Over the past couple of years, cable television has clearly fallen in love with the partnership between Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury. This model is pretty simple: You get the show signed to a channel, allow it to air 10 episodes, and then renew it for 90 more if it meets a certain threshold. The shows are extremely profitable for all parties involved, since it doesn’t require much cost save for paying the people involved.
This model all started with the Tyler Perry series “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns” on TBS, but the show that has popularized the model more than any other is Charlie Sheen’s FX series “Anger Management.” Since that time, George Lopez, Kelsey Grammer, and Martin Lawrence are all some of the former sitcom stars who have landed one of these deals, and they are now joined by another in Kevin James.
According to Deadline, James has partnered with the studios on a show that will have the same sort of deal, but it does not have a network like FX or TBS attached just yet. Reportedly, James is going to take on a significant role in the creative of the show, which is no real surprise given that he has a history as a writer both in movies and in film.
Do we think that this project will succeed? It has the most potential going in since “Anger Management”, and it may even perform better for one simple reason: James has some good credibility now as a big-screen star. He won’t get the same sort of big ratings early on, but with the right cast, he proved with “The King of Queens” that he can really get something going that can last for a long time.
What do you think about this idea, and would you watch a show starring Kevin James? Be sure to share some of your thoughts below!