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Is There Room for Yet Another Newsroom Comedy?

Is it just me or is nearly every other comedy pilot this season about the hijinx at a local newsroom?

There's the 13-episode order for Action News, starring Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Paul Campbell, Aimee Garcia, and Fred Williard, about the friction between two local news co-anchors in Buffalo when one returns after a sojourn in the "big city." It will be airing this fall on FOX and has been generating a lot of buzz here in Hollywood. (It doesn't hurt that the script it pretty damn hilarious and the characters are engagingly witty.)

Then there's the Rick Swartzlander comedy pilot The News, about the goings-on at, you guessed it, a local news station, this time set in Phoenix, Arizona. That project, up for contention for a fall slot at ABC, stars Amy Yasback, Jay Harrington, Rachel Boston, Tim Conlon and Veronica Mars' Julie Gonzalo.

So I was a little surprised when I woke up this morning to discover that FOX had ordered yet another newsroom-set comedy for fall. Six episodes of Anchorwoman, from studio fox21, have been ordered for the fall. Unlike the other two newsroom comedies, this will be a hybrid mix of reality and scripted elements and will follow the exploits of a supermodel who settles in a small Southern town and (naturally) becomes an anchorwoman on the local news.

I'm a little confused as to why FOX would order two similarly-set comedies for next season, especially given that it won the heated bidding war for Action News. Bizarre.

As they would say on one of these local telecasts, stay tuned for more on that story at 11.


rockauteur said…
I am curious to the unscripted elements of Anchorwoman and what tv station in Texas would allow them to do this...
Anonymous said…
I'm really looking forward to "Action News" but the other two shows look kind of lame. It always makes me laugh how Hollywood will spit out several similarly-themed shows or movies at the same time. Very original.
Anonymous said…
I wish there was a more adveturous spirit by commissioners. I'd like to see more American adaptations of English humour. Stand up comedy monologues could work and they'd be cheap to produce.

There's a selection from The Neighbour series of comedy monologues published on - do you think they could be adapted for an American market?
Anonymous said…
From Tyler Morning Telegraph

Bikini Model to Star in Reality TV Show Being Filmed in Tyler photo
Lauren Jones, former WWE wrestling diva, will become an employee of local TV station KTYX for the filming of a reality comedy show to be aired by the Fox TV network.
A model and actress trying to make it as a television anchorwoman will be the subject of a reality television show filmed at a Tyler TV station.

On Tuesday, Phil Hurley, president and general manager of KYTX “CBS-19,” told the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce board the Fox Network had ordered six episodes of the comedy, “Anchorwoman,” to be shot at the CBS-19 studios.

Brian Gadinski, owner and president of The G Group in Hollywood and the first “American Idol” producer, is under contract to produce the six episodes.

Cameras will follow model and actress Lauren Jones through the ropes of learning what it takes to cut it in the television news business in a small to mid-size town.

“Anchorwoman” will not have a cast; the other “characters” will be CBS-19 personnel and people in Tyler and East Texas. Ms. Jones will become a CBS-19 employee, and members of the station’s news team appearing on the show will be monetarily compensated, Hurley confirmed.

A Jackson, Miss., native, Ms. Jones has appeared on the soap opera “Guiding Light,” and was cast as one of the new Barker’s Beauties on “The Price is Right.” She will also appear in “Spiderman 3.”

She is a magazine cover model and bikini model and was a World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler and “Smackdown diva.”

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