TBS in 'Blue Collar' Business


TBS has had some success with single-camera comedy and semi-improvised comedy in recent months, and now it's going the traditional route.

The cable network has picked up eight episodes of "The Bill Engvall Show," a series starring the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" regular. The show, a traditional, multi-camera sitcom, is scheduled to premiere in the summer.

"The critical and commercial success of our first attempts at original scripted comedy on the network was incredibly gratifying," says Michael Wright, head of original programming at TBS. "We're very enthused about breaking new ground for the network with 'The Bill Engvall Show.' It's a multi-camera family comedy shot in front of a studio audience, and we are absolutely thrilled with it."

Engvall, who co-created the show with Michael Leeson ("The Cosby Show," "Twenty Good Years"), plays a family counselor, and as such things go, his own family could use a little advice too. Nancy Travis ("Becker," "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants") plays his wife and mother to their three kids, played by Jennifer Lawrence, Graham Patrick Martin and Skyler Gisondo.

Engvall and Leeson are also executive producers of the show, along with J.P. Williams ("Blue Collar TV"). Veteran helmer James Widdoes ("Two and a Half Men," "The King of Queens") directed the pilot.

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