On the heels of NBC ordering a new season of Max Mutchnick and David Kohan’s Will & Grace, the network has given a pilot order to Happy Peppers, a multi-camera comedy from Mutchnick and fellow sitcom veteran, Friends alum Jeff Astrof. This is a very quick turnaround for the project, which was initially developed at CBS last season. Warner Bros. TV, where Mutchnick and Astrof are under overall deals, is the studio.
I hear that Happy Peppers was one of two multi-camera Mutchnick scripts that Warner Bros. TV sent to NBC as the network was closing in on a Will & Grace pickup earlier this month, along with another one, which had Jon Cryer attached, that I hear now may be pitched to Netflix.
Since Mutchnick is under an overall deal at WBTV, he’s being loaned out to do Will & Grace, which is produced by Universal TV. Besides a thank-you gesture by NBC toward WBTV for allowing Mutchnick to pursue his passion of reviving Will & Grace, the pickup of Happy Peppers gives the network a potential companion for the new season of the Emmy-winning multi-camera comedy. NBC had bought predominantly single-camera scripts this development season but I hear the pickup for Will & Grace shifted the network’s attention to multi-camera comedy as they would like to launch a new traditional sitcom behind Will & Grace.
Warner Bros TV previously had Kohan and Mutchnick under an overall deal during the Will & Grace‘s original run. The studio loaned them out to NBC in exchange for getting domestic distribution of the NBC Studios-produced sitcom, which proved to be a financial windfall. I hear rights had since reverted to NBCUniversal for the new season.
Written by Mutchnick and Astrof, Happy Peppers is about an adult brother and sister who wind up living together for the first time since they were kids, after one of them suffers a big loss. They become each other’s wingmen, shoulder to cry on, best friend and punching bag as they navigate love, loss and work while helping to get each other “un-stuck.” Mutchnick and Astrof executive produce via their Too Mutch Ink and Barge Productions, respectively.
Mutchnick and Astrof previously worked together on the CBS/WBTV comedy series Partners. Astrof, along with Matt Miller created and executive produces the upcoming NBC single-camera comedy series Trial & Error.