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Tuesday, 14 November, 2000, 15:47 GMT
Whassup? boys strike TV deal
Budwesier
The Budwesier adverts are hugely popular
The actors and creator of the hugely popular Budweiser adverts have been snapped up by US TV companies.

The Whassup? adverts - so called because the actors in the adverts greet each other with the cry "Whassup?" - have become a global phenomenon since they were first screened.

Fred Thomas Junior, Scott Brooks and Paul Williams, who star in the adverts, are now in discussions with Paramount Television to create a "comedy vehicle".

Charles Stone III, who created and directed the adverts, has signed a deal with Fox Television.

The actors and creator, all friends, became stars in the United States when the adverts were first screened.

Legions of Whassup? parodies have been created.

The commercial began life in 1998 as a two-minute film made by Stone, called True.

His three friends sit around using the word "true" and greeting each other with cries of "Whassup?"

'Guys next door'

The film was seen by a ad agency executive, who brought in Stone to create a commercial for the beer company.

Hundreds of actors were auditioned before Thomas, Brooks and Williams were hired to play themselves.

Ten Budweiser adverts have now been filmed.

"These guys give off the vibe of just being the guys next door - they have a camaraderie together that just feels funny and fresh," said Claude Brooks, who is working with Paramount to develop a project for the three actors.

The three friends will appear initially in a half-hour comedy programme which centres, unsurprisingly, on the lives of three friends.

If successful, the programme could be optioned for further development.

More than two million people a month use the Budweiser internet site to download the commercials.

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