EXCLUSIVE: In a very competitive situation, a single-camera comedy from director-producer Jason Winer (1600 Penn) and writer-producers Tami Sagher and Kourtney Kang just went to CBS with a pilot production commitment. Titled Nerds In Love, the project, from 20th Century Fox TV where Winer is under an overall deal, is based on the unlikely real-life friendship of How I Met Your Mother writers Kang (former cheerleader) and Sagher (former mathlete). It explores the dating lives of the social haves and have-nots at a marketing firm. “It lies somewhere between 2 Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory,” said Winer, who is executive producing and will direct the potential pilot. HIMYM exec producer Kang and co-exec producer Sagher will write the script and executive produce.
The genesis of the project hails years back to when Winer and Sagher honed their craft together at the Chicago Improv Olympics. Fast forward to last season when Winer asked Sagher to do some punch-up work on the pilot script for the NBC comedy 1600 Penn, which Winer directed and executive produced in addition to providing input to the script penned by star Josh Gad and Jon Lovett. “She was an absolute rock star,” Winer said. He expressed interest in developing a show with Sagher, and 20th TV signed a script deal with her. When the two were bouncing off ideas this summer, “she started telling me about the funny and unique relationship with Kourtney in the HIMYM writers room,” Winer said. “Tami is a true blue nerd who payed herself for math camp, while Kourtney is a former cheerleader. Yet, the two have formed an unlikely bond, helping each other through the misguided steps of their love lives.” Winer and Sagher then reached out to Kang, who came on board.
While being a single-camera show, Nerds In Love will be in the mold of Modern Family, whose pilot and first season Winer directed — “a single-camera with hard jokes that captures the rhythm of a multi-camera comedy,” he said. Winer, repped by ICM Partners and Mosaic, is directing 8 of the first 13 episodes of 1600 Penn, which launches in midseason. UTA-repped Kang previously co-wrote with HIMYM‘s Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Joe Kelly the 2010 CBS comedy pilot Livin’ On A Prayer. Before joining HIMYM in 2010, Sagher, repped by CAA and Thruline, worked on NBC’s 30 Rock and HBO’s Bored To Death.
CBS has been high on single-camera this development season with an off-cycle pilot order to Rob Greenberg’s single-camera comedy, a put pilot commitment to a Peter Tolan-Jim Gaffigan project and premium deal to filmed comedy projects from Greg Garcia and Darlene Hunt.