Stars line up for TV Land pilots

Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:15 AM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Fran Drescher, Rita Moreno, Kristen Johnston, Christine Taylor and Sherri Shepherd are to star in TV Land pilots, the U.S. network said.

Tichina Arnold, John Michael Higgins, D.W. Moffett, Donald Faison, Valente Rodriguez, Robert Walden and Wayne Knight also have signed on to the three projects, which will be multi-camera comedies and will tape in front of live audiences in February.

"TV Land is very dedicated to finding the next great sitcom for viewers in their 40s," Larry W. Jones, president of TV Land, said in a statement Tuesday. "With the successes of 'Hot in Cleveland' and 'Retired at 35,' we feel that we are really honing in on what our audience craves -- sitcoms with a classic feel with funny, relatable and contemporary storylines."

Based on Fran Drescher's real life, "Happily Divorced" explores how Drescher deals with dating after finding out her husband is gay. Moreno and Robert Walden will play the main character's parents, and Arnold will play her best friend. Higgins, Moffett and Rodriguez also have signed on for the pilot.

Faison, Knight, Johnston and David Alan Basche will star in a yet-to-be-titled Mark Reisman project about three divorced men who live in an apartment building in which the landlord is a smart and sexy female divorce attorney.

Terri Minsky's tentatively titled office comedy "Rip City" stars Taylor, Shepherd and Barry Watson, and is set at Rip City Cola, a regional beverage manufacturer and distributor. When an Ivy League-educated woman takes over as the boss, the entire office is shaken up, particularly a beloved executive at the company who long ago decided to forgo college in favor of working his way up the ranks at Rip City. Anne Meara also is slated to guest star in the pilot, TV Land said in a news release.

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