'Rosensweig' As TV Pilot?

News   'Rosensweig' As TV Pilot?


CBS is negotiating to develop Wendy Wasserstein's play "The Sisters Rosensweig" as the basis for a new weekly sitcom on CBS, and Madeline Kahn has been asked to repeat her Tony-winning role as Gorgeous.

CBS Entertainment President Les Moonves told Playbill On-Line that he's working with Britain's BBC to develop a weekly TV comedy from Wasserstein's 1992 play about three American Jewish sisters who have an identity crisis when they gather in London after their mother dies.

"When I saw the play I thought, geez, these are characters you wouldn't mind seeing for 100 episodes," said Moonves, who worked as a Broadway company manager early in his career. While working for Theatre Now in New York, he managed Zev Buffman's 1980 revival of "Brigadoon," and the Sandy Duncan production of "Peter Pan."

Moonves said he wants Kahn to repeat her Broadway role because he liked Kahn in a recently canceled CBS series, "New York News." "It's not her fault we didn't get the numbers," he said. Moonves also said he would like to see several members of the original cast or national touring companies appear in the TV version. He mentioned Hal Linden and Robert Klein, both of whom, he said, "appeal to TV audiences."

Because the play is about Americans but is set in London and has several British supporting characters, it would provide an opportunity to cast prominent British actors as well.

Moonves said the BBC has optioned the play, so he is negotiating how the logistics of a co-production or a piggyback deal would work. For instance, the BBC orders six episodes to start, where CBS orders 22.

Moonves said Wasserstein, who is his second cousin, is completing work on her new play, "An American Daughter," and would not be able to begin working on scripts until summer 1996. He said the cooperative project, if successful, would begin production in 1997.

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