The Fox network has pulled the plug on the US remake of Jungleboys’ ABC comedy A Moody Christmas.
The network decided not to proceed despite having commissioned the scripts for a pilot and for a second episode.
The show’s creators, Trent O’Donnell and Phil Lloyd, wrote the scripts and O’Donnell was to direct the pilot, which would have featured many of the same characters from the original, looking at a dysfunctional family through the eyes of the youngest son who thought he'd escaped them, only to find himself trapped there once more.
The pilot was to be produced by Jungleboys in collaboration with Doug Ellin, creator of Entourage, and the Tannenbaum Co’s Eric and Kim Tannenbaum for CBS TV Studios.
Fox’s decision leaves the producers free to pitch the project elsewhere. All four major US broadcast networks as well as US studios bid for the option on remake rights last year.
The about-face follows the departure in May of Kevin Reilly as chairman of entertainment at Fox Broadcast Co. Hollywood-watchers said Reilly had little choice after Rupert Murdoch promoted his son James to co-COO at 21st Century Fox, giving him oversight of, among other properties, the Fox broadcast network.
In a restructuring announced this week, 20th Century Fox TV chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman were placed in charge of a new business unit which combines Fox Broadcasting Co. and 20th TV.
They stressed that each company will continue to operate independently, with its own P&L and management team. “We’re a mature industry-leading studio that will continue to produce for multiple networks with a greater focus now on providing FBC with the best possible shows,” Newman said.