After testing the scripted waters with sketch comedy Friends of the People this fall, TruTV has ordered its first full-fledged scripted comedy pilot, Those Who Can’t (working title), created by and starring the Denver-based comedy troupe The Grawlix. The project, from Thank You, Brain! Prods and 3 Arts Entertainment, which also is behind Friends of the People, is set in Denver. It follows three dysfunctional high school teachers – played by Grawlix members Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl and Ben Roy – who are as screwed-up as the kids they teach. When an entitled bully decides to make their lives miserable, they go to ridiculous lengths to exact revenge.
Those Who Can’t was originally set up at Amazon where it was one of the six comedy pilots greenlighted in the streaming service’s first pilot season. It didn’t go to series though Amazon left it contention with an order for six additional scripts. Those Who Can’t eventually was put in turnaround and picked up by TruTV, which will reshoot the pilot. Here is a trailer for the original pilot:
“We love Adam, Andrew and Ben’s unique sense of humor, especially the characters they’ve created at the center of Those Who Can’t,” said Marissa Ronca, SVP of development & original programming for truTV. “This show is funny, original and the perfect project for truTV to expand into scripted.”
The pilot order to Those Who Can’t is part of the programming makeover at Turner’s TruTV under new head Chris Linn. Known as a home of derivative reality series like Hardcore Pawn, Container Wars, Storage Hunters and Swamp Hunters, the network earlier this year said it was going to rebuild its lineup around unscripted comedy Impractical Jokers, identified as a harbinger of where the network wants to go, rebranding itself as a comedy-focused network. Its first three new projects under the new mandate were The Carbonaro Effect, featuring comedic magician Michael Carbonaro, Friends of the People and Motor City Masters, a comical competition series. Now comes Those Who Can’t. Since Turner already has an established comedy net in TBS, TruTV will likely be taking a little different approach to comedic fare to forge its own identity.
Those Who Can’t creators Cayton-Holland, Orvedahl and Roy executive produce the pilot alongside Tracey Baird and Krysia Plonka of Thank You, Brain! Prods.; Michael Rotenberg and Josh Lieberman of 3 Arts Entertainment as well as Rich Korson, who has an overall deal with TruTV. Eric Slovin co-executive produces.