20 items from 2015
“We are excited to add Vali’s bold and original voice to our already incredible stable of writers, and we look forward to developing new projects with him down the road,” said Jonnie Davis, 20th Century Fox TV’s president of creative affairs.
- Cynthia Littleton
Last week, in the wake of Eddie Huang's complaints that he felt ABC's "Fresh Off the Boat" was distorting and softening his childhood experiences, this column examined how hard it is for any biographical or autobiographical sitcom to be true to the life of its source and still be a crowd-pleasing primetime network entertainment. You'd think, after decades of trying, TV writers and network programming executives would be aware of this.
Nonetheless, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the networks have no fewer than ten such sitcom pilots in production, as the first episodes of potential 2015-16 primetime series. Some are based on the lives of already famous entertainers, some on the self-referential stand-up comedy routines of not-quite-famous comics, and some on memoirsts who've lived interesting lives.
Here's a rundown of these pilots, with a look at who these shows are about, who's starring in them, what the series might be like, »
- Gary Susman
ABC Family has ordered single-camera comedy, “Kevin From Work,” to series, the network told TheWrap. The series will begin production in June and premiere this summer. Created by Barbie Adler (“How I Met Your Mother,” “My Name Is Earl,” and “Arrested Development”), the series follows Kevin (“Backpackers” Noah Reid), a young man who declares his unrequited love for his coworker Audrey (Paige Spara) in a letter, believing he’ll never see her again after he accepts a job overseas. But when the opportunity falls through and Kevin is forced to return to his old job, he and Audrey will have to figure. »
- Jethro Nededog
Presto TV has secured exclusive streaming rights to evergreen sitcom Modern Family as part of a wide-ranging deal with 20th Century Fox. The first four seasons of the show starring Ed O.Neill, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet are available now on the Svod platform co-owned by Foxtel and Seven West Media.
Series 5, which includes an episode shot in Australia last year, will premiere on Presto TV in the second half of this year.
The Fox deal also includes non-exclusive rights to Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, The Americans, Glee, Louie and library titles The X-Files, Rosewell, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and My Name is Earl..
Presto TV has been overshadowed by a recent blizzard of acquisitions announced by rivals Stan and Netflix, which launches on March 24, but Presto executives say further deals are in the works.
Apart from sourcing »
- Don Groves
"30 Rock" had its share of subversive jokes that weren't meant for all audiences to understand. You'd be forgiven if you didn't catch the dirty reference when Liz Lemon's dad Dick proclaimed, "Wouldn't be a Lemon party without ol' Dick!" But it appears "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," the followup series from "30 Rock" producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock for Netflix, has upped the ante with an incredibly rarefied reference to a fabled writers' room story from the set of "Roseanne." In episode 10 of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" when the character of Dong (Ki Hong Lee) comes back to his restaurant to learn that immigration officials have apprehended his coworkers, he apologizes to his boss and says, "I'm so sorry, Hu Zha Qi!" His boss responds, "It's your fault. I hope you die, become ghost, fly around the room. That make everybody happy." The key to understanding this reference is realizing "Hu Zha Qi" is pronounced "Who Jackie, »
- Louis Virtel
Finally some good news for Jaime Pressly, after Jennifer Falls. The funny lady has been promoted to a regular on Anna Faris’ Mom. That means fans will see more of Jill, who came into play in season 2 as her freshly rehabbed friend. CBS hasn’t shared how they write her in as a regular yet. However, fans can expect more drama and humor from her character during the third season.
Poor Jaime hasn’t had success on TV since her My Name is Earl days. We hope this will change that that for her. She deserves a chance to shine and with this show, it seems like a good fit. I cannot wait to learn more about what we can expect as this current season has been tough. Lots of emotions and drama that is setting up for a very interesting season finale to watch. That may actually explain some of our questions. »
- Sarah Peel
“Mom” has given birth to a brand-new series regular. “My Name Is Earl” alum Jaime Pressly has joined the cast of the CBS sitcom as a regular, starting with its upcoming third season, the network said Friday. Also Read: ‘Mom’ Star Anna Faris on Facing Gambling Addiction, Homelessness in Season 2 Pressly began guest-starring on the series in its current second season as Jill, a rich, self-obsessed divorcee who has been through rehab a few times and is working hard on her sobriety with the help of her friend and sponsor, Christy (Anna Faris). The network announced Thursday that the Chuck Lorre series. »
- Tim Kenneally
The My Name Is Earl alum, who debuted as Christy’s newly sober pal earlier this season, will be a permanent part of the cast when the recently renewed sitcom returns in the fall, the network announced Friday.
Pressly’s Jill is rich and a handful — which proves problematic when Christy tries to help »
Trace Adkins will return to the small screen by way of the ER this May. The singer/sometime actor has scored a role as a military veteran on the NBC medical drama, The Night Shift. According to TheWrap, Adkins will play the leader of a therapy group attended by Dr. Tc Callahan, one of the show's main characters, portrayed by actor Eoin Macken. The series, now in its second season, depicts Tc dealing with Ptsd while trying to maintain a relationship with Dr. Jordan Alexander, who's played by Jill Flint. »
What the Heck?
With ABC yet to renew The Middle for a seventh season — and with that cast’s contracts up this spring — Charlie McDermott has signed on as the lead in CBS’ Super Clyde pilot, our sister site Deadline reports.
RelatedPilot Season ’15: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them
Penned by Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl), the comedy follows a meek, unassuming fast-food worker who finds his calling. (This marks Super Clyde‘s second go-around as a pilot; Harry Potter‘s pal Rupert Grint previously filled the title role.)
Deadline reports that »
CBS has ordered three new pilots, including an adaptation of a 2011 Bradley Cooper film that counts the Oscar nominee as an executive producer.
The series will pick up where the film left off, following a man with access to a mysterious prescription drug that expands his mental capacity. In the show, the character uses his abilities to help the FBI solve crimes. The project has additional producers in Relativity honchos Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley. »
- Matt Donnelly
After some unfortunate circumstances, the big city corporate exec is forced to return home to help save the family business. But older brother Grady Paxton (My Name is Earl’s Jason Lee), a playboy bachelor and gun aficionado, isn’t so happy to have him back. And his liberal wife and opinionated teenage kids are horrified by the world they have been thrown into. Hilarity, epic fights and emotional breakdowns ensue.
Created by Samuel Baum (Lie to Me) and Sam Shaw (Manhattan – TV series), Cocked is an hour-long dark comedy that also stars Tony award-winning Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman), Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad), and Dreama Walker (The Good Wife) – a stellar cast. »
CBS has ordered a pilot for the new TV series Rush Hour, based on the blockbuster movie franchise starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. CBS issued a pilot commitment back in October, with the potential TV series now moving forward to produce the pilot episode. Bill Lawrence, who created Scrubs and Cougar Town, wrote the pilot script, which centers on an arrogant Los Angeles detective who teams up with a by-the-book Hong Kong cop after he is assigned to a case in L.A.
Bill Lawrence revealed earlier this month that the show will feature a new plot that is much different from the movie trilogy, but will feature the same kinds of characters. The actor who will take over the Lee character, originally played by Jackie Chan, will be a martial artist, but the series creator added that he may just find the right actor who doesn't have martial »
CBS picked up three projects Monday, ordering comedy pilots from “My Name Is Earl” and “Raising Hope” creator Greg Garcia and “Modern Family” executive producer Bill Wrubel. On the drama side, the network has greenlit a pilot for a television adaptation of the New Line Cinema film franchise “Rush Hour.”
Like the film, the pilot is about a stoic, by-the-book Hong Kong police officer who finds himself partnered with a cocky Lapd officer after he’s assigned to a case in Los Angeles. »
- Jason Hughes
CBS has its eye on yet another odd couple for the 2015-2016 TV season.
CBS’ logline for the project is as follows: “A stoic, by-the-book Hong Kong police officer is assigned to a case in Los Angeles where he’s forced to work with a cocky African-American Lapd officer who has no interest in a partner. »
Get ready to watch, rate and review Amazon’s just-released pilots – a slate of 13 original comedy, drama, docuseries and kids offerings now available on Amazon Instant Video.
The pilots come from a talented creative roster that includes both newcomers discovered through Amazon Studios as well as highly-acclaimed veterans such as Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), Carlton Cuse (Lost), Randall Wallace (Braveheart), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Brad Silberling (Jane the Virgin, Lemony Snickets…), Mark Waters (Mean Girls), Academy and Emmy Award winning director Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie), Angela Santomero (Blue’s Clues), and Carol Greenwald (Arthur).
Over the course of the next four weeks, viewer feedback will ultimately help to decide which of them get picked up to full series. So your opinions matter! You could help choose the next Golden Globe-winning series, after all.
Check out the synopsis of each of them below, and start watching them here today. »
Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco will pen his first-ever book, a memoir mixing comedy and food, titled “Where You Wanna Eat?”
Co-written with Alan Eisenstock, the memoir, to be published by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books, will explore Maniscalco’s own dining experiences and most memorable meals, complete with dos and don’ts.
Maniscalco has also signed onto exec produce a half-hour multi-camera comedy, influenced by his own life stories, pending pickup by NBC who recently bought the script, written by Austen Earl (“The Millers,” “Up All Night”). Along with Maniscalco and Earl, Greg Garcia (“My Name Is Earl”), Judi Brown-Marmel and Alix Jaffe are also set to exec produce.
The comedian’s Showtime special “Aren’t You Embarrassed,” currently airing, was one of the cabler’s highest-rated comedy specials of the year.
Maniscalco is repped by UTA.
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
ABC Family has given the production go-ahead to two new comedy pilots, “Kevin From Work” and “Tough Cookie,” with both pilots slated to go into production later in January.
The half-hour workplace comedy “Kevin From Work” follows a young man who’s unluckily in love and who professes his devotion to a co-worker, thinking he’ll never see her again after he accepts a job offer overseas. But then that job offer is rescinded, and now they have to continue to work together.
Also Read: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ to Feature Fan Art in Winter Season Promos
The pilot hails from »
- Tim Kenneally
Amazon Studios’ first pilot season of 2015 will debut Thursday, Jan. 15, unveiling seven drama and comedy projects as well as a half-dozen kid-centric pilots.
Already due to debut via Amazon Studios this year are the first full seasons of Bosch, Hand of God and Red Oaks, plus Season 2 of Transparent. (Chris Carter’s The After meanwhile just had its series order scrapped.)
The dramas and comedies are as follows (click photos to zoom):
Get ready for our first pilot season of 2015, launching January 15th, when seven new primetime and six new kids pilots will debut on Amazon Instant Video. As with previous pilot seasons, viewers in the Us, UK and Germany will be invited to watch, rate and review them all over the course of four weeks, ultimately helping to decide which of them get picked up to full series.
The new pilots come from both highly-acclaimed and newly-discovered creators, and a legion of talented actors, directors and producers signed on to bring the pilots to life. Here’s a brief summary of each:
The Man in the High Castle – Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. »
20 items from 2015
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