Fox is set to order a handful of comedy and drama pilots in January with a view to move completely off-cycle.
This comes as the network steps up its push into comedy after not having any new live-action comedies on the fall schedule, with particularly high hopes for Carla, starring and exec produced by The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik and exec produced by her former co-star Jim Parsons. It is based on British comedy Miranda.
“We’re going to order a couple to several drama and comedy pilots in January but we’re also doing off-cycle. We’re not going to do all of our ordering in January; our hope is to be completely off-cycle,” Fox president of entertainment Michael Thorn told Deadline. “We’re looking at ordering things when they’re ready and backing off the traditional cycle and looking to set series up for success.”
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On the comedy front, one of the reasons that the network will likely pilot off-cycle is the fact that Julia Franz, who joined as SVP and Head of Comedy in September, has not been with the network long.
Multi-camera comedy Carla, which is set to undergo a title change and hails from Warner Bros TV in association with That’s Wonderful Productions, Sad Clown Productions and BBC Studios, was handed a series order for fall 2020, while the network handed a series order to off-cycle animation series Housebroken (formerly Therapy Dog), which has been in development for a while. The half-hour project, originally picked up by the network with a script plus presentation commitment, stars Lisa Kudrow, Veep’s Clea Duvall and Nat Faxon and hails from writer-producer-actress Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Divorce), DuVall, writer-producers Jennifer Crittenden & Gabrielle Allan, and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment.
Fox has bought a slew of comedy projects this year, as Thorn said the network “is going for it,” including an Ali Larter single-mom cheerleader comedy, marriage comedy People Person, family comedy Tough Love, Football Book Club and a U.S. version of BBC comedy This Country. Drama buys include Nick Stoller and Carla Kettner’s Florida Man, Berlanti Productions’ Jamie Lee Curtis drama Chain of Command and a remake of British legal drama Silent Witness.
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