Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson is a step closer to moving from late-night to primetime. His starring vehicle, the single-camera Saving Kenan (form. Saving Larry), has been picked up to pilot by NBC. The project, from SNL creator/executive producer Lorne Michaels and his Broadway Video as well as Superstore executive producer Jackie Clarke, had a big pilot production commitment.
NBC ‘also has ordered to pilot Like Magic, a single-camera workplace comedy from Superstore writers Bridget Kyle and Vicky Luu, Forever co-creator Matt Hubbard, Julie Anne Robinson’s CannyLads Productions and Universal TV, where CannyLads and Hubbard are based.
Thompson likely will leave SNL — at least as a full-time cast member — should Saving Kenan goes to series as the two would be difficult to juggle. He is currently in his 16th year on the venerable late-night sketch program.
Written by Clarke, Saving Kenan centers on a newly widowed dad (Thompson) determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.
Thompson, a married father of two, and Clarke executive produce with Michaels and Andrew Singer for Broadway Video. Universal Television, where Broadway Video has a deal, is the studio.
Saving Keenan marks Thompson’s return to comedy series, where he first rose to fame on Nickelodeon with All That and its spinoff Kenan & Kel.
Michaels is known for transitioning on- and offscreen SNL talent to NBC’s primetime. He has executive produced such comedy series for the network as the Emmy-winning 30 Rock, Up All Night and A.P. Bio.
Clarke, who has performed at UCB Theatre in Los Angeles, has been on NBC/Uni TV’s Superstore since Day 1, rising to executive producer. Her series writing credits also include NBC’s Undateable and ABC’s Happy Endings. She is repped by UTA and Felker Toczek.
Written by Kyle and Luu with Hubbard supervising and to be directed by Robinson, Like Magic is a workplace comedy that follows an optimistic young woman pursuing her dreams in the mysterious world of the Magic Palace.
Kyle and Luu executive produce with Hubbard and Cannylads’ Robinson and head of development Kelly Pancho.
Kyle and Luu joined NBC comedy Superstore as writers in Season 2. Their other series writing credits include The Grinder and Marry Me.
Robinson, who has directed a number of comedy pilots that have gone to series, including ABC’s The Middle and most recently NBC’s I Feel Bad, is repped by CAA and attorney Warren Dern.
Hubbard is co-creator and executive producer with Alan Yang of new Amazon/Uni TV comedy series Forever starring Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph. Kyle, Luu and Hubbard are repped by UTA. Hubbard also is repped by Hansen Jacobson.
Studio: Universal Television
Production company: Broadway Video
EP/W: Jackie Clarke
EP/T: Kenan Thompson
EP/NW: Lorne Michaels
EP/NW: Andrew Singer
Logline: Kenan Thompson stars as a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives. (Single-cam)
Studio: Universal Television
Production company: CannyLads
EP/W: Bridget Kyle & Vicky Luu
EP/Supervising: Matt Hubbard
EP/D: Julie Anne Robinson
EP/NW: Kelly Pancho
Logline: A workplace comedy that follows an optimistic young woman pursuing her dream to be a headlining magician in the eccentric and ego-driven world of the Magic Palace. (Single-cam)