'Car Wash' Reboot From Will Packer Set at ABC (Exclusive)

Kenny Leon is on board to direct and co-executive produce the pilot, should the comedy move forward.
Courtesy of Photofest
'Car Wash' (1976)

ABC is looking to clean up.

The network is teaming with Will Packer to develop a single-camera comedy based on the 1976 feature film Car Wash, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The ABC take is described as a workplace comedy that explores the family we build in order to survive — as seen through one kid's determination to create his own destiny, one man's struggle to accept who he has become and the bonds they form at an iconic Hollywood destination: Deluxe Car Wash.

Rob Horn (Partners, Living Single) and Matt Claybrooks (Single Ladies, The Game, Everybody Hates Chris) will pen the script for the project, which landed at ABC with a script plus penalty commitment. Kenny Leon (Hairspray Live, The Wiz Live, She's All That) is on board to direct the pilot, should Car Wash move forward, and also would co-executive produce.

Packer and his Will Packer Productions topper Korin D. Huggins will executive produce via their Universal Television-based banner. Kelly Meyer, Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson also will exec produce, reuniting the trio with Universal Television after their short-lived NBC medical drama Heartbeat.

Initially conceived as a movie, Car Wash explored a multiracial group of employees at an Los Angeles car wash. The screenplay was written by Joel Schumacher, and the film was distributed by Universal Pictures. The Art Linson and Gary Stromberg production, directed by Michael Schultz, featured a cast that included George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Garrett Morris and the Pointer Sisters. (Watch the trailer, below.)

The pic is considered a cult classic and scored a Golden Globe nomination and earned a Grammy win for best album/original score for hits including Rose Royce's title song. The single hit No. 1 on Billboard's pop and R&B charts as well as No. 3 on the disco charts.

For Packer, the project marks the Ride Along and Straight Outta Compton producer's latest TV series and reboot after ABC's short-lived Uncle Buck take as well as A&E's Roots revival. Packer is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham.

Reboots continue to remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered scripted landscape that is quickly approaching 500 original series. Key to the remakes is having the original producers involved in some capacity (which Car Wash has in Universal Television) as more studios look to monetize their existing film libraries.

Already in the works this season are reboots of Sneakers (NBC), Enemy of the State (ABC), Dynasty (The CW), War of the Worlds (MTV), Magnum P.I. (ABC), The Lost Boys (CW), Varsity Blues (CMT), The Departed (Amazon), Let the Right One In (TNT) and L.A. Law, among others.

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