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TCA: NBC Drama Series Showrunners Tell TV Critics How It’s Done

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 6:09pm PDT

TCA: NBC Drama Series Showrunners Tell TV Critics How It’s DoneAt the end of its day at Summer TV Press Tour 2014, NBC brought out four of the showrunners on returning drama series to take questions. Matt Olmstead (Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D.) said that when he was working on a cable program, “I missed doing 22 [episodes],” while John Eisendrath (The Blacklist) said, “Having never done a 12-episode order, I’m totally jealous.”

Eisendrath was set up to vent about the fact that neither The Blacklist nor its star James Spader scored Drama Series Emmy noms on Thursday. He said he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t disappointed. “I think he’s completely deserving of it. The competition is fierce, that’s the reality — TV is thriving, there’s that much competition. I was disapointed, but I understand how it happened and what happened. We have to continue to do the best shows we can and hope we’re on long enough for people to reconsider,” he concluded, diplomatically.

All the showrunners were asked a certain number of beauty-pageant questions, like ‘what qualities are necessary in a showrunner?’ Jason Katims (Parenthood, About A  Boy) went with “embrace the collaborative nature of making a television show”; Eisendrath went with “not to panic..and be open to new ideas.” Asked what was the most difficult part of the job, Olmstead said, “Trying to figure out what … Read More »

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NBC Renews ‘About A Boy’ For Second Season

By | Friday May 9, 2014 @ 10:48am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

About a Boy ParenthoodNo surprise here — NBC has renewed midseason comedy About A Boy for a second season. The romantic comedy, from Jason Katims, has done solid business on Tuesdays behind The Voice, averaging a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers in most current ratings. What’s more, after the inevitable post-premiere slide, the show has held ground in the ratings, even posting a few upticks. About A Boy, based on Nick Hornby’s book and the movie with Hugh Grant, stars David Walton and Minnie Driver. Katims exec produces with Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Liza Chasin, Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal for Universal TV, Working Title Films, True Jack Prods. and Tribeca Prods. No word yet on About A Boy‘s Tuesday companion, Growing Up Fisher, whose renewal has not been as certain as About A Boy‘s.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘The Voice’ & ‘Glee’ Dip, ‘Supernatural’ Surges, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘About A Boy’ Steady

shakira april 22There were spies on ABC but it was truly show time on Fox and NBC last night. With its first live elimination show of Season 6, last night’s The Voice (2.7/9) rolled out a sizzling performance from mentor Shakira as well as cutting two contestants. Coming off its lowest Monday result ever and with the return of the Twitter instant save for a second season, the singing competition show was down 10% from last Tuesday. That’s a new low for the show in terms of regular episodes. Still, The Voice was the top-rated and most watched show of the night with 10.95 million watching. While NBC likely doesn’t want those standings to change, it might see a change in The Voice’s 18-49 rating later in the day when the final numbers come in – the show has commonly seen an adjustment upward from the preliminaries. With its 9:01 PM Voice spillover start, freshman About A Boy (1.9/6) saw a 6% bop up from last week in preliminary ratings. Fellow newbie Growing Up Fisher (1.5/4) was even with last week’s low.  Getting a 1.8/5 among the 18-49s, NBC was No. 1 last night with an all-encore CBS coming in tops in total viewers with 9.41 million watching. CBS’ NCIS repeat was the second-most-watched show of Tuesday’s primetime after The Voice with an audience of 10.42 million.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘About A Boy’ Inch Up, CBS Dramas Slip, ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ Season Debut Soft

By | Wednesday April 16, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 2:30 PM: A ton of adjustments: The Voice, NCIS, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., New Girl, Person Of Interest and The Originals were each adjusted up a tenth among adults 18-49 while About A Boy, Growing Up Fisher and Supernatural were adjusted down a tenth.

PREVIOUS: ABC’s scheduling stunt with a Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. block paid off. Airing at 9 PM with last week’s episode as a lead-in, the comic book series last night drew a 2.0 in adults 18-49, up 18% from its fast national last week and up 5% from the final to tie a five-week high. It is currently running behind CBS’ NCIS: LA (2.1) in the hour, but the ABC drama tends to get an upward adjustment in the finals, so it will likely end up in a tie or could even pull ahead.

celebritywifeswapIf you were scratching your head over the pairing of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Celebrity Wife Swap and banishing the family reality show to 10 PM, you were not alone. In its season premiere in the challenging for ABC Wednesday 10 PM slot, the unscripted series managed a 1.0, down a steep 58% from the last season premiere in the far more family-viewing-inducing 8 PM hour to mark the lowest premiere for the Wife Swap franchise. Still, underscoring ABC’s nightly struggles in the hour, that was a seven-week high for the network in the time period. Read More »

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NBCU Press Day: Comedy Stars Not Fans Of Multi-Cam, Question ‘Shameless’ Decision To Compete For Emmy As Comedy

Mindy KalingIt is the golden age of comedy now, Mindy Kaling told reporters at NBCU Press Day, because whereas once you used to have to wait 2 1/2 years for Larry David to get around to writing another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, “now there’s always something happening” in comedy on the TV landscape. She was joined by stars of other Universal TV comedies airing on NBC and elsewhere.

Related: Mindy Kaling Exits UTA

andy-sandbergJenna Elfman is a big fan of single cam comedies, like her new Growing Up Fisher, because “with the Internet … audiences are more savvy, and with a single camera you can home in on nuance more than with multi-cam and capture the smarter side of the story.”

Related: NBC Press Day: Bill Lawrence Talks ‘Undateable’

Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg chimed in: “I was on SNL, which was live, but everything I did was pre-taped, so I was already headed in that direction. Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott said there a “weird thing” about doing comedy on a multi-cam. “If you don’t say a joke with a particular inflection, the laughs just don’t occur. I did very badly in that format.” But he acknowledged, “Shows like Cheers were able to make it work.” Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘About A Boy’, ‘The Goldbergs’ Inch Up, ‘Glee’s 100th Gains, CW Dramas Slip

By | Wednesday March 19, 2014 @ 10:06am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC-about-a-boyEncouraging upticks for NBC and ABC’s Tuesday comedies as renewal deadlines near. Following The Voice (3.5 in adults 18-49, up a tenth from last week’s fast national), About A Boy (2.2) was up a tenth from last week’s fast national (the new comedy usually gets adjusted down in the finals because of a Voice overrun.) That is a promising Week 3 uptick following the customary second-week drop last Tuesday. Growing Up Fisher (1.8) is running a tenth ahead of its final last week, even with the fast national. Chicago Fire (1.9) was flat. NBC won the night in 18-49, its 18th Tuesday victory this season.

The Goldbergs, already the closest thing to a sure thing for a freshman comedy renewal at ABC, drew a 1.6 rating in 18-49, up a tenth from last week, and again proved that Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not a compatible lead-in. Goldbergs scored a higher rating with the softly rated Marvel: Assembling The Universe special (1.4) as a lead-in vs. a S.H.I.E.L.D. original last Tuesday (2.1). Fellow ABC freshman comedy Trophy Wife (1.0) also perked up a tenth. But there was no reprieve for ABC’s dismally rated midseason drama Mind Games (0.7), which dropped 13%. (0.7 actually is not a series low for the show — that would be a 0.6). Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘Mind Games’ Rise, ‘About A Boy’ & ‘The Voice’ Fall, ‘Glee’ Ties Low

By | Wednesday March 12, 2014 @ 3:02pm PDT

JAIMIE ALEXANDER, CLARK GREGGUPDATE, 3:02 PM: Looks like Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.  had an even better Tuesday than preliminary fast nationals first indicated. The superspy agency series drew a 2.1/7 among adults 18-49 in final fast nationals. That’s a rise of a tenth from earlier. The only other change on ABC was newbie Mind Games who slipped a tenth to 0.8/3. Over on NBC,  The Voice  was adjusted up a 3% to 3.5/12, which is still a season low among the key demo for the singing competition. Freshmen comedies About A Boy and Growing Up Fisher both dropped a tenth from their preliminary fast nationals to 2.0/6 and 1.7/5. Chicago Fire also went down a tenth to 1.9/6

PREVIOUS, 9:20 AM: It wasn’t Captain America, Iron Man or Thor, but the bigger Marvel universe reared its superpowered head on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. last night. Asgardian Lady Sif from the Thor pics, played by Jaime Alexander, showed up to work with Coulson and the team against villainess Lorelei, who appeared on Earth last week to get up to no good. These kind of Marvel properties crossovers are what the company has come to excel at on the big screen and, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier opening soon, has long been many a fanboy’s dream for the freshman ABC TV show. Iit certainly gave S.H.I.E.L.D. a much-needed lift: Last night’s show was up 11% in adults 18-49 from the series low the ratings roller-coastering S.H.I.E.L.D. hit last week.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Mind Games’ Dives In Week 2, ‘About A Boy’ OK, ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & CBS Dramas Log New Lows

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 2:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 2:30 PM: As expected, NBC’s The Voice was adjusted up a tenth to a 4.1 in 18-49 and About A Boy was adjusted down a tenth to a 2.5. Also slipping down a tenth were NBC’s Growing Up Fisher (1.9) and ABC’s The Goldbergs (1.5), while NCIS (2.5) and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.8) ticked up a tenth. Those are still season and series lows for the CBS and ABC dramas, respectively.

PREVIOUS 9:50 AM: Remember ABC’s ill fated miniseries The Assets, which was yanked after mind-gamestwo episodes when it posted a dismal 0.6 rating in adults 18-49? Well, there is a new candidate for a quick dismissal in ABC’s midseason drama Mind Games, which also pulled in a 0.6 in its second airing, down a whopping 45% from its underwhelming premiere last week. It tied the second (and last) episode of The Assets and the last airing of another ABC midseason misfire, drama Killer Women, as the lowest rated original hourlong telecast on the Big 4 this season and likely ever. There was more bad news for ABC at 8 PM, where Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned from a month-long hiatus to a series low of 1.7 in 18-49, down 23% from its last original and down 19% from the series’ previous low. Freshman comedy Trophy Wife (0.8) at 9:30 PM also fell to a series low in its return, down 11%. The bright spot for ABC was The Goldbergs at 9 PM (1.6), which was even with its last original on February 4 and once again edged Fox’s New Girl (1.5).
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TCA: ‘About A Boy,’ ‘Parenthood’ To Share TV Universe At Crossover-Happy NBC

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 4:20pm PST

About a Boy ParenthoodLooks like NBC‘s got crossover fever, not just in the crime drama department but in its comedy slate. A few hours after Chicago PD creator Dick Wolf teased that show’s upcoming crossovers with Chicago Fire and Law & Order: SVU, About A Boy EP Jason Katims revealed today at TCA that the new half-hour comedy does indeed exist in the same TV universe as his other San Francisco-set show, Parenthood. The small screen adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name premieres February 21 before settling into its Tuesday 9 PM slot and stars New Girl‘s David Walton as Will, a bachelor man-child who befriends the 11-year-old misfit kid next door (Benjamin Stockham) and his single mother Fiona (Minnie Driver). Walton popped up briefly this week on Parenthood to set up the bridge between the shows. “It turns out Will also has his own poker game so Dax Shepard will be making an appearance as Crosby Braverman on About A Boy,” said Katims.

Related: NBC’s ‘Chicago PD’, ‘Chicago Fire’ & ‘Law & Order: SVU’ To Crossover Through Season

The pilot episode pretty much covers the events of Hornby’s book and subsequent film adaptation starring Hugh Grant, right down to Marcus’s performance at the school talent show (substituting One Direction for Roberta Flack). Katims … Read More »

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NBC Sets Post- Olympics Premiere Plans; Comedies To Get Previews During Games

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 12:53pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

About A Boy - Season PilotNBC has set its post-Winter Olympics scheduling plans, setting premiere dates for new comedies About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher, dramas Believe and Crisis and unscripted series American Dream Builders. Like it did with the 2012 summer Olympics (Who can forget the interruption in the closing ceremony for Animal Practice), NBC will preview the two comedies during the games. About A Boy, based on the best-selling Nick Hornby novel, will preview on Feb. 21 at 10:30 PM, following NBC’s Olympics coverage, and Growing Up Fisher will be sneaked on Feb. 23 at 10:30 PM, following the Closing Ceremonies. Like it did with Go On and The New Normal in fall 2012, About A Boy and Growing Up Fisher will be paired in a Tuesday 9 PM block following The Voice starting Feb. 25.

High concept new drama Believe, from J.J. Abrams and Gravity’s Alfonso Cuarón, who also directed the pilot, will get a special preview Monday, March 10 at 10 PM following The Voice before launching in its regular Sunday 9 PM slot on March 16. It will be part of NBC’s all-new Sunday night that also will include new hostage drama Crisis at 10 PM, beginning on March 16 and the Nate Berkus-hosted reality competition series American Dream Builders, which will premiere on March 23 at 8 PM.

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Annie Mumolo Joins NBC’s ‘About A Boy’; Diane Neal Boards Starz’s ‘Power’

By | Tuesday December 17, 2013 @ 2:05pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

mumoloActress/writer Annie Mumolo, who co-wrote the 2011 blockbuster comedy Bridesmaids with Kristen Wiig, has joined NBC‘s midseason comedy series About A Boy in a major recurring role. The single-camera comedy, written by Jason Katims based on the Nick Hornby book, follows the relationship between Will (David Walton), a bachelor man-child, and the young boy who moves in next door with his kooky single mother, Fiona (Minnie Driver). Mumolo will play Laurie, the wife of Will’s best friend Andy (Al Madrigal). The role was played in the pilot by Anjelah Johnson. Mumolo toplined ABC’s comedy pilot Middle Age Rage last season. Read More »

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Jamie Denbo & John Ross Bowie Join NBC’s ‘About A Boy’ As Recurring

By | Friday December 6, 2013 @ 11:48am PST
Nellie Andreeva

denbobowieReal-life married couple John Ross Bowie and Jamie Denbo are set to play one on TV. The husband-and-wife duo has been tapped for a multi-episode arc on NBC‘s new comedy series About A Boy, based on Nick Hornby’s feature. The show centers on bachelor Will (David Walton) and his new neighbors, needy single mom Fiona (Minnie Driver) and her 11-year-old son. Bowie and Denbo will play a married couple and business partners in an organic toy company, who hire Fiona to work with them. Denbo, a standout in the hit Melissa McCarthy-Sandra Bullock feature comedy The Heat, along with Jessica Chaffin, are getting a spinoff movie, with Paul Feig and Peter Chernin producing for Fox. Read More »

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NBC New Series Pickups: Sean Hayes, DJ Nash, ‘Crisis’, ‘About A Boy’, ‘Believe’

By | Thursday May 9, 2013 @ 10:13am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

2ND UPDATE: Joining the group of newly picked up NBC series is DJ Nash comedy The Family Guide. This is it for NBC’s first batch of new series pickups. Waiting word are several top contenders, including Sony’s drama Blacklist and comedy Welcome To The Family.

Related: ‘Whitney’ & ’1600 Penn’ Cancelled, ‘Parks & Rec’ Renewed

UPDATE, 10:15 AM: Also picked up are the Sean Hayes/Victor Fresco comedy, titled Sean Saves The World, and J.J. Abrams’ drama Believe. That means two series each on NBC next season for Hayes/Hazy Mills and Abrams/Bad Robot, who also executive produce the recently renewed Grimm and Revolution, respectively.

PREVIOUS, 10:13 AM: After cleaning up house yesterday, passing on seven pilots, NBC just started handing out their new series orders. Rand Ravich’s drama Crisis and Jason Katims’ comedy About A Boy were among the first to get the happy call. Like Hayes and Abrams, Katims too will be pulling double duty on NBC next season as his Parenthood also has been renewed. About A Boy stars the little boy from 1600 Penn, so in case anyone was wondering, that series is dead. NBC, of course also has the Michael J. Fox comedy series with a 22-episode order. I’ll keep updating with pickup information as it comes in.

Related: Full Primetime Pilot Panic Listings

Here are credits and descriptions for NBC’s newly picked-up series: Read More »

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Sarah Bolger Joins ‘Mixology’, ‘Returned’ Adds Mark Hildreth, Leslie Bibb In ‘Boy’

By | Thursday March 7, 2013 @ 10:43am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Sarah BolgerSarah Bolger extending her relationship with ABC with a lead role in the network’s single-camera comedy Mixology, directed by Larry Charles from a script by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. Set in the world of a sexy Manhattan bar, Mixology, from ABC Studios, chronicles the exploits of singles, five guys and five girls, in search of love — all over the course of one night. Bolger will play one of them, Janey, Jessica’s (Alexis Carra) sweet, naive, little sister from New Jersey. Tonight is her big night in the city and she is woefully unprepared for the aggressive Manhattan dating scene. CAA-repped Bolger recurs on ABC/ABC Studios’ Once Upon A Time as Princess Aurora last season starred in their Shonda Rhimes-produced pilot Gilded Lilys. The Tudors alumna  toplines two indies that are yet to come out, Crush and Kiss Me.

Mark Hildreth has joined another ABC/ABC Studios pilot, drama The Returned, from Brillstein Entertainment, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and ABC Studios. Written by Aaron Zelman and directed by Charles McDougall, the project chronicles how the lives of the people in Arcadia are forever changed when their deceased loved ones return. Hildreth, repped by Untitled and SMS, will play Preacher Tom Hild, the local minister, who starts to question his beliefs when the dead start coming back. Read More »

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NBC’s Summer Series ‘Camp’ Finds Lead, Network’s Pilot ‘About A Boy’ Adds Actress

By | Saturday February 23, 2013 @ 12:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

In his US series debut, young Australian actor Tom Green has been cast as a lead in the NBC 10-episode summer series Camp, from creators Liz Heldens and Peter Elkoff, BermanBraun and Universal TV. In the tradition of Meatballs and Dazed And Confused, Little Hawk Family Camp is a wicked slice of lake-side heaven. In the one-hour dramedy, parents decompress with gin while teenagers make gleeful mischief and fall in and out of love. Green, repped by WME, Luber Roklin & Australia’s RGM, plays young male lead Kip, an adorable loner who likes indie rock and documentary films and hates people. In Australia, Green starred on drama series Dance Academy, which was carried in the US by TeenNick.

Anjelah N. Johnson has been cast in About A Boy, NBC‘s single-camera pilot based on the Nick Hornby book and the 2002 movie. Written by Jason Katims, and directed by Revolution’s Jon Favreau, About A Boy follows the relationship between Will (David Walton), a bachelor man-child who is going through a revolving door of women, and the young boy who moves in next door with his kooky single mother, Fiona (Minnie Driver). Johnson, repped by Gersh and Generate, will play Laurie, the well-meaning but often overbearing wife of Will’s best friend and mother of 3 who is frustrated by Will’s childishness. She previously co-starred in another … Read More »

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Minnie Driver To Co-Star In NBC Comedy Pilot ‘About A Boy’

By | Thursday February 14, 2013 @ 4:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Minnie Driver is set as the female lead opposite David Walton in About A Boy, NBC‘s single-camera pilot based on the Nick Hornby book and the 2002 movie. Written by Friday Night Lights and Parenthood executive producer Jason Katims, and directed by Revolution’s Jon Favreau, About A Boy follows the relationship between Will (Walton), a bachelor man-child who is going through a revolving door of women, and the young boy who moves in next door with his kooky single mother, Fiona (Driver). The role was played by Toni Collette in the movie. This marks the second NBC comedy pilot for Driver, repped by CAA and Untitled, who starred in Lady Friends last year.  Michelle Lee serves as producer on About A Boy, from Katims’ True Jack Prods, Universal TV, Working Title and Tribeca Prods.

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David Walton To Star In NBC Comedy Pilot ‘About A Boy’

By | Thursday February 7, 2013 @ 2:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

David Walton is set as the lead in About A Boy, NBC‘s single-camera pilot based on the Nick Hornby book and the 2002 movie. Written by from Friday Night Lights and Parenthood executive producer Jason Katims, and directed by Revolution’s Jon Favreau, About A Boy follows the relationship between a bachelor man-child (Walton) and the young boy who moves in next door with his kooky single mother. Michelle Lee, serves as producer on the pilot, from Katims’ True Jack Prods, Universal TV, Working Title and Tribeca Prods. Walton was among the most sought-after comedy actors this season, fielding multiple offers before settling on the role played by Hugh Grant in the 2002 movie. This marks his return to NBC where he starred opposite Amanda Peet in Bent last season. (He also toplined the network’s underrated comedy Perfect Couples.) Earlier this season, Walton was attached to star in a single-camera comedy project by Bent creator Tad Quill which was set up at CBS with a put pilot commitment. The project’s premise somewhat echoes that of About A Boy — it centered on a bachelor firefighter (Walton) who has to make the ultimate sacrifice of taking care of someone other than himself when a 9-year-old girl enters his life. Walton, who has been recurring on Fox’s New Girl, is with Gersh and Special Artists Agency.

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Jon Favreau To Direct Jason Katims’ NBC Comedy Pilot ‘About A Boy’

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 3:48pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Hot off directing the pilot for the highest-rated new fall series, drama Revolution, Jon Favreau is set to direct another NBC pilot, comedy About A Boy. The single-camera comedy, from Friday Night Lights and Parenthood executive producer Jason Katims, is based on the Nick Hornby book and the 2002 movie. Written and executive produced by Emmy-winner Katims, About A Boy follows the relationship between a bachelor man-child and the young boy who moves in next door with his kooky single mother. Katims’ head of development, Michelle Lee, serves as producer on the pilot, which is from Katims’ True Jack Prods; Universal TV; and Working Title and Tribeca Prods, the companies that produced the Hugh Grant-starring feature. Favreau serves as co-executive producer on the JJ Abrams/Eric Kripke NBC drama Revolution. On the feature side, the Iron Man director recently executive produced The Avengers and is now exec producing the upcoming Iron Man 3.

Related: Jason Katims’ ‘About A Boy’ Comedy Get Pilot Order At NBC

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