More potential contenders to succeed Jon Stewart in the anchor chair of The Daily Show are getting locked into full-time gigs elsewhere. TBS has picked up the half-hour pilot from veteran Daily Show correspondents Jason Jones and Samantha Bee to series with a 10-episode order. Jones recently filled in for Stewart when he was sick and ended up sharing guest host duties with wife Bee. There has been a lot of speculation about who would replace Stewart when he exits The Daily Show later this year. Former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver who, like Jones, had been a guest host on the Comedy Central program, took himself out of contention when HBO recently renewed his weekly show for two more seasons.
Jones stars in the yet untitled TBS series, which is inspired by his and Bee’s own experiences with family getaways. It follows a couple and their two young kids as they take a road trip to Florida. Jones plays unfiltered dad Nate, who packs his wife, Robin (Natalie Zea), along with their rebellious daughter Delilah (Ashley Gerasimovich) and simpleton son Jared (Liam Carroll), into the family car for what Nate is convinced will be the adventure of a lifetime. Every leg of their trip, however, is fraught with unforeseen disaster as they encounter one hellish turn after another. Plans call for each season of the darkly comedic show to chronicle a different family adventure.
Production is slated to begin this summer for a Q4 launch. Jones and Bee wrote the project and serve as executive producers. Steve Pink directed the pilot. This marks the first pickup for Turner veteran Brett Weitz in his new role as EVP of original programming for TBS.
“This show delivers on exactly the direction we are taking our TBS comedies – honest, smart and provocative,” he said, indicating that the network may expand their collaboration with the Daily Show duo. “We couldn’t be happier to be in business with Sam and Jason on what we hope will be the first of many more projects together. Watching them step into the creator/executive producer role on the pilot really allowed the characters and the show to find solid footing from the very first frame.”
With the addition of Bee and Jones’ new series, TBS now has four scripted comedies set to debut in 2015, including Angie Tribeca, starring Rashida Jones and created by another husband-and-wife pair, fellow Daily Show alum Steve Carell and Nancy Carell; Your Family Or Mine, a domestic comedy with a twist starring Kyle Howard, Kat Foster, Richard Dreyfuss, Ed Begley Jr. and Cynthia Stevenson; and Buzzy’s, a workplace comedy with Ashley Tisdale, Mike Castle, Lauren Lapkus, Ryan Pinkston, Matt Cook and George Wendt.
Announcing the recent executive restructuring at TNT and TBS, new boss Kevin Reilly indicated that comedy-centered TBS will be getting a brand makeover with a focus on “bold sensibility and a network that’s more digital and more socially driven.”