The Tonight Show just released a new installment of "Unqualified Advice" featuring Nick Kroll, and it's full of solid advice especially if you're concerned about unfriending someone, choosing a college major, writing a 3,000-word essay in two hours, or becoming a victim of the Freshman 15. Kroll also offers up a Halloween costume suggestion that's equally sexy on both guys and girls.
ABC just added another project to the long list of autobiographical sitcoms currently in development across the major networks. Variety reports that NBA star Chris Paul has teamed up with former Office writer/executive producer Warren Lieberstein to develop a family comedy for ABC based on his childhood in North Carolina. The untitled show follows "two brothers who work at a service station owned by their grandfather, who champions old-school values in contrast to the attitude of their guarded, politically-correct mother." Paul and his brother C.J. will serve as co-executive producers alongside Lieberstein, Eric Tannanbaum, and Kim Tannanbaum.
This makes the second comedy in development based on an NBA player (see LeBron James's show with Kevin Hart), the second comedy about growing up in North Carolina announced this week (see Fortune Feimster), and one of the many semi-autobiographical series in the works (seriously, there are a ton of them).
Hollywood's ultimate multi-hyphenate James Franco is directing and starring in an upcoming dramedy called Zeroville, and according to Slash Film it just added a ton of great guest stars. Based on the 2007 novel by Steve Erickson, Zeroville centers on Franco's character Ike Jerome (nicknamed "Vikar") as "a young and awkward architecture student obsessed with cinema. He heads to Hollywood in 1969, just as the industry is entering a transitional phase. Vikar makes a striking impression on those around him, including several movie icons. Eventually he breaks into the industry himself to become a film editor, entering a dizzying world of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll."
Revealed stars in the film include Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen (as an "eccentric, cigar-chomping, surf-hippy" guide to Vikar), Danny McBride (as a "nefarious financier"), Jacki Weaver (a mentor figure to Vikar), Megan Fox (as "femme fatale type Soledad"), Horatio Sanz, Craig Robinson, Joey King, and Dave Franco. Franco has been developing Zeroville since 2011 and was seen shooting the film at the Venice Film Festival last month.
TBS just gave a pilot order to a new comedy series described as "Lost meets It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Titled Wrecked, the single-cam comedy comes from up-and-coming sibling writing team Justin Shipley and Jordan Shipley. Here's the full synopsis for the show:
Wrecked chronicles the aftermath of a plane crashing on a remote island. Two best friends, along with an extremely diverse group of survivors, must adjust to life in a dangerous new world that poses unique threats, which they mostly bring upon themselves. Danny and Owen, who weren’t quite killing it pre-crash, are given the chance to finally be the kind of men they’ve always wanted to be. No longer plugged in, they become the unexpected leaders of this new society devoid of such comforts as social media, wi-fi, indoor plumbing and fast food restaurants.
According to Deadline, Wrecked joins TBS's comedy development slate alongside Broken Lizard's in-the-works series Quality Time as well as an untitled show from Daily Show correspondents Samantha Bee and Jason Jones described as a "family vacation anthology series."
Here's some perfectly timed news for Halloween: NBC just added a new comedy project all about witches. THR reports that the network has given a script commitment to an untitled single-cam series from former 30 Rock writers/co-executive producers Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan about a group of friends "who grow closer when one of them 'comes out' to the group — as a witch." Siegal and Morgan will also serve as co-executive producers on the project, which makes the second witch-themed show ordered by the NBC this week — the network also ordered a Bewitched reboot set two generations after the original ABC series on Wednesday.
Elizabeth Banks just added another behind-the-scenes gig. On top of producing a web series and directing the upcoming film Pitch Perfect 2, Deadline reports that Banks is now producing a series in development at ABC called The Greater Good. The single-cam comedy is described as a "comedic X-Files, a relationship/workplace comedy set in the world of conspiracy theories" and was written by Caroline Williams, who created the 2008 ABC sitcom Miss Guided and has also written for The Office, Modern Family, Arrested Development, and BoJack Horseman.
Yesterday Chris Gethard posted a bizarre clip from this week's TCGS showing what appeared to be a brawl with an angry public access producer named Smith, which turned out to be an elaborate stunt he planned with comedian Brett Davis. Gethard explained the behind-the-scenes process of the segment in a new post on his blog, where he breaks down the origins of the idea, who knew about it beforehand, and the resulting backlash by some TCGS fans who felt duped. "What you saw on last night's show is what happens when one of the most committed comedians I've ever seen plays it as real as possible," Gethard says in the post. "That's really all we were going for — not to deceive or sadden or anything else — just to execute what we thought was a funny idea while handing it off to one of my favorite comedians in NYC right now." Here's what Gethard had to say about some of the less amused responses to the bit:
I have seen online that some of our fans are pissed at us and feel like we tricked them. We weren’t setting out to trick. We were setting out to put on a good comedy show. So I don’t really feel like I should apologize, so much as I should say that I am even more in awe of the comedic abilities of Mr. Brett Davis now than I was heading into last night. He nailed it to the point that people were writing essays and debating the meaning of community. That’s good comedy.
Read the rest of the post over on Gethard's blog.
DirecTV has teamed up with CollegeHumor's production team Big Breakfast for a Downton Abbey parody called The Britishes. Deadline reports that the eight-sketch series will star Peter Serafinowicz and Will Sasso and feature supporting performers like CollegeHumor regulars Elaine Carroll and Josh Ruben. Here's a full description of the series:
The Britishes revolves around the absurd, class-obsessed, extremely British residents of an Edwardian-era English estate off the fictional "coast of Knob." With roots so deep in aristocracy that their surname is actually "British," the family has fought through the decades—against progress, against technology and, essentially, against all common sense—in an effort to preserve a regal way of life. The Britishes are a dying breed, hysterically desperate to uphold tradition as the world around them becomes more modern.
The Britishes will make its television debut on DirecTV's Audience Network on October 28th. "The Britishes is more than a Downton Abbey parody, it's a love ballad to British comedy, which—thanks to my British mother—is the comedy I grew up watching," said Big Breakfast President Sam Reich on the project. "Peter Serafinowicz and Will Sasso go together like Marmite and butter. It's a British thing." Check out one of the sketches titled "The Charming Mr. Hitler" below: READ MORE
Earlier this year, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions added a female-centric label called Gloria Sanchez, and the company just added a new project to its slate. Variety reports that Gloria Sanchez has teamed up with The Weinstein Company to produce a comedy called Plus One, which follows "a woman who comes out of a long-term relationship only to realize that all her friends have married off — leaving her with an oversharing wild card as the only option for a wing woman." No casting decisions have been revealed yet, but the script comes from April Prosser, whose screenplay The One That Got Away was named on the Black List in 2012. "We’re thrilled to be on board with this hilarious and smart film by talented up-and-comer April Prosser," Harvey Weinstein said in a statement. "Her script drew one of the strongest responses from our team that I’ve seen in a while." For more on Gloria Sanchez Productions, check out our interview with founder Jessica Elbaum from February.
During last night's show, Conan O'Brien debuted the above video "The Fantastic Mystery of Shaq's Penis," an animated take on a weird story about Shaq Adam Sandler told when he was a guest on the show last year: "He's funnier than any of us. Swear to God. There's all comedians in the movie — every time they do a scene, everybody walks away and goes 'Shaq is funnier than me?'"
A day after announcing the development of three new comedy series, ABC has added yet another with THR's report that the network has given a put-pilot commitment to a medical comedy called Family Practice. Written by doctor/writer Simon Stephenson — who wrote an episode of the UK series Eleventh Hour as well as a memoir Let Not the Waves of the Sea — the comedy "centers on a dysfunctional family of doctors who run a family practice in small town America." Stephenson will executive produce alongside Dan Fogelman, who is also serving as an EP on an in-the-works ABC comedy series based on the life of Carson Daly.
Last night's Chris Gethard Show started out with an innocent concept: Bring 200 kazoos to the Manhattan Neighborhood Network studio and see what happens. Things took an unexpected turn when Gethard called out an MNN producer (he called himself only "Smith") who was brooding nearby during the taping, which ultimately turned into an ugly confrontation over why Smith, and allegedly other MNN members, can't stand TCGS: "You're using a public platform to further your own narcissism." It gets more and more awkward with each dig Smith makes at TCGS — which he calls "an ad for unemployment" and "the Party City show" — but the whole thing devolves into chaos at the end when Smith trips over a seated audience member and snaps.
UPDATE: Turns out this was a very Kaufman-esque stunt pulled by comedian Brett Davis — and a very well played one at that. Can we ever trust the new and improved TCGS again? As long as they keep pulling off hilariously bizarre moments like the one above, it's all good.
Jerry Seinfeld's Crackle web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee returns with a new round of episodes on November 6th with guests like Jimmy Fallon, Amy Schumer, Kevin Hart, and Fred Armisen, and today the streaming network released a tense teaser video featuring Seinfeld's old TV neighbor Michael Richards as the cigar-sucking Crackle president Dick Corcoran.
David Cross was recently a guest on the Comedian's Comedian Podcast with host Stuart Goldsmith, and after the interview Cross agreed to give Goldsmith the finale track of his 2004 album It's Not Funny that label Sub Pop refused to release. The track includes Cross's own pandering country song called "Clapping in the USA" as well as a voice cameo from H. Jon Benjamin as God Himself. "If you listen to the CD you can certainly tell (the current final track) is not a closing bit," Cross told Goldsmith. "Sub Pop got nervous and I was furious, I was apoplectic, I can't believe you're taking this away… This is a bit that was cut out because Sub Pop was afraid they were gonna get sued, but this is the original ending of the CD."