NBC has slotted Thursday, March 28, 9:30 PM for the premiere of its new 10-episode midseason comedy Abby’s, starring Natalie Morales. Abby’s takes the slot currently held by Will & Grace, which will move to 9 PM on March 28 and April 4 for its final two episodes of the season.
Shot outdoors in front of a live studio audience, a first for a multi-cam comedy, Abby’s centers around an unlicensed, makeshift establishment in Abby’s (Morales) backyard, the perfect gathering place for locals to find camaraderie and sanctuary. To maintain the perfect bar ecosystem, all patrons must abide by a specific set of rules. This includes no cell phones (not even to look something up), understanding that earning a seat at the bar takes time to rise through the hierarchy and knowing that losing a challenge may have some unpleasant and unpalatable drink-related repercussions.
As bar owner, Abby has found her true calling, hosting friends and newcomers alike. No nonsense, Abby is ex-military, having served two tours as a Staff Sergeant in the Marines. Her world is shaken when new landlord Bill (Nelson Franklin), who recently inherited the house from his deceased aunt, unexpectedly shows up citing all kinds of reasons why the whole venture is illegal. Newly divorced, he is a cautious worrier and definite non-risk-taker who eventually warms to the place and agrees to let the bar remain open, provided Abby makes some changes.
Series regular cast also includes Fred (Neil Flynn), a fixture at the bar who is grateful for a place to enjoy a beer and conversation – and refuses to allow some bureaucratic busybody to disrupt his perfect refuge; Beth (Jessica Chaffin), a harried mom living next door who can escape the madness of her home life while still keeping an eye on things from her perch atop a bar stool; Rosie (Kimia Behpoornia), the bar manager who prides herself on having memorized all 162 rules and regulations; and James (Leonard Ouzts), the gentle scaredy-cat of a bouncer who crumbles in the face of confrontation.
Abby’s, from Uni TV, Fremulon and 3 Arts, was written by Josh Malmuth. He executive produces with Michael Schur and 3 Arts’ David Miner. Pamela Fryman directed the pilot.