6:00am PT by Brian Porreca
AARP Studios Launches With Don Rickles Interview Show
Don Rickles and the AARP are joining forces.
The nonprofit geared toward Americans over 50 is launching AARP Studios with its inaugural project being an unscripted series headlined by the 90-year-old comic titled Dinner With Don.
Dinner With Don will see Rickles eating and dining with friends and fellow comedians while also featuring archives of Rickles' and his guests' work whenever possible. Upcoming guests for season one include Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Poehler, Vince Vaughn, Paul Rudd, Marisa Tomei and Martin Scorsese. The series will be shot around Los Angeles at famed restaurants including Craig's, The Palm, Dan Tana's, Vincente and Madeo.
Rickles will exec produce the series with his longtime manager Tony Oppedisano's Winbrook Entertainment and Robert Bauer (Waitress), C. Scot Cru (The Apprentice) and Patrice Choghi of Stamper Lumber Media Group. Bauer will also direct Dinner With Don. There is no network yet attached.
“Don Rickles is a living legend in the truest sense of those words and we’re looking forward to celebrating this series in advance of his 91st birthday this year,” Bauer said. “Scot and I are tremendously honored, and consider ourselves fortunate to be working alongside Don, Tony O, and AARP Studios to present this legacy series.”
Led by former Discovery Communications' digital studios executive producer Jeffrey Eagle, AARP Studios plans to dip into viral videos, documentaries, virtual reality content and longform TV specials across film, TV and digital media platforms.
"AARP Studios is all about telling real and relatable stories driven by great characters," Eagle said. "In creating a show with Don Rickles, we give viewers a seat at the table and the chance to hear decades of great show business stories from one of the most celebrated comedians of all time.”
For Rickles, Dinner With Don follows recent roles including Grandfathered and voicing Mr. Potato Head in the ever-expanding Toy Story franchise of films and TV specials. Since breaking out as a popular guest and guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, he continues to be a frequent guest on the late-night circuit, including Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
"What keeps me going is that young people still want to see me," Rickles told THR late last year about his long-running career.
Rickles is repped by WME. The deal for Dinner With Don was brokered by Jake Dexter at Paradigm.