“Gary & Mike,” a clay-animated comedy about two slackers exploring America, is expected to do a little traveling itself, making a trip from Fox, which initially ordered the series, to UPN.
As of Friday the parties had yet to finalize an agreement, but sources say the six episodes already produced for Fox will go to UPN, which will order additional installments and introduce the show some time next year.
Fox has exhibited scant interest in the series, allowing the production company, Big Ticket Television, to approach other networks, with a deal coming together in just the last few days. In fact, a Fox spokesman indicated as recently as Thursday that Fox would likely air “Gary & Mike” this summer, which amounted to burning off the existing episodes.
Shifting the show to UPN would make sense because Big Ticket is a sister unit of the network’s corporate parent, Viacom, and currently produces the fledgling broadcaster’s two top-rated comedies, “The Parkers” and “Moesha.” UPN declined comment.
The arrangement also serves as an additional sign Fox has lost some of its appetite for animation, having opened the season with “The Simpsons,” 'King of the Hill,” “Futurama” and “Family Guy” on its prime-time lineup, plus “The PJs” and “Gary & Mike” in reserve.
Rumors persist that “PJs” could wind up in a new neighborhood as well, perhaps moving to the WB, which has already snagged rights to another major-network castaway, ABC’s “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” for the fall.