Fox has given a pilot order to Bless This Mess, a single-camera comedy from New Girl creator Liz Meriwether, which has actress/filmmaker Lake Bell attached to star, co-write and direct. The project, which had an pilot production commitment, will film in June to acommodate Bell’s feature schedule and won’t be in consideration for fall.
Written by Meriwether and Bell, Bless This Mess centers on a newlywed couple — half of it played by Bell — that gives up their drab and unfulfilling lives in NYC and moves to Nebraska to live a simpler life. It doesn’t work out like they planned.
Meriwether and Bell executive produce with New Girl executive producer and frequent Meriwether collaborator Katherine Pope. 20th Century Fox TV, where Meriwether is under an overall deal, is the studio.
The project reunites Bell with Meriwether and Fox/20th TV after guest starring on New Girl.
Bless This Mess shares some of the DNA of Meriwether’s single-camera Fox comedy New Girl, which also was toplined by an indie darling, Zooey Deschanel.
New Girl remains Fox’s most successful live-action comedy of the past decade. A breakout hit when it premiered in fall 2011, New Girl is heading into its seventh and final season.
This is Meriwether’s third pilot this season. She also executive produces Daddy Issues, written by and starring Erin Foster, at Fox, and JJ Philbin’s Single Parents at ABC.
Actress Bell successful branched out into writing/directing, with her feature debut In a World… earning her a Sundance screenwriting award. Her followup, I Do… Until I Don’t, was released last year. In TV as an actress, Boston Legal and How To Make It In America alumna Bell recently appeared in Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer series. Behind the camera, she directed episodes of Hulu’s Casual.