Eight years after they teamed for the pilot of The Office, Ken Kwapis is set to direct another Greg Daniels-written pilot for NBC, which too is an adaptation of a British comedy. Kwapis, who also has helmed a dozen episodes of The Office, has closed a deal to direct and executive produce the NBC single-camera pilot Friday Night Dinner. The project, the first written solely by Daniels since The Office, centers on a quirky family that has dinner together every Friday night. Daniels is executive producing with Howard Klein and the original series’ producer Big Talk TV. The project is already casting, and NBC also has signed a talent deal with David Koechner with an eye toward the pilot. This marks a rare double pilot duty for Kwapis, who also is directing NBC’s Sarah Silverman pilot. While it is common for veteran multi-camera comedy directors to do multiple pilots a season, that is very hard to pull off with single-camera pilots, which require longer and more extensive pre-production, filming and post-production. Key with Kwapis’ 2 pilots was the fact that the Sarah Silverman one was greenlighted early. It is slated to begin filming in late February, with Friday Night Dinner shooting in late March. In addition to the 2 pilots, Kwapis also has a first-look deal with NBC’s sister studio Universal TV, producer of Friday Night Dinner, which kicks in June 1. Kwapis, whose most recent feature, Big Miracle, starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, opens today, is repped by UTA, Code Entertainment and Jeanne Newman.
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