Fox’s new Surviving Jack, about a dad and his relationship with his son in the ’90s, is based on Justin Halpern’s autobiographical book, I Suck At Girls. Halperin also created CBS’ comedy $h*! My Dad Says — also about his relationship with his father — based on his book that was, in turn, based on his Twitter feed. TV critics attending a Q&A about Jack at TCA this afternoon noted the similarity between the two comedies and asked what went wrong with the CBS one. “It was really bad,” Halpern said. “You’re aware you created that show,” joked Bill Lawrence, who exec produces Jack with Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Jeff Ingold. “Yes, and I put the blame squarely on Patrick,” Halpern joked. The CBS sitcom, he said, was “very much the wrong tone.” The dad character, he said, did not live well in a multi-cam sitcom world where it’s all about setup and punch lines. On a single cam, “the comedy comes more organically,” he said.
Related: TCA: Cast Losing Sleep Over Fox’s ‘The Following’
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EXCLUSIVE: NBC has put in development a multi-camera comedy produced by Bill Lawrence. Written by Dan Lagana, co-creator of the MTV series Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous, Stand-Up Guy centers on … Read More »
Another newly picked up comedy series is recasting its female lead. Alex Kapp Horner is leaving the Bill Lawrence-produced half-hour Fox comedy Surviving Jack. Based on Justin Halpern’s book I Suck At … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: John C. McGinley, who played the acerbic Dr. Cox on Scrubs, is set to play a boss on Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence‘s new workplace comedy, multi-camera comedy pilot Ground Floor at TBS. Written by Lawrence and Greg Malins and directed by Gail Mancuso, Ground Floor is set in the world of corporate America and centers on a 29-year-old successful alpha male who crosses paths with his company’s support staff, a tight-knit group of truly happy and care-free people. McGinley will play the boss, Mr. Mansfield. Lawrence and Malins, who originally wrote Ground Floor for CBS last year, didn’t create the character with McGinley in mind but liked him a lot for the role, and so did TBS. “I’d kill to work with John on anything,” Lawrence said. Read More »
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Cougar Town co-creator and executive producer Bill Lawrence kicked off the winter TCA press tour this morning by offering up some wisecracks about ABC, the former home of his comedy that has since found a new home at TBS. Lawrence thanked TBS chief Michael Wright (who was onstage as part of the network’s panel) for keeping a show alive that Lawrence “has been trying to kill for years.” He also joked about his feelings regarding ABC’s promotion of Cougar Town by saying that now that the show has moved, “I’m actually seeing ads” for the series. Later in the session, Lawrence quipped that the series’ crew still loves ABC and Disney: “They are still the producers and owners of the show, and I think they are doing a great job.”
During the opening panel, Lawrence and new executive producer Ric Swartzlander concentrated on assuring the press that while the series has moved, it will remain the same. “Transition-wise it was easy because Michael is actually a fan of the show unless he is a really a good liar.… He said I just want you do deliver the same show…other than that there is a little nudity, that’s the only thing. We’ve shifted from Brian Van Holt not wearing his shirt all the time to Josh Hopkins not wearing his shirt all the time.” Both exec producers said TBS wanted to buy Cougar Town as-is, rather than revamp it. “A lot of shows have had weird life spans,” Lawrence said. He added, “Unless you are lucky enough to be a hit today, our goal in network TV and off-network TV is simply to stay alive.” Read More »
NBC has bought Undateable, a buddy comedy from Bill Lawrence and Adam Sztykiel (Due Date, Made Of Honor). The multi-camera project, which has received a script commitment with penalty, is based on the book Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won’t Be Dating Or Having Sex, by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle. Written by Sztykiel with Lawrence supervising, it is described as a bromantic comedy about two very different guys who are bonded by their common inability to attract women. Sztykiel and Lawrence will executive produce with Jeff Ingold for Warner Bros TV and Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer.
The book lists things that would render men undateable, rating them by level of offense. The list includes such no-nos as wearing socks with sandals, pleated shorts or soul patches or jogging in place at stoplights. Ingold found the book, which was optioned by Warner Bros TV, and Sztykiel was brought in to write the script. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Ali In Wonderland, a comedy from Bill Lawrence, Ali Wentworth and Liz Tuccillo, has landed at NBC with a put pilot commitment. Based on Wentworth’s memoir published earlier this year, the single-camera project is described as part fish-out-of-water, part love story about an impulsive, smart-mouthed young woman who is forced to move back to Washington, D.C. — and her domineering mother — for her husband’s new high-powered job. Comedic actress-writer Wentworth and Sex And The City alumna Tuccillo will co-write the script, with Lawrence supervising. Warner Bros TV is producing with Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer banner. Lawrence, Wentworth, Tuccillo and Doozer’s Jeff Ingold will executive produce. Read More »
In a very competitive situation with all major networks bidding, I Suck At Girls, a single-camera comedy from Bill Lawrence and Warner Bros. TV, has landed at Fox with a pilot production commitment.
It is based on Justin Halpern’s book I … Read More »
“We want the very good and the bad.” That’s what American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said this afternoon is the core of the competition show. “It’s the bland people in the middle we want to get rid … Read More »
No surprise here — as we reported last year when Cougar Town co-creator/executive producer Bill Lawrence moved from ABC Studios to Warner Bros. TV with a rich new overall deal, the agreement allowed him to continue as showrunner on … Read More »
Robbie Amell (True Jackson, VP) has landed the second lead opposite Colin Ferguson in Bill Lawrence’s Fox pilot Like Father. The project, from Warner Bros. TV, is inspired by Lawrence’s real-life experience and centers on a father-son relationship. It revolves … Read More »
After a six-year stint as the lead of Syfy’s departing drama series Eureka, Colin Ferguson is switching to comedy as the lead in Bill Lawrence’s Fox pilot Like Father. The project, from Warner … Read More »
Fox has given the green light to Like Father, a single-camera family comedy written, directed and executive produced by Scrubs creator and Cougar Town co-creator Bill Lawrence. Inspired by Lawrence’s real-life experiences, it centers on a father-son relationship. This marks … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Bill Lawrence has sold a second comedy project this season, landing a second straight pilot production commitment. Fox has nabbed the single-camera comedy, which Lawrence will write, direct and executive produce. Inspired by Lawrence’s real-life experiences, it centers on … Read More »