Imagine Television and a member of the Kennedy family are developing a sitcom, to star the same Kennedy clan member, about what it's like to be a member of the Kennedy dynasty and run for political office in California.
For the Fox network.
Christopher Kennedy Lawford -- son of Peter Lawford and JFK sister Patricia Kennedy -- will star in the series, which will be based on his own life as Rat Pack toddler-cum-First Nephew in the Land of Camelot.
The half-hour series would be shot single camera and without a laugh track -- really, do you need a laugh track when you're writing about the Kennedy family? -- and will look vaguely documentary-ish.
Lawford will play himself but, for the sake of Fox's race to attract 18-to-49-year-old viewers, the 50-year-old will fudge his age by about five years, said one source close to the project who did not wish his/her identity to be revealed lest it impede his/her ability to continue to be gainfully employed and get a table at the Ivy.
Television Christopher Kennedy Lawford will, like Actual Christopher Kennedy Lawford, be coming out of an "extended adolescence," as our source put it. And -- in one of those astounding coincidences that make you wonder if there isn't a Great Scheduler out there -- that's exactly how the trade paper the Hollywood Reporter put it, too.
Actual Christopher Kennedy Lawford is an actor, best known for playing Brewster's aide in "Terminator 3," Sen. Jordan on "General Hospital," Studio Exec #1 in "Chump Change" (Roger Clinton played Studio Exec # 2, according to the Web site Imdb.com), Vice President Chet Ridgeway in "Counterstrike," another vice president in "Exit Wounds" and Reuben in "Mary, Mother of Jesus."
But mostly, he's known for looking like the spittin' image of his extremely handsome dad, and for his much publicized substance-abusing past, which will be featured in the series. Which, to refresh your memory, will be a comedy. If you can't wait for the series, you can read all about Lawford's past in his new book with the really long title "Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption."
In the series, TV Christopher Kennedy Lawford will not decide to pitch a sitcom to Fox.
He will instead decide to "embrace the family business" -- the Kennedy family business, not the Lawford family business. To be specific, our source says he will run for some minor political office in Los Angeles. Our source would not tell us what office but assured us it was not governor of the state. That post currently is occupied by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is Actual Christopher Kennedy Lawford's cousin-in-law, Maria Shriver being his cousin.
The series also will star Gavin Grazer, who in real life is the pal of Actual Christopher Kennedy Lawford.
Grazer is also the brother of Imagine's principal, Brian Grazer, which may have something to do with why this show is being developed by Imagine -- home of Fox's nearly canceled "Arrested Development."
Gavin Grazer would assume the role of Gavin Grazer in the series, which will examine the tragedy of living in the shadow of fame and which -- we cannot emphasize this enough -- is going to be a comedy.
A series cashing in on the Kennedy cachet hasn't been tried since . . . well, last season.
WB's "Jack and Bobby" was set in the year 2049, with flashbacks to the less-distant future. Only in this Camelot, older, really cute brother Jack wasn't the one who became president; he just died. Younger brother Bobby became president and married his brother's girlfriend, which was creepy. And their mom smoked pot and was angry and pinched as only Christine Lahti can do angry and pinched. It was a total downer and gone at the end of its first season.
Should have made it a comedy.
CBS has gotten its miniseries about Pope John Paul II blessed by Pope Benedict XVI, the network announced yesterday.
But those heathens at ABC have gone and slipped their movie about Pope John Paul II onto the prime-time schedule ahead of CBS's.
Will a papal blessing triumph over ABC's devilish scheduling?
A couple of weeks ago, news got out that ABC had scheduled its papal project "Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II," for Dec. 1, airing from 8 to 10 p.m. (Interestingly, that's one of ABC's worst time slots.)
CBS, which had been trumpeting "Pope John Paul II" for months, previously announced that its miniseries would debut on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 9 p.m., following "Cold Case," a series about investigations of old murders.
Part 2 will air the following Wednesday, from 8 to 10 p.m., leading into "CSI: NY," a series about investigations of new murders.
CBS stuck with those dates, even though doing so gives ABC the advantage.
In its news release about yesterday's papal blessing, CBS quotes Jon Voight, who plays Pope John Paul II during his 26-year reign. Voight said he met Pope Benedict after the pontiff screened the project: "When I went up to him, he spoke Italian but I could understand what he was saying. He was complimenting me."
Added Cary Elwes, who plays Karol Wojtyla in his adult years before being elected Pope John Paul II in 1978, "We were, indeed, more than fortunate to have the pope give our film his blessing."
Actually, what the pope blessed was a brief cut-down of Part 1 and all of Part 2, which covers the papacy of John Paul II.
Next year, CBS plans to have all its new series baptized so that when they die they'll go to heaven.