Kutcher-Moore fodder for sitcom

Fox's interest due, in part, to dusting of star power

October 19, 2005|By SCOTT COLLINS | SCOTT COLLINS,LOS ANGELES TIMES

HOLLYWOOD -- Ashton Kutcher has apparently gotten the last laugh on skeptics who might dub his marriage to Demi Moore a farce. He's turned their love into a sitcom.

The latest celebrity to spin his backstage life into a TV script, the former That '70s Show star has sold Fox an idea for a comedy series called 30-Year-Old Grandpa, executives say. It's about the complications that ensue when a young man becomes the stepfather to a brood of kids remarkably close to his own age, according to the trade paper Variety.

Sound familiar? In fact, given the amount of magazine pages devoted to the May-December romance between Kutcher, 27, and the 42-year-old Moore, the sitcom idea might not seem so novel.

But don't necessarily expect to see inside secrets of the Kutcher-Moore union, assuming there are any left to tell. The project, produced by Kutcher's Katalyst TV banner in association with 20th Century Fox Television, will be written by someone else (sitcom writer Holly Hester), and Fox has only committed to producing a pilot.

"This idea did spring out of his real-life situation," Fox spokesman Chris Alexander said. But "how closely the script will adhere to the facts of his real-life situation remains to be seen."

What seems clear is that basing a script - however loosely - on a star's life can help pique the interest of network executives. Everybody Hates Chris, based on the childhood experiences of Chris Rock, has strong numbers this season for UPN. Mel Gibson's experiences with raising a large family made their way into his (since-canceled) ABC sitcom Savages, and Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith pitched their UPN sitcom All of Us as semi-autobiographical.

Former Fox chief Sandy Grushow, who now runs the independent production company Phase Two Productions, said the trend is "a function of celebrities getting more involved and interested in television."

Scott Collins writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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