Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
Whitney Cummings, the actress-comedian who was introduced by NBC programming honcho Bob Greenblatt as the ‘It’ Girl circa 2011, met the press at TCA this afternoon, fresh from a wildly overachieving upfront season that’s poised to take her from relative obscurity to double-threat superstardom virtually overnight. Cummings was on hand to hype her new self-titled comedy Whitney that she created and executive produces as well as stars in. But another series she co-created with Sex and the City guru Michael Patrick King, CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, also got picked up after having been the network’s best-testing pilot ever. Oh, and her new four-camera sitcom also has the prime placement on NBC Thursday nights at 9:30 coming out of The Office. All in all, not too shabby for a standup comedian and actress whose biggest previous credits were on MTV’s Punk’d and hanging out late nights with Chelsea Handler on E!
Cummings called the turn of events “very surreal”, describing how she had the unfathomable good to have two comedies picked up two days apart last spring on two networks. Her NBC series is a surprisingly traditional romantic comedy starring her opposite fellow comic Chris D’Elia as her boyfriend, mirroring her real life in the same way previous sitcoms starring people like Roseanne Barr and Tim Allen once did. And Cummings is happy to be keeping the fire burning for four-camera. “It’s still the best format for standup comedians,” Cummings said, later calling Roseanne a huge inspiration. Added showrunner Betsy Thomas: “It’s a very viable form, the four-camera. It’s totally fantastic and exciting and hopefully will be around for a long, long time. And there’s really nothing better than doing comedy in front of a live audience.” Cummings also was asked after the panel about the status of her proposed E! late-night talker but would say only, “That is unknown.”