FOX 2010 upfronts: Comedy pilots

by Paul William Tenny

FOX logoThis is the "Comedy pilots" post of a series on FOX's 2010 upfront presentation. These pilots were all ordred by FOX for consideration for the 2010 fall season, and anything they announce at the upfronts next week will come from this pile.

  • Bob's Burgers

    From: Jim Dauterive and Loren Bouchard as creators. Bouchard wrote and produced for The Ricky Gervais Show and a few others. Dauterive has written and produced for King of the Hill.

    Synopsis: Animated comedy centering on a man who runs a struggling restaurant along with his tightly-wound wife and three underachieving kids.

    Notes: 13 episodes ordered.

  • Inside Jokes

    From: John Moffitt, Kevin Connolly, Ron Ward, Roy Bank, and Ted Brunetti producing, with Gerry Cohen directing. I couldn't really find solid information on anyone other than Connolly (actor) and Cohen, who has directed for over two dozen shows in the past ten years, including The Drew Carey Show, George Lopez, and a ton of Married with Children episodes.

    Synopsis: Improv series dubbed as a rapid-fire collection of one-liners and gags.

    Notes: Ordered to pilot. Maybe an import?

  • Keep Hope Alive

    From: Gregory Thomas Garcia as creator, with Michael Fresco directing the pilot. Garcia created My Name is Earl and Yes, Dear and has produced for Family Guy. Fresco has directed for Norther Exposure, Murder One, Providence, and Better Off Ted. Comedy isn't his forte, but he's talented and experienced regardless.

    Synopsis: A 25-year-old who winds up having to raise an infant with the help of his quirky family.

    Notes: Second pilot ordered. That's not good, especially with all the inevitable puns from the series title.

  • Most Likely to Succeed

    From: David Walpert as creator, Brian Grazer and David Nevins producing, with Michael Patrick Jann directing the pilot. Walpert produced and wrote for Ellen, Sports Night, Just Shoot Me!, and produced for Will and Grace. Nevins has produced Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, Lie to Me, and other series. Grazer is an uber producer who has worked on literally everything ever made. Jann has been a long-time writer for The Tonight Show under Leno, created The State, and directed/produced for Reno 911!.

    Synopsis: A group of friends who were superstars in high school and are now dealing with the reality of adulthood.

    Notes: Ordered to pilot. One part ("Becca") has already been re-cast.

  • Naked But Funny

    From: Barry Katz and Peter Engel as creators. Katz has lots of producer credits but only Last Comic Standing stands out. Same for Engel, with Last Comic Standing and Saved by the Bell being the only recognizable shows.

    Synopsis: Sketch comedy with no other details.

    Notes: Ordered to pilot, probably dead.

  • Nevermind Nirvana

    From: Ajay Sahgal as creator, with Scott Ellis directing the pilot. This is apparently the second time Sahgal has tried to get this project off the ground with little else to his name that I can find. Ellis has directed for Frasier, Hope & Faith, Desperate Housewives, The Closer, 30 Rock, and Weeds.

    Synopsis: Two brothers from a traditional Indian background - one defies his family's expectations by dating a Caucasian woman, while the other agrees to enter an arranged marriage.

    Notes: Ordered to pilot. Notable cast member is Rachel Leigh Cook.

  • Security

    From: Adam F. Goldberg as creator, Adam Sandler, Doug Robinson, and Jack Giarraputo producing, with Seth Gordon directing the pilot and producing. Goldberg wrote and produced for Still Standing and Aliens in America. He also wrote the screenplay for Fanboys and is setup to write The Jettsons. Giarraputo has produced a lot of films and works with Sandler. Robinson has produced for Rules of Engagement. Gordon has directed television and features such as Freakonomics, The King of Kong, and The Office.

    Synopsis: A group of twentysomething geniuses who are tasked with cracking computer security systems.

    Notes: Pilot ordered. Appears to have been renamed "Breaking In".

  • Spoof

    From: Spike Feresten and Dana Carvey as creators and hosts. Carvey is a veteran of Saturday Night Live as an actor, and produced his own show -- The Dana Carvey Show -- for a short time in the late 90s. Feresten wrote for Letterman and Carvey's show, wrote and produced for Seinfeld and hosted his own talk show.

    Synopsis: Sketch comedy series filmed on location rather than on a soundstage or with a live audience.

    Notes: Pilot ordered. Carvey and Feresten would host.

  • The Station

    From: Kevin Napier as creator, Ben Stiller, Jeremy Kramer, Stuart Cornfeld and David Wain producing, with Wain directing the pilot. Napier seems to have few things produced to judge him by. Kramer produced She's All That and The Ruins. Cornfeld produced The Fly, The Fly II, Mimic, Zoolander, The Ruins, and Tropic Thunder.

    Synopsis: Workplace comedy which takes place in a covert CIA office in south america.

    Notes: Pilot shot in 2009, re-shot for 2010. Some reports have Stiller directing, another says the pilot has a "penalty attached". That could mean Stiller gets a payout if it doesn't get picked up.

  • Strange Brew

    From: David Kohan and Max Mutchnick as creators, with Marc Buckland directing the pilot. Kohan was written and produced for Good Morning, Miami, Will and Grace, Four Kings, and a new series based on a Twitter user called Shit My Dad Says. Mutchnick has largely worked on the same shows, in addition to Boston Common and The Dennis Miller Show. Buckland has directed for Murder One, NYPD Blue, The West Wing, Sports Night, Scrubs, My Name is Earl, and Better Off Ted.

    Synopsis: Multi-camera comedy about a family-owned brewery.

    Notes: Ordered to pilot.

  • Tax Man

    From: Brent Forrester as creator, Brian Grazer, David Nevins, and Ron Howard producing, with Fred Savage directing the pilot. Forrester has produced for The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and The Office. Nevins has produced for Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, and Lie to Me. Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Fred Savage should be obvious.

    Synopsis: An IRS agent trying hard to believe that his job is good and noble and provides a very important, vital service.

    Notes: Ordered to pilot.

  • Traffic Light

    From: Bob Fisher and Adir Miller as creators, Avi Nir, Elad Kuperman, and Ran Telem producing, with Chris Koch directing the pilot. Fisher wrote for Married with Children and a few other no-name series but did well writing The Wedding Crashers. Miller has credits but they look foreign, Israeli I guess. That pretty much goes for the whole crew other than Fisher and Chris Koch. If I have the right Koch, he has directed for My Name is Earl, Better Off Ted, Scrubs, and Cougar Town.

    Synopsis: This series tells the story of three childhood friends, now in their early thirties, each in a different stage in his life, like a traffic light:[..]

    Notes: Ordered to pilot, based on an Israeli series probably with many of the original producers. I think this is actually set (but not shot) in Israeli, which has raised some eyebrows and questions about whether or not an American audience will connect with foreign characters in a foreign country.

  • Untitled Jamie Foxx Project

    From: Adam Small, Affion Crockett, Carl Jones, and Fax Bahr as creators, Eric Tennenbaum, Jamie Rucker King, Jamie Foxx, Kim Tennenbaum, and Marcus King producing. Small has written and produced for House of Buggin, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Blue Collar TV, Foxworthy's Big Night Out, and co-created MADTv. Crockett is an actor and would co-star. Jones has limited acting and producing experience. Bahr co-created MADTv and worked on a lot of shows with Small, in addition to In Living Color.

    Eric and Kim Tennenbaum have recently produced for Two and a Half Men and Brothers. King has few tangible credits. Marcus King has few credits outside of Jamie Foxx projects.

    Synopsis: Sketch comedy series executive produced by the Oscar-winner.

    Notes: Ordered to pilot even though it doesn't have a name, and few people producing that have a track record of success in television. Probably DOA given the other sketch comedy pilots with far more talent behind them.

  • Wilde Kingdom

    From: Jim Valley, Mitch Hurwitz, and Will Arnett as creators, Eric Tennenbaum, Kim Tennenbaum, Paul Young, and Peter Principato producing, with Hurwitz directing the pilot. Valley wrote and produced for The Golden Girls, Ladies Man, The Geena Davis Show, Shit Down Shut Up, Brothers, and Arrested Development. Hurwitz produced and wrote for Golden Girls, The John Larroquette Show, The Ellen Show, Sit Down Shut Up, and co-created Arrested Development. Arnett is an actor from many shows, including Arrested Development. The two Tennebaums have their history in the show above. Principato has produced for Reno 911! and other shows.

    Synopsis: A rich Beverly Hills jackass who falls in love with a charitable tree-hugging woman who can't stand his lifestyle or values.

    Notes: Ordered to pilot, part of Arnett's overall deal with the network. If FOX doesn't pick it up, he can take it anywhere else.

Also: FOX drama pilots, mid-season replacements, and the introduction post.

Update: I've posted FOX's full fall schedule

in Feature, Television


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