The multi-camera Gorgeous Morons, from prolific writer-producers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, former The Office head writer Danny Chun and ABC Signature, was one of the biggest comedy sales during the 2013-14 broadcast development season. Co-created/executive produced by Eisenberg, Stupnitsky and Chun and written by Chun, Gorgeous Morons focuses on two stunningly handsome but ridiculously simple brothers – one is a model, the other a personal trainer – who find their lives rocked by their brainy new roommate, a female literature Ph.D. whose looks are, by their standards, in desperate need of help.
Eisenberg and Stupnitsky first came up with the idea for Gorgeous Morons during the 2012-13 season when they ended up with four pilots, three of which — Trophy Wife at ABC, Bad Teacher at CBS and Hello Ladies at HBO— went to series. Eisenberg and Stupnitsky revisited the Gorgeous Morons idea the following year but, with three shows on the air, they couldn’t write it by themselves and reached out to one of their go-to writers, Chun, with whom they worked on The Office and later recruited for Hello Ladies and Trophy Wife. ABC Studios, where all three had overall deals, was the studio. The project was pitched to CBS, NBC and Fox, garnering very strong interest everywhere and landing a big put pilot commitment at CBS. The project, which sounds a little like a reversed Big Bang Theory, now will be produced by ABC Studios’ cable division ABC Signature.
This marks a return to the multi-camera comedy genre for ABC Family, which built its original comedy brand on multi-camera sitcoms, most notably Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy. The network’s EVP Programming and Development Karey Burke signaled a change in direction, handing out the first pilot orders after joining the cable network to single-camera half-hour projects Tough Cookie and Kevin From Work, the latter of which recently was picked up to series. “Single camera represents the evolution of our comedy brand,“ Burke said back then.
Beyond is a one-hour drama about a young man who wakes up from a coma after 12 years and discovers new supernatural abilities that propel him into the middle of a dangerous conspiracy. From Imperative Entertainment and Automatik, Beyond is created, written and executive produced by Adam Nussdorf (Once Upon A Time In Wonderland). Kring, Zak Kadison, Justin Levy and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones will serve as executive producers.
This marks the first pilot order for Imperative Entertainment, the production company Kring, Blacklight founder Kadison and longtime Farrelly brothers producer Bradley Thomas launched last year with financing from Dan Friedkin and his Friedkin Group. Former MTV scripted programming SVP Levy serves as the company’s EVP Content.
On the drama side, ABC Family appears to be taking a turn towards genre fare, with Beyond joining the recent pickup of The Mortal Instruments spinoff series, Shadowhunters.