MTV's ''Celebrity Deathmatch'' creator is headed to network prime time

By Sandra P. Angulo
October 08, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT
Courtesy of MTV

Eric Fogel, the creator of MTV’s ”Celebrity Deathmatch,” is taking his unique brand of stop-action clay-and-foam-rubber animation to network prime time. Fogel, 29, has signed a hefty six-figure deal with Greenblatt Janollari Studio, the producers of this season’s newcomers ”Maggie Winters” and ”The Hughleys.” The production company, which approached Fogel, is aiming for a fall 1999 series premiere.

”Deathmatch” fans can relax. Fogel (who also created MTV’s two-season cult fave ”The Head”) says the new series won’t take him away from his current hit MTV show. ”I’m here for the life of ‘Celebrity Deathmatch,’ and I’ll continue to be involved in every aspect of the show,” Fogel tells EW Online. Yet he admits that he finds a network’s much larger audience a big selling point for the new venture. Because the show is still in the hush-hush early development stage, Fogel will only say that it ”involves an adolescent character who everyone can relate to, but who tells the story in a bizarre way. In all of my projects, I’m interested in doing something nobody has done before.”

With highly rated animated shows like ”The Simpsons,” ”King of the Hill,” and ”South Park” saturating prime time, can Fogel’s new series compete? ”There’s definitely an audience for all of these shows,” he says. ”It’s only when you get carbon copies that there is a problem.”

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