EXCLUSIVE: In what is believed to be the biggest commitment for a comedy project so far this development season, Marry Me, a single-camera half-hour from Happy Endings creator David Caspe, just landed at NBC. The Sony Pictures TV project — which has Seth Gordon, who exited Horrible Bosses 2 today, attached to direct and executive produce and Jamie Tarses to executive produce — sparked a bidding war when it was taken out two weeks ago. It ultimately commanded a pilot production commitment in a deal which I hear also includes a full license fee and series penalty. Last summer, NBC nabbed another Sony TV single-camera comedy project with a big commitment, giving a 22-episode order to The Michael J. Fox Show, one of four new Sony series on the NBC schedule next season along with fall drama The Blacklist, fall comedy Welcome To The Family and midseason drama The Night Shift.Said to be in the vein of Mad About You, Marry Me centers on a young couple who get engaged, something they quickly realize is harder than it looks. Caspe, who is writing and exec producing, as well as Gordon and Tarses, are all under overall deals at Sony TV. Marry Me was one of two single-camera comedy pitches about betrothed couples from a top writer and director that hit the marketplace in the past two weeks. The other, The Longest Date, from Cindy Chupack, Jake Kasdan and 20th TV, was pre-emptively bought by Fox with a pilot production commitment. The comedy market is quickly heating up this year, with three projects already earning pilot production commitments, including 20th TV’s half-hour from Nahnatchka Khan, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash at Fox, and another one, Ali Rushfield’s Stuck from Warner Bros, getting a put pilot commitment at Fox.
For the past three seasons, Caspe — repped by WME, Magnolia Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein — served as showrunner on ABC’s underrated comedy Happy Endings, which ended its run in May. Marry Me reunites him with Tarses, who also exec produced Happy Endings through her Fanfare shingle. Gordon, repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment, recently directed the pilot for Sony TV’s upcoming ABC comedy series The Goldbergs.