A sleepy January broadcast spec market has come to life with a comedy buy by CBS. The network has given a pilot order to Life In Pieces, a single-camera comedy written by Justin Adler, from 20th TV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment.
The comedy about one family is told through the separate stories of its different family members. Adler and Kaplan executive produce.
Adler and Kaplan originally teamed for another half-hour project at 20th TV this season, a series based on Cameron Crowe’s 1989 movie Say Anything, which sold to NBC with significant penalty. When the project was scrapped over objections from Crowe who appeared unaware of it, Adler and Kaplan decided to develop a comedy idea Adler had as a spec under the writer’s 20th TV script deal for Say Anything.
The spec was taken out over the weekend, ultimately finding its way to CBS. Life In Pieces reunites some of the auspices of last season’s comedy series Friends With Better Lives: CBS, 20th TV and Kaplan.
When CBS opted to cancel FWBL and not pick up the How I Met Your Mother spinoff, 20th TV was left without a show on the network for the first time in decades. Both sides seem ready to remedy that this season; I hear 20th TV has another strong comedy contender for a pilot order at CBS, a multi-camera comedy from former The Office executive producer Dan Sterling and The Lego Movie duo of Phil Lord & Chris Miller, which has a put pilot commitment.
The pickup of Life In Pieces also reaffirms CBS’ commitment to single-camera projects after not picking up a single one of them last May. (The network also has single-camera comedy pilot Taxi-22 rolled from last year.)
Kaplan tends to work with the same writers on multiple projects. He first produced a remake of the British series 30 And Counting at NBC two seasons ago with Adler as writer. Other regulars on Kaplan’s roster: Sharon Horgan, Dana Klein and Dan Fogelman.
Adler and his wife, fellow comedy writer Barbie Adler, might think about naming their next child after Kaplan, who is executive producing projects by both that have been picked up to pilot: Barbie Adler’s ABC Family comedy pilot Kevin At Work just finished casting and will be filming shortly.
On the feature side, UTA-repped Justin Adler is a Black List writer for The Escort. He is writing All-Nighter with Greg Grunberg for Bad Robot and Paramount and House Arrest for Broken Road and Relativity.
The January spec marketplace used to be pretty active, with the networks supplementing their pilot slates after reading the scripts of their internal development. That market has started to dry up during the past few of seasons, with Life In Pieces a rare standout.