Showtime has picked up to pilot Big Deal, a half-hour single-camera comedy co-created by and starring Emmy-nominated Saturday Night Live alumna Vanessa Bayer. The Big Sick helmer Michael Showalter will direct the pilot for the project, from Annapurna TV, which had been in development at Showtime for a year.
Emmy-winning former Inside Amy Schumer head writer Jessi Klein serves as showrunner on Big Deal, which Bayer co-created with former SNL writer Jeremy Beiler.
Big Deal is a grounded comedy in which a woman (Bayer) overcomes childhood leukemia to achieve her lifelong dream of landing a job as a QVC host.
Bayer’s character is inspired by the comedy actress’ own personal story as a survivor of childhood leukemia, which she was diagnosed with in her freshman year of high school.
Bayer, Beiler and Klein executive produce Big Deal with Showalter and Jordana Mollick via Showalter Semi-Formal Prods., which has had a first-look deal with Annapurna TV. Executive producing for Annapurna are Megan Ellison and head of Annapurna Television, Sue Naegle. Ali Krug co-executive produces. Showtime is the studio.
“Vanessa Bayer is such a sharp and joyful comic talent, and in Big Deal she mines the story of her own life to deliver hard comedy with deep resonance,” said Gary Levine, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks. “In Jeremy, Jessi and Michael, we have a veritable All-Star team who never fail to deliver smart, subversive and funny comedy – which Big Deal certainly promises to be.”
Bayer and Beiler teamed up for Big Deal after working together at SNL. Their collaborations included nervous Weekend Update meteorologist Dawn Lazarus who became an instant breakout when Bayer introduced her just before her departure from NBC’s venerable night sketch comedy program after seven seasons.
Nominated for an Emmy and an American Comedy Award during her seven seasons on SNL, Bayer has also appeared in such films and TV series as Trainwreck, Ibiza, Office Christmas Party, Will & Grace, Drunk History, Portlandia, Sound Advice and Man Seeking Woman.
Beiler has earned three Emmy nominations and two WGA awards for his work on Inside Amy Schumer and SNL. His recent credits include I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson.
Klein served as head writer and executive producer of Inside Amy Schumer, which won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and a Peabody Award. She also served as consulting producer and writer on Showtime’s Black Monday. Her writing and producing credits also include Dead to Me, Transparent, Kroll Show and Saturday Night Live, and she is also one of the lead voices on Big Mouth.
In addition to directing the praised The Big Sick, Showalter’s writing-directing credits includes Hello My Name Is Doris, Wet Hot American Summer and its sequels, Search Party, Super Fun Night, The State and the upcoming The Eyes of Tammy Faye. His Semi-Formal just landed a pilot order at HBO Max for coming-of-age drama Vegas High.