Revolution Television Moves Forward With Digital Puppet Project (Exclusive)
As if developing Anger Management for Charlie Sheen isn’t enough of a challenge, Joe Roth’s Revolution Television is moving forward with an unusual pilot tentatively called Movin’ On Up! that will incorporate digital puppetry into a situation comedy.
Revolution has made a deal with the special effects company Legacy EFX along with Dallas Jackson and Rodney Barnes, who will write the pilot script that is described by the co-writers as “a throw-back sitcom in the vein of The Jeffersons meets The Fresh Prince with a unique twist.” The title is a homage to The Jeffersons’ theme song "Movin’ On Up."
If the script and effects work come together as expected, Revolution will likely finance the pilot before seeking distribution on a network or in syndication.
Barnes is expected to serve as showrunner and Jackson as an executive producer along with Legacy EFX. Vince Totino of Revolution is overseeing the project for the studio.
The puppet characters are said to be in the vein of the popular MVP (Most Valuable Puppet) commercials that Legacy EFX did for Nike in 2009 with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
Barnes has been a writer-executive producer on such TV comedies as ’Til Death, My Wife and Kids, Everybody Hates Chris and The Boondocks, which just concluded its fifth season on Cartoon Network. He also worked on the feature script Think Like a Man, now in production at Screen Gems.
Jackson wrote and is attached to produce the martial-arts movie remake The Last Dragon for Columbia Pictures with Samuel L. Jackson attached to star. He’s also co-penning Tougher Than Leather: The Rise of Run-DMC with scribe Cheo Hodari Coker (Notorious). On the TV side, Jackson is attached as an executive producer on projects at Starz and ABC Family.
Besides the Nike campaign, Legacy EFX has created special effects for movies including both Iron Man films, Avatar and I Am Number Four and more than 300 TV commercials.
Partners in the company, which was founded in 2008 by former associates of the late Stan Winston, are Alan Scott, John Rosengrant, Shane Mahan and Lindsay MacGowan.
Barnes is represented by Paradigm, manager Brian Dobbins at Principato/Young and attorney Darryl Miller. Jackson is repped by attorney Darren Trattner.
Revolution TV has Are We There Yet on TBS and is developing Anger Management with Sheen to star and Lionsgate TV to produce.