AMC to Develop Series Based on '90s John Ritter Comedy 'Stay Tuned'

It has been announced that AMC is developing a series based on the '90s John Ritter sci-fi comedy [...]

It has been announced that AMC is developing a series based on the '90s John Ritter sci-fi comedy Stay Tuned. According to a representative of the film's producing studio Morgan Creek, who spoke with Park Circus, the show is being produced by the same team that helms Fear the Walking Dead. At this time, no casting or plot details have been shared. Notably, Deadline reported on the developing series back in August, but this appears to be the first a Morgan Creek rep has spoken about it publically.

Stay Tuned opened in theaters in 1992 and starred Ritter and Pam Dawber (Mork & Mindy) as parents who end up being sucked into a supernatural satellite dish from Hell, quite literally. The couple is then forced to survive a number of bizarre sitcom and TV shows on Hellevision in the hopes they can return to the real world. The film also co-starred Jeffrey Jones and Eugene Levy, and was written by Jim Jennewein and Tom S. Parker.

The film has a very Tim Burton-esque style to it, which was intentional, as Burton was originally set to direct it. However, he dropped out to direct Batman Returns instead. Peter Hyams was eventually brought on to replace Burton. At the time, Hyams was most well-known for directing the 1986 action/comedy Running Scared and the 1984 science fiction film 2010: The Year We Make Contact, a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. He would go on to direct some other classic '90s flicks such as Timecop, The Relic, and End of Days.

Stay Tuned was a financial failure, making only $12 million at the box office on a budget of $25 million. However, it was not hated by critics. At the time, NY Times critic Stephen Holden said it was a "cleverly plotted movie" based on a "nifty satiric concept." Rita Kempley of the Washington Post added that she found it to be "wonderfully silly" and a "zippy action spoof." It has since gone on to become somewhat of a cult classic, with modern audiences finding an appreciation for how zany and outlandish the film is.

After the movie was released, Dawber did not appear in another feature film until 1999 and has not starred in another one since. However, she is preparing to join NCIS for a run of four episodes, alongside her real-life husband Mark Harmon, who has been the lead in the series since 2003. Sadly, Ritter died in 2003 after suffering what was initially believed to be a heart attack but turned out to be an aortic dissection.