Two months after the upfronts, where the broadcast networks introduced the pilots they had chosen to join their 2014-2015 schedule, there is still hope for a handful that didn’t make the cut. Sony TV, which already successfully rescued its cancelled NBC comedy series Community with a deal at Yahoo, has been in conversations with TV Land for its Jim Gaffigan single-camera comedy pilot. The family comedy, inspired by Gaffigan’s real life, went through two incarnations at CBS with pilot orders in 2013 and 2014. TV Land had been interested, and conversations have been going on for the past month or so. I hear TV Land is well down the road of trying to make the show work there. I hear the cable network is currently looking to reduce the actors’ compensation to get the budget — which already has been adjusted down — feasible. If the project goes at TV Land, I hear Sony would likely have a passive role and Peter Tolan, who co-wrote and executive produced the CBS pilot, would probably consult.
ABC Studios extended the options on the cast of ABC drama pilot Clementine a month ago. I hear the studio and ABC are exploring the possibility to do Clementine as a summer series. The action project co-produced by The Mark Gordon Co centers on habitual criminal with supernatural abilities Clementine Ross (Sarah Snook), who digs into the mystery of her origins after she becomes the target of a group of zealots.
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Three comedy pilots, all from outside studios, are awaiting for the new regime at Fox to weigh in: The Pro, from ABC Studios, Cabot College, from Universal TV, and Sober Companion from CBS TV Studios. Previous Fox chairman Kevin Reilly had expressed interest in Rob Lowe and Rob Riggle’s workplace single-camera pilot The Pro, which was set up at NBC last season. I hear the studio has extended the options on stars Lowe and Riggle as it awaits word. Matt Hubbard’s Cabot College, executive produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, had been in talks with Fox for a possible six-episode order, which were put on hold when Reilly stepped down. Cabot College was one of two Fox comedy pilots from this past cycle that were considered frontrunners. The other, Sober Companion, starred Justin Long and Nick Frost. Despite not getting a series order in May, the network was interested enough, with Reilly commissioning a second script. The project now too awaits review from Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who are taking oversight of the network later this month. Long and Frost are no longer under deals but I hear they loved the project and working together so much, they would be open to coming back in case of a pickup.
A disproportionately large number of Fox’s comedy series on the air come from an outside studio, Uni TV — Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project and Mulaney — and not Fox sibling 20th TV, which is overseen by Walden and Newman. On the other hand, both vowed to work with all studios to get the best possible shows on the air. We will see what that would entail for The Pro, Cabot College and Sober Companion.
Getting another chance at NBC is up-and-coming comedian Jerrod Carmichael, one of the discoveries of this past pilot season with his well-received NBC presentation. He is now shooting a new pilot for the project, based on his life and comedy, for a quick turnaround, with NBC getting a short window after that to pick up the project to series.
After the upfronts, it looked like another pilot may get a second shot, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Dad. But, despite rumblings that there may be a new version of the project with a script, HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas recently shot down the idea, stating that they have moved on. But CBS chairman Nina Tassler is not giving up just yet, and said she would continue to “hound” Carter and Bays until they agree to revisit the project (with a new cast as the actors from the pilot all have been released). “We’d love the opportunity to take another shot,” she said at TCA today. “I would be lucky to have Carter and Craig back on it.”
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