Showtime Adds Three to Pilot Mix

Showtime has picked up three comedy projects to pilots, including an adaptation of BBC's "Manchild," a raunchy comedy often referred to as "male 'Sex and the City.' " The Showtime version hails from "Sex" creator-executive producer Darren Star and "Lucky" creators/executive producers Robb and Mark Cullen.

Also picked up to pilots are "Californication," from writer-executive producer Tom Kapinos, and "Insatiable," from writer/executive producers Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius.

"Manchild," from Sony Pictures TV and Darren Star Prods., revolves around four male friends who are rapidly approaching 50 and knee-deep in midlife crises.

The Cullen brothers are executive producing with Star. Darren Star Prods.' Susie Fitzgerald will serve as co-executive producer. Nick Fisher, creator of the original series, is expected to consult.

It was a long road to the pilot stage for "Manchild." ABC and Touchstone TV first took a stab at translating the British series to U.S. audiences in 2002. And at one point, the project was set up at CBS.

Showtime originally committed to developing an American version of "Manchild" with SPT in February 2005, when Fisher was attached to adapt (HR 2/15/05).

A year later, Star came on board as an executive producer, while Michael Traeger was tapped to write the script. Traeger has since departed, and the Cullens, who have a deal at SPT, joined the project several months ago and penned the script that was picked up to pilot.

As an executive producer on "Sex," Star won a best comedy series Emmy in 2001. Under his overall deal with SPT, he is executive producing the CW's upcoming drama series "Runaway."

Robb and Mark Cullen, Emmy nominees for writing the pilot of FX's comedy "Lucky," most recently created and executive produced the NBC midseason series "Heist."

Star and the Cullens are repped by WMA.

"Californication" centers on a man addicted to sex and drugs who tries to raise his kid on his own.

Former "Dawson Creek" writer/executive producer Kapinos is repped by CAA.

"Insatiable," said to be in the tone of "Twin Peaks," is set in a small town in which everyone has some sort of addiction.

Wallem's series credits include HBO's "The Comeback," ABC's "Jake in Progress" and Fox's "That '70s Show." She is repped by CAA.

Brixius has sold two spec scripts to Warner Bros. Pictures: "Sprinkler Queen," and "Matchmakers." She also wrote "Bridesmaids" for Revolution Pictures. She is repped by WMA.

A rep for Showtime didn't return calls seeking comment Friday.


Nellie Andreeva writes for The Hollywood Reporter.

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