TV News: Robert Smigel and Rob Riggle Developing Comedy at CBS; Starz Grabs BOSS from Kelsey Grammer and Gus Van Sant

     November 18, 2010


For the past two development seasons for television, CBS has tried to get former Daily Show correspondent Rob Riggle a successful starring vehicle. It looks like the network will try again as Deadline reports Saturday Night Live veteran writer Robert Smigel (who made a name for himself with the animated TV Funhouse segments) is working with Riggle for a currently untitled half hour comedy. The series would see Riggle as a gregarious guy who winds up as a real estate agent working for the nerd he made fun of in high school. Both Smigel and Riggle are executive producing along with famed producers and talent managers Peter Principato and Paul Young. The network has made finding a project for Riggle a high priority, so hopefully this one works out for him

Details on a new Kelsey Grammer-led drama at Starz from director Gus Van Sant after the jump.

kelsey_grammer_imageThough Grammer has made a career on television by making people laugh, mostly as the famed Dr. Fraiser Crane on Cheers and Fraiser or Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons, the actor is now making a movie to dramatic television on cable. Variety reports the TV veteran will star in Boss, a series which sees Grammer as the powerful mayor of Chicago. Starz has ordered the series for eight episodes with Gus Van Sant (Milk) attached to direct the pilot. The series is an hour long drama which intends to focus on power and personal dynamic. and has been called “a modern-day Spartacus.”

Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto) wrote the script on spec after developing the idea with Grammer for quite awhile. The actor has had a tough time finding a new series after Hank and Back to You met an early demise, but maybe cable will give him the career boost he needs.