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MGM to Adapt Rodney Dangerfield Comedy ‘Back to School’ as Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

Rodney Dangerfield may finally be getting some respect in the halls of higher education.

MGM Television is developing a docu-series inspired by the 1986 Dangerfield film “Back to School,” in which the comedian’s character, millionaire Thorton Melon, enrolls in college with his son to keep him from dropping out. In typical Dangerfield fashion, he triggers a series of comedic mishaps on campus. The movie, well-loved among Dangerfield fans, also features a young Robert Downey Jr. and cameos from Oingo Boingo and Kurt Vonnegut.

The docu-series will follow college students with their surprise new classmates — their parents. Both children and parents will experience “the best years of your life” together, but at vastly different ages. Surely, some awkward situations will come. Geriatric beer pong? Mismatched dorm mates? Fraternity brothers with your Dad? Sorority sisters with your Mom?

“I am so excited to take the premise of one of my favorite films into the unscripted world,” said Barry Poznick, MGM’s
president, Unscripted Television. “Rodney was a comedic genius and his spirit is very much in the DNA of our show’s approach to a dual fish-out-of-water comedic format for audiences to experience along with our parents and kids. I love that grown-ups are going back to school and we are able to capture this with our new series.”

MGM Television chief Mark Burnett and Poznick will executive produce the series along with Joan Dangerfield, the comedian’s widow, for MGM Television, which will distribute the series internationally.

Rodney Dangerfield, known for his catchphrase “I don’t get no respect,” died in 2004 at the age of 82.

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