EXCLUSIVE: In a very competitive situation, CBS has landed a multi-camera comedy from former Office executive producer Dan Sterling and The Lego Movie duo of Phil Lord & Chris Miller with a put pilot commitment — the first such commitment for a half-hour pitch this season. The untitled project hails from 20th Century Fox TV, where Lord and Miller have an overall deal. It is the first big sale for the studio since 20th TV chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman added oversight of sister network Fox. I hear that Walden and Newman, along with Lord and Miller, made the decision to take the pitch to ABC, CBS and NBC so they too can get in the Lord-Miller business as Fox already has the duo’s straight-to-series comedy Last Man On Earth. I hear all three networks bid, with CBS ultimately landing the show. The deal gets CBS and 20th TV back in business in a big way. After the end of How I Met Your Mother and the cancellations of The Crazy Ones and Friends With Better Lives, there is no 20th TV series on CBS for the first time in decades this season.
Walden and Newman’s moves this pitch season are being watched very closely for any potential favoritism towards sibling Fox. The strategy with the Dan Sterling pitch is in sync with the assurances the two executives gave the creative community after getting the new job that 20th TV will remain committed to selling to everyone. Written/executive produced by Sterling and executive produced by Lord and Miller, the comedy centers on an accommodating, well-meaning, and all-too-compliant man, and a powerful, outspoken, embattled woman who form a new friendship and partnership by which they jointly strive to revolutionize themselves and their lives.
Sterling served as an executive producer on the final season of NBC’s long-running comedy The Office. He also co-created/executive produced Sarah Silverman’s NBC comedy pilot and served as a consulting producer on the new HBO comedy series Girls. On the feature side, he co-wrote Seth Rogen’s headline-grabbbing upcoming feature comedy The Interview. Sterling, Miller and Lord are with UTA.