E! Eyes Scripted Series


Given that the E! channel recently terminated Tara Reid’s beveragelicious travelogue, Taradise, and red-carpet gusher Star Jones Reynolds is reportedly unlikely to return after her recent Emmy shmoozefest, the question arises: Whither E!? One likely answer, which should get Hollywood agents, writers and producers salivating: into original scripted series.

Industry insiders are buzzing that, next month, E! Networks President Ted Harbert is going to present a budget to Comcast, the corporate purse-string holders, calling for an investment in programming that would represent a decided departure from the network’s usual fare of celebrity-laden video-clip shows, reality TV and late-night Howard Stern Show reruns.

Harbert says he’s still finalizing the budget and acknowledges only that “we’re discussing every type of program” in an ongoing effort (it’s a sort of E! mantra at this point) to “burnish the brand” in the eyes of cable operators. But Harbert did confirm that he’s considering the comedy pilot Illeanarama, with Illeana Douglas as an actress who quits the business and goes to work in a grocery store.