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More reality comedies coming to TBS

Arquettes’ production company signed deal
/ Source: The Associated Press

More reality comedies are coming to TBS, which plans to boost its new image as a comedy-centered network with quirky reality shows, not original sitcoms.

The Atlanta-based network announced deals Monday with Coquette Productions, a Los Angeles firm owned by “Friends” star Courteney Cox Arquette and her husband, David Arquette, and Nash Entertainment, for an undisclosed number of reality sitcom pilots.

Terms of the agreements weren’t disclosed.

Nash Entertainment produced this summer’s “Outback Jack” comedy dating show that was TBS’ first reality venture.

The network has two more original reality shows, “The Real Gilligan’s Island,” set to debut next month, and “He’s a Lady,” where men compete to see who can best live as a woman.

Steve Koonin, executive vice president in charge of both TBS and TNT for Turner Broadcasting System, wouldn’t say what kinds of reality shows are planned, except that they’ll likely be fish-out-of-water scenarios. Early experiments so far with reality comedy has paid off with boosted ratings among viewers ages 18-49, he said.

“We are trying to pioneer a genre we call comedic reality,” Koonin said. “It takes two great aspects of comedy — unpredictability and relatability — and mixes it with the hottest genre on TV.”

TBS started to promote itself as a comedy destination this summer, when it started airing toned-down episodes of “Sex and the City” bought from HBO.

The TBS-for-comedy plan comes after its sister Turner network, TNT, became a drama-focused network. Both previously were general entertainment networks.