EXCLUSIVE: I hear pilots Franklin & Bash and Glory Daze have emerged as the frontrunners for series pickup at TBS, with orders likely to come as early as this week. And, in an interesting twist, Franklin & Bash appears poised to move to sister network TNT. In its first foray into hourlong comedies, TBS in January picked up four cast-contingent pilots, Franklin & Bash, Glory Daze, In Security and Uncle Nigel. All four were cast and produced. Franklin & Bash, from Sony TV, writers/executive producers Kevin Falls and Bill Chais and executive producer Jamie Tarses, stars Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as street lawyers and lifelong friends who, after taking down a white-shoe law firm in a high-profile case, are recruited by the firm’s patriarch. The pilot, co-starring Dana Davis, Kumail Nanjiani, Reed Diamond, Garcelle Beauvais and Malcolm McDowell has been garnering strong buzz from the get-go and attracted a well-known cast. Glory Daze, on the other hand, has been a classic dark horse. Written by Walt Becker (Wild Hogs) and Michael LeSieur (You, Me and Dupree) and directed by Becker, it revolves around the lives of four incoming freshman in the 1980s who pledge a fraternity at a Wisconsin college. The cast includes mostly young up-and-comers, including Kelly Blatz, Julianna Guill, Callard Harris, Matt Bush, Hartley Sawyer, Drew Seeley, Tim Jo and Josh Brener, joined by Tim Meadows and Teri Polo. After flying mostly under the radar, the completed pilot came in strong and its prospects were also boosted by TBS’ recent deal with Conan O’Brien as the two are said to have similar sensibility and Glory Daze could be a suitable lead-in for O’Brien’s upcoming late-night talk show on the cable network.
As for Franklin & Bash’s move to TNT, it would bring Gosselaar back on the network where he recently starred on another legal series, the drama Raising the Bar. TNT, which built its brand on drama, recently picked up another procedural with a comedic twist, the Warner Horizon produced Memphis Beat starring Jason Lee. TNT and TBS will unveil its new series at the Turner upfront presentation next Wednesday where O’Brien and his new show are expected to be front and center.