The Emmys may have celebrated the past year of television, and the new Fall TV series have yet to premiere, but Hollywood always keeps an eye to the future, and August still signifies the start to the following year’s development cycle.
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. 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? Oct. 2, 2014, edition
PUT PILOT — ABC
Funhouse, from writer Fred Goss, ABC Studios and Mandeville. Based on a true story, about a father of three who kidnaps his estranged father from a nursing home along with his 24-hour male nurse and brings them to his home. Goss will write and executive produce, with David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks.
PILOT — CBS
Rush Hour, an hourlong adaptation of the movie franchise, written/executive produced by Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick, and executive produced by Brett Ratner and Arthur Sarkissian with Jeff Ingold. From Warner Bros. TV. Same premise as films: by-the-book Hong Kong police officer assigned to a case in Los Angeles, paired up with cocky black cop.
PILOT — FX
Pariah, starring Bill Burr and co-created by John Chernin and Dave Chernin, about a TV personality who suffers an on-air meltdown, gets exiled and has to figure out what’s next. Chernins wrote the pilot, to be directed by Rob McElhenney. Produced by FX Productions with RCG Productions — Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton executive producing with Burr, the Chernins, and Dave Becky, Michael Rotenberg and Nick Frenkel of 3 Arts Entertainment.
PILOT — MTV
Self Promotion, written by Mark Bianculli, directed by Zach Braff and executive produced by Steve Yockey. About an assistant whose horrible boss goes missing, then covers up the potential crime scene and takes over while also trying to clear her own name. Just in case.
SCRIPT COMMITMENT — FOX
Big, an adaptation of the Tom Hanks movie, written an executive produced by Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce as “an event series” potential, with the first season loosely based on the film.
SCRIPT COMMITMENT — NBC
Wendy and Peter, a single-cam committed with penalty, from Marisa Coughlan, Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. Taken from Peter Pan with a dash of Coughlan’s own life, telling the story from Wendy’s perspective. Coughlan writing and executive producing with Jones and McCormack, plus Jeff Grosvenor co-executive producing.
SCRIPT COMMITMENT — FOX
Half Full, from Jennifer Garner’s Vandalia Films and Warner Bros. TV, a single-cam about a newlywed couple forced to put on hold their dream of moving from Agawam, Mass., to New York City because of impending parenthood. Matthew Nicklaw writing and co-executive producing. Garner an EP. Juliana Janes producing.
SCRIPT COMMITMENT — CBS
If We’re Not Married by 30, a multi-cam from Melissa Rauch and her husband, Winston Rauch. Via Warner Bros. TV. About a guy who finds his childhood best friend a decade after they’d promised to marry each other if they were still single at 30.
CASTING — SHOWTIME
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom’s single-cam pilot, has cast Santino Fontana, Michael McDonald, Donna Lynne Champlin and Vincent Rodriguez III. From CBS Television Studios. Marc Webb directing. Here’s Bloom with the video announcement:
DEVELOPMENT — ABC
Dish, a single-cam from Cindy Chupack, from her real-life experiences gathering with her various female friends once a week at a restaurant called Dish to, well, dish, and catch up on their lives. From ABC Studios, with Chupack executive producing with Karey Burke and Todd Holland.
DEVELOPMENT — NBC
In Security, from Annabel Oakes and Sony Pictures Television, about four female bodyguards and P.I.s. Oakes writing and executive producing with Phil Traill, Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone.
DEVELOPMENT — ABC
Who’s Steve, from Kourtney Kang and based on her real life, about a woman who hires her gay ex-boyfriend from high school to be her nanny. Kang writing and executive producing. From 20th Century Fox TV.
DEVELOPMENT — FOX
Crescent Heights, written/executive-produced by Allyn Rachel and Patrick Carlyle, about a couple who moves into an apartment complex where everyone else is living with secrets. Aaron Kaplan and Tracy Katsky also executive producing.
PITCHING — SONY
An untitled comedy from Matthew Bass and Theodore Bressman, with Circle of Confusion’s producers, is being shopped as a new twist on buddy cops.
TALENT DEAL — 20th TV
Jenna Elfman has signed a development and talent holding deal with 20th Century Fox TV.