Under the most recent pact, the company has set up 8 comedy projects at the broadcast networks, including What Up Wahlbergs, inspired by the Wahlberg brothers as kids growing up, with Donnie Wahlberg producing. The project, written by How To Make It In America creator Ian Edelman, is set up at ABC where Happy Madison has another family comedy, The Goldbergs.
Happy Madison has been at Sony TV for a decade. It has delivered one comedy series for Sony TV that has gone to syndication, CBS’ Rules of Engagement, and is well on its way to have another long-term comedy player in ABC’s The Goldbergs, which is thriving in its sophomore season.
Robinson gave credit to Sony TV Presidents of U.S. programming and production Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht for the company’s longevity at the studio. “Zack and Jamie have are the best parents you can possibly have, not just selling projects but fighting for shows and keeping them on the air,” he said. “They will fight for a show till the end.” For several years, Sony TV brass were able to successfully bring CBS utility player and perennial bubble series Rules Of Engagement back to help the sitcom reach the 100-episode mark. Additionally, Sony lobbied hard with ABC last season to relocate promising newcomer The Goldbergs to the network’s signature Wednesday comedy block, a move that has worked well this season.
In addition to What Up Wahlbergs and the Real Genius half-hour at NBC based on the 1985 movie starring Val Kilmer, which Deadline has written about, Happy Madison is reuniting with Rules Of Engagement creator/executive producer Tom Hertz for a comedy at Fox. Fellow Rules alumna Vanessa McCarthy is writing a script for ABC.
Coverband at CBS is an adaptation of the 2014 New Zealand comedy about members of a rock band left to scramble after their lead singer dumps them for a solo career. Matt Tarses, who consults on The Goldbergs, is writing. The Big C creator Darlene Hunt, who also is working on The Goldbergs, is writing comedy project Meet.Mate.Multiply for ABC.
Also in the works are half-hours Pittsburgh Rich, by Ed co-creator Jon Beckerman at CBS, and My Four Moms by Daniel Lappin (Divorce: A Love Story), also at ABC.
Robinson is overseeing Happy Madison’s TV development with VP Bill Wee. Additionally, the company has brought in producer Matt Mosko as a creative executive. Mosko, son of Sony TV president Steve Mosko, pitched several projects to Happy Madison.”We were interested because of his taste — he has a good eye — and we offered him a job,” Robinson said.
On the feature side, Happy Madison continues to be based at Sony where it has been under a deal for 15 years. Additionally, Sandler signed a four-picture deal with Netflix.