Grammer and Heaton may make 'News'


In what would be a blockbuster pairing of sitcom stars, Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton are in discussions to co-star in a comedy series, "Action News," created by writer-producers Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd for 20th Century Fox TV.

As of Monday night, there was no deal in place for Grammer or Heaton, and the talks were ongoing, sources said. The project is said to be set at a local TV station and revolve around the reuniting of a male and female anchor team (Grammer, Heaton).

Top showrunners Levitan and Lloyd planted their flag at 20th as writing and producing partners in July (HR 7/13). Sources said the studio intends to nail down deals with Grammer and Heaton before shopping the script to prospective buyers. The onscreen star power of Grammer and Heaton combined with Levitan and Lloyd virtually ensures a bidding skirmish among networks for the project.

Representatives for 20th and the CAA-repped Grammer and Heaton declined comment on the project. Sources said both actors were drawn to the project because of the strength of the script.

Grammer wrapped his 20-year run as Dr. Frasier Crane of "Cheers" and "Frasier" fame in 2004. He earned four Emmys for his acting work on "Frasier," on which Lloyd served as a showrunner for most of its 1993-2004 run on NBC.

Grammer has been active as a producer in recent years with the NBC drama "Medium" and UPN/CW comedy "Girlfriends," hailing from his Grammnet Prods. banner.

Heaton called it a wrap on nine seasons of CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond" in 2005, earning two Emmys for her role as harried wife and mother Debra Barone. She recently appeared on the ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11" and the TNT remake of "The Goodbye Girl."

Levitan, repped by UTA, created and executive produced the NBC comedy "Just Shoot Me" and more recently executive produced the Fox/20th Century Fox TV comedies "Stacked," "Oliver Beene" and "Greg the Bunny." ICM-repped Lloyd's credits range from NBC's "Wings" to last season's CBS comedy "Out of Practice."