UPDATED: NBC this morning handed out three more series orders to comedyOutsourced, dramedy Love Bites and drama The Event. All three have been early standouts and join recently ordered J.J. Abrams spy drama Undercovers. What all three newly picked up shows have in common is that they are all produced by NBC’s sister studio. Somewhat surprisingly missing from the list, given how much heat it has been generating, is the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced procedural Chase, which comes from Warner Bros. TV. That pilot has already been making “if come” deals with writers. The set-in-India workplace comedy Outsourced had been making firm offers to writers for the past couple of days, and Cindy Chupack’s anthology dramedy Love Bites too had been recruiting writers and has several backup scripts in place. The pickup for The Event also boosts the chances for a final chapter of NBC’s veteran serialized drama Heroes, seen as a suitable companion/launching pad. And NBC is far from done with its pickups. For instance, another hot comedy pilot, Perfect Couples, is yet to be screened today, along with the high-profile Rockford Files and other pilots, including Beach Lane. (UPDATE: Both did OK in screenings, as did The Cape) And NBC is still narrowing its choices for a new legal drama series (or two) among David E. Kelley’s Kindreds, Rex Is Not Your Lawyer and Garza all of which had solid screenings/testings. Rockford is said to be look good despite problems with the first cut, with Warner Bros.-produced Paul Reiser comedy Next also much buzzed about.
The series orders complete Cinderella stories for both The Event and Outsourced. Producer Steve Stark approached NBC drama execs with another spec toward the end of this buying season. He was told that the network’s development slate was full with one exception: They still were looking for event-type series. Stark immediately thought of another spec he had in his drawer from a couple of years ago titled The Event, written by Nick Wauters. The series, which looks to pick up where 24 left off, chronicles the unraveling of the greatest government cover-up in U.S. history. NBC first developed Outsourced, based on the 2006 movie, during the 2007-08 cycle but it didn’t go forward. This pilot season, the network approached Ken Kwapis, the driver behind Outsourced in its first incarnation, to direct another pilot for the network. Instead, he urged them to revisit Outsourced, which became a pilot written by Robert Borden.
“Each of these three series reflects a unique point of view and distinct style of quality that fits perfectly with NBC’s dedication to rebuilding the schedule,” NBC’s head of scripted programming Angela Bromstad said. “These series showcase excellent writing and casting, and represent the kind of scripted programming our network and studio are committed to producing.”