News / TV

This month in comedian TV deals with the broadcast networks

The new fall TV season still hasn’t introduced all of its new series, and already we have two new straight-to-series orders from the broadcast networks this month.

FOX says all systems go for Bless The Harts, an animated comedy featuring the voices of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jillian Bell and Ike Barinholtz, for the 2019-2020 season. FOX is doubling down on SNL alums in new animation, also ordering a half-hour series, Duncanville, starring the voices of Amy Poehler alongside Rashida Jones and Wiz Khalifa. Also for 2019-2020.

And CBS has given a series commitment to former Everybody Loves Raymond co-star Patricia Heaton for a new multi-cam in 2019.

Let’s go around the network horns and see what else is cooking since last we checked in on development deals before pilot season 2019.


Common Areas: Written/executive produced by Hilary Winston and Mat Harawitz, in development with Nick Stoller and Sony Pictures TV.  In cities where rents have skyrocketed, people are turning to micro-units in luxury buildings, where they can get a bedroom for the price of an apartment in any other city. But have to share everything else.

Untitled single-cam single mom comedy: Script commitment plus penalty for Fresh Off The Boat supervising producer Rachna Fruchbom and 20th Century Fox TV. where Fruchbom is under an overall deal. Centers on a confident but prolifically apologetic, newly single stay-at-home mom who decides at 37 to start at the bottom and work her way up to her dream job, where her eccentric co-workers help her stop apologizing and become the person she’s meant to be. EPs: Fruchbom, 3 Arts’ Dave King and Oly Obst.

Because Kids: Family comedy in development, inspired by the Atomic Moms podcast, from Undateable creator Adam Sztykiel and his wife Ellie Knaus, who created and hosts the podcast. Described as a multi-generational comedy that is a lighthearted yet honest examination of the lives of a married couple with two young children. EPs: Sztykiel, Party Over Here’s Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Becky Sloviter. Knaus is co-executive producer. CBS TV Studios.

Friends In Low Places: Put pilot commitment for a comedy from Jeremy Bronson, Todd Holland  and ABC Studios. Written by Bronson, a relationship comedy about a group of thirtysomethings trying to overcome the mess they made as twentysomethings.

Americanized: Inspired by Sara Saedi’s memoir Americanized: Rebel Without A Green Card, from ABC Studios. Saedi writing the adaptation, about a loving and off-beat Iranian family who’s been living with a huge secret: they’re undocumented immigrants. EPs: Saedi with Hello Sunshine’s Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Levy Neustadter.

Food & Familia: A multi-camera multi-generational Latinx family comedy starring Danny Trejo, from ABC Studios. Written by Peter Murrieta, Food & Familia is a comedy about second chances, inspired by Trejo’s life. When the matriarch of the family passes away, she leaves her restaurant to her son, Danny — who’s about to get out of prison — and her granddaughter, Michelle, who hates her father for abandoning her. EPs: Murrieta, Overbrook’s Caleeb Pinkett, Will Smith and James Lassiter.

Bless Her Heart: Put pilot commitment for this multi-camera comedy from Chuck Tatham, Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak, and Warner Bros. TV. Written by Tatham, Bless Her Heart is a multigenerational family comedy centered on two very different Texas matriarchs who wreak havoc on their children’s lives when they all wind up living together. EPs: Tatham, Parsons, Spiewak.

Woman Up: Put pilot commitment for a single camera comedy from Zoe Lister-Jones, New Girl creator Liz Meriwether, Jason Winer and 20th Century Fox TV. Written by Lister-Jones, Woman Up is about two former teen moms who have worked their asses off to see their daughters all the way through high school graduation. And now, at 37, they’re ready to make up for the youth they never had. EPs: Lister-Jones, Meriwether, Winer and Jon Radler via Winer’s Small Dog Picture Company.

Thicker Than Water: Pilot production commitment for a one-hour dramedy from Tig Notaro and Cara DiPaolo, Michael McDonald and ABC Studios. Written by Notaro and DiPaolo, and loosely inspired by personal experiences, Thicker Than Water centers on a single mother who returns to her Tennessee hometown for her estranged father’s funeral, and finds herself graveside with several strangers who happen to be her half-siblings. Notaro and partner Stephanie Allynne executive produce via Something Fierce Productions, alongside McDonald via Stearns Castle and DiPaolo.


Our House: Put pilot commitment for this sitcom written/executive produced by Brendan O’Brien, about a devoted mom and dad who are committed to raising their children with the love and support the mom never got as a kid, but discover how difficult that is with her insane parents and siblings back in the picture. O’Brien EPs with Nick Stoller and Sony Pictures TV.

The Story of Us: In development. Written and executive produced by Mike Royce, a story told through interviews and vignettes spanning 10 years, about how an unlikely couple becomes an unlikely family. Royce EPs with Nick Stoller and Sony Pictures TV.

The Emperor of Malibu: A put pilot commitment for a multi-cam from Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan and Warner Bros. TV. Written by Kwan and David Sangalli with Nader supervising, The Emperor of Malibu revolves around two very different families — one from Shanghai with new money and one from the U.S. East Coast with old money — who learn to co-exist when their children get married. EPs: Kwan , Sangalli, Michelle Nader and Christina Lee, who will both showrun, and Danielle Stokdyk.

Halfway There: Put pilot commitment for a multi-cam co-written by and starring comedian Iliza Shlesinger, from ABC Studios and Avalon TV. Written with Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Plummer-Kreamer, show centers on a comic who prides herself on “guiding women” in her act. She is forced to put that to practical use when her half-sister moves in with her. Shlesinger, Bilsing-Graham and Plummer-Kreamer EP with Avalon TV’s Kara Baker and David Martin.

The Folks: Multi-cam written by Frank Pines on what happens when a momma’s boy marries a daddy’s girl, and their respective parents can’t let go. EPs: Pines, Jackal Group’s Gail Berman and Joe Earley. Kerry Washington and Pilar Savone executive produce for Simpson Street.

To Whom It May Concern: Written by Mike Metz, about a guy who sets out with his group of 20-something friends to accomplish a list of challenges he wrote for himself years ago in an effort to turn around his banal life. Gail Berman and Joe Earley executive produce via Jackal Group. Metz is co-executive producer.

Amerikhans: A multi-cam Pakistani-American family comedy from Man With a Plan writer Farhan Arshad and co-executive producer Mark Gross, Comedy Dynamics, Imagine Television and CBS TV Studios. Centers around a young Pakistani-American guy who must make amends with his estranged family when he and his girlfriend take in his cousins and grandfather, turning their previously carefree lives upside down. EPs: Arshad, Michael Pelmont, Matt Ochacher and Brian Volk-Weiss via Comedy Dynamics, Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, and Samie Falvey.

Siblings: A multi-cam from David Hornsby and Brian Keith Etheridge, and CBS Television Studios. Written and executive produced by Hornsby and Etheridge, Siblings centers on two very different siblings who decide to live together and raise their kids after one of them gets divorced.

Carol’s Second Act, which has received a series commitment, will star Patricia Heaton. The project hails from Trophy Wife creators Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, Heaton and David Hunt’s FourBoys Entertainment and CBS TV Studios. Written by Halpern and Haskins, Carol Chambers (Heaton) decides to become a doctor after raising two kids and retiring from teaching. Halpern and Haskins executive produce with Heaton, Hunt and Rebecca Stay for FourBoys, Heaton’s manager, Adam Griffin, and Kaplan and Dana Honor for Kapital Entertainment.

Bob ❤ Abishola: Pilot production commitment for a multi-cam from Chuck Lorre starring Billy Gardell. Written by Lorre, Mom co-creator Eddie Gorodetsky, Mike & Molly alum Al Higgins, and comedian Gina Yashere. Lorre’s long-time studio home, Warner Bros. TV, produces with Chuck Lorre Prods. Premise: After having a heart attack, a man falls in love with his Nigerian nurse and sets his sights on getting her to give him a chance.

Untitled multi-generational multi-cam: Put pilot commitment for Dana Klein, writing about a married couple that struggles to take care of both dependent children and dependent parents. EPs: Klein, Aaron Kaplan, Wendi Trilling, Dana Honor, Big Talk’s Kenton Allen and Matthew Justice.

Quinta & Jermaine: Pilot production commitment for a multi-camera comedy starring and executive produced by Jermaine Fowler and Quinta Brunson. Written by Larry Wilmore, Fowler and Brunson, Quinta & Jermaine stars the title duo as childhood best friends who find themselves expecting a child while navigating adulthood. Wilmore, Fowler and Brunson executive produce with 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Josh Lieberman.

Generation Gap: Put pilot commitment for a single-camera comedy from Dan Kopelman, loosely based on personal experience, Generation Gap is about the hell of teenage years, as told from the dueling perspectives of a 16-year-old girl and her father. Kopelman executive produces with Kapital Entertainment’s Kaplan and Dana Honor.

Life Lessons, based on Canadian webseries Kids On, from NCIS: LA co-star Eric Christian Olsen. It centers on a guy who is a professional failure at life and finds advice and friendship from a class of first graders. Written by Mark Gross.


Next Door: Written/executive produced by Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, a multi-generational comedy about three diverse suburban couples, all at crossroads in their lives, who bond while investigating the murder of the worst person in their neighborhood.

Duncanville: Ordered to series for 2019-2020, animated comedy from Amy Poehler, Mike and Julie Scully. Voiced by Poehler, Rashida Jones and Wiz Khalifa. Written by Mike and Julie Scully, about the life of Duncan, a spectacularly average 15-year-old boy, his family and friends. Poehler will provide the voice of Duncan and his high-strung mom, Annie, who is constantly trying to prevent her son from ruining his life. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Universal Television, DUNCANVILLE was co-created by Mike and Julie Scully and Amy Poehler, through her Paper Kite Productions, who executive-produce with Dave Becky of 3 Arts Entertainment.

Home Economics: Script commitment plus penalty for a single-camera family comedy form writers Michael Colton and John Aboud, producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum and Lionsgate TV. Inspired by Colton’s family, a sibling rivalry over money. The series follows three adult siblings: one in the 1 percent, one middle-class, and one barely holding on.

Untitled multi-cam parenting comedy from Steve Koren, 3 Arts Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV. Written by Koren, the untitled project centers around what happens when two people who have spent years creating a beautiful harmonious happy relationship decide to destroy it all by adding a baby.

Jill At Her Worst, a single-camera comedy project from Tim Hobert and Warner Bros TV. Written and executive produced by Hobert, Jill At Her Worst centers on devoted mother Jill, who puts her family’s needs before her own, making her a flawed, funny mess – as narrated by her husband, who loves her dearly. Fox co-produces with Warner Bros TV.

J.B. Smoove has signed a talent holding and development deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Smoove to develop, potentially star in, and executive produce a comedy series under his Four Square Miles Inc banner. Also puts him in the mix for any upcoming 20th Century Fox TV projects.

Hanging On: A multi-cam family comedy from Sabrina Jalees, Diablo Cody and her Vita Vera Films, and Warner Bros. TV. Jalees will write and potentially star. Premise: To escape the boredom of retirement and a strained relationship, Phyllis and her husband make a cross-country move from North Carolina and into a house across the street from their lesbian daughter and her new fiancé. Unexpectedly, moving far away from their old life and being inspired by their daughter’s relationship brings them closer together.

Tails: Script commitment and penalty to a single camera comedy from Riki Lindhome, writer Monica Padrick, Amy Poehler and Universal TV. Written by Lindhome and Padrick, Erika, played by Lindhome, a woman in her late 30s, who despite the pressure she feels from the world around her, refuses to settle in any area of her life. EPs: Lindhome, Padrick, Poehler via her Paper Kite Productions, along with 3 Arts’ Dave Becky. Kim Lessing is producing. Fox co-produces with Universal TV and Paper Kite.

It Takes Two: Script commitment plus penalty for a single-camera comedy inspired by the memoir by identical twins Drew & Jonathan Scott of HGTV’s Property Brothers. It will be written by another set of identical twin brothers, Jon & Josh Silberman. Show follows two entrepreneurial twin brothers who decide to join forces in the real estate business when they realize they are stronger together than apart. The Silberman and Scott brothers executive produce alongside Austin Winsberg and Eric and Kim Tannenbaum. Jason Wang co-executive produces.

Alice: Put pilot commitment to reboot a multi-camera comedy based on the 1976 CBS TV series starring Linda Lavin. Thanks to Diablo Cody, Liz Astrof and Warner Bros. TV, which produced the original series. Written and executive produced by Cody and Astrof, the Fox reboot centers on Long Island housewife Alice Hyatt, who has finally worked up the courage to leave her cheating husband. She drives cross-country to Arizona with her teenage son Tommy, and gets a job as a waitress at a roadside diner where the staff becomes their new surrogate family.

I Just Do: Script commitment plus penalty for a multi-cam starring and co-written by comedian Chris Spencer. Written by John Beck, Ron Hart and Spencer, I Just Do is inspired by Spencer’s stand-up. It’s about an African-American family therapist and his loving and expressive Latina wife living beyond their means in an upper-middle class neighborhood, where they are raising twin teenagers with the “help” of their intrusive parents. Beck and Hart EP with LeBron James and Maverick Carter via SpringHill Entertainment. Spencer and his manager, J.P. Williams, co-executive produce.

Bless The Harts: Series order for a half-hour animated comedy featuring the voices of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Jillian Bell and Ike Barinholtz. Created and executive-produced by Emily Spivey, the series gets at least 13 episodes to air during 2019-2020 season, about a group of Southerners who are always broke as a joke, and struggling for the American dream of status and wealth.

Patty’s Auto, a multi-cam ensemble comedy from Darlene Hunt, Elizabeth Banks & Max Handelman’s Brownstone Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Written by Hunt, Patty’s Auto is inspired by Patrice Banks’ Girls Auto Clinic, a Pennsylvania-based auto repair shop with all female mechanics. It centers on Patty and the eclectic women who work for her. Hunt, Banks and Handelman executive produce, with Banks serving as consulting producer.

The Great North, from Bob Burgers creator/executive producer Loren Bouchard and Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux. Voice cast includes Nick Offerman, Jenny Slate, Megan Mullally, Paul Rust, Aparna Nancherla, Will Forte and Dulcé Sloan. Written and co-created by Wendy Molyneux, Lizzie Molyneux and Minty Lewis with Bouchard supervising, The Great North follows the Alaskan adventures of the Tobin family as single dad Beef does his best to keep his weird bunch of kids close, especially as the artistic dreams of his only daughter Judy lead her away from the family fishing boat and into the glamorous world of the local mall.


All Together Now: Put pilot for a single-cam from Lesley Wake Webster and Jason Winer. Bradley Whitford attached, and 20th Century Fox TV. Written by Webster, All Together Now is about a rural church choir that gets the gift it never thought it needed when a salty, Ivy League professor becomes its director. Webster and Whitford executive produce alongside Winer and Jon Radler of Small Dog Picture Company.

Whites, a comedy based on the UK format, from Matt Tarses, Will Arnett and Sony Pictures TV. Written by Tarses, the U.S. adaptation is set in the kitchen at a beautiful restaurant in upstate New York. Roland White, a disgraced wunderkind of the New York culinary scene, has spent the past three years here in exile, and things are complicated when the owner hires Emily, a new pastry chef who is as gluten-free, farm-to-table and gender-neutral-pronoun-using as anyone on the planet. Tarses executive produces with Arnett, his producing partner Marc Forman, Peter Principato of Artists First and the original series’ creators Oliver Lansley and Matt King.

Untitled comedy from Kal Penn, with Matt Murray and Michael Schur. Penn co-writing and starring in put pilot about a disgraced New York City Councilman and former baseball wunderkind Garrett Shah who finds his calling when faced with six recent immigrants in search of the American Dream. Penn and Murray executive produce alongside Schur via his Fremulon, David Miner of 3 Arts Entertainment and Dan Spilo of Industry Entertainment.

Woman Scouts: From Late Night With Seth Meyers writer Allison Hord, about a feminist who, after dropping out of grad school, pledges to kickstart the lives of a group of women by becoming an adult Girl Scout troop. Seth Meyers, Mike Shoemaker and Charlie Grandy executive produce for Sethmaker Shoemeyers Productions, which co-produces with Universal TV.

The Obsolescents: a single-cam from writer Andrew Gottlieb, takes place in a New Jersey suburb where the facade of peace and civility is disrupted by the shocking death of a long-time Township Council member. Gottlieb and Meg Ryan executive produce alongside Broadway Video’s Lorne Michaels and Andrew Singer.

Exes In Law, from Niki Schwartz-Wright inspired by a real-life relationship she had. When Tess and Alex have an explosive break-up and vow never to see each other again, they’re horrified to discover that their younger siblings (and best friends) have been secretly dating and will soon be wed. Now, not only do they have to see each other again, they’re about to be family. Schwartz-Wright executive produces alongside Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner. Universal TV, where Hazy Mills is based, is the studio.

Untitled from Justin Noble, revolves around seven residents who live in a modern, communal living space modeled after college dorm. They come from all walks of life and all have personal reasons for choosing this alternative living situation. While they start out as strangers they soon become each other’s newest and closest friends through the forced interactions that happen when you’re living in close quarters. Noble executive produces with Keshet’s Avi Nir, Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan.

Like Magic, a workplace comedy from Bridget Kyle and Vicky Luu, a workplace comedy that follows an optimistic young woman pursuing her dreams in the mysterious world of the Magic Palace. Kyle and Luu executive produce with Matt Hubbard and Julie Anne Robinson. Cannylads’ head of development Kelly Pancho is a producer.

A father-son autobiographical comedy from brothers Jon and Josh Silberman, the untitled comedy based on Josh Silberman’s life, follows a father and son who find themselves starting their midlife and quarter-life crises the same week and make the decision to “move in together, so they can move on together.” Jon and Josh Silberman executive produce with Moynihan, Ed Helms and Mike Falbo. Universal TV and Pacific Electric Picture Co. co-produce.


With Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend both in their final seasons, The CW is on the lookout for new hour-long comedies…

No Hard Feelings: Script commitment for a one-hour dark comedy from writers Jordan Reddout and Gus Hickey, about a group of friends who conspire to exact revenge on an old rival who assaulted one of their own and got away with it back in college. Reddout and Hickey executive produce with Brad Silberling. CBS TV Studios, where Silberling has been under a deal, is the studio.

Dorian: From Marisa Coughlan, a comedic spin on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture Of Dorian Gray with a gender switch. It centers on a woman who made a deal with the devil 50 years ago to remain young has spent the subsequent decades living selfishly and without consequences. As the downsides of eternal youth finally land on her, Dorian is ready to grow up and age gracefully, but, to do so, she’ll have to make amends for half a century of bad behavior. Coughlan executive produces with Len Goldstein. Warner Bros. TV is the studio.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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