TBS has picked up a 10-episode second season of multi-camera comedy Ground Floor, created by Bill Lawrence and Greg Malins and starring Skylar Astin and Briga Heelan. The renewal extends TBS’ streak of renewing its freshman series, which includes sitcoms Men at Work and Sullivan & Son and reality comedy King of the Nerds. Ground Floor started off lower than the other two scripted comedies, drawing 1.6 million viewers for its premiere vs. 2.7 million for for Men at Work and 2.5 million for Sullivan & Son. But Ground Floor launched against much stronger competition during the November sweep; it has been pretty consistent, and TBS brass believe in its upside potential. Ground Floor finished its first season with an average of 1.8 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery, including 1.1 million adults 18-49 and 575,000 adults 18-34. The renewal keeps Lawrence and Malins with two projects each at TBS. Lawrence has series Cougar Town, while Malins has pilot Your Family or Mine.
EXCLUSIVE: Discovery has had a change of heart about its Naked And Afraid after-show, Discovery After Dark — but it’s not what you think. The cable network isn’t chickening out after announcing the after-show with surprisingly little fanfare last month – it’s changing the name and the host, to the much better Naked After Dark, and to Josh Wolf, respectively. Wolf, known to some for his panelist appearances on Chelsea Lately, is maybe best known to Discovery viewers as host of its wildly popular Shark Week after-show Shark After Dark.
Universal Cable Productions has signed exclusive development deals with Steve Carell’s Carousel Television and Jessica Biel’s Iron Ocean Productions. Both companies already are developing projects with the studio. Carousel has a an untitled drama about the onset of Hollywood’s golden age, focusing on actual Hollywood events and characters dating back 100 years. Iron Ocean is working on two projects. Pop Culture — written by Melissa Hilfers and executive produced by Royal Pains‘ Michael Rauch, who is under an overall deal at UCP – centers on a bachelor living the high life in NYC who has a sudden change of heart after babysitting his nephew. He hires an aspiring actress to play his wife, and things get complicated when he finds himself falling for her. Moguls, penned by Geoff Moore & David Posmentier, is a half-hour workplace comedy about the eccentric twentysomethings employed at a family-owned Colorado ski resort whose way of life is challenged when the mountain is purchased by a corporate behemoth.
The digital studio that specializes in scripted female dramas is partnering with the script site to find a writer to develop a YouTube series. The Black List will solicit teleplays to be evaluated by its community of industry pros and readers and deliver a shortlist of five writers to be considered for a script. Submissions are being accepted through May 6. WIGS, the digital studio created by TV and feature producers Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia, inked a multiyear deal with Fox last year.
TBS has finalized a deal for a pilot order to an ensemble multi-camera workplace comedy from Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. This would mark the duo’s first cable pilot. The untitled project (formerly known as Clipsters) is about a group of kids from high school, who ran in different circles but now all work together at a local Charlestown, MA. barbershop called Buzzy’s. Their dreams may lie across the Charles River in Boston, but for now, their work, their lives, their loves and their worries remain in the town they grew up in. The project was set up at TBS a year ago, stemming from an exploratory meeting Kohan and Mutchnick took with the network’s programming chief Michael Wright. Kohan and Mutchnick’s KoMut Entertainment and Warner Horizon are producing.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
At TBS, the Kohan/Mutchnick project joins a busy pilot slate that include four other comedy pilots: single-camera Tribeca and multi-camera Living The Dream, Do It Yourself and Your Family Or Mine. Kohan and Mutchnick also have an Upstairs/Downstairs dark comedy in development at Showtime. Mutchnick has been repped by WME since last year, but the TBS pilot (as well as the Showtime project) was packaged by the duo’s longtime agent Scott Schwartz at Vision Art, who continues to rep Kohan.
EXCLUSIVE: TBS‘ comedy pilot Tribeca is becoming a family affair, with Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton set to portray the parents of the series’ lead, played by Jones and Lipton’s’ real-life daughter, Rashida Jones. Also set for a guest starring/potential recurring role in the pilot is Alfred Molina, with Lisa Kudrow in talks for a cameo. Directed by Steve Carell from a script he wrote with his wife, Nancy Carell, Tribeca is a satirical look at a police procedural anchored by Angie Tribeca (Rashida Jones), a 10-year veteran of the LAPD. The single-camera comedy explores an eccentric but brilliant group of people who investigate crime, reveal way too much personal information, and refuse to rest until justice has been served. Molina will play Dr. Edelweiss, a solemn and serious handwriting expert who also has a penchant for toys.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
Here is Deadline’s annual list of The Overachievers Of Pilot Season. For anyone, landing a pilot is a major accomplishment. These selected few individuals/production companies took that achievement to the next level.
Related: Primetime Pilot Panic!
With marquee comedy clients including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kevin Hart, 3 Arts has been building a strong TV production business. The management/production company has set a new personal record this season with nine greenlights. That includes one straight-to-series order for the Tina Fey/Robert Carlock comedy Tooken at NBC, one pilot/series track order at Fox for Cabot College, from Matt Hubbard, Fey and Carlock, and five more pilots: the comedies untitled Kevin Hart project at ABC, Amy Poehler’s Old Soul and Love Is Relative at NBC and Tom Papa’s More Time With the Family at CBS, plus untitled Richard LaGravenese drama at ABC. Additionally, three 3 Arts pilots from last season, Mulaney and Mr. Robinson, recently received series orders for next season.
Amblin TV has one pilot/series track order at Fox for drama Red Band Society, starring Octavia Spencer, and pilot orders for drama The Visitors at ABC and comedy The Money Pit at NBC. Additionally, the company scored a straight-to-series order this season for sci-fi drama Extant, which landed Halle Berry as the lead, for a summer launch.
Related: PILOT SEASON: How Many Orders Is Each Broadcast Network Eyeing This Year
Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly‘s Timberman-Beverly has a straight-to-series order at ABC for untitled David O. Russell/Susannah Grant drama and three pilots at CBS, comedy The Odd Couple starring Matthew Perry and untitled John Cusack and David Marshall Grant drama projects.
Aaron Kaplan‘s one-man indie shop Kapital Entertainment landed a pilot order with series penalty at ABC for Secrets & Lies, toplined by Ryan Phillippe, and pilot orders for drama The Mysteries of Laura starring Debra Messing at NBC and comedy Dead Boss starring Jane Krakowski at Fox.
The always-in-demand multi-camera comedy director James Burrows has signed on to helm CBS’ high-profile pilot More Time With Family, starring Tom Papa and Alyson Hannigan, executive produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and written/exec produced by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith. Based on the stand-up of Papa and the experiences of Damon, the 20th TV-produced project centers on Tom (Papa), a husband and father making a career change to spend more time with his family. This marks a reunion for Burrows and CBS/20th TV after he helmed the pilot for the upcoming comedy Friends with Better Lives last season. When Friends joins CBS’ lineup next month, replacing How I Met Your Mother, Burrows will have directed the pilots of 6 of CBS’ 7 multi-camera comedy series on the air, Friends, Mike & Molly, 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and The Millers.
Related: 2014 CBS Pilots
Another veteran comedy director, Gail Mancuso, coming off an Emmy win for Modern Family, is set to direct the pilot of another extended family comedy, TBS’ multi-camera Your Family Or Mine, from veteran comedy showrunner Greg Malins, Sony TV and Jamie Tarses’ Fanfare. The project, based on Keshet’s hit Israeli comedy series, centers on Oliver and Kelli who are living proof of the adage “When you marry someone, you don’t just marry them, you marry their whole family.” It is a family comedy with an unusual structure — each episode focuses on a different side of the family: one week featuring the couple dealing with Kelli’s family, the next spent with Oliver’s.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
Brian Williams Apologizes To Arsenio Hall For Leaving Him Out Of ‘NBC Nightly News’ Late-Night Montage: Video
Brian Williams apologized on the NBC Nightly News from Sochi tonight, to syndicated late-night host Arsenio Hall after NBC News left Hall’s photo off a Brady Bunch-esque photo montage of late-night stars. The montage was part of NBC News’ walk-up story Monday on NBC star Jimmy Fallon’s debut as new host of NBC’s Tonight Show. Naturally, the graphic included photos of of NBC-parent Comcast’s late-night stars: Chelsea Handler — Andy Cohen got the middle square — and even Carson Daly was included (NBC’s new “Late Night” host Seth Meyers was not in the montage, but he doesn’t debut til Monday). Also in the collection: CBS’ Dave Letterman and Craig Ferguson; ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel; former NBC star Conan O’Brien, who is now on TBS; as well as Comedy Central stars Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. In a voice-over, Williams was heard talking about all the media types “slugging it out for the turf Johnny Carson used to own.”
Tonight, in bringing up the montage, Williams said: “Arsenio is a late-night veteran and he took us to task on his show. He even urged audience members to call our newsroom.” Later, Williams added conciliatorily: “So, in apologizing to Arsenio we just wanted to point out that at least you’re in good company here.” Last July, Williams noted, NBC News left the state of New Hampshire off a map and had to apologize to a U.S. senator, and just last night on the broadcast they spelled the name of the City of Brotherly Love as PHILADELPIA. “So, chalk it up to being on the air at 4 AM in the morning in Russia — but it won’t happen again,” Williams promised.
UPDATE: 7:20 AM: “CeeLo Green has been an instrumental part of the success of The Voice and we deeply appreciate all his contributions,” NBC reality TV chief Paul Telegdy said in a statement about Green’s announcement today that he’s leaving the network’s hit singing competition series. “We’re looking forward to working with him on other upcoming projects that will tap into both his musical and entertainment expertise.”
Green also issued a statement: “I’m officially announcing today that I won’t be returning as a coach on The Voice cycle 7 in the Fall. There are numerous reasons that led to this decision, which has been amicably reached with NBC, but I’m excited to be developing several other ideas with the network and my association with NBC remains strong. The Voice has been an immensely enjoyable experience for me and I can only hope I have enriched the lives of our viewers, the contestants, and the many friends I made there. I will always be there in spirit.
“Meanwhile, NBC and I plan to continue our relationship with several new co-ventures including a new music show, while we also explore our ideas for me to create and host a new show of my own. I will not go quietly into the night… expect more great music and entertainment done in my own unique unmistakable and undeniable way. And The Voice has given me all the altitude and incentive to do just that. Thanks for the memories and make way for many more!”
Deon Cole (Barbershop, FX’s The League) has joined TBS‘ comedy pilot Tribeca, directed by Steve Carell. Co-written by Carell and his wife, Nancy Carell, Tribeca is a satirical look at a police procedural anchored by Angie Tribeca (Rashida Jones). Cole, repped by APA and Kirsten Ames Management, will play Officer DJ Tanner, head of the K-9 unit. He most recently hosted his own TBS series Deon Cole’s Black Box.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
Edi Gathegi (Justified) and Caroline Rose Kaplan have signed on to TNT‘s pilot Proof, a supernatural medical drama executive produced by Kyra Sedgwick. Written by Rob Bragin and directed by Alex Graves, Proof centers on a skeptical, hard science, female surgeon who is persuaded to investigate cases of reincarnation.
Related: 2014 TNT Pilots
TBS has ordered a pilot presentation for The Weekly Awards With Jimmy Pardo, an unscripted project starring comedian Pardo. It is produced by Conan O’Brien’s Conaco banner, which is behind TBS’ late-night shows Conan and The Pete Holmes Show. According to the producers, on the show Pardo “honors all the news, clips, personalities and oddities of the week, in a tux.” Filming of the presentation is tentatively slated for March 7 in Burbank on the same stage where Conan tapes. Pardo has a long history with O’Brien. He was the warm-up comedian for The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien and continued in the same capacity on O’Brien’s TBS talker. Additionally, he has a companion web series, The Pardo Patrol, featuring backstage interviews with Conan celebrity guests. Pardo, repped by Omnipop and attorney Lev Ginsburg, has hosted the Never Not Funny podcast since 2006. He and the Never Not Funny crew also hold an annual fundraiser to raise money for Smile Train, on which O’Brien has been a celebrity guest.
Conan O’Brien will devote most of his TBS show Tuesday to guest Mel Brooks, who will talk about close friend Sid Caesar, who died this week at age 91. Brooks famously worked with Caesar on historically significant TV programs including NBC’s comedy series Your Show Of Shows, which aired in the early ’50s and boasted a writing staff that included Brooks, Neil Simon and Carl Reiner, among others. Conan boasts the youngest-skewing audience of the late-night talkers. Back in the fall of 2013, O’Brien did a Serious Jibber Jabber with Brooks about the latter’s long career in film and TV. Watch here:
EXCLUSIVE: Marlon Wayans and FunnyOrDie.com co-founder Randy Adams have officially unveiled WhatTheFunny.com, an urban-skewing comedy site that now sports more than 1 million unique visitors since a November soft launch. Wayans and Adams’ Sunset Gower-based WTF Studios is behind the venture, which already has more than a dozen original series and 160 episodes of original content in development.
The site and multi-platform strategy that eventually will include Smart TV access is a departure from the usual YouTube channel route, though several YouTube hitmakers are involved in the content, joining Wayans and established Hollywood pals like Damon Wayans Jr and Omar Epps. (Even NFL bad boy Terrell Owens was a good sport and pitched in, starring in a fake Bud Light commercial.) “YouTube is a great way for emerging artists to garner an audience, but a very difficult place to build a sustainable business,” Adams said. “We are helping YouTube artists actually make money by sharing higher advertising revenue with them and giving them and off-YouTube destination for their content.”
TBS has given a pilot order to Your Family Or Mine, a multi-camera comedy from veteran comedy showrunner Greg Malins, Sony Pictures TV and Jamie Tarses’ studio-based Fanfare. The project, originally set up at ABC during the 2012-13 development season as a single-cam, is based on hit Israeli comedy series Your Family Or Mine? from leading Israeli broadcaster Keshet. Written by Friends and How I Met Your Mother alum Malins, the adaptation centers on Oliver and Kelli who are living proof of the adage “When you marry someone, you don’t just marry them, you marry their whole family.” It is a family comedy with an unusual structure — each episode focuses on a different side of the family: one week featuring the couple dealing with Kelli’s family, the next spent with Oliver’s. Your Family Or Mine?, created by Rubi Duanias, Yaniv Polishuk and produced by Teddy Prods., aired 50 episodes and ranked as the No.1 comedy in Israel. (Watch an English-language trailer below). Malins is executive producing with Tarses, Duanias & Polishuk, Keshet’s Avi Nir & Ran Telem and Teddy’s Tamira Yardeni. Fanfare/Sony and Malins, who has an overall deal at Sony, already are in business with TBS with comedy series Men at Work and Ground Floor, respectively. Tarses’ Fanfare also has two broadcast comedy pilots, Marry Me and Cuz-Bros.
Art Directors Guild Awards: ‘Her’, ‘Gravity’, ‘The Great Gatsby’ Win Top Film Prizes; HBO Cleans Up On TV Side; Martin Scorsese Honored
Her, Gravity and The Great Gatsby were the big winners on the film side at tonight’s ADG Awards at the Beverly Hilton. “I didn’t know if we were making a fantasy or a period film in the future,” Her production designer K.K. Barrett in accepting the award. “Spike Jonze told me, ‘Who are we to question what anybody else feels is real.’” Looking around the room, I believe in all your realities.”
Related: WGA Awards: ‘Captain Phillips’ & ‘Her’ Win Top Film Awards
Said production designer Andy Nicholson from the podium: “Gravity was an incredibly long and tough journey for my crew. None of this would’ve been possible without the artistic vision of Alfonso Cuaron.”
Martin Scorsese scored points in the room as he accepted the guild’s prestigious Cinematic Imagery Award, presented by his Wolf Of Wall Street stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. “How does one even separate cinema from PD? You can’t,” he said. “We have images in our mind, pictures in our head, but yours are the ones I look to to get those images on the screen. You’ve never let me down. This [award] is for you.”
HBO cleaned up on the TV side, with Game Of Thrones, Behind The Candelabra and Veep all picking up trophies during the 18th annual Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Awards. The show was hosted by Owen Benjamin, a comic and regular on the TBS comedy Sullivan & Son.
Here is the complete list of winners. Read on for the recap of our live blog.
Jere Burns (Justified) in in final negotiations and Andrée Vermeulen (CollegeHumor Originals) is set to co-star opposite Rashida Jones in TBS‘ single-camera comedy pilot Tribeca, directed by Steve Carell. Co-written by Carell and his wife, Nancy Carell, Tribeca is a satirical look at a police procedural anchored by Angie Tribeca (Jones), an outspoken 10-year veteran of the LAPD’s elite RHCU (Really Heinous Crimes Unit). The project explores an eccentric but brilliant group of people who investigate crime, reveal way too much personal information, and refuse to rest until justice has been served…sort of.
Former ABC Studios head Barry Jossen has been tapped for another top studio executive job. The veteran executive/producer has been named EVP for recently formed A+E Studios, the in-house production arm of A+E Networks. He will be based in the company’s Los Angeles offices, reporting to A+E Networks’ Bob DeBitetto, President of Brand Strategy, Business Development and A+E Studios.
In his role, Jossen will oversee the building of A+E Studios’ scripted programming operations, managing all areas, including development and and production, under DeBitetto’s supervision. “Barry’s unparalleled reputation, expertise and track record will be instrumental to the rapid growth of A+E Studios and to the achievement of its business and creative mission,” said DeBitetto. DeBitetto and A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc reached out to Jossen shortly after his abrupt exit from ABC Studios last summer. The three had an existing relationship — under Jossen, ABC Studios took over production for drama pilot Occult at A&E, then run by DeBitetto. Jossen also oversaw ABC Studios’ long-running drama series for Lifetime Army Wives and spearheaded the sale of Devious Maids to the female-centered cable network overseen by Dubuc. Jossen continued conversations with Dubuc and DeBitetto over the past six months, while working as a ABC Studios-based producer, resulting in his appointment to run A+E Studios. At ABC Studios, producer of such series as Grey’s Anatomy and …
TBS has ordered eight episodes of Funniest Wins (working title), a new competition series featuring Marlon Wayans that focuses on a search for the funniest comedian out there. The goal — make people laugh or go home. Each week, Wayans and a rotating crew of guests will guide competitors in learning the ins and outs of a particular comedy style. They will then put what they’ve learned to the test with one comic sent packing at the end of each round. Funniest Wins is being produced for TBS by Workaholic/Marlon and Eyeworks USA. Wayans is exec producing. A summer launch is planned.