EXCLUSIVE: Fox has picked up for development 2 projects from Friends alumni: Brian Buckner’s How the Other Half Hamptons, which is produced by Brett Ratner, and R. Lee Fleming Jr.’s Anthem, produced by Topher Grace. Both are from 20th Century Fox TV. Hamptons, which 20th TV co-produces with Ratner’s RatTV, is part of the hot trend of book adaptations this buying season. It is based Jasmin Rosemberg’s novel, which in turn was inspired by Rosenberg’s New York Post column about her Hamptons share-house experience. In the vein of Animal House, Hamptons revolves around friends Jamie, Rachel and Allison who don’t have the old-school Hamptons money but still want to enjoy the trappings of the Hamptons lifestyle and find the men of their dreams, so they pile into a shared house together. Buckner, who works on HBO’s True Blood, is writing the script and is executive producing with Ratner. This is Ratner’s second sale this development season. He is also executive producing writer Sascha Penn’s drama Unknown at Fox. Ratner and Buckner are with CAA.
Anthem is a half-hour based on an original idea and focuses on four guys from suburban Indiana who get a second chance at their dream when they reunite the cover band they had as teenagers but find themselves juggling small town fame with their domestic responsibilities. Fleming Jr. is writing and executive producing with Grace and Gordon Kaywin. Grace and Kaywin’s Sargent Hall sold the project through its first deal with the Fox network and will co-produce with 20th TV. In addition to Anthem, Grace and Kaywin are developing a comedy at Warner Bros. TV with writer Bill Kunstler. Grace and Kaywin are with WME and BEP, Fleming Jr. with UTA.