The Council of Dads, from Sony Pictures TV and Tolan’s Sony-based Fedora Entertainment, is based on the non-fiction book by Bruce Feiler. It centers on a man who finds out that he’s dying and enlists five men from every corner of his life to assist his wife in raising his two children. In the book, Feiler chronicles his experiences after being diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer in 2008 and, fearing what the absence of a father figure would do to the lives of his young twin daughters, formed a Council of Dads which consisted of six of his closest male friends who agreed to help him raise the girls. While in real life Feiler made full recovery and the plan was never implemented, in Tolan’s version, the dad is expected to die, with the show chronicling how the kids are raised with the help of the Council. Tolan and producing partner Michael Wimer are executive producing, with Feiler serving as a consultant. After a bidding war, the project originally landed at Fox in September with a $1.5 million pilot production commitment. Shows based on books were red-hot during pitch season, but Council of Dads is the first such project to make it to pilot so far.
Family Album, from 20th Century Fox TV, has a 24-style twist to it and centers on a headstrong patriarch who, determined to get some quality family time, embarks on a vacation with his extended family. In the vein of 24 and short-lived ABC comedy Big Day, where each season chronicled the events that took place during the course of one day, each season of Family Album will take place during one summer vacation.
After giving its first pilot order to a multicamera sitcom from Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer, Fox has mostly stuck with single-camera projects. The two orders today bring the number of comedy pilot pickups at Fox to 6, 4 of them single-camera and one hybrid single/multi.