EXCLUSIVE: Venerable sitcom director James Burrows has been tapped to direct and executive produce the pilot episode of ABC’s straight-to-series multi-camera comedy starring Alec Baldwin, Kelsey Grammer and Alec Mapa, from Modern Family co-creator/executive producer Chris Lloyd, executive producer Vali Chandrasekaran and studio 20th Television.
This marks a reunion for Burrows and Grammer. Burrows was director/executive producer on Cheers and director on spinoff Frasier, headlined by Cheers standout Grammer, and helmed the pilots for both shows. He also directed the pilots and served as executive producer on Grammer’s followup multi-camera comedy series, Back To You, which was co-created by Lloyd, and Partners.
The untitled Alec Baldwin/Kelsey Grammer comedy series, slated for the 2021-22 season, was written by Lloyd and Chandrasekaran. It follows three men — Grammer, Baldwin and Mapa — who were roommates in their 20s until their warring egos drove them apart. They reunite decades later for one more run at the lives they’ve always wanted.
Baldwin, Grammer, Lloyd and Chandrasekaran executive produce with Jason Schrift, Matt DelPiano, Tom Russo, Adam Griffin and Jeff Morton. 20th Television, part of Disney TV Studios, is the studio.
Burrows, probably best known for his work on Taxi, Cheers, Frasier and Will & Grace (including the revival), has won 11 Primetime Emmy Awards over the course of his career. He directed the pilots for all four series as well as for such other long-running comedies as The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. His most recent Emmy win came in 2020 in the Outstanding Variety Special (Live) category for Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Good Times’, which he executive produced. He has won multiple DGA Awards, most recently in 2020 for Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’. He most recently directed the pilot and two additional episodes of Chuck Lorre’s CBS comedy B Positive. Burrows, who crossed the 1,000 directed episodes mark five and a half years ago, is repped by WME.