Matt Williams, creator/executive producer of 1980s hit Roseanne, has come on board as writer/showrunner for another family sitcom — a George Lopez-starring vehicle, which will be produced by Lionsgate TV and distributed by sibling Debmar-Mercury under the company’s 90-10 model. A year ago, Lopez, co-creator and executive producer of multi-camera sitcom George Lopez, which ran on ABC for six seasons and 120 episodes, signed a deal with Lionsgate TV and Debmar-Mercury to co-create, star in and executive produce a new multi-camera comedy about a Latino family. Then this past January, Lionsgate signed a first-look deal with Williams and his Wind Dancer Films. The George Lopez comedy falls under that deal.
Under Debmar-Mercury’s 10-90 model, which the company employed for the Tyler Perry comedies and Ice Cube’s Are We There Yet on TBS and most recently for Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management on FX, the company sells sitcoms to cable networks with an initial 10-episode straight-to-series order, which, if meeting a ratings target, triggers a multi-season order as big as 90 episodes. Williams and Lopez executive produce the project with Lopez’s manager, 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg. Liosngate TV and Debmar-Mercury also are working on a 90-10 sitcom with Kesley Grammer and Martin Lawrence.
In addition to creating Roseanne, Williams co-created another hit ABC sitcom, Home Improvement. Like the Lopez show, both were toplined by standup comedians. WME-repped Williams also was a writer on NBC’s blockbuster The Cosby Show and went on to co-create spinoff A Different World. I hear the George Lopez show is envisioned as being as broad. Wind Dancer’s TV credits include Home Improvement, Carol & Company with Carol Burnett and Soul Man with Dan Aykroyd. Williams is repped by WME.