EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, At Ease, a single-camera comedy from writers Josh Bycel & Jonathan Fener (ABC’s Happy Endings), Jerry Bruckheimer TV and Warner Bros. TV, has gone to NBC with a put pilot commitment. At Ease is a documentary-style comedy about the the relationships, jobs, bosses and social lives of a group of young people who happen to live and work on an active military base in the middle of a desert country that is just coming out of a war. The project, whose setup is reminiscent of one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, M*A*S*H, is inspired by real-life experiences of retired U.S. Navy officer Dan Conley and U.S. defense contractor Aaron Hendricks, who serve as consulting producers, along with Emerson College screenwriting professor Martie Cook, who brought the idea to Bruckheimer. Bycel and Fener came on board to write via a blind script deal they had at Warner Bros. TV. The duo executive produce with Bruckheimer TV’s Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman, while KristieAnne Reed co-exec produces.
This is Bruckheimer’s third project at NBC. The company has drama pilot The Secret Lives Of Husbands And Wives casting and single-camera comedy The B-Side, from writer Sheri Elwood, in development. Comedy seems to be a big priority for drama player Bruckheimer TV this season, with its two pitches taken out far both on the half-hour side.
Bycel and Fener, who have been writing together for 14 years, worked as a writing team until Bycel left American Dad several years ago to work for the non-profit. Bycel has since served as a co-executive producer on USA’s Psych and executive producer/showrunner on the final season of Scrubs. Bycel and Fener, repped by UTA and Jared Levine, just got reunited on ABC’s Happy Endings, where Bycel serves as an executive producer and Fener as co-exec producer. Bruckheimer TV is with CAA.