ABC made the bulk of its comedy pilot orders tonight, giving the green light to seven half-hour projects. Two, the untitled NBA project and The King Of 7B, come from one of ABC Studios’ top writer-producers, Galavant creator Dan Fogelman. The pilots also include an autobiographical coming-of-age comedy from Johnny Knoxville and Victor Fresco and a half-hour starring comedian Jermaine Fowler and co-written by Danny Chun (The Office) in an odd couple story based on his life. Odd couple is a recurring theme in ABC’s comedy pilots, with Delores & Jermaine and the NBA buddy comedy, as is shows about exceptional children (untitled Judah Miller, The Brainy Bunch). Studio-wise, four of the pilots come from ABC Studios, two from 20th TV and one from Warner Bros. TV. Three of them are produced by 3 Arts.
The untitled NBA comedy, which extends ABC’s relationship with the league beyond the network’s game coverage, had a put pilot commitment. The single-camera project, executive produced by Fogelman of Rhode Island Ave Productions, Peter Guber & Mike Tollin of Mandalay Sports Media’ and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, is being done with the cooperation of the NBA and its team Golden State Warriors, co-owned by Guber.
Written/executive produced by Casey Johnson and David Windsor (Trophy Wife), the untitled half-hour, from ABC Studios, is a buddy comedy set in the world of the NBA about a rookie who doesn’t speak English and a translator who doesn’t speak basketball. “It’s basically the international Odd Couple set in the NBA,” Fogelman said at the time of the sale.
The project had been a fast track, with a casting director already on board to explore options for the lead.
This marks the sixth broadcast pilot this season for Kaplan, who also has comedy Chev & Bev at ABC, starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.
Written/executive produced by Howard Franklin and exec produced by Fogelman for ABC Studios, The King Of 7B (format TBD) is an ensemble comedy about an agoraphobic recluse who ventures outside for the first time in 20 years when he spies what could be his soulmate moving into the building across the street. Prentiss Porter will embark on an incredible journey of discovery right outside his front door.
The untitled Johnny Knoxville family comedy, narrated by Knoxville and based on his life, follows the exploits of 12-year-old Johnny navigating the “outlaw culture” of his family and small hometown of Knoxville, TN, and documents the childhood experiences that inspired him to become one of the greatest pranksters of a generation. Fresco wrote the script and is executive producing with Knoxville and 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Dave Becky for ABC Studios, where Knoxville has a first-look deal.
Delores & Jermaine stars and is based on the life of comedian Jermaine Fowler. This multi-camera comedy, an Odd Couple for the new generation, stars Fowler as a millennial with big ideas, but very little drive, who moves in with his estranged grandmother, a strict, football-loving, former DC cop who needs his youthful enthusiasm in her life as much as he needs her old-school parenting. Chun wrote the script with Fowler. Chun executive produces with 3 Arts’ Rotenberg and Avi Gilbert, Fowler co-executive produces through ABC Studios.
The 46 Percenters, written and executive produced by I Hate My Teenage Daughter creators Sherry Bilsing-Graham & Ellen Kreamer through their Gavin&Roxie&Hap Prods. and Warner Bros. Television, is described as an anti-romantic romantic comedy about the 46 percent of the population who choose to stay married, told through the POV of three couples.
ABC seems focused on getting a show about an exceptional child off the ground. The network greenlighted two pilots with premises in that vein, both from 20th Century Fox TV.
The untitled single-camera Judah Miller comedy, centers on a Tony Award-winning mother and a risk-averse, cerebral father who are blessed with a son who is a natural born competitive athlete. They are forced outside their parental comfort zones and into the high-octane world of youth sports. Miller wrote the script and is executive producing with 3 Arts’ Tom Lassally and Jonathan Berry.
The single-camera The Brainy Bunch, written/executive produced by Wendy & Lizzie Molyneux (Bob’s Burgers), is inspired by the book by Kip and Mona Lisa Harding. Through a combination of genetics and dynamic home schooling, Kip and Mona Lisa Mitchell find themselves raising extraordinarily intelligent kids. When Kip returns home from the military to be a stay-at-home dad, he experiences firsthand the challenges of parenting kids who have genius IQs but limited life and social skills. Imagine TV is producing with 20th TV. Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo executive produce.