With their seriocomic firefighter drama Rescue Me ending its run on FX in September, series co-creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan are embarking on another series project together. “I guess I can say right now that Mr. Leary and I are tomorrow starting writing on our next show, a half-hour for him to star in,” Tolan told Deadline today after the TCA panel on the final season of Rescue Me. He described it as “strictly a comedy, like nothing we’ve done before. It’s not a traditional comedy, probably for cable. We’re doing it totally on spec and taking it out.” Before Rescue Me, Leary and Tolan co-created the underrated ABC cop comedy The Job, which also starred Leary. Tolan said that after 10 years of working together, first on The Job and then on Rescue Me, he figures that he and Leary “have some connection in our comic sensibilities.” Leary has another half-hour project in the works as a writer: He recently signed on to co-pen with Bob Fisher an adaptation of the upcoming British series Sirens for USA Network.
Tolan also reflected on this past development season, when he re-entered the broadcast arena with four projects that landed buyers. Two of them, comedies Council of Dads at Fox and Brave New World at NBC, went to pilot but didn’t make the cut to series. Tolan believes that “there are different reasons why they didn’t go and I understood them all. There are political and business reasons for why suddenly something the network is really high on doesn’t get picked up. What I will rail against is the insanity of pilot season … which is in some ways designed to force you into failure, especially because of casting, because the are only so many actors available, and a situation arises and suddenly an actor is (considered) De Niro for two weeks. And it becomes this insane bidding war for somebody you may not have heard of a couple of weeks before. It just doesn’t make sense.”