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LIFE AFTER 'SNL': Macdonald Inks Sitcom Deal

Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Norm Macdonald has inked a deal with Warner Bros. TV to star in his own sitcom co-created by Bruce Helford, executive producer of "The Drew Carey Show."

The sitcom is expected to fulfill Helford's 13-episode commitment to ABC, if the Alphabet web is interested in the series. Helford said he hopes the series will be ready to air as early as midseason.

While Macdonald was pitched to a couple of other studios, Warner Bros. always was the leading contender because Mac-donald and Helford have been friends since the two worked together writing on "Roseanne."

"The Drew Carey Show" came together in much the same way: Carey and Helford had worked together as writers on "Someone Like Me."

"They've been in the trenches together, and they see the world the same," Warner Bros. TV president Tony Jonas said of Helford and Macdonald. "Just like 'Drew Carey' had a clear and potent point of view, we're looking at the same magical com-bination."

Helford and Macdonald won't reveal the concept for their new series until they pitch it to ABC, but Helford said "It's going to be very edgy, and it's based more on Norm's standup routine than on what he did for 'Saturday Night Live.' "

On "SNL," Macdonald had a slick, suit-wearing persona, Helford contends, but in reality, "Norm is like Will Rogers. He grew up on a farm in Canada."

Macdonald's take on life, which will be reflected on the show is that "he doesn't get why everything is so insane," Helford said. "He's sees the common sense behind things, and he's politically incorrect because he's so honest. The show will be very honest and will cut through a lot of b.s."

Helford will continue to supervise "The Drew Carey Show," while working on the new sitcom, and he said Carey himself may "come give us a hand."

Macdonald is probably best known for hosting "Weekend Update" on "SNL" until NBC West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer ousted him, which sparked a public battle between the two men. That flap coincided with the release of Macdonald's movie "Dirty Work," and the comedian will began shooting his new film, "Pittsburgh" (formerly "Ballbusted") in August.

The Macdonald sitcom deal was brokered by Endeavor, manager Ray Reo at Brillstein-Grey and attorney Jared Levine.

Source: Variety


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