Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot Family Album is no longer in contention for midseason. Considered one of the hotter pilots at the network this past season, the half-hour, written by Joe Port and Joe Wiseman and directed by Shawn Levy, didn’t get a series order but, along with another comedy pilot, Little In Common, was put in redevelopment for midseason consideration. The network ordered a pilot reshoot, which later morphed into filming a whole new episode/pilot. The project’s original premise was to to have each season take place during a family vacation and the pilot reflected that. I hear that Fox ultimately found that premise too narrow and asked the creators to turn Family Album into a more traditional family show, with every episode focused on a different incident in the family’s daily life, including one chronicling their vacation. The studio, 20th TV, which co-produces Family Album with 21 Laps/Adelstein Prods., extended the options on stars Mike O’Malley and Rachel Harris and standout supporting player Rob Huebel at the end of June, while Port, Wiseman and fellow executive producers Levy, Adelstein and Becky Clements focused on reworking the show. But after a lot of back-and-forth with the network, I hear the producers and the studio felt that by transforming Family Album into a family show the concept no longer felt as unique and specific as they wanted it to be. Said a person close to the network, “We loved the auspices but ultimately could not get a clear handle on the creative direction for a re-tooled pilot.” The plan for such pilot has now been scrapped.
Family Album‘s opens the door for the show that refuses to die, Breaking In, which was picked up to series 6 months after Fox passed on the pilot only to be canceled in May after a handful of airings. Like it did last year, producing studio Sony TV extended the options on the actors, this time sharing the cost with Fox. The single-camera workplace comedy has been added to the pool of contenders for the two-hour comedy block Fox plans to launch in March when Glee goes on hiatus. The field originally included new series New Girl and and I Hate My Teenage Daughter as well as pilots Family Album and Little In Common competing for 3 of the 4 slots. (Raising Hope has a full-season order.) Breaking In recently entered the fray, bringing the number of contenders to 5. That number has now dropped to 4 with the exit of Family Album.