EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that NBC is about to hand out a late pilot order to 1600 Penn, a White House family comedy from Book Of Mormon star Josh Gad, Modern Family director Jason Winer and former speechwriter to President Barack Obama Jon Lovett. The order comes after Gad, originally only attached as co-writer and executive producer, also has agreed to also star in the project, produced by 20th Century Fox TV where Winer is under an overall deal. Additionally, Gad is in negotiations to play the lead opposite James Franco in Brian Koppelman and David Levien’s feature The Game at MGM produced by the Weitz Brothers. The movie is based by the book by Neil Strauss chronicling his efforts to become a pick-up artist. Gad will play Strauss, a Rolling Stone journalist who is a great writer but is not great at picking up women. He goes undercover and his life changes. Franco plays Strauss’ teacher.
1600 Penn, co-created by Gad, Winer and Lovett, is a dysfunctional family comedy where the out-of-control oldest son (Gad) returns home and becomes not only it’s biggest liability but also the glue holding everyone together. The twist is that this family resides in the White House. NBC nabbed the pitch in October with a put pilot commitment. The project was tracking well and many were surprised when it didn’t end up among the 13 half-hour pilots picked up at NBC. But conversations between the network and 20th TV continued, zeroing on the possibility for Gad to star. After several days of intense negotiations, Gad agreed to do it, clearing the way for a pilot green light. (more…)