It looks like no Fox pilots from this past season will make it to series after all. Back in May, then-Fox chairman Kevin Reilly didn’t pick up any of the five produced comedy pilots to series, instead upping the order of previously ordered Mulaney from 6 to 16 episodes. At the time, Reilly entered talks with Universal TV for a six-episode order to Matt Hubbard’s Cabot College, executive produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, considered the front-runner of the bunch. (The project landed at Fox last August 2013 with a series commitment after a bidding war.) Reilly also commissioned a second script for the other internally well-received Fox comedy pilot, the CBS TV Studios-produced Sober Companion, starring Justin Long and Nick Frost. And Reilly also took a meeting on The Pro, Rob Lowe and Rob Riggle’s workplace single-camera pilot from ABC Studios, which did not go to series at NBC. In light of the interest, the studio extended the options on stars Lowe and Riggle. All series consideration was put on hold when Reilly exited the network, with pickup decisions left for his successors, 20th TV toppers Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who were promoted last month to also oversee the network. The decisions are starting to come in, with Cabot College, 30 Rock creator Fey’s first project for Fox, not moving forward. There is no formal decision on Sober Companion yet, though that pickup also is looking unlikely. The Pro, which was the longest shot among the three, is not going forward.
Written by Hubbard, Cabot College was set at a women’s college that began accepting men for the first time in its history. I hear the producers loved the multi-camera pilot, directed by Pam Fryman, but with the cast’s options up, they opted to move on instead of trying to rework the project somewhere else. Fey and Carlock have a new NBC series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
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When they took over Fox, Walden and Newman vowed to work with outside studios. While Uni TV’s Cabot College is not going forward, the NBC-affiliated studio has as many live-action comedy series on Fox as sibling 20th TV — Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project and Mulaney. Fox recently opted not to go forward with a series from its own studio, drama Hieroglyph.
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Of last season’s broadcast pilots, only one that didn’t get a series pickup, CBS’ Jim Gaffigan comedy, has found a way to the air so far with a series order at TV Land. ABC had been looking for ways to do drama Clementine, possibly as a summer series.