Grammnet takes action with move to 20th TV

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After nearly 15 years at Paramount, Kelsey Grammer's Grammnet Prods. is moving to 20th Century Fox Television with a one-year pod deal.

Under the pact, which has an option for a second year, Grammer and his development team, led by president Steve Stark, will develop new series projects for 20th TV. The deal begins in June, when Grammnet's pact with CBS Paramount Network TV is up.

Grammer already is in business with 20th TV, starring opposite Patricia Heaton in the studio's comedy "Action News." The multicamera project from Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd recently landed at Fox with a series commitment (HR 2/9).

Grammer worked with 20th last year as the director of a comedy pilot the studio produced for CBS with writer Rich Appel. 20th president Dana Walden said studio execs were impressed by his "strong instincts for casting, performances and material." After "Action News" came together with Grammer this year, Walden said it "made all the sense in the world for us to be in business with Grammnet."

Walden said she was impressed at the eclectic range of projects that Grammnet has in development. "They're not pigeonholed into one genre, and that speaks to Steve's strengths as a developer" of material, she said.

Grammer was unavailable for comment Tuesday. The move away from his longtime home at Paramount is bittersweet for Grammer, according to sources close to Grammer.

Grammnet and CBS Par TV will continue to collaborate on Grammnet's three series on the air: the CW comedies "Girlfriends" and "The Game" and the NBC drama "Medium." Additionally, Grammnet and CBS Par TV are producing "Dash 4 Cash," a comedy pilot in contention for fall at the CW.

Grammnet has been based at Paramount since its launch in the early 1990s. Grammer's relationship with the studio goes back even further — to 1984, when he joined "Cheers," Paramount's comedy series for NBC. He went on to star in the spinoff "Frasier," also produced by Paramount, a role that earned him four Emmys.

Grammnet's first series on the air was the 1997 NBC comedy "Fired Up." The company's development switched to a higher gear in 2003, when Paramount executive Stark joined as president.

Grammnet is repped by CAA and attorney Paul Mayerson.
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