(Posted September 12, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)
NETWORK STRIKES DEAL WITH LIONS GATE TELEVISION FOR REALITY PILOT STARRING MR. T
New York, NY, September 12, 2005 - TV Land today announced a deal with Lions Gate Television to produce a reality TV pilot starring the one and only Mr. T, entitled I Pity The Fool (working title). The pilot is expected to begin production in October and features Mr. T in the unlikely role of social scientist as he dishes out advice in classic "T" style to fans in need.
I Pity The Fool blends the conventions of a makeover show with fish-out-of-water conflict, resulting in a humorous twist on the format. Starring Mr. T in the role of motivational guru, the program focuses on specific concepts associated with personal or professional success, such as teamwork or determination. Those themes will be illustrated by hilarious anecdotes from Mr. T's own life, followed by real world situations in which he becomes the catalyst for change.
"We are very excited to work with Mr. T and Lions Gate on I Pity The Fool," states Sal Maniaci, Vice President of Development and Production, TV Land and Nick at Nite. "By putting Mr. T in an unfamiliar environment, viewers will have the experience of seeing him back up his famous words and attitude with concrete actions. Exposing
our viewers to celebrated personalities that they love in formats that are new and unique is exactly the kind of original programming that TV Land is creating."
"We believe Mr. T's larger-than-life personality, disarming style and unique perspective on life will be a breath of fresh air in reality television," said Kevin Beggs, president, programming and production, Lions Gate Television. "TV Land has shared our enthusiasm about this project from the beginning and we're delighted to be in business with the network."
I Pity The Fool is produced by Lions Gate Television in association with Left/Right Films and Remag Guerilla. Stephen Belafonte (Thank You for Smoking, Never Die Alone, Prison Ball), Ken Druckerman (Growing Up Gotti), and Banks Tarver (Growing Up Gotti) are executive producers.
The deal for Mr. T was brokered by The Buchwald Agency.
Lions Gate Television is the television production and distribution arm of Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF). With a total of five series currently on the air, the company is continuing its strategy of being an important supplier of content to cable and broadcast networks. Lions Gate Entertainment is the premier independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library is a valuable source of stable and recurring revenue and serves as a foundation for the continued growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lions Gate brand name is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.
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