'Are We There Yet' heads to TV

TBS, Debmar adapt feature film for cable

TBS and Debmar-Mercury are looking for a threepeat with "Are We There Yet?," a comedy series based on the Ice Cube starring feature of the same name.

Under the model used for the Debmar-Mercury-distributed Tyler Perry sitcoms "House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns," TBS has ordered 10 episodes of "Are We There Yet?" with an option for an additional 90 episodes.

The series, slated to premiere in June 2010, will star Terry Crews ("Everybody Hates Chris") in the central role of Nick, played in the movie by Ice Cube.

"Terry Crews is the perfect person to replace me as Nick," Ice Cube said. "His physical comedy is undeniable."

Ice Cube will have a recurring role on "Are We There Yet?," which he will executive produce with Joe Roth, Matt Alvarez and "Chris" showrunner Ali LeRoi, who will run the series.

Cube Vision is producing and Debmar-Mercury distributing.

"We are confident that 'Are We There Yet?' will fit extremely well within TBS' popular and diverse comedy lineup," said Michael Wright, executive vp and head of programming for TBS, TNT and TCM.

The 2005 movie "Are We There Yet?" centered on Nick, a smooth operator who, trying to land a date with divorcee Suzanne, offers to drive her two children to be reunited with their mom.

"Are We There Yet?" comes on the heels of another high-profile Debmar-Mercury project, which landed at Comedy Central with the same 10-plus-90 episodes commitment: a Will Ferrell/Adam McKay comedy starring Jon Heder.

Debmer-Mercury's first two comedies for TBS, sitcoms "House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns," have amassed pickups for 126- and 80-episode orders from the cable network.

Like "Meet the Browns," "Are We There Yet?" is an offshoot from a family comedy feature.

All Debmar-Mercury TV series involve a higher-than-usual level of ownership for the networks as well as the talent involved, who usually work for reduced fees.

In exchange for putting up most of the initial investment, Debmar-Mercury gets a syndicatable series in half the typical timeframe.