EXCLUSIVE: NBC is taking another stab at one of its comedy hopefuls, the untitled presentation created by and starring up-and-coming comedian Jerrod Carmichael. I hear the network is finalizing a deal for a new pilot, which is eyeing a quick turnaround, with NBC getting a short window after that to pick up the project to series. The presentation, based on Carmichael’s life and comedy, has been one of the surprises of this pilot season, playing very well at NBC despite its shorter length, smaller budget and lack of stars.
Additionally, Carmichael, a relatively unknown Los Angeles-based standup and performer when the presentation was ordered in December, has started to break out in a big way over the past two months — he was in the hit feature comedy Neighbors and landed an HBO standup special directed by Spike Lee. The special was recently shot. I hear it has been well received and is eyeing a fall premiere. With all that going on, it’s is no surprise Carmichael was pursued by multiple studios and showrunners after the upfronts but ultimately opted to stay with NBC and Universal TV and see his first series project through. It centers on a consummate optimist (Carmichael) who is eager to take on the world, but is too busy taking on everyone and everything in his small corner of it.
The original presentation was in very serious contention for a series pickup last month. It barely missed the cut, with the network leaving it in consideration. There was a period when it appeared dead but conversations started heating up again recently, leading to the pilot deal, which is in final stages.