*Following Debmar-Mercury’s success with the Tyler Perry sitcoms “House Of Payne” and “Meet The Browns” and Ice Cube’s “Are We There Yet?,” Byron Allen’s syndicated company is attempting the same accelerated production of an urban comedy series for a run in broadcast syndication.
Allen’s Entertainment Studios has just finished production on “Mr. Box Office,” a pilot starring actor/comedian Bill Bellamy, reports Deadline.com.
Created and written by Allen and Scott Satin, “Mr. Box Office” centers on actor Marcus Jackson (Bellamy), one of the biggest movie stars in the world who, after pushing a paparazzi, finds himself having to put his film career on hold, while relegated to a long-term community service stint teaching underprivileged high school kids in South Central.
Co-starring in the project, which is aiming at producing a minimum of 104 episodes over two years, are “Saturday Night Live” alum Tim Meadows, Vivica A. Fox, former NBA star/actor Rick Fox, “The Cosby Show” veteran Keshia Knight Pulliam, Jon Lovitz (“SNL”) and Gary Busey.
Rick Fox will play a physical education teacher at the school and Vivica Fox will play a cougar history teacher. Allen and Satin are executive producing with Bellamy, Barry Katz and Carolyn Folks.
Allen would not discuss the project, but sources say that Entertainment Studios has teamed on it with Tribune Entertainment and, if successful, the show would air on the CW-affiliated stations through Tribune, the main station group carrying the CW.
Mr. Box Office is eying a primetime launch this fall. In the meantime, Bellamy has two specials slated to air on Showtime this year—“Bill Bellamy: Crazy, Sexy, Dirty” premiering on June 2, and “Ladies Night Out.”