NBC has scrapped midseason comedy series Mission Control, from Universal TV and Gary Sanchez. The space race half-hour was among the last comedies picked up by NBC in May. In fact, the network in the end had budget for one more 13-episode new comedy series, which was split into two for six-episode pickups to the single-camera Mission Control and the multi-camera One Big Happy for midseason. It is possible that, in light of Mission Control‘s demise, One Big Happy‘s order gets upped.
Mission Control, which starred Krysten Ritter as a tough but brilliant aerospace engineer leading a team of NASA scientists at the cutting edge of 1960s space exploration in a male-dominated field, did not test very well but had supporters at NBC and was considered a potential awards darling. There were casting and other issues (Michael Rosenbaum was recast after the pilot though a replacement was never hired) and, with enought comedy series on deck, the network decided to pull the plug. NBC did the same in 2012 with midseason comedy Next Caller, which also had a 6-episode midseason order. That series filmed a couple of episodes, while Mission Control only has the pilot in the can. NBC also has Tina Fey/Robert Carlock’s 13-episode Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for midseason, as well as six-episode Mr. Robinson, which has been running behind.
Mission Control was written by David Hornsby who executive produced with Gary Sanchez’s Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and Owen Burke. Gary Sanchez also has fall NBC comedy Bad Judge. Ritter, who starred in another NBC comedy pilot that nearly missed the cut to series last year, Assistance, is developing projects under her first-look deal with Uni TV.