NBC 2010 upfronts: Comedy pilots

by Paul William Tenny

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

  • The Adam Carolla Show

    From: Adam Carolla, Jon Pollack, and Kevin Hench as creators, Jimmy Kimmel and others as executive producers. There are a ton of EPs on this project with a lot of talent to go around, or a lot of people to muddy the water and make a mess of things. That depends on how many of the producers are also going to be writers, and whether or not a lot of them are simply "attached" for some other reason.

    Synopsis: A contractor sets out to re-build his life following a divorce.

    Notes: A pilot was ordered but no other information is known. Doesn't seem to have moved much since March.

  • Beach Lane

    From: Paul Simms as creator, Marci Klein and Lorn Michaels as executive producers. Lorn Michaels is producing, so what else is there to say? Well, one or two things. Simms wrote for News Radio, The Larry Sanders Show, and Letterman. Klein has produced SNL and 30 Rock. I like this staff a lot.

    Synopsis: A celebrity author hired by an irresponsible millionaire heir to run his struggling small-town newspaper in the hamptons.

    Notes: The pilot was set to film April 23rd.

  • Friends with Benefits

    From: Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber as creators, Brian Grazer, David Nevins, and Jeff Kleeman as exec-prods.  The co-creators wrote 500 Days of Summer and The Pink Panther 2 and got a TV deal out of it. They've never run a show before, produced one, or even written for television. Even with Grazer on board, this looks like a loser.

    Synopsis: A comedic dissection of the mating habits of today's young adults.

    Notes: Pilot ordered.

  • Nathan vs Nurture

    FromDavid Guarascio and Moses Port as creators, James Burrows directing the pilot. A lot of people who have worked together on previous shows tend to pair up to start new ones, which is what these guys did. They worked together writing and producing Aliens in America and Just Shoot Me!. Bill Pullman in the cast could make it worth checking out, but the synopsis is really bugging me.

    Synopsis: A successful 35-year-old heart surgeon decides to search for his biological parents only to find they had three more kids and kept them.

    Notes: Pilot ordered. I read the synopsis twice and am still trying to find the funny.

  • Next

    From: Paul Resier as creator, with Craig Knizek and Jonathan Shapiro as exec-prods. Resier makes it interesting, but Knizek seems like he's just coming along for the ride. Not confidence inspiring, but possibly a path to NBC's resurgance as a comedy leader.

    Synopsis: A semi-autobiographical look at the former television star and family man dealing with life's day-to-day conundrums.

    Notes: Pilot ordered. Resier would star.

  • Our Show

    From: Larry Charles as creator, McG and Peter Johnson producing. Big names. Charles has written and produced for Entourage, Dilbert, Made About You, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. McG is probably producing in name only, working on the pilot and then stepping away to consult. He's got too many film projects in development and is producing on Super Natural, Chuck, and Human Target already.

    Synopsis: A group of sci-fi fanboys in a small town who shoot their own version of a canceled tv show.

    Notes: Pilot ordered. Nate Corddry as co-star. Great talent behind the camera and a fertile ground for stories, but sounds like a hard sell to average viewers.

  • Outsourced

    From: Robert Borden as creator, Alexandra Beattie as co-exec, and Ken Kwapis as exec-prod and pilot director. Beattie has no discernable past, while Borden is a veteran writer for Letterman, George Lopez, and Drew Carey (produced Lopez, Carey.) Ken Kwapis has directed episodes of The Office for five years, The Bernie Mac Show for six, and Malcolm in the Middle for five.

    Synopsis: An American novelties company has its call-center outsourced to India, where it's new manager must give the new staff "a crash course in all things American".

    Notes: 13 episodes ordered. Set in India, filmed on a studio lot in California? Naturally.

  • Perfect Couples

    FromScott Silveri and Jon Pollack as creators, with Andy Ackerman directing the pilot and producing. Silveri produced and wrote for Friends and its spin-off Joey. Looks to have gotten his start on Mad About You, so this guy knows comedy. Pollack has mostly produced during his career, for 30 Rock, Joey, Just Shoot Me!, and Spin City, writing occasionally for some of those shows going back to Home Improvement.

    Ackerman has been directing and producing since 1990 (Wings, Cheers, Seinfeld, Two and a Half Men, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Frasier, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and editing since the 80s (WKRP in Cincinnati, Newhart).

    Synopsis: Three couples at various stages of their relationships.

    Notes: Pilot ordered. This looks on paper like another Seinfeld/Friends, on paper. Olivia Munn is a notable cast member.

  • The Pink House

    From: Kenny Schwartz, Rick Weiner as creators, with Scott Stuber, Quan Phung producing, and Michael Lembeck directing the pilot. Schwartz has a spotty record of on-again-off-again producing and writing. His most notable work was writing for Mad About You. Stuber looks more like an attachment producer while Lemback has solid feature and television experience.

    Synopsis: A friendship between two guys who take a risk and move out to Los Angeles to begin the next chapter of their post-college lives.

    Notes: Pilot ordered. Not great odds on paper, but you never know what people will like.

  • The Strip

    From: Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant as creators, Peter Principato and Paul Young producing, with Beth McCarthy directing the pilot. Lennon wrote, co-created, and co-stared in Reno 911 as Lieutenant Jim Dangle. He also co-wrote the 2009 blockbuster Night at the Museum with Garant (co-creator of Reno.) It shouldn't come as a surprise that most of the producers worked on Reno.

    Synopsis: A former child star turned hooters-style bar owner on the outskirts of las vegas.

    Notes: Ordered tp pilot. Reno did it for some, but not others. Lennon will need to bring a broader appeal to The Strip to find network success. Based on what he did with Night at the Museum, that doesn't seem like a tough task for him and his crew.

  • This Little Piggy

    From: Ted Wass and Steven Cragg was creators, with Wass directing. Wass is a TV actor-turned-director from Caroline in the City, Spin City, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement, Brothers, and Accidentally on Purpose. That's a real focus on TV comedies since the last 90s. Cragg has written and produced for MADTv, written for SNL, and penned a few scripts for Scrubs.

    Synopsis: Two adult siblings who move in with their eldest brother after he inherits his parents' large, rambling Portland, Oregon house.

    Notes: Ordered to pilot. Notable cast member is Nick D'Agosto who played "West" for a short time on Heroes.

Also: NBC drama pilots, mid-season replacements, and the intro post.

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

in Feature, Television


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