Ben Stiller Developing Reality Bites Project At NBC
The nineties have come and gone and most of the GenXers have comfortably fallen into roles that include but are not limited to home ownership and parenting. Generation Y is comfortably in its twenties at this point, and with shows like Girls giving a window into life in a group of people’s twenties, Ben Stiller is ready to recreate his cult narrative Reality Bites and bring it to a brand new medium. Reality Bites may well become a comedy series at NBC.
Stiller and original Reality Bites writer Helen Childress are putting together the project at the network. Reality Bites initially followed a young woman named Lelaina (Winona Ryder in the film) who has recently graduated from college and is living with a few of her slacker friends as she tries to figure out her life and career. You’d think the career thing would take the focal point, but audiences are generally more interested in the romance aspect, so I wouldn’t be too shocked if there were a few love triangles if Reality Bites were to go to series.
In fact, if Variety has the story correct, the comedy project will pretty closely follow the trajectory of the 1994 film. Instead of totally revamping the comedy for the new generation, it looks like the project will be set back in the days pre-Internet and cell phones, which should mean the project will differ from Girls quite a bit more than one might initially surmise. Reality Bites may be marketed as a comedy, but if it maintains the tone of the original film, we may get more than a few moments like this…
Universal Television is behind the project, and a slew of names are signed on to executive produce. Those names include Stiller and Childress, but also Debbie Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld, Michael Shamberg, and Stacey Sher. Stiller’s producing company, Red Hour Television, has been putting together TV projects for a while, so Reality Bites won’t be the company’s first time at bat. Right now, the company has the pilot Big Time In Hollywood, FL in the works as well as a Comedy Central project The Meltdown With Jonah And Kumail. This spring, Birthday Boys, a sketch and variety show named after the comedy group whose members will star in the series, was picked up by IFC.
The Reality Bites project has a famous movie to back it and some popular personalities working to put the project together, but the network game is a notoriously tough one. We’ll let you know if the project moves forward to pilot and starts casting any confounding young adults sometime in the future.
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