Registered: Jun 2002
I bet it'll be awful once the US network censors have hacked the scripts to pieces, but anyway:
LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- A new comedy gang of six single friends is coming to NBC.
Ben Silverman's recently launched Universal-based banner Reveille has received a put pilot commitment from NBC for "Coupling," a comedy based on the British series of the same name.
The U.S. version, which will be shepherded by the creative team behind the original show, is targeted for a potential midseason launch. It will be co-produced with NBC Studios.
"Coupling," referred to at the network as "Friends" with sex, centers on the love and lust of a group of six thirtysomethings who are either involved, formerly involved or looking to become intimately involved with one another. The show, now going into production on its third season on the BBC, explores the change in the friends after two of them become a couple and examines the way men and women look at life and sex.
"It's kind of a next-generation sitcom," Silverman said. "It is really honest and edgy, and the humor flows more organically. It is a smart and fresh comedy."
While Silverman said the show is very different from "Friends," he said the producers eyed it as a potential replacement for the hit Thursday comedy set to bow out at the end of next season.
"We think 'Coupling' would be a perfect show for the fans of 'Friends,' and so does NBC," Silverman said.
NBC is said to be very high on the project, which is being championed by network entertainment president Jeff Zucker, a fan of the British series. Silverman will executive produce the NBC pilot along with Beryl Vertue, Sue Vertue and Steven Moffat. Leading British comedy series helmer Martin Dennis, who has directed all episodes of "Coupling," is set to direct the pilot.
"It's been quite a family affair," Beryl Vertue said about the original series. "Coupling" came out of an idea from Beryl Vertue's son-in-law, Moffat, and was based on the relationship between Moffat and Beryl Vertue's daughter, Sue, and their friends. "It's about them looking at themselves and seeing how, although they became a new couple, they still had all these friends around -- there were a lot of exes in the congregation and yet (they were) really, really good friends," said Beryl Vertue, who executive produces the British series. Sue Vertue serves as a producer.
Moffat, who writes the series, will be very involved in adapting the show and writing the pilot script for NBC.
For veteran producer Beryl Vertue, "Coupling" comes on the heels of a series of successful British show transplants on U.S. television. She was involved in helping "All in the Family," "Sanford & Son" and, most recently, "Men Behaving Badly" cross the pond.
Silverman is also well versed in bringing U.K. formats to America. As WMA's head of international packaging for seven years -- first in London and then in New York -- he helped set up "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire ( news - web sites)" at ABC.
"Coupling" is the first joint project for Silverman and Beryl Vertue. The two have known each other for years and have been looking to work together.
"I'm delighted that we've linked up with Ben and Reveille because I think that Ben's got a great new company, and we're really delighted to be the first production with Reveille," Vertue said. "It's a very happy series, and we're looking forward to having as much pleasure doing it in America."
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