EXCLUSIVE: In a very competitive situation, CBS has landed Gorgeous Morons, a multi-camera comedy project from prolific writer-producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and ABC Studios, with a big put pilot commitment. Co-created by Eisenberg, Stupnitsky and frequent collaborator/former Office head writer Danny Chun, all under overall deals at ABCS, Gorgeous Morons centers on two stunningly handsome but dumb brothers, a model and a personal trainer, who find their lives rocked by their new roommate, a female literature PhD. who is merely very attractive.
This is the biggest commitment from an outside network to a comedy project from ABC Studios in many years as the studio is stepping up its efforts to sell everywhere under new boss Patrick Moran. Both Moran and ABC Studios’ head of comedy Amy Hartwick came from 20th Century Fox TV, which, while aligned with Fox, supplies all major broadcast networks, so the goal was to not let vertical integration stand in the way of giving their projects the best chance of success. “Not everything is going to work at the studio’s sister network and therefore we want ABCS to afford our show creators enough options to find the right home for their material,” Hartwick said.
Eisenberg and Stupnitsky first came up with the idea for Gorgeous Morons last season when they ended up writing an adaptation of the British series Pulling for ABC Studios in addition to executive producing Trophy Wife. It has been a busy year for the duo who landed four pilots, Trophy Wife and Pulling at ABC, Bad Teacher at CBS (based on the hit feature written by them) and Hello Ladies at HBO, three of which — Trophy Wife, Bad Teacher and Hello Ladies — went to series. Heading into this development season, Eisenberg and Stupnitsky revisited the Gorgeous Morons idea but, with three shows on the air, they couldn’t write it by themselves and reached out to one of their go-to writers, Chun, with whom they worked on The Office and have since recruited for Hello Ladies and Trophy Wife. Chun, who will take lead in writing the script, is well liked at ABC Studios where he developed two projects last season, one for ABC and one for Fox. Deemed not a good fit for ABC, Gorgeous Morons was taken to the other major broadcast networks who I hear all bought it in the room as there is a very strong interest among the networks in multi-camera comedy at the moment, especially fresh takes on the classic half-hour format. CBS, the dominant player in the multi-camera genre, was particularly aggressive and ultimately nabbed the pitch. Gorgeous Morons would be a suitable companion for CBS’ Chuck Lorre series and has a vibe of a reversed Big Bang Theory of sorts. Eisenberg and Stupnitsky, repped by WME, Mosaic and Robert Offer, are executive producing through their Quantity production company headed by Emily Brecht. Exec producer Chun is repped by WME, Price Management and Ziffren Brittenham.