'Simpsons' scribe's 'Destiny' is Showtime

Tim Long sets half-hour project at the network

Showtime is developing a dating-themed comedy from Tim Long, a longtme writer/executive producer on "The Simpsons."

The half-hour project, "Kevin and the Chart of Destiny," is about a brilliant but lonely market researcher who designs an elaborate "dating system" -- as laid out in a complex wall chart -- in order to achieve his goal of finding a wife within one year.

The project -- created, written and exec produced by Long -- will draw from his "own private dating humiliations," he said. "I was fascinated by the idea of people who are relatively smart at most things in life but tragically inept at dating. This project is a love letter/apology to all the women I took on tragic dates."

Long, who has been happily married for two years, said his bad dating experiences have included thinking he had a shot with another woman who insisted on splitting the check -- "I thought it was a sign that she was interested, but I think her phone number was unlisted within the hour" -- and being intimate with a woman who started screaming "Wrong, wrong, wrong!" "That put thousands of dollars in my therapist's pocket; hopefully this show will put some money back in my own pocket," Long joked.

Should the project go forward, Long said the character would find some sort of dating success along the way. "I wouldn't want him to be a total idiot for the entire duration," he said. "This is also an opportunity to write some great female characters as well."

Long said he's a "huge fan" of Showtime and believes it's a good home for "Kevin."

"They have obviously been willing to push the frontiers of what is on TV," he said. "Their shows are all very provocative and also have soul."

Long, who has been with Fox's animated show "Simpsons" for 10 years, wrote Sunday's upcoming episode, a tie-in with the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. He is repped by CAA and Beth Stine at Rain Management Group.