×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox Developing ‘Les Guignols,’ French Satirical Puppet Show, for U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

Fox is developing a U.S. version of “Les Guignols,” a satirical puppet show that ran for almost 30 years in France. Ben Silverman’s Propagate has teamed up with French media giant Vivendi on the project, with David Javerbaum (“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”) tapped to write and executive produce.

“Les Guignols” was a fixture on French TV screens for almost three decades, and its Paris production team will make a pilot presentation for Fox in the French capital. Canal Plus’ recent decision to cancel the series made headlines in France; the final episode aired last Friday. It may now be resurrected as a half-hour series for Fox, which confirmed the project. The U.S. version does not yet have a name.

The deal means that there are rival puppet shows vying for U.S. airtime. “Spitting Image,” a hit series in the U.K. in the 1980s and 1990s, is being pitched to U.S. networks – including Silverman’s former employer, NBC – as well as to the streamers. Like “Les Guignols,” it skewered politicians and big-name stars with off-color sketches and songs.

Silverman has a track record of sourcing international shows for the U.S. market, having set up “Ugly Betty” and “Jane the Virgin.” Vivendi Entertainment also has international chops and has been selling formats around the world. Propagate, which Silverman runs with Howard T. Owens, will make “Les Guignols” with Vivendi Entertainment. Silverman, Owens, and Jay Weisleder will exec produce alongside Matthieu Porte and Arnaud Renard for Vivendi.

“‘Les Guignols’ became part of French television history, and we’re hoping we can make it as iconic in the U.S.,” Porte said. Renard added: “We feel that Propagate is the perfect partner for this challenge, considering Ben Silverman’s track record in adapting foreign formats in the U.S.”

While President Trump is an obvious target, the U.S version of “Les Guignols” would make fun of politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as prominent cultural figures, the producers said. “There’s not a lot of sketch comedy [at the moment], or broad primetime comedy, variety, or puppet shows,” said Silverman. “This is a broad comedy show. It’s not just about politics; it’s pop culture.”

The recently wrapped French show has puppets of numerous contemporary figures ready to go and some new ones being made for the U.S. pilot. In Javerbaum, it has a writer who has won 13 Emmys, mostly for his work on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” He also wrote the Broadway play “An Act of God.”

More TV

  • Krishnendu Majumdar (Chair, BAFTA Television Committee)This

    Emmy-Winning Producer Krishnendu Majumdar to Become Next Chair of BAFTA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Emmy-winning TV producer Krishnendu Majumdar is set to become the next chairman of BAFTA and the first person of color to occupy the prestigious post. Majumdar will begin his two-year tenure in 2020 after the term of the current chair, Pippa Harris, ends. Majumdar has first taken up the post of deputy chair, an appointment [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Rejects ATA Offer, Seeks Individual Talks With 9 Top Agencies

    The Writers Guild of America has called off negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents in favor of pursuing individual talks with nine top agencies as it enforces a total ban on packaging fees and affiliated production for agents representing guild members. WGA West president David Goodman announced the guild’s decision to reject the ATA’s [...]

  • cap 08 cena 31 - Bastidor

    Globoplay’s ‘Aruanas’ Amazon Rainforest Series Bows in 150 Countries

    Globoplay, the streaming platform of Brazilian media giant Globo, is set to bow one of its most ambitious fictional series to date, “Aruanas” (“Sentinels of Nature”). The new series premieres worldwide July 2 on Vimeo-powered platform araunas.tv in more than 150 countries with subtitles in 11 languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Turkish [...]

  • Spain Mediapro Studio Lola Flores Bioseries

    Spain's The Mediapro Studio Develops Bioseries on Flamenco Matriarch Lola Flores

    Spain’s The Mediapro Studio, the recently-launched content production-distribution giant, has teamed with Argentine-based company Non Stop TV to develop a bioseries on Lola Flores, the Spanish flamenco matriarch. The project is backed by The Flores Family, with Lolita and Rosario Flores, Lola Flores daughters, attached as executive producers, alongside Mariola Orellana. The series will recreate [...]

  • Mark-Paul GosselaarFOX 'The Passage' TV show

    'Mixed-ish' at ABC Adds Mark-Paul Gosselaar in Recasting

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar has boarded the upcoming ABC comedy “Mixed-ish.” “Mixed-ish,” a spinoff of “Black-ish,” focuses on the experience of Tracee Ellis Ross’s character, Rainbow Johnson, growing up in a mixed-race family in the ‘80s. Gosselaar will play the role of Bow’s father, taking over from Anders Holm, who played the role in the original pilot. [...]

  • Greg Berlanti

    Greg Berlanti on Why Movies Are Lagging Behind TV in LGBTQ Representation

    Greg Berlanti is television’s most prolific producer. With a record-breaking 18 series from his production company greenlit for the 2019-2020 season, the openly gay Berlanti is using his power to ensure the LGBTQ community is reflected on the small screen — both in front of and behind the camera. From casting the first transgender superhero [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content