February 15, 2013 4:30pm PT by Lacey Rose
'Home Improvement' Co-Creator Matt Williams to Run George Lopez's 10/90 Comedy
Roseanne creator Matt Williams is getting into the George Lopez business.
Mere weeks after inking a first-look deal with studio Lionsgate, Williams has signed on as the showrunner of Lopez's 10-90 comedy project. The duo is said to be mapping out what the potential multicam Latino family comedy series will entail and have not yet begun shopping the concept to networks. The project brings Williams back to TV just as Charlie Sheen's Anger Management did Roseanne's Bruce Helford.
Lopez, who starred in his eponymous ABC sitcom for six seasons, has been attached to the Lionsgate effort for roughly a year, as the executives at Lionsgate and studio-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury have searched for a showrunner. Presuming the Lopez-Williams entry finds a network home, it will air 10 episodes as a test run of sorts; if those 10 hit a predetermined ratings threshold, the series automatically will trigger a 90-episode order, allowing it to sell into syndication on an expedited timeline.
The 10/90 formula, which dates back to Tyler Perry's House of Payne, has proved lucrative for Perry, Are We There Yet's Ice Cube and Management's Sheen, who is poised to make as much as $200 million off of his FX comedy. Next, Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury will look to lock down a showrunner for an oddball comedy staring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence.
Williams' TV career began with a writer-producer gig on The Cosby Show, before he co-created the spinoff A Different World. Following that, he formed his Wind Dancer Production Group with Carmen Finestra and David McFadzean. Under their Wind Dancer banner, he co-created Tim Allen's Home Improvement, Roseanne Barr's Roseanne, Carol Burnett’s Carol & Company and Dan Aykroyd’s Soul Man.
In 2008, the industry vet launched Wind Dancer Films with McFadzean -- along with company president Dete Meserve and head of production Judd Payne -- to produce and finance films and create and produce television. The shingle’s films include Bernie, As Cool as I Am, Nancy Meyer's What Women Want and Where the Heart Is, which Williams also directed.
“Matt and his partners at Wind Dancer are masterful producers, known for creating and developing distinctive original material with great success,” said Lionsgate Television Group president Kevin Beggs said of the six-time Emmy nominee in announcing the producing deal.