NBC Orders Three New Comedies, No Decision Yet on John Mulaney and Craig Robinson’s Pilots
NBC began announcing today which TV pilots the network is picking up for the fall, and they’ve ordered four new comedies so far. One of those sitcoms is The Michael J. Fox Show, which NBC picked up for 22 episodes last August following a multi-network bidding war. Michael J. Fox will be joined on the fall schedule by three new series that were announced today: About a Boy, based on the book/Hugh Grant movie of the same name; The Family Guide, starring J.K. Simmon and Parker Posey; and Sean Saves the World, starring Sean Hayes and created by Victor Fresco (Andy Richter Controls the Universe).
NBC also announced today that they’ve passed on pilots starring Party Down‘s Ken Marino and The Office‘s Ellie Kemper and Oscar Nuñez. The network has yet to announce a decision on six pending comedies, including one starring The Office‘s Craig Robinson and another starring/created by stand-up/SNL writer John Mulaney, both of which topped our list of the year’s most promising comedy pilots. NBC still has 2-3ish slots left for new sitcoms, depending on how many old ones they bring back, so hopefully, Mulaney and/or Robinson’s shows make it. See below for a rundown of which pilots are safe, which ones are gone, and which ones are still in limbo:
These are the four comedies that are picked up for the fall:
About a Boy
Adapted from the Nick Hornby book and Hugh Grant movie of the same name, About a Boy follows the relationship between a bachelor man-child (David Walton, Bent) and the young boy (Benjamin Stockham, 1600 Penn) who moves in with the single mom next door (Minnie Driver). The book/movie are being developed into a show by Jason Katims, the writer/producer who previously developed the movie Parenthood into a successful show for NBC. The Daily Show‘s Al Madrigal also stars.
From executive producer Jason Bateman comes a new comedy created by Up All Night writer DJ Nash. Family Guide follows a kid (newcomer Eli Baker) dealing with life after the divorce of his blind father (J.K. Simmons) and fun-loving mother (Parker Posey). Written and executive produced by DJ Nash (Up All Night); Jason Bateman is an EP.
The Michael J. Fox Show
Inspired by Michael J. Fox’s life as a husband and father in New York City dealing with Parkinson’s and other challenges, he plays the father of three who returns to work as a news anchor. The supporting cast includes Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), Katie Finneran (Wonderfalls), and Wendell Pierce (Treme).
Sean Saves the World
Multi-cam starring Sean Hayes as a working guy struggling to parent his 14-year-old daughter (newcomer Samantha Isler) who just moved in, while dealing with his nightmare boss (Tom Lennon, Reno 911!). Echo Kellum (Ben & Kate), Linda Lavin (Alice), and Lindsay Sloane (Horrible Bosses).Victor Fresco (creator of Better Off Ted, Andy Richter Controls the Universe) created the show, which is a good sign.
While those are the shows that are secured a spot on the schedule, NBC has six comedy pilots whose fate is currently up in the air. They are:
Based on Bachelorette writer Leslye Headland’s play of the same name, about a working girl balancing her life between her “work husband,” her fiancé, and her demanding boss. Executive producers are Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Krysten Ritter (Apartment 23), Alfred Molina, and Zach Cregger (Guys with Kids) star.
The adventures of dating while in your 20s as told through a group of friends. Written and executive produced by Robert Padnick (The Office); Office boss Greg Daniels is also an EP. Eric Andre (Apartment 23, The Eric Andre Show) plays one of the leads.
Talented musician (Craig Robinson) has to get used to his new life as a middle school music teacher. Written and executive produced by Owen Ellickson (The Office), the show also stars Jean Smart, Steve Little (Eastbound & Down), Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program), and Kumail Nanjiani (Portlandia). Greg Daniels serves as executive producer.
Multi-cam ensemble comedy created, written by, starring, and loosely based on the life of stand-up/SNL writer John Mulaney. Lorne Michaels is executive producing along with 30 Rock alum David Miner and Robert Carlock. Mulaney stars alongside Martin Short, Elliott Gould, SNL‘s Nasim Pedrad, and stand-ups Griffin Newman and Seaton Smith.
A group of friends dubbed the “Undateables” has their lives changed when a more confident character joins them. Written and executive produced by Adam Sztykiel (Due Date). Bill Lawrence serves as EP. Chris D’Elia (Whitney) plays the lead character.
Welcome to the Family
Culture-clash sitcom about a white family and a Latino family bonded by their romantically-involved children and an unplanned pregnancy. Mike Sikowitz (Rules of Engagement) is writer and EP.
These are the four comedy pilots that NBC announced they passed on this morning:
A high-concept comedy based around a woman (the titular Brenda)’s experiences at age 31 and 13. Created and executive produced by Andrew Leeds (Pelant on Bones) and writing partner David Lampson (This One Time With Julia), Brenda Forever starred The Office’s Ellie Kemper in the title role.
Based on the British comedy The Gates, Drop-Off followed the parents and staff navigating the social difficulties that are the drop-off gates at their children’s elementary school. Starring Ken Marino, written and executive produced by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith (‘Til Death, The King of Queens).
Ensemble comedy following a group of friends after they survive a plane crash. Justin Spitzer (The Office) wrote the pilot, which starred Erinn Hayes (Childrens Hospital), Luka Jones (Best Friends Forever), and Oscar Nuñez, amongst others.
Joe, Joe, and Jane
A semi-autobiographical look at conflict between a meek children’s book author, his wife, and his best friend/co-author. Written and executive produced by Joe Port, Joe Wiseman (New Girl).