Days after greenlighting its first comedy pilot for 2014 — Cameron Crowe’s Roadies, executive produced by J.J. Abrams — Showtime has ordered a second half-hour from well-known filmmakers: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, from feature writer Aline Brosh McKenna, with The Amazing Spider-Man helmer Marc Webb set to direct.
The comedy features musical elements, a first for Showtime. “This pilot is an exciting change of pace for us,” said Showtime President David Nevins. Co-created, written and executive produced by Brosh McKenna and writer/actress/comedian Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend stars Bloom as Rebecca, a successful, driven, and possibly crazy young woman who impulsively gives up everything – her partnership at a prestigious law firm and her upscale apartment in Manhattan – in a desperate attempt to find love and happiness in that exotic hotbed of romance and adventure: West Covina, CA.
Brosh McKenna and Bloom sold the project to Showtime last fall. The pay cable network landed it in a competitive situation with what what I heard at the time was a commitment equivalent to a put pilot. Webb is joining the project at the pilot stage as director/exec producer. CBS TV Studios is producing. This marks the second pilot at Showtime for its sibling studio, following the 2011 Andrew Garland Project. Filming is slated to begin in California in the fall. “I am so happy to be working with Rachel Bloom, who is not just a powerhouse musical comedy talent but also a fabulous writer and creator,” said Brosh McKenna. “I feel very lucky to have found her videos online.”
This marks a return to TV for McKenna, who started on the ABC comedy All-American Girl before segueing to features. She made her mark writing The Devil Wears Prada and most recently co-penned the upcoming Annie and Cinderella. She also has signed on to write Disney’s Cruella de Vil, a live-action feature based on the 101 Dalmatians character. Bloom is a comedian, actress, writer and singer whose web videos include the 2012 “You Can Touch My Boobies.” Her writing credits include Robot Chicken and Allen Gregory.
Showtime has a void to fill on its comedy slate. Happyish, which was picked up to series in January, has been in limbo following the sudden death of star Philip Seymour Hoffman in February. On the drama side, the network greenlighted pilot Billions in March.