Twenty five years after Cheers ended its 11-season run on NBC, the network has greenlighted another multi-camera comedy series set in a bar. The network made its first pickups on the comedy side, giving series orders to buzzy half-hour pilots Abby’s, executive produced by Mike Schur, and I Feel Bad (fka Untitled Aseem Batra), executive produced by Amy Poehler.
Both projects come from NBC sibling Universal Television, as do all three new drama series picked up by NBC so far — New Amsterdam, The Village and The Enemy Within. What’s more, both Abby’s and I Feel Bad are female starring vehicles, with Natalie Morales and Sarayu Blue as the two leads, and both pilots were directed by female directors, Pamela Fryman and Julie Anne Robinson
Abby’s, from Uni TV, Fremulon and 3 Arts, was written by Josh Malmuth. He and Fryman executive produce with Schur and 3 Arts’ David Miner. In addition to Morales, the cast includes The Middle‘s Neil Flynn, who is segueing to the NBC series as the ABC comedy wraps its nine-season run. Nelson Franklin, Jessica Chaffin, Leonard Ouzts and Kimia Behpoornia.
Abby’s is set at the best bar in San Diego, home to good prices, great company and, of course, Abby. This unlicensed, makeshift bar nestled in her backyard is the opposite of everything annoying about today’s party scene. There are rules at Abby’s: no cell phones (not even to “look something up”), earning a seat at the bar takes time and losing a challenge means drinking a limey, sugary “not-beer” drink. As the oddball cast of regulars will tell you, hanging out at Abby’s is a coveted honor. But once you’re in, you’re family. The show is shot outside in front of a live audience.
Written by Batra, the single-camera I Feel Bad, from Uni TV, Paper Kite Prods, CannyLads Prods and 3 Arts , stars Blue as Emet, the perfect mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter. OK, she’s not perfect. In fact, she’s just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly.
The cast also includes Paul Adelstein, Aisling Bea, Zach Cherry, Johnny Pemberton and James Buckley. Batra executive produces with Robinson, Poehler, Dave Becky and Josh Maurer also executive produce.