Matt & Ben Team Developing "Mindy and Brenda" Sitcom with Steve Martin for WB

News   Matt & Ben Team Developing "Mindy and Brenda" Sitcom with Steve Martin for WB
 
Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers, the writer-performers behind the Fringe-to-Off Broadway comedy Matt & Ben, are teaming with Steve Martin and producing partner Joan Stein to develop a sitcom for the WB network, according to Variety.

The trade magazine states that Carsey-Werner will produce the Martin/Stein Co. project, tentatively titled "Mindy and Brenda."

The half-hour comedy penned by (and loosely based on) the duo will follow two women in their 20s who are best friends and former college roommates who now live together in Brooklyn.

The project came about after Stein and Martin, having seen the show in its run at P.S. 122, again viewed the work when the show played in Los Angeles at an industry night performance attended by invited executives and producers. Also among the guests was independent producer David Janollari, who has since become the WB Entertainment president.

"When Matt & Ben opened Off-Broadway, we were only slated to run six weeks," stated Kaling and Withers in a released statement prior to the show closing Off-Broadway. "Now, the show will have played out the season with a second West Coast production running simultaneously and productions set to open throughout the country and beyond. We never dreamed we would get such a wild ride out of dressing up in boys clothes and eating junk food!"

Matt & Ben is a satire on the pre-paparazzi, pre-fame friendship between Oscar-winning screenwriters and actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. When the screenplay for "Good Will Hunting" mysteriously drops into their laps, the duo believe they are being tested by a higher power. The show played a sold-out run at the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival where it garnered Best Overall Production. After an appearance at the 2003 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, the show returned to New York for an Off-Broadway open run at P.S. 122. The New York staging recast its leads when the originators booked a stint at Los Angeles' Acme Comedy Theatre.

In Matt & Ben, the two authors star as the famous Hollywood duo — Kaling plays Affleck and Withers portrays Damon. Both also take on other well-known personae in the show. David Warren (Barbra's Wedding, The Dazzle) directed the New York and Los Angeles run.

For more information and tour dates to Matt & Ben, visit www.mattandben.com.

Brenda Withers (left) and Mindy Kahling in <i>Matt and Ben</i>
Brenda Withers (left) and Mindy Kahling in Matt and Ben Photo by Robert Zash
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