The official word: TV Land is developing a sitcom with renowned comedian/actor Cedric the Entertainer, it was announced today by network president Larry W. Jones. The series is currently set to be a spin-off of TV Land’s hit original sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland,” which stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and the incomparable Betty White. The spin-off revolves around a character that Cedric will originate in new episodes of “Hot” (premiering this summer) in which he will play a minister who finds himself involved in the four ladies’ latest humorous adventures.
“We’re definitely going to bring people quality entertainment and laughs with this new show,” said Cedric. “I’m very excited to be working with TV Land and the creative team of ‘Hot in Cleveland.’”
“Cedric is hilarious and I’m so happy to do this show with him,” states Suzanne Martin, creator, writer, show runner and executive producer of “Hot in Cleveland.” “We are going to have a lot of fun developing and exploring his role as a minister.”
“Cedric is amazingly funny and has proven time and time again that he is one of the most talented performers in recent years,” said Keith Cox, executive vice president, development and original programming, TV Land. “Coupling Cedric’s comedic timing with Suzanne’s incredible writing skills will definitely create magic for the network,” continues Cox. Adds Jones, “This deal fits in perfectly with TV Land’s strategy of working with top talent both in front of and behind the camera. We are so excited that Cedric is joining the TV Land family.”
The untitled series is contingent upon the pilot script, which will be co-written by Cedric and Suzanne Martin. Martin would also serve as executive producer of the series along with Emmy® Award-winner Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner of Hazy Mills Productions, who are also executive producers of “Hot in Cleveland.”
“Hot in Cleveland” launched on TV Land in 2010 and quickly won over viewers, becoming the number one cable sitcom of the year. It remains the highest-rated and most-watched program on the network, averaging 3.1 million total viewers per week. The show returns June 15 with new episodes.
TV Land’s development deal is one more step by the network into the world of original sitcoms. The network recently announced two more new series pick-ups – “Happily Divorced,” starring Fran Drescher, and “The Exes,” starring Donald Faison, Wayne Knight, David Alan Basche and Kristen Johnston. In addition, TV Land has also renewed “Retired at 35” for a second season and “Hot in Cleveland” for a 24-episode third season. The series pick-ups take the network from zero to four scripted sitcoms, all with leading comedic talent, within a year’s time. The upcoming series with Cedric is just one of the many projects in TV Land’s development pipeline.