UPDATED: NBC has handed pilot orders to About A Boy, a single-camera comedy from Friday Night Lights and Parenthood developer/executive producer Jason Katims, Joe, Joe & Jane, a multi-camera comedy from writers-executive producers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. Based on the Nick Hornby book and the 2002 movie, About A Boy hails from Katims’ True Jack Prods; Universal TV; and Working Title and Tribeca Prods, the companies that produced the Hugh Grant-starring feature. Written and executive produced by Emmy-winner Katims, About A Boy follows the relationship between a bachelor man-child and the young boy who moves in next door with his kooky single mother. Katims’ head of development, Michelle Lee, serves as producer.
This is the second stab at developing About A Boy as a comedy series. In 2003, Fox ordered a presentation written by Matthew Carlson and starring Patrick Dempsey. It also marks Katins second consecutuve pilot at NBC, following last season’s medical drama County. About A Boy is one of several projects Uni TV-based True Jack Prods has in contention this season, along with a Katims-penned spy dramedy and an edgy, legal romantic comedy penned by Sarah Watson at Fox.
This marks Katims’ first half-hour comedy effort and a return to his comedy roots. While all of his hourlong shows carry his signature humor, CAA-repped Katims has been looking to do a half-hour comedy. When Katims started out as a playwright, many of his plays were comedies. His first feature, The Pallbearer, also was a comedy before he segued to more dramatic fare.
Joe & Joe & Jane already had a hefty pilot production commitment as NBC landed the project in October in a very competitive situation. Loosely based on the relationship between Port, Wiseman and Wiseman’s wife, Joe, Joe & Jane centers on a conflict-avoidant children’s book author caught in an ongoing tug of war between two needy, flawed people: his wife and his co-author/ best friend. It’s not about a couple, it’s about a trouple. 20th TV, where Port and Wiseman are under a deal, is producing. This marks a third consecutive half-hour pilot order for UTA-repped Port and Wiseman, following another semi-autobiographical comedy, Rebounding, last year and Family Album in 2011. Both were single-camera and set up at Fox.