EXCLUSIVE: After a fierce bidding war between NBC and ABC followed by a lengthy negotiation, NBC has nabbed a mocumentary-style comedy from Mastermind writers Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons, Sony Pictures TV and Will Gluck’s Sony-based production company. The project, which received interest from all four major broadcast networks, has been given a pilot production commitment. The untitled project, previously known as The Yard, presents the life lessons of elementary school as seen through the lens of an Office-like documentary. The similarity in style between The Yard and NBC’s The Office made NBC a natural choice for the project from the get-go. This is the second mega deal for Sony TV this week. The studios also scored a script with penalty commitment from Fox for a highly sought-after 1980s comedy from Breaking In co-creator Adam F. Goldberg while also securing the 13-episode second-season pickup of the previously canceled Breaking In.
EXCLUSIVE: Comedies continue to be white-hot this pitch season. The latest to spark major bidding wars are an 1980s half-hour from Breaking In co-creator Adam F. Goldberg and a mocumentary-style comedy from Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons, co-writers of DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind. Both projects hail from Sony TV, which has been very aggressive at the onset of this development season, as well as two of the studio’s highest-profile pods: Happy Madison (the Goldberg project) and Will Gluck’s company (the Schoolcraft/Simons project), which in May signed a two-year development and production deal with Sony for film and TV. Both comedies have received interest from all four major broadcast networks and will likely command series/production commitments. For the Gluck-produced comedy, I hear the field has been narrowed to ABC and NBC, while for the Goldberg project it is still wide open.
The Adam Goldberg project is described as an autobiographical show about growing up in the 1980s with a highly screwed up but loving family. It reunites the auspices of Fox’s cult favorite Breaking In, which also was co-produced by Happy Madison and Sony TV. Film and TV writer Goldberg, who has an overall deal at Sony TV, co-created with Seth Gordon Breaking In, which was canceled in May after a brief midseason run but remains in contention for a midseason berth on the network, something that may help Fox snatch Goldberg’s new project. The Gluck-produced The Yard presents the life lessons of elementary school as seen through the lens of an Office-like documentary.