You’ll hear a lot in the trades and the trade winds from now through pilot season, which starts in earnest in January, all the way up to the cable Upfronts in the spring and the broadcast network Upfronts in May — when TV programmers present their new and returning lineups to impress and attract advertisers for 2015-2016.
When a network orders a pilot to series, that’s newsworthy and vital information for you to know. Like FX yesterday greenlighting Baskets, starring Zach Galifianakis and coming from him, Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel; it’ll go into production in 2015 with a launch date in 2016. Mark your calendars accordingly.
Everything else is speculation. In fact, that’s what the programming suits do is invest in a speculative market, buying up sitcom ideas and their writers and producers, not only for the prospect that their idea will evolve into a hit series, but also to keep those writers, producers and creators off the market from other networks. The news that a comedian has a script commitment or a development deal is valuable to that comedian and his/her landlord and family and friends, but doesn’t mean much to us as viewers until that deal pays off in the form of a TV series that’s actually on the air. So. Instead of bombarding you with hundreds of separate posts from TV wheeling and dealing, The Comic’s Comic this TV cycle will present a weekly roundup of what’s in the mix for 2015-2016.
MAYBE SEE TV? Sept. 4, 2014, edition
PUT PILOT — ABC
A single-cam from Judah Miller (Playing House) and 20th Century Fox TV about a couple (mom, a Tony Award winner; dad, smart but overly cautious) trying to raise a son who’s a gifted athlete. Tom Lassally and Jonathan Berry from 3 Arts also executive producing.
PUT PILOT — NBC
The One That Got Away, from Mike Lisbe and Nate Reger, produced by Jason Winer with 20th Century Fox TV. Centers on a woman who reunites with her high-school friends 15 years later, hoping to rekindle an old flame. Lisbe, Reger, Winer and Renate Radford executive producing.
PUT PILOT — FOX
The Greatest American Hero reboot is on! The 1981 hourlong dramedy from Steven J. Cannell which aired for three seasons on ABC and found its theme song (“Believe It or Not”) hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, coming back potentially to FOX via executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller and Cannell’s daughter, Tawnia McKiernan, written and executive produced by Rodney Rothman. From 20th Century Fox TV. Series still finds a school teacher discovering a superhero costume that enables the wearer to have superpowers, with comic results.
CASTING — ABC
The Goldbergs for season two, adding guest stars Paul Sorvino, Rob Huebel, Dan Bakkedahl, Ana Gasteyer and David Spade as characters encountering the family in the 1980s. Sorvino will play the other grandfather to the kids (George Segal already plays one grandfather). Huebel plays a modeling talent scout. Bakkedahl plays a middle-school science teacher. Gasteyer plays a drama teacher. And Spade plays a guy who makes fake IDs.
CASTING — ABC
Modern Family is adding Tyne Daly as Lily’s teacher, plus Steve Zahn and Andrea Anders as a couple who moves in next door to the Dunphys.
CASTING — ABC
New sitcom Manhattan Love Story has added Nico Evers-Swindell as a recurring character, playing the gay friend and co-worker of lead actress Analeigh Tipton.
SCRIPT COMMITMENT — ABC
Jermaine Fowler has a script commitment to star in a semi-autobiographical sitcom via ABC Studios about his life as a college dropout living with his estranged grandmother, who happens to be a former Washington, D.C., police officer. Fowler (who appears in this fall’s TruTV sketch comedy series, Friends of the People) will executive produce with Avi Gilbert and Michael Rotenberg of 3 Arts.
SCRIPT COMMITMENT — NBC
Adam Levine, Maroon 5 frontman and judge on NBC contest hit The Voice, has established his third comedy project with the network — this time, it’s called Kids In America, and looks back at his teenage years when he dreamed of rock stardom and was raised by an “unconventional” family. From Levine’s 222 Productions and Universal TV. Written and executive produced by Aaron Blitzstein. Levine, Jordan Feldstein and Josh Gummersall also executive producing.
DEVELOPMENT — NBC
Hospitality, a LIVE multi-cam that also would include live commercials. Written by Chris Moynihan, with Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner also executive producing. Centers on the staff who work in a midtown Manhattan hotel. From Hazy Mills Productions and Universal TV.
DEVELOPMENT — NBC
Bryan Cranston’s next project is a single-cam based on the British book, The Dangerous Book For Boys. His deal to adapt it to TV includes a penalty and license fee. Greg Mottola writing and directing for Sony Pictures TV, with Cranston’s Moon Shot Entertainment. The adaptation follows three teen boys who receive a guidebook from their father following his death.
John Stamos and Dan Fogelman are pitching a sitcom via ABC Studios that would star Stamos as a fictionalized version of himself who learns he has an adult son who is his opposite. Written by Danny Chun, and executive produced by Chun, Stamos and Fogelman.
CANCELED — TBS
TBS cancelled Cee Lo Green’s The Good Life after one season.