'Marley & Me' TV Sequel in the Works at NBC With Jenny Bicks

As a comedy based on the Owen Wilson-Jennifer Aniston feature
"Marley & Me," left, and Jenny Bicks

The season of adaptations continues.

NBC has handed out a hefty put-pilot commitment to a sequel to 2008 feature Marley & Me, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

From The Big C and Sex and the City alum Jenny Bicks, the single-camera comedy will pick up where the Fox 2000 Pictures/Regency Enterprises film — itself based on John Grogan's best-seller — left off.

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John (played by Owen Wilson in the film) and Jenny Grogan (Jennifer Aniston) and their two boys, now 14 and 11, have just moved back to Florida so that John can take up his newspaper column again. However, when a stray puppy ("owned," but not well, by their neighbors) ends up on their doorstep, they are forced to adopt it. This dog, named Marley for the fact that they use Marley's old leash and tags on her, is as willful, destructive and delightful as her original namesake. And she will help shed light not only on the growing pains of the Grogan family, but also the lives of the neighbors, and fellow dog-owners, around them.

Bicks will pen the script and executive produce the comedy for 20th Century Fox Television, where she's under an overall deal. Marley & Me feature film director David Frankel will exec produce and helm the pilot should the comedy move forward. Karen Rosenfelt, who produced the original movie, is also on board to executive produce. The film grossed $242.7 million worldwide and earned a Teen Choice Awards for "bromantic comedy."

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 Marley & Me joins a rapidly growing list of TV remakes in the works this development season as networks look to cut through the clutter in an increasingly competitive scripted landscape. Key to the remakes is having the original producers on board — something 20th TV learned with its planned Say Anything reboot. While the studio's parent company owns the rights to the feature, the original producers were not involved. The studio legally could have moved forward without their consent but ultimately opted to scrap the TV follow-up.

Meanwhile, Fox is reviving Big and Monster-in-Law, CBS is tackling Rush Hour and In Good Company, CW is plotting The Illusionist, and Showtime and MGM TV are rebooting In the Heat of the Night, to name a few. Fox is also prepping a comedy based on Jennifer Lopez-starrer Monster-In-Law and another small-screen adaptation of Bewitched is currently being shopped to networks. For NBC's part, the network is also developing adaptations of Problem Child and The Money Pit.

Bicks is repped by UTA; Frankel is with WME.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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