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by Alison Willmore
April 18, 2013 5:32 PM
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FX Makes a Charlie Sheen-Style Deal for George Lopez Sitcom 'Saint George'

George Lopez's talk show 'Lopez Tonight' ran on TBS from 2009-2011
FX is know for its edgy comedies, from the entertainingly sociopathic "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" to the improvised and frequently filthy "The League" and Louis C.K.'s "Louie," the deal for which has become a benchmark in terms of offers of creative control in television.

But they can't all be alt. FX, who'll be launching a comedy spin-off channel FXX in September, is also the home to Charlie Sheen's "Anger Management," a generally standard sitcom notable mainly for the fantastically practical and business-minded deal under which it's made. If the first 10-episode season hits a particular ratings benchmark, which, in the case of Sheen's show, it did, then a 90-episode follow-up order is automatically triggered.

The network announced today that it has closed another 10/90 deal with Lionsgate Television, the company that produces "Anger Management," this one for a half-hour series starring George Lopez. "Saint George" was created by Lopez, Matt Williams and his Wind Dancer Films partner David McFadzean, and all three will serve as executive producers alongside Michael Rotenberg, Dete Meserve and Judd Payne. Production on the multi-camera sitcom will begin in August.

"Saint George" is a comedy in which Lopez plays a recently divorced, working class Mexican-American who has established himself as a successful entrepreneur and is now trying to give back to the community. The ensemble will include the character's demanding ex-wife, 11-year-old son, overbearing mother (with whom he lives) and uncle.

The 10/90 model was created by Lionsgate's TV distribution company Debmar-Mercury -- it's been used not just for the FX series mentioned above, but also Tyler Perry’s "House of Payne" and "Meet The Browns," and Ice Cube’s "Are We There Yet?" These project tend to take the form of old-school sitcoms, and depend on many episodes being produced in a short window once the second part of the deal is a go, with the end goal being reaching the magic number for syndication. "Saint George" will air exclusively on FX, with off-network episodes broadcast syndication starting off-network in the fall of 2015.

This is Lopez's first sitcom starring role since ABC's "George Lopez," which ran from 2002 to 2007. In the announcement, he said "I'm excited about my new show, couldn't think a better group of people or better place to create than FX.....Now to get ready... Back to Pilates!" He'll be co-writing the first episode of the series with Williams and McFadzean.

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