UPDATE 7 PM: NBC has picked up two more single-camera comedy series, 1600 Penn and Animal Practice (form. Animal Kingdom). That brings the number of new NBC series orders today to five, four comedies: 1600 Penn, Animal Practice, Save Me and The New Normal, and one drama, the JJ Abrams-produced Revolution. Animal Practice, from writers Brian Gatewood and Alex Tanaka, Universal TV and American Work, centers on a “House”-like veterinarian (Justin Kirk), who loves animals but usually hates their owners (especially the new woman who runs the clinic). Tyler Labine, Bobby Lee and Amy Huberman co-star. 1600 Penn, from 20th TV, is a family comedy set in the White House. Josh Gad co-created the show with Jon Lovett and is starring. Bill Pullman, Jenna Elfman and Martha MacIsaac co-star. The pilot was directed by Jason Winer, who also directed the pilots for two comedy series on the air, ABC’s Modern Family and Don’t Trust The B. Ditto for Animal Practice helmers Anthony and Joe Russo who also directed the pilots for NBC’s Community and ABC’s Happy Endings and serve as executive producers on both.
UPDATE, 2:20 PM: The Ryan Murphy-Ali Adler single-camera comedy pilot The New Normal and the JJ Abrams-Eric Kripke action drama Revolution also have received series orders from NBC. Co-written by Murphy and Adler and directed by Murphy, The New Normal is described as a heartwarming comedy about a blended family of a gay couple — Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) — and a cash-strapped waitress and mother of one Goldie (Georgia King) who becomes a surrogate to help them have a child. Co-starring in the 20th Century Fox TV-produced project is Ellen Barkin as Goldie’s glamorous/bigoted grandmother. Like the other newly picked up NBC comedy series Save Me and Go On, The New Normal also has been eyed for an early launch after the Olympics in August.
Written by Kripke, directed by Jon Favreau and produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot and Warner Bros TV, Revolution is described as a high-octane action drama following a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist. Billy Burke plays the lead, with Giancarlo Esposito, Tracy Spiradakos, Graham Rogers and Anna Lise co-starring. Both New Normal and Revolution were already on track for pickup as they had been allowed to make staffing offers. This marks Abrams’ return to NBC two years after the brief run of his spy drama Undercovers.
PREVIOUS 11:50 AM: It looks like it’s starting — NBC has picked up to series comedy Save Me starring Anne Heche with a 13-episode order. It was one of the pilots which were allowed to start making staffing offers and has been fast-tracked for an August launch. I’ve learned that Alexa Junge is in negotiations to come on board as showrunner of the series, from Original Film and Sony Pictures TV. The single-camera comedy, written/executive produced by John Scott Shepherd, stars Anne Heche as a woman who lets herself – and her marriage – go until she undergoes an “awakening” that transforms her spiritually and physically into a desirable and outspoken woman who just might be channeling god.
This is NBC’s second newly-picked up series for next season, along with another single-camera comedy, the Matthew Perry starrer Go On, which was picked up last month. Both are being eyed for a premiere right after NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics. This is the first of a slew of pickups expected over the next couple of days at NBC, which is first at bat to present to advertisers exactly a week from now.
Likely to join Go On And Save me are the NBC comedy pilots that have been making staffing offers, The New Normal, 1600 Penn, Guys With Kids and Revolution. Friends alumna Junge most recently served as showrunner on NBC’s midseason comedy BFFs.