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Thursday, February 12, 2004
Siegfried and Roy: Lion in Wait

"Extra" has learned exclusively that NBC may fill the big shoes of TVís beloved "Friends" with the giant paws of Siegfried and Roy's famous big cats. Our sources says the hottest candidate to replace the sitcom phenom is an animated series called "Father of the Pride," - focusing on a family of talking white lions who perform with the legendary Las Vegas showmen.

"Pride" would be primetime's first computer-generated series from the Hollywood whizzes that made "Shrek."

The show will feature the voices of John Goodman, "Seinfeld" alum John O'Hurley, "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" Cheryl Hines, and the legendary Carl Reiner.

NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker has already talked to us about the unique challenge of finding another hit like "Friends." "Nobody has any clue as to what's going to work for sure," Zucker said. "There are no surefire things."

But NBC couldn't find a more prestigious partner to make the series. The driving force behind it is the king of the animated jungle, Dreamworks' Jeffrey Katzenberg, along with Siegfried and Roy. It's just the kind of project Katzenberg has told "Extra" that he's always on the lookout for.

"Good ideas can come from anyplace," Katzenberg said. "It's part of it to keep your eyes and ears open and not be afraid of having a good idea come to you from any place."

The show's future had been in question when Roy Horn was horrifically attacked by one of his tigers and it wasn't clear whether he'd survive. In fact, sources tell us Katzenberg visited the critically injured showman at his hospital bedside. We now hear that the series is going forward as Roy continues to recover.

If "Father of the Pride" can successfully replace "Friends," it may be one of the best Friends NBC ever had.

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