Popular YouTube personality Shane Dawson is bringing his brand to television. NBC has put in development Losin’ It, a single-camera comedy from Dawson, The Big C creator Darlene Hunt and producer Will Gluck. The workplace comedy, based on Dawson’s real-life experiences, is set at a suburban weight loss center franchise that gets thrown into upheaval when its most successful client decides to share his inspiration by becoming a consultant there, only to then find himself promoted to manager by the end of his first day. Hunt will write from a story she co-penned with Dawson and his producing partner Lauren Schnipper. Hunt, Dawson, Gluck and Richie Schwartz executive produce, with Schnipper producing. The project hails from Sony TV, where Gluck’s Olive Bridge and Hunt are under deals. 25-year-old Dawson, one of YouTube’s most popular stars, with over 9 million subscribers across three channels, was working at weight-loss company Jenny Craig, along with his mother and brother, when he launched his first YouTube channel in 2008. But soon thereafter he uploaded a pole-dancing video shot in the office and immediately was fired, along with his mother, brother and several other co-workers who appeared in the video. Dawson also has a successful personal weight loss story, having shed 150 pounds after a rough childhood marked by domestic abuse and school bullying. (Watch Dawson’s latest music parody after the jump.)
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has hit the pause button on midseason comedy series Save Me starring Anne Heche after two episodes for a major behind-the-scenes changeover. Alexa Junge, who joined the project after the pilot as executive producer/showrunner, is out. Production on the series has been put on hold while a new showrunner is put in place. I hear talks are underway with The Big C creator/executive producer Darlene Hunt to take over the reins of the show, produced by Sony TV and Original Film. The single-camera comedy, created by John Scott Shepherd, stars Heche as a woman who lets herself — and her marriage — go until she undergoes an “awakening” that transforms her spiritually and physically into a desirable and outspoken woman who just might be channeling god.
Save Me has not been scheduled, allowing NBC to take time and re-examine the series’ creative direction. The project has been a favorite of the network’s brass from the get-go, and I hear they are very invested in the show. Save Me was originally developed by NBC’s head of comedy Tal Rabinowitz while she was SVP comedy at Sony TV. It was initially set up at Showtime just as current NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt was leaving the pay cable network in 2010. Save Me was the second pilot greenlighted by NBC last season, only behind comedy Go On.