[05/18/04 - 12:00 AM]
2004 Broadcast Upfront Presentations: The Wb, Part 2
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The WB has released several images of its new projects in conjunction with its upfront presentation.

Here's a look at each, listed alphabetically according to series:

BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR -- Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy are three of the stars of the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour," one of the most successful comedy tours of all time, grossing more than $15 million nationwide. It inspired "Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie," the highest-rated movie ever to air on Comedy Central, selling over one million DVDs to date. This summer, Jeff, Bill and Larry, along with an ensemble cast including Heath Hyche, Peter Oldring, Gary Williams, Ashley Drane and Brooke Dillman, will bring their outrageous humor to The WB. Each episode will begin with a themed standup routine from Foxworthy, which will outline the upcoming episode with subjects ranging from everyday family life to lingerie shopping. The theme will continue through pop culture parodies with a decidedly Blue Collar perspective. From Riverside Productions, Warner Bros. Television Production Inc. and Bahr/Small Productions with executive producers Fax Bahr ("Mad TV," "In Living Color," "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment"), Adam Small ("Mad TV," "In Living Color," "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment"), Jeff Foxworthy and J.P. Williams.

COMMANDO NANNY -- When you're a 20-year-old ex-commando from the British Special Forces, how can you channel the thrill of combat into your next career? How about defending your life against three Beverly Hills rich kids? That's exactly what happened to mega-producer Mark Burnett ("Survivor," "The Apprentice") when he first ventured to the West Coast from the British Army Parachute Regiment. Burnett brings his unique experience to The WB in the new comedy, "Commando Nanny." Meet Miles Ross (Philip Winchester, "Thunderbirds"), the young commando whose new barracks are the guest room of a Beverly Hills mansion. Tycoon Ben Winter (Gerald McRaney, "Major Dad") has no intention of hiring the young soldier, but Ben's new, younger wife Lizzie (Kristin Bauer, "Anger Management") sees something in Miles and offers him a challenging new mission: monitoring Seth (Max Wolf Burkholder, "Daddy Daycare"), a 5-year-old in desperate need of attention. Accepting what he intends to be a short-term nanny position, Miles becomes an army of one as he and Ben battle in a daily test of wills. Complicating the agenda are Seth's older siblings. Katie (Beatrice Rosen, "Chasing Liberty") is a very mature teenager who flirts with Miles while plotting behind his back with her surly brother Steven (newcomer Ricky Mabe) to drive the new recruit AWOL. Miles' only R&R comes from his best friend, Nick (British stage actor Adam Campbell). From the bunkers to the bunk beds of Beverly Hills, Miles Ross is in for his toughest detail yet when he enlists as the resident commando nanny. A Warner Bros. Television Production Inc. with executive producers Mark Burnett and David Flebotte ("The Bernie Mac Show").

DREW CAREY'S GREEN SCREEN IMPROV SHOW -- Drew Carey ("The Drew Carey Show," "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?") and his comic friends have a clever plan to shake up the concept of live improv comedy. The performers on this show will act out quirky ideas suggested by the audience ("You're getting married underwater and are attacked by a giant squid"), but that's just a jumping-off point. The real fun begins with the technique known as green screen, which Drew's behind-the-scenes team will use to animate the skits, creating an actual improvised movie that brings to life the details going on in their vivid imaginations. This series promises to be a fun and lively marriage of improv and animation - a concept only Drew Carey could pull off. Also starring Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Chip Esten, Brad Sherwood, Greg Proops, Jeff Davis, Kathy Kinney, Sean Masterson, Julie Larson, Katlin Olson and Jonathon Mangum. From Production Group and Michigan J. with executive producer Drew Carey and post producer Ron Diamond of ACME Filmworks.

JACK & BOBBY -- From master storytellers Greg Berlanti ("Everwood," "Dawson's Creek"), Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing," "Ally McBeal") and Mickey Liddell ("Everwood," "Go") comes a powerful and poignant new drama directed by the incomparable David Nutter ("Smallville," "Without a Trace"). If "greatness is thrust upon us," as Winston Churchill once said, then it's equally true that those who are destined for greatness are rarely aware of it. Take Jack (newcomer Matthew Long) and Bobby McCallister (Logan Lerman, "The Butterfly Effect") for example: two bright young brothers growing up under the watchful eye of their eccentric single-parent mother Grace McCallister (Christine Lahti, "Chicago Hope"). Grace's personality is a force of nature destined to shape both of these young men's lives and secure one a place in the history books-as President of the United States. Set in the present day, the series will detail the relationship between these brothers and the people that help shape their lives, including Jack's best friend Marcus French (Edwin Hodge, "The Alamo"), their beautiful neighbor Courtney Benedict (newcomer Jessica Par´┐Ż) and her father Peter Benedict (John Slattery, "Mona Lisa Smile"). With flash-forward interviews of White House staffers and the First Lady, "Jack & Bobby" is a snapshot of a young man being molded to beat the odds and become this mid-century's greatest Presidential leader. From Warner Bros. Television Production Inc., Berlanti/Liddell Productions and Shoe Money Productions with creator/executive producer Greg Berlanti, creator/co-executive producer Vanessa Taylor ("Everwood"), creators Steve Cohen and Brad Meltzer and executive producers Mickey Liddell and Thomas Schlamme.

THE MOUNTAIN -- Boundary Mountain is an escapist playground for wealthy tourists and extreme sports enthusiasts, but to the Carver family, it's home. "The Mountain" chronicles the larger-than-life saga of the Carvers, whose colorful patriarch, David Carver, Sr. (guest star Chad Everett, "Mulholland Drive," "Medical Center"), founded the town and its internationally famous ski resort after winning the land in a poker game. When this legendary man unexpectedly dies, his choice of an heir sends shockwaves throughout the community. Free-spirited David Carver, Jr. (Oliver Hudson, "Dawson's Creek") left home years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class motocross racer, while his older brother Will (Anson Mount, "Poolhall Junkies") diligently attended business school with every expectation of taking over the family empire. No one, least of all the brothers themselves, expected David to inherit the Mountain. Now, David finds himself saddled with a responsibility he never wanted and a brother who rightly feels betrayed. On top of this, he is torn between two women and suddenly immersed in a power struggle with a neighboring family. David just wants to run, until he realizes his grandfather may have had bigger things in mind. Through the episodes to come, David will begin to reconnect with his mother Gennie (Barbara Hershey, "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Beaches") and teenage sister Shelley (newcomer Tara Thompson), and he will uncover long-buried secrets about his co-workers, his town and even his own family mythology. Also starring Alana De La Garza ("All My Children"), Johann Urb ("Zoolander"), Elizabeth Bogush ("Titans") and newcomer Tommy Dewey, with guest-stars Mitch Pileggi ("The X-Files") and Penn Badgley ("Do Over"). A Warner Bros. Television Production Inc. in association with Wonderland Sound and Vision. Executive producers are McG ("The O.C," the "Charlie's Angels" blockbusters and the upcoming film "Superman"), Stephanie Savage ("The O.C.") and Shaun Cassidy ("American Gothic"). David Barrett ("Fast Lane") directed.

  [may 2004]  


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