EXCLUSIVE: NBC is expanding its relationship with The Voice star Adam Levine to the scripted side. After a bidding, NBC has nabbed a single-camera comedy project, with the Maroon 5 frontman executive producing and Jake Kasdan attached to executive produce and direct. The ensemble comedy set at a karaoke bar, which has received a script commitment plus penalty, is being produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment. I hear at least three networks wanted the project, which is said to organically blend comedy with a musical element, but NBC was very aggressive, largely because of the involvement of its reality star Levine. This marks the first major NBC buy from 20th TV since the studio’s former EVP Jennifer Salke was named NBC entertainment president earlier this month.
The auspices on the project are all interconnected in a classic Hollywood case of Six Degrees of Separation. Levine and the project’s writer, Gene Hong (The Goode Family), are longtime friends (and roommates), and a karaoke bar is reportedly where their friendship started. Meanwhile, Levine’s manager Jordan Feldstein is the brother of Jonah Hill, the two went to high school together. Hong serves as a writer on Hill’s new 20th TV/Chernin-produced animated comedy for Fox Allen Gregory. Meanwhile, Kasdan’s involvement in the new comedy stems from his overall deal with 20th TV, which in turn came out of his directing stint on the pilot for Fox’s new comedy New Girl, which 20th TV also co-produces with Chernin. Kasdan serves as director/executive producer on the series starring Zooey Deschanel.