EXCLUSIVE: It’s been a happy beginning in television for comedy writer David Caspe, whose first TV pitch, Happy Endings, became a series that will premiere April 13 on ABC in the plum post-Modern Family slot. Now Caspe has signed his first TV overall deal, a two-year pact with Happy Endings producer Sony Pictures Television. Under the seven-figure deal, which begins in June, Caspe will continue as an executive producer on Happy Endings if it is picked up for a second season as well as develop new projects.
For Caspe, also a sought-after feature scribe, writing is a second career. A lifelong painter, he graduated in 2005 with a MFA from New York’s School of Visual Arts. Within a year, he held several solo exhibitions of large-format photography, video, sculpture and other mixed-media work. (At left, a photo of him at the opening of his New York show.). But at the end of 2006, at 26, Caspe moved to Los Angeles, film spec script in hand, to pursue a writing career. He took the spec to a longtime family friend, manager Shelley Browning, who took him in and also helped him sign with WME. Caspe soon started setting up film projects. His first pitch, I Hate You Dad, was picked up by Sony and Happy Madison; the comedy, starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, is coming out in June 2012. Caspe is currently writing an untitled Charlize Theron pitch for Theron to star in and produce, with David Ellison’s Skydance Prods. financing and producing. As for that original spec he wrote before moving to LA? Titled Sensei, it sold to Summit with Benderspink producing.
In 2009, Caspe took a couple of general TV meetings, one with Sony TV-based producer Jamie Tarses. He pitched her a different project but, on his way out, mentioned an idea he had been considering for a feature about an altar-bound couple who break up on their wedding day, forcing their friends to choose which side to take after the split. Tarses loved it and the two developed it together. It became Happy Endings.