EXCLUSIVE: NBC has hit the pause button on midseason comedy series Save Me starring Anne Heche after two episodes for a major behind-the-scenes changeover. Alexa Junge, who joined the project after the pilot as executive producer/showrunner, is out. Production on the series has been put on hold while a new showrunner is put in place. I hear talks are underway with The Big C creator/executive producer Darlene Hunt to take over the reins of the show, produced by Sony TV and Original Film. The single-camera comedy, created by John Scott Shepherd, stars 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.
Save Me has not been scheduled, allowing NBC to take time and re-examine the series’ creative direction. The project has been a favorite of the network’s brass from the get-go, and I hear they are very invested in the show. Save Me was originally developed by NBC’s head of comedy Tal Rabinowitz while she was SVP comedy at Sony TV. It was initially set up at Showtime just as current NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was leaving the pay cable network in 2010. Save Me was the second pilot greenlighted by NBC last season, only behind comedy Go On.
The Big C creator Hunt would bring another piece to The Big C reunion on Save Me, joining other key auspices who worked on the Showtime comedy series including Greenblatt, who developed and greenlighted it; Rabinowtz, who developed it at Sony TV; as well as Sony and Original Film, which are producing the dark comedy starring Laura Linney which is heading into its final season. Save Me is one of two NBC midseason comedy series that stopped production this season because the network was not happy with their creative direction, along with Next Caller. In that case, NBC scrapped the series altogether.
Friends alumna Junge is under a deal at Universal TV and is expected to segue to development or another series. UTA-repped Hunt, who has an overall deal at Sony TV, has a female-centered single-camera project in consideration at CBS, which she is executive producing with Josh Berman.