Fox continues its push into multi-camera comedy this season with another project, which is taking the format live and making it interactive. The network has given a script plus penalty commitment to Immediate Family, with Thomas Kail — hailed for his live staging work on Fox’s Grease: Live, which got him an Emmy, and on Hamilton — attached to direct.
Written by New Girl executive producers/co-showrunners Dave Finkel and Brett Baer, Immediate Family is a live, interactive — allowing for audience participation — multi-generational family comedy about a real-life hero who’s convinced he’s the only one who can keep his super-diverse, super screwed-up family from falling apart. He might be alone on that.
Finkel and Baer executive produce with Kail and Kate Sullivan, head of development for Kail’s Old 320 Sycamore. 20th Century Fox TV, where Kail is under an overall deal, is the studio.
This marks a return to the multi-camera format for Finkel and Baer who started their career on such sitcoms as George Lopez and Just Shoot Me! before segueing to single-camera comedies with stints on 30 Rock and New Girl, on which they serve as exec producers/co-showrunners alongside creator Liz Meriwether. The duo are repped by CAA, Principato-Young and attorneys Cliff Gilbert-Lurie and Scott Sims.
Kail directed Fox’s Grease: Live as well as both Broadway and off-Broadway productions of Lin Manuel Miranda’s multi-Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights. On TV, he also previously helmed episodes of CBS’ multi-camera sitcom 2 Broke Girls. He’s repped by WME.
Fox, which has not aired a multi-camera comedy for three seasons, also just gave a put pilot commitment to multi-camera school comedy Suspended.
The networks have been making a push into live entertainment programming to boost the elusive live viewership. In addition to live musicals, NBC tried the live multi-camera comedy format — a throwback to the early days of television — with Undateable a couple of seasons ago.