In what has been hailed as the biggest comedy sale this season, NBC has nabbed a single-camera project from Glee creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy and the show’s co-executive producer Allison Adler. The project, a heartwarming comedy about a blended family of a gay couple and the woman who becomes a surrogate to help them start a family, will be co-written by Murphy and Adler and directed by Murphy. 20th Century Fox TV, where Murphy is based with a rich multi-year deal, is producing. The pitch created waves in the marketplace when it was taken out on Friday. It sparked a three-way bidding war among NBC, ABC and Fox, ultimately landing at NBC. The keys to that were NBC’s willingness to step up at the end of a very active buying season when networks’ war chests’ are nearly depleted, its great needs and Murphy’s close relationship with NBC’s new entertainment president Jennifer Salke, who was his day-to-day executive at 20th TV.
Murphy and Adler conceived the idea for the comedy drawing on their real-life experiences having a family or looking to have one. Its penalty is said to be bigger than any other commitment for a comedy project this season, which is impressive given the bidding frenzies so many half-hour pitches created this season, commanding premium deals from the networks. I hear NBC is so high on the comedy, it is expected to hire a casting director soon to explore options for the 3 leads. Murphy and Adler are executive producing with Ryan Murphy Prods.’ Dante Di Loreto. The company’s Katherine Shaffer also was involved in the development of the show. This marks CAA-repped Murphy’s first foray into half-hour comedy. He is currently running 2 series, Fox’s Glee and FX’s American Horror Story, both of which he co-created and executive produces. WME-repped Adler was the most senior hire on Glee this past summer when the show assembled a writing staff for the first time. She recently worked on No Ordinary Family and Chuck. Her half-hour comedy experience includes stints on Family Guy, Just Shoot Me! and Emily’s Reasons Why Not.