Fox has given its first live-action comedy green lights this season to the single-camera Richard Lovely, from Grace and Frankie executive producer Billy Finnegan, and the multi-camera blue-collar family half-hour Geniuses (working title), from LA to Vegas creator/executive producer Lon Zimmet. The latter appears to be eyed as a potential companion to Fox’s flagship comedy series Last Man Standing.
So far, Fox has ordered three pilots, Richard Lovely, Geniuses and drama Filthy Rich, for next season, along with two straight-to-series animated comedies, Bless the Hearts and Duncanville. All five hail from Fox’s longtime corporate sibling 20th Century Fox TV, which is headed to Disney as part of the $71.3 billion asset acquisition.
While 20th TV traditionally had been Fox’s primary supplier, producing almost all of the network’s scripted series, in preparation for Fox Broadcasting Company’s future as an independent, its now-former brass this past summer announced a plan for decreasing the net’s dependance on 20th TV with a target of having half of its scripted development for next season come from there.
Fox is expected to pick up pilots from other studios. I hear orders for dramas Prodigal Son, from Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Prods., and Deputy, from David Ayer, Will Beall and eOne, are pending; with Sisters, from Universal TV and Jason Katims’ True Jack Prods., also in contention.
Written by Finnegan, Richard Lovely had a put pilot commitment. The project, which has an About a Boy vibe to it, is about Richard Lovely, the disgruntled author of the best-selling children’s book series, Mr. Mouse. He doesn’t hate children, but rather just everything about them. After a publicity fiasco involving an unexpectedly savvy 9-year-old kid, Mr. Mouse appears in Richard’s real life as he is forced into an unlikely father/son relationship that will change his life forever.
Finnegan executive produces with Kat Coiro (The Mick).
Written and executive produced by Zimmet, Geniuses harkens back to one of Fox’s signature comedy series, Malcolm In the Middle. The multi-camera family comedy is about a blue-collar couple in South Jersey trying to get by and raise four kids, three of whom just happen to be certified geniuses.