EXCLUSIVE: Scrubs star Zach Braff is returning to series television and to ABC as the star of Start Up, a single-camera comedy, which has received a put pilot commitment. Braff, who also is set to direct, is reuniting with Scrubs co-executive producer Matt Tarses on the Sony TV/Davis Entertainment project, which ABC landed in a competitive situation with multiple networks pursuing.
Written by Tarses, Start Up is based on the podcast Start Up by Alex Blumberg. It is a show about all the things that happen — the good, the bad and the ugly — when a guy (Braff) in his mid-30s with a wife and two kids makes the crazy decision to quit his good job and dive into the brave new world of starting a business. (The title of the comedy will likely change as it matches the name of a new Crackle drama series.)
Tarses and Braff executive produce with Davis Entertainment’s John Davis and John Fox as well as Gimlet Media’s Chris Giliberti, Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber. Braff will direct the potential pilot. Davis Entertainment executive Mike Stein found the podcast and brought it to the company.
Braff has focused on features and writing-directing following his breakout starring turn on the single-camera medical comedy Scrubs, which originated on NBC and ended its run on ABC. He recently directed the Warner Bros film Going In Style staring Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine. Braff is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Ken Richman.
Tarses created comedy Mad Love for CBS and Sony TV. He recently worked as a consulting producer on the studio’s ABC comedy series The Goldbergs. Tarses is repped by WME.
Davis Entertainment has comedy Dr. Ken at ABC, one of four broadcast series the company has on the air next season along with dramas Timeless, The Blacklist and spinoff The Blacklist: Redemption on NBC. This marks Davis Entertainment’s second put pilot commitment this season, along with a David Shore/McG action drama at Fox loosely based on I Spy.
Blumberg, a former producer for This American Life, is the CEO of Gimlet Media which he co-founded with Lieber. Blumberg hosts the Start Up podcast whose first season chronicles the launch of Gimlet, a company that produces narrative podcasts.