The nostalgia theme among broadcast comedy executives this season continues with another half-hour project based on a 1980s movie. ABC has put in development Uncle Buck, a multi-camera comedy based on the classic John Hughes film starring John Candy. The project hails from Universal TV, whose feature sibling produced the movie, and Will Packer Prods., the company of feature producer Will Packer (the Ride Along and Think Like A Man franchises).
Like the movie, the series project, written by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, will center on a childish man, played in the film by Candy, who learns how to be an adult by taking care of his brother’s kids in a very childish way. Cragg, Bradley and Packer executive produce, with Will Packer Prods.’ head of TV Korin Huggins co-executive producing. The project falls under the first-look deal Packer inked with Universal TV last year.
Uncle Buck, whose cast also included Amy Madigan, Macaulay Culkin and Laurie Metcalf, was a hit when it was released in August 1989, grossing nearly $80 million (watch the trailer above). The film first was adapted as a TV series in 1990 with Kevin Meaney in the title role. It ran on CBS for one season.
Packer, repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham, has produced seven No. 1 films: No Good Deed (2014), Ride Along (2014), Think Like A Man Too (2014), Think Like A Man (2012), Takers (2010), Obsessed (2008) and Stomp The Yard (2007). Resolution-repped Cragg and UTA-repped Bradley also have a single-camera suburban comedy set up at NBC with David Janollari producing.
Uncle Buck joins a slew of other 1980s comedic movies and a TV show getting series treatment this season. NBC has Real Genius, based on the 1985 film starring Val Kilmer, as well as Problem Child, based on the film that came out in 1990. The network also bought Say Anything, a comedy based on Cameron Crowe’s 1989 film, but that project has been shelved. Fox is adapting the 1988 Tom Hanks blockbuster Big and is remaking cult 1980s sci-fi dramedy series Greatest American Hero.