CBS is re-piloting Superior Donuts, its multi-camera comedy starring Jermaine Fowler, for midseason consideration. The project, written and executive produced by Neil Goldman & Garrett Donovan and Bob Daily, who serves as showrunner, hails from CBS TV Studios.
I hear the ensemble comedy, based on the play by Tracy Letts, will undergo some recasting, with Brian d’Arcy James, who played the co-lead opposite Fowler in the original pilot, not continuing. CBS brass have been very high on Fowler, so he of course is staying on, along with co-stars Maz Jobrani and David Koechner, I hear. Additionally, Fowler will serve as an executive producer on the new pilot after being a co-exec producer on the original one.
The new pilot is expected to film this summer with an eye towards midseason. Superior Donuts was one of 3 comedy pilots CBS left in contention after the network made its picks for next fall with new half-hour series Kevin Can Wait, Man with a Plan and The Great Indoors. Of the other two, I hear the single-camera Furst Born is still being considered, with budget discussions going on between CBS and leading studio ABC Studios, while hybrid My Time/Your Time, from Hilary Winston, Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and leading studio Sony TV, will likely be redeveloped.
Superior Donuts follows the relationship between the owner of a donut shop (the role that is being recast), his new young employee (Fowler) and their patrons in a gentrifying neighborhood of Chicago.
Daily, who will run the pilot along with CBS’ The Odd Couple, which was renewed for a third season, executive produces alongside Goldman, Donovan, Fowler, Mark Teitelbaum, John Montgomery and 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Josh Lieberman.
CBS took a similar approach last year with legal drama pilot Doubt, which also was re-piloted over the summer with some casting changes. It was recently picked up to series for next midseason.