"Likely" to be in ABC pilot

By Aaron Barnhart

Late-night comers Adam Carolla ("Loveline") and Jimmy Kimmel ("Win Ben Steinís Money") are creating some buzz after ABC ordered a pilot of an unusual comedy concept called "The Man Show" that they created with former Letterman and "Vibe" producer Daniel Kellison. Remember that old "Saturday Night Live" spoof on womenís talk shows called "Not For Men Only"? Well, itís upon us for real.

The concept, as explained by a source to LATE SHOW NEWS, is a live one-hour comedy-variety show hosted by Carolla and Kimmel that takes an unapologetic view of the lives of men. "There will be fishing, gambling, drinking, strippers," said the source. "The key word in this is *unapologetic.*"

Hal Gurnee has apparently agreed to direct and former longtime Letterman head writer Steve OíDonnell and ex-"Daily Show" head writer Lizz Winstead are likely to join the staff. The format would consist of various taped pieces introduced by the hosts, who would also be on-camera in many of the taped bits.

Interestingly, ABC referred my calls to their executive who produces "reality specials" rather than comedy, an indication that ABC realizes it has an unusual product on its hands. It seems unlikely that any network other than Comedy Central would have been interested in this concept a year ago, but that was before "South Park" arrived on Comedy Central and before ABCís ratings went even further in the tank.

Obviously, a pilot does not a season order make, and even if the show is picked up, itís unclear whether ABC will commit to a series or several specials. But Iím sure glad to see Kimmel, one of the funniest new personalities on TV, offered a higher-profile venue for his talents. And seeing Carolla perform away from that hormone-charged "Loveline" environment could do wonders for his career as well.

From Late Show News #195. Copyright 1998 Aaron Barnhart

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