According to Variety, for the first time in its history, TV Land is opening its doors to original scripted programming. Projects in the works include a revival of Mr. Magoo and Us and Them, a laffer from John Markus (The Larry Sanders Show) and Bill Persky (Who's the Boss) previously set up at NBC.
Also in development are several reality pilots -- one starring a Dr. Phil-style show starring Mr. T and another about pop culture's biggest jump-the-shark moments -- as well as several specials.
The lineup reveals an expanded focus for TV Land to all things pop culture. Unlike sister web VH1, however, TV Land targets the older end of the 25-54 demo, and execs insist cabler's brand of nostalgia will remain "reverential." Classic TV still will be at the heart of originals, but certain skeins and specs like "Jump the Shark" will embrace subjects outside the (set-top) box.
Scripts in development at TV Land include the following:
--"Mr. Magoo," an update of the cartoon featuring the bumbling undercover spy who thinks he's a goodwill ambassador
--"Harry Cobb," a mockumentary about a filmmaker's journey to real places across America, from Jay Tarses ("Buffalo Bill")
--"Us and Them," a half-hour about a trio of sitcom has-beens who live with an eager up-and-comer, from Markus and Persky.
Also in the works:
--"I Pity the Fool," an unscripted advice show toplining Mr. T and his unique brand of self-help
--"TV Land's Classic Home Movies," a clip show comprised of home movies from classic TV stars
--"Back to the Grind," a series in which TV stars attempt to work the jobs their characters held in their respective shows.
--"You Wish," a wish-fulfillment skein offering average folks the chance to realize pop culture dreams (e.g., having a living room that looks like the Brady Bunch's)
--"Jump the Shark," a panel show based on the Web site of the same name discussing the moments in TV, music and movies when things went wrong.
Already on sked for 2006 are six new installments of Living in TV Land, which will kick off after the fourth edition of "The TV Land Awards" March 22. First episode follows William Shatner. Other celebs profiled include Barry Williams, Adam West, Davey Jones, Sherman Hemsley and Fred Willard.