coming. But the rather abrupt announcement Tuesday afternoon that he would relinquish his longtime role as CEO of the Walt Disney Co. — and that theme parks head Bob Chapek would succeed him at the top of [...]

  • Camila Maria Concepción dead

    Camila Maria Concepción, Writer on 'Gentefied' and 'Daybreak,' Dies by Suicide at 28

    Camila Maria Concepción, a trans Latina writer, actor and activist who worked on the Netflix series “Gentefied” and “Daybreak,” died last week by suicide, her representative confirmed to Variety. She was 28. She was most recently a staff writer on the zombie series, and served as a writers’ assistant on “Gentefied,” the recently-premiered bilingual show [...]

  • Lowell Peterson WGA

    WGA East Accuses NBC of Unfair Labor Practices Over Nonfiction TV Production Closure

    The Writers Guild of America East has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against NBCUniversal over last month’s closure of Peacock Productions, the unit that produces nonfiction television shows. The complaint, filed with the National Labor Relations Board, alleges that after the WGA East learned that Peacock Productions would cease production except for a “few [...]

  • Bob Chapek Disney CEO

    In Era of Leaks, Disney Manages to Keep CEO Swap a Secret (Analysis)

    In a time of digital transparency, keeping seismic events a secret until they actually come to pass has proven to be an almost insurmountable task. For media companies, the challenge is tripled: Many of them employ staffers whose job it is to ferret out news before it happens and make it known to the general [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content