TBS has given series orders to two comedies: The Guest Book, an anthology from Raising Hope creator Greg Garcia, and the animated Tarantula, from Danny McBride, Jody Hill and David Gordon Green’s Rough House. Both are slated for a 2017 debut. Additionally, the network has given a pilot pickup to World’s End, from Bored to Death creator Jonathan Ames and Electus, which will star Hamish Linklater (The Big Short) and Wanda Sykes (Black-ish).
The Guest Book, which has received a 10-episode order, extends Garcia’s relationship with TNT and TBS boss Kevin Reilly. This marks the third Garcia single-camera series at a third network run by Reilly, following My Name Is Earl at NBC and Raising Hope at Fox.
All three newly greenlighted projects fall under TBS’ push for digitally/socially-driven series with bold sensibility, which began in January with the launch of Angie Tribeca and continued with the debuts of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee in February, The Detour in April and Wrecked in June. All four have been renewed, with the last two ranking as the highest-rated new cable comedies year-to-date.
The Guest Book is based on fictitious stories Garcia had been writing in the guest books of various rental cabins in an effort to freak out the next renters. Garcia will write all 10 episodes and will executive produce the TV series, which centers on a small-town vacation home and its visitors. The house and cast of characters living in this mountain town remain ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼the same, with each episode featuring a different set of guests renting the house.
The Guest Book is a co-production of CBS Television Studios, where Garcia is under an overall deal, and Turner’s in-house studio, Studio T, which replaced TNT and TBS Prods.
Created and written by Carson Mell (Silicon Valley), Tarantula — the first primetime animated series pickup since TBS’ rebrand — revolves around the residents of the Tierra Chula Resident Hotel (aka “The Tarantula”). It centers on Echo Johnson, a respected but uncertified tattoo artist who delivers absurd yet introspective monologues. Echo’s poetic ramblings spin tales of misadventures with the other residents, as they partake in party crashing, dumpster diving and other socially dubious acts of mischief.
TBS has ordered an open-ended run for Tarantula, a co-production of Rough House Pictures and Studio T. Danny McBride, Jody Hill, David Gordon Green and Brandon James serve as executive producers. The network has had great success with recent animated import American Dad.
World’s End was written by Jonathan Ames based on Icelandic dramedy Heimsendir, a Sagafilm format.
It follows Henry Mueller (Linklater), a charismatic high school English teacher who has a breakdown and is committed to a mental institution. There, under the watchful eye of Louise Baldwin (Sykes), he begins to feel “sane.” Henry starts to question the system and the methods used to contain the inmates, ultimately becoming the leader of an inmate revolt. It’s a dark comedy about an asylum that operates like a family, and as in all families, the question of who is sane and who is not is open for discussion.
World’s End is a co-production of Electus and Studio T and is being executive-produced by Ames, Ben Silverman (Jane the Virgin), Stephanie Davis (Bored to Death) and Sean Canino (Jane the Virgin), along with Alan Poul (The Newsroom), who will also direct. The project was set up at TBS before Silverman’s departure from Electus this spring.
“Our new projects, from some of the best creators and producers in the industry, will fit perfectly with the new direction we’ve been taking the TBS brand,” said Brett Weitz, EVP Programming for TBS. “Each show brings something fresh and unique to the comedy genre, from the unforgettable characters that Greg has created in The Guest Book to the wild, animated absurdities of Carson’s Tarantula. We also can’t wait to see how the envelope-pushing audacity of our World’s End pilot plays out on screen.”