NBC Is Developing a Major New Sketch Show

NBC has always seen SNL as both a popular late night comedy program and a fertile ground for developing talent. So many people have gone on from the show to star in other NBC properties, from Amy Poehler and Tina Fey to Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, the show has acted as a sort of farm team for their weeknight lineups. It’s worked out pretty well for them, and apparently they want to replicate that with a brand new sketch series. They’ve enlisted former Comedy Central VP of Original Programming Lou Wallach to develop it, hoping he can help them break their streak of lousy ratings in the comedy game.

Wallach will oversee the project under his recently inked overall deal with Universal Television’s Alternative Studio. The untitled effort comes as NBC is looking to experiment with alternative forms of comedy outside of the sitcom. The network in recent years has struggled with scripted comedy, most recently failing to return a freshman half-hour series for a second year.

The show won’t be live like SNL, but otherwise there’s no real format in place; they’re hoping to staff it up and then develop it from there. It’s also not clear whether or not it’ll shoot in NY or LA, but they’re going to be doing a nationwide casting search, hitting up places like UCB and Second City looking for comedic performers. That sound you hear is hundreds of people prepping their showcase sets at once.

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