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Woman Conan Followed On Twitter Offered Sitcom
HOLLYWOOD (CAP) - Sarah Killen, the woman Conan O'Brien chose at random to follow on Twitter last week, will write and produce an NBC sitcom based on her Twitter feed starting this fall.
The show, tentatively titled Lovely Button after Killen's Twitter username (@LovelyButton), will feature Danica McKellar, best known as Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years, as a woman who tweets about peanut butter and planning her wedding.
"We think Sarah's 33 tweets will make a fascinating basis for a sitcom," said NBC CEO Jeff Zucker. "She's clearly got what 18- to 49-year-old men are looking for, whatever that is."
The sitcom was originally planned to revolve around the changes in the main character's life after Conan O'Brien follows her on Twitter, but NBC had to scrap that angle after being threatened by O'Brien's attorneys.
"Apparently there's still some resentment there," admitted Zucker, who removed O'Brien from The Tonight Show after seven months to replace him with former host Jay Leno. "We sent (NBC executive) Dick Ebersol to his house to try to talk to him, but Max Weinberg came out and hit him with a timpani."
Some analysts say NBC is scrambling to compete with rival CBS, which recently announced a sitcom starring William Shatner based on the Twitter feed Shit My Dad Says, tentatively titled Oh, The Things My Dad Says!
TV critic Tom Shales of the Washington Post has noted that NBC probably sees an opportunity to compete in the Twitter-based show arena, given that the Dad Says sitcom will have to be watered down significantly from the salty version people read online.
"For instance," notes Shales, "Here's a recent Dad Says Tweet: 'You don't just grab a ruler and tell everyone to whip their dicks out. You stuff your crotch and keep your pants on.' And here's a line from the script for the Shatner show pilot: 'What's ... the deal ... with my remote? Could the buttons ... be ... smaller?'
"They put the pauses in so Shatner remembers to talk like himself," Shales pointed out.
Lovely Button, on the other hand, will be just like the tweets Killen's online followers have become accustomed to since they started following her on Friday just because Conan did, says Zucker.
"When the character in the show says 'yummmmmmhmmmm' in reference to peanut butter, viewers will know that we're being true to the source material," Zucker added.
"It's really been, like, a whirlwind couple of days," said a clearly astonished Killen, who has been interviewed by dozens of magazines and websites, appeared on the Today show and Larry King Live and was spotted drinking mudslides at Elton John's Oscar party with Chesley Sullenberger.
"Mr. Zucker is so awesome," she added, speaking to CAP News from in front of Mac's Convenience Store near her home in Ypsilanti, Mich. "I still can't believe he said I could take over The Tonight Show in five years."
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