NBC has wrapped up its new series orders, picking up single-camera choir comedy Perfect Harmony, starring and executive produced by Bradley Whitford, from 20th Century Fox TV; multi-camera multi-generational family comedy Indebted (fka Uninsured), co-starring Fran Drescher, from Sony TV; and drama Lincoln, headlined by Russell Hornsby, also from Sony TV. Lincoln, based on the Bone Collector novel, will be a co-production with Universal TV.
The late pickup for Perfect Harmony, Indebted and Lincoln does not necessarily reflect their standings in the NBC pilots pecking order as all had enjoyed internal support. But the projects comes from outside studios, leading to the inevitable last-minute tussle with the network over digital rights (comedies) and ownership/distribution (dramas).
Both 20th TV and Sony TV already have popular drama series on NBC, This Is Us, which is eying a multi-season renewal, and The Blacklist, already renewed for next season.
There was an additional reason for the delay of Lincoln‘s official pickup. Its star, Hornsby, was also the lead of Fox’s bubble drama Proven Innocent. While the softly rated midseason series was not expected to be renewed, Fox did not officially cancel it until a couple of hours ago, making Hornsby available.
NBC sibling Universal TV has been dominating the network’s comedy slate. That includes the other two NBC comedy series for next season, The Kenan Show starring Kenan Thompson and Kal Penn’s Sunnyside.
The last time there were multiple new comedy series picked up by NBC from outside studios was in May 2014 when the list included 20th TV’s The Carmichael Show and Sony TV’s Marry Me. Since then, there has been only one non-Uni TV new NBC comedy series, Warner Bros. TV’s Powerless.
Perfect Harmony, from writer Lesley Wake Webster, 20th TV and Jason Winer’s Small Dog Picture Company, is expected to incorporate musical numbers, with Adam Anders, who served as executive music producer on 20th TV’s music-driven dramedy Glee, on board as executive producer.
The series, also starring Anna Camp, marks Whitford’s return to NBC where he starred on Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
Indebted, from writer Dan Levy, Sony TV and Doug Robinson Productions, also stars Adam Pally, Abby Elliott, Steven Weber and Jessy Hodges. It marks The Nanny star Drescher’s return to network sitcom.
This marks the second new series pickup for Robinson this upfront, along with legal drama For Life at ABC.
Lincoln, from writers VJ Boyd and Mark Bianculli, Sony TV, Universal TV and Keshet Studios, stars Hornsby and Arielle Kebbel in the roles played by Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie in the Bone Collector movie. This is Hornsby return to NBC where he starred on long-running genre procedural Grimm.
Perfect Harmony, Indebted and Lincoln also join newly picked up dramas Bluff City Law, Council of Dads and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist on NBC’s 2019-20 programming slate.
Here are detailed descriptions and credits for the newly picked up NBC series:
LOGLINE: Bradley Whitford stars in this comedy about finding inspiration in the most unlikely places. When former Princeton music professor Arthur Cochran unexpectedly stumbles into choir practice at a small-town church, he finds a group of singers that are out of tune in more ways than one. Despite the ultimate clash of sensibilities, Arthur and his newfound cohorts may just be the perfect mix of individuals to help each other reinvent and rediscover a little happiness, just when they all need it most.
CAST: Bradley Whitford, Anna Camp, Tymberlee Hill, Rizwan Manji, Will Greenberg, Geno Segers and Spencer Allport.
EP/WRITER: Lesley Wake Webster
EP/DIRECTOR: Jason Winer
EPS: Jason Winer, Bradley Whitford, Adam Anders, Jon Radler
STUDIO: 20th Century Fox Television/Small Dog Picture Company.
LOGLINE: Inspired by the best-selling book “The Bone Collector,” former NYPD detective and forensic genius Lincoln Rhyme was at the top of his game until a serious accident at the hands of a notorious serial killer forces him out of the field. When Amelia Sachs, an intuitive young officer who’s got her own gift for proﬁling finds herself hot on the killer’s trail, Rhyme in turn finds a partner for this new game of cat and mouse. As the unlikely detective duo joins forces to crack the city’s most confounding cases, they must also race to take down the enigmatic “Bone Collector” who brought them together.
CAST: Russell Hornsby, Arielle Kebbel, Brían F. O’Byrne, Tate Ellington, Courtney Grosbeck, Ramses Jimenez, Brooke Lyons, Roslyn Ruff and Michael Imperioli.
EPS/WRITERS: VJ Boyd, Mark Bianculli.
EP/DIRECTOR: Seth Gordon
EPS: Seth Gordon, Avi Nir, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan
STUDIO: Universal Television/Sony Pictures Television/Keshet Studios.
LOGLINE: Young parents Dave and Rebecca are ready to reclaim their life after years of diapers and sleepless nights. However, things take an unexpected turn when Dave’s parents show up unannounced and broke, leaving Dave with no choice but to open the door to the people who gave him everything. But these boomerang parents aren’t great with boundaries and the question of who’s parenting who quickly become blurred in this multi-generational comedy starring Fran Drescher and Adam Pally as mother and son.
CAST: Adam Pally, Abby Elliott, Steven Weber, Fran Drescher, Jessy Hodges
EP/WRITER: Dan Levy
EP: Doug Robinson
STUDIO: Sony Pictures Television in association with Doug Robinson Productions