ABC Family is making a push into single-camera comedy with two pilot orders, to workplace half-hour Kevin From Work, from Barbie Adler, Aaron Kaplan and McG, which has cast Canadian actor Noah Reid (Backpackers) and Paige Spara as the leads; and to family and friends-themed Tough Cookie, from Awkward creator Lauren Iungerich and David Janollari. Both pilots will go into production later this month.
These mark the first ABCF pilot orders since Karey Burke joined the network as EVP, Programming and Development. “Single-camera comedies represent an evolution of our comedy brand and we look forward to building a successful single camera comedy franchise to match the success we’re having with multi-cam comedies,” said Burke who had developed a number of single-camera comedy projects as a producer, including the NBC series Go On.
Kevin from Work is about Kevin (Reid), an adorable but lonely young man unlucky in love who professes his love to his beautiful and quirky co-worker Audrey (Spara), thinking he’ll never see her again after he accepts a job offer overseas. But then that job offer is rescinded and now they have to continue to work with each other. Adler (How I Met Your Mother) created the comedy and is executive producing the pilot with Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment (ABCF’s Chasing Life) and McG of Wonderland Sound & Vision, with McG also set to direct the pilot.
Kaplan also teamed with McG for NBC’s Mysteries of Laura, whose pilot McG also directed. Kapital’s slate includes two pilots, Kevin at Work and a divorce comedy at HBO starring Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as four series in production, Chasing Life, which returns Jan. 19, Mysteries of Laura, Nick’s Instant Mom and ABC’s upcoming Secrets & Lies.
Tough Cookie is centered around a young mother who isn’t ready to parent and her daughter who doesn’t want to be parented. It takes a village to raise a child or rather, a child to raise a village. Iungerich wrote and will direct the pilot, which she is executive producing with Universal TV-based producer Janollari.
As head of programming at MTV, Janollari developed and greenlighted Awkward. He first reteamed with Iungerich last year for a comedy that was set up at NBC.
ABC Family first ventured into single-camera comedy with the short-lived 10 Things I Hate About You. Its current comedy series portfolio consist of established multi-series sitcoms Melissa and Joey and Baby Daddy, whose 4th seasons premiere Jan. 14, and recent sitcom addition Young & Hungry, which has been renewed for a second season.
Reid is repped by Circle of Confusion and Gary Goddard Agency.