CBS has given a pilot order to Cuz-Bros (form. Roommates), a multi-camera comedy from Happy Endings creator/exec producer David Caspe and former Happy Endings co-executive producer Erik Sommers. The project, from Happy Endings producer Sony TV and Jamie Tarses’ studio-based Fanfare, which co-produced the cult ABC comedy, was originally sold to CBS with penalty in a competitive situation. It will now become a co-production with CBS TV Studios. Written by Sommers and Caspe, Cuz-Bros centers on a successful, suave ladies man whose perfect life gets turned upside down when his mess of a cousin needs a place to stay. Sommers and Caspe exec produce with Tarses. This marks the second pilot order for Caspe this season; he also has romantic comedy pilot Marry Me for NBC/Sony TV starring Casey Wilson and Ken Marino. Sommers currently serves as co-executive producer on NBC/Sony TV’s Community.
The single-camera half-hour from Happy Endings creator David Caspe already had one of the biggest commitments for a comedy project this season, a big pilot production commitment at NBC that included a full license fee and series penalty. Now the network has given the Sony TV project — which has Seth Gordon set to direct and executive produce and Jamie Tarses to executive produce — a formal pilot green light. Said to be in the vein of Mad About You, Marry Me centers on a young couple who get engaged, something they quickly realize is harder than it looks. Caspe, who wrote the script and exec producing, as well as fellow exec producers Gordon and Tarses, are all under overall deals at Sony TV. For the past three seasons, Caspe served as showrunner on ABC’s underrated comedy Happy Endings, which ended its run in May. Marry Me reunites him with Tarses, who also exec produced Happy Endings through her Fanfare shingle. Last season, Gordon directed the pilot for Sony TV’s ABC comedy series The Goldbergs. This is NBC’s second comedy pilot order this season, joining the Kate Walsh starrer Bad Judge. Additionally, the Tina Fey/Robert Carlock half-hour starring Ellie Kemper received a straight-to-series pickup.
In a competitive situation, CBS has landed a comedy from Happy Endings creator David Caspe and Community co-executive producer Erik Sommers with penalty. It is one of two comedy projects sold by Sommers, along with an ABC half-hour executive produced by Will Gluck. Both are produced by Sony TV. CBS’ Roommates reunites Happy Endings creator Caspe with the series’ co-executive producer Sommers and producing entities Sony TV and studio-based Fanfare. Written by Sommers and Caspe, the project centers on a successful, suave ladies man whose perfect life gets turned upside down when a mess of a guy saves his life and then immediately cashes in on his IOU by asking for a place to stay. The two exec produce with Jamie Tarses. The ABC project, written by Sommers, is about a plucky young doctor who follows her dreams and starts working in the chaotic ER of an inner-city hospital, where she finds that the only people weirder than the patients are the doctors and nurses who treat them. UTA-repped Sommers is exec producing with Olive Bridge’s Gluck and Richie Schwartz. Caspe, repped by WME, Magnolia Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein, also has comedy Marry Me with Seth Gordon and Tarses at NBC with pilot production commitment. Gluck with UTA.
Relationship Comedy From David Caspe, Seth Gordon & Jamie Tarses Lands At NBC With Pilot Production Commitment
EXCLUSIVE: In what is believed to be the biggest commitment for a comedy project so far this development season, Marry Me, a single-camera half-hour from Happy Endings creator David Caspe, just landed at NBC. The Sony Pictures TV project — which has Seth Gordon, who exited Horrible Bosses 2 today, attached to direct and executive produce and Jamie Tarses to executive produce — sparked a bidding war when it was taken out two weeks ago. It ultimately commanded a pilot production commitment in a deal which I hear also includes a full license fee and series penalty. Last summer, NBC nabbed another Sony TV single-camera comedy project with a big commitment, giving a 22-episode order to The Michael J. Fox Show, one of four new Sony series on the NBC schedule next season along with fall drama The Blacklist, fall comedy Welcome To The Family and midseason drama The Night Shift.
EXCLUSIVE: David Caspe is staying firmly in the Sony Pictures TV fold. The creator/executive producer of the studio’s cult ABC comedy Happy Endings has closed a new two-year overall deal with the studio. For the past three seasons, Caspe served as showrunner on Happy Endings. Following the show’s recent cancellation by ABC, Sony TV has been exploring other possible homes, and while talks with USA didn’t pan out, the studio is still in conversations with others. In addition to his work on Happy Endings, Caspe helped set up the Showtime project Ball Street, which he co-wrote and will exec produce, as well as another project at Comedy Central, which he supervised and exec produced. Going into his new deal with Sony TV, Caspe has promoted Ian Durney, who had worked with him for the past few years, to creative executive, overseeing his development. On the feature side, Caspe, repped by WME, Magnolia Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein, is currently polishing the feature Ladies Night for Skydance, with Charlize Theron producing and starring and Fred Savage directing.
EXCLUSIVE: It’s been a happy beginning in television for comedy writer David Caspe, whose first TV pitch, Happy Endings, became a series that will premiere April 13 on ABC in the plum post-Modern Family slot. Now Caspe has signed his first TV overall deal, a two-year pact with Happy Endings producer Sony Pictures Television. Under the seven-figure deal, which begins in June, Caspe will continue as an executive producer on Happy Endings if it is picked up for a second season as well as develop new projects.
For Caspe, also a sought-after feature scribe, writing is a second career. A lifelong painter, he graduated in 2005 with a MFA from New York’s School of Visual Arts. Within a year, he held several solo exhibitions of large-format photography, video, sculpture and other mixed-media work. (At left, a photo of him at the opening of his New York show.). But at the end of 2006, at 26, Caspe moved to Los Angeles, film spec script in hand, to pursue a writing career. He took the spec to a longtime family friend, manager Shelley Browning, who took him in and also helped him sign with WME. Caspe soon started setting up film projects. His first pitch, I Hate You Dad, was picked up by Sony and Happy Madison; the comedy, starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, is coming out in June 2012. Caspe is currently …
EXCLUSIVE: David Ellison’s Skydance Productions is negotiating a rights deal to turn the 1970s animated science fiction TV series Star Blazers into a large scale live action feature. Ellison will hire Christopher McQuarrie to write the script, with Ellison and Josh C. Kline producing with McQuarrie. The series was based on the Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato. Both are described as “space opera,” involving alien invasions, the near extinction of the human race, and a last dash journey through space to save the planet.
Ellison started Skydance with hopes he could emulate the studio-aligned-producer-who-can-put-up-50% model that Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures has succeeded with at Warner Bros. Ellison made a deal with Paramount Pictures in late 2009 to co-finance four to six pictures per year, and then raised a reported $350 million in debt and equity funding. His Paramount deal has gotten off to a flying start: Skydance funded half of True Grit, the $30 million Joel and Ethan Coen-directed Western that is up for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. More importantly to Ellison’s investors, True Grit has so far grossed $165 million domestic, with foreign still rolling out.
Ellison is the son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison and an accomplished acrobatic pilot who has a particular appetite for aviation projects (though his first foray as actor-producer, the Tony Bill-directed Flyboys, landed …
ABC’s new comedy series Happy Endings revolves around a group of friends who deal with the aftermath of two of them breaking up at their wedding. It starts off with the couple’s church wedding ceremony getting interrupted by the bride-to-be’s other boyfriend who rushes in and brings the proceeding to a screech. Creator/executive producer David Caspe admitted he was influenced by the ending in The Graduate. And more.
“All those romantic movies about people running in breaking up a wedding – I was always interested what happens after that,” he said. Addressing the fact that the ensemble includes an interracial couple (played by Eliza Coupe and Damon Wayans Jr.), he noted that “Shows and movies in general tend not not be all white and straight anymore.”
Two side notes: Co-star Elisha Cuthbert said she tried to play “as realistically as possible” her always prone to kidnapping heroine on 24. And the Wayans clan are as funny off-screen as they are on, Damon Wayans’ son said. “It gets to a point where it’s no longer funny because everyone says so much funny stuff.”