EXCLUSIVE: Jean Smart has become a late addition to NBC‘s untitled Craig Robinson comedy pilot. She replaces Jane Adams who exited after the table read last week. The single-camera comedy is executive produced by Greg Daniels and Owen Ellickson, who wrote the script. It centers on a rough-edged musician Craig (Robinson) who’s adjusting to his new life as a music teacher in a big-city middle school where he encounters teacher politics and the temptations of single moms. Smart will play Jeannette, an erratic, stressed-out junior high principal who’s constantly in damage control mode. Multiple Emmy-winner Smart, repped by WME and Untitled, recently recurred on Hawaii Five-O and Harry’s Law.
Greek alumna Spencer Grammer has landed the female lead opposite Blair Underwood in NBC’s drama pilot Ironside. The reboot of the 1967 series, written by Mike Caleo and directed by Peter Horton, centers on Robert T. Ironside (Underwood), a tough, sexy and acerbic police detective relegated to a wheelchair after a shooting who is hardly limited by his disability as he pushes and prods his hand-picked team to solve the most difficult cases. Grammer, repped by UTA and Untitled, will play Holly, who stands up to Ironside and everyone else and would be much higher up in the police department if she would distance herself from the criminals she grew up around.
Young New York comedian Josh Rabinowitz is departing NBC‘s untitled Robert Padnick/Greg Daniels comedy pilot, from 3 Arts and Universal TV. Rabinowitz was the producers’ choice for the lead, though the deal was difficult to make because of Rabinowitz’s pre-existing commitment to a Comedy Central project. After he was finally signed on in first position, I hear he came to yesterday’s table read straight from New York and was a bit cold in his delivery. The producers still liked him, and NBC was contemplating giving him a little time, but he ultimately got on a plane back to New York last night. The untitled comedy revolves around four hopeful city dwellers who step through the endless minefield of their romantic entanglements. Ellen Woglom, Eric Andre and Adhir Kalyan play the other three leads.
UPDATED: Ellen Woglom (Californication), Don’t Trust The B— In Apt. 23‘s Eric Andre and young comedian Josh Rabinowitz have been cast as leads in NBC’s untitled Robert Padnick/Greg Daniels comedy pilot, from 3 Arts and Universal TV. Kyle Newacheck is directing the pilot, a look at the trials and tribulations of dating in your twenties. It revolves around four hopeful city-dwellers, three of them played by Woglom, Andre and Rabinowitz, who step through the endless mine field of their romantic entanglements. Woglom’s Maggie is the only girl in the group, thick-skinned and sharp-tongued from being “one of the guys” for too long. Andre plays Teddy who is crass with zero social filter. Andre is the third cast member of the recently cancelled ABC comedy Apt. 23 to book a pilot, joining Krysten Ritter, who stars in NBC’s Assistance, and James Van Der Beek, who plays a lead in CBS’ Friends With Better Lives. Rabinowitz’s Hirsch is bright-eyed and good-natured, but also intelligent and thoughtful. CAA-repped Andre, Paradigm-repped Woglom and 3 Arts-repped Rabinowitz join previously cast Adhir Kalyan. Newacheck, repped by UTA, Avalon and attorney Jeffrey Endlich, is best known as co-creator/director/writer/producer of Comedy Central’s series …
NBC has given the green light to a single-camera comedy from The Office developer/executive producer Greg Daniels starring The Office regular Craig Robinson and written by the show’s supervising producer Owen Ellickson. The untitled project centers on a talented musician (Robinson) with rough edges who adjusts to his new life as a music teacher in a big-city middle school, where he encounters teacher politics and the temptations of single moms. The comedy hails from Universal TV, Daniels’ Deedle Dee Prods and 3 Arts Entertainment. Ellickson, Daniels, Deedle Dee’s Tracy Katsky and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein and Mark Schulman executive produce, with Robinson serving as producer. This marks the second pilot order at NBC for Daniels and his Deedle Dee, joining an untitled half-hour written by another Office writer, Robert Padnick. For a full list of broadcast network pilots, including casting information, and for all Deadline pilot season stories, go to our Pilot Panic page.
Robinson plays the likable Dunder-Mifflin warehouse manager Darryl Philbin on The Office, which he joined as a recurring in the first season and was promoted to regular in Season 4. Daniels is currently overseeing the ninth and final season of the Emmy-winning comedy.
NBC today added three more single-camera comedy pilots to its roster, including projects produced by Greg Daniels and the duo of Will Ferrell & Adam McKay. The Office boss Daniels and his Deedle Dee Prods have had a very active development season with a half-dozen projects landing at NBC and Fox. The one that got the nod at NBC today is an untitled half-hour written by The Office‘s Robert Padnick. The other two pilot slots went to Assistance, from writer Leslye Headland and Ferrell and McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods, and Donor Party, from writer Alex Schemmer and producer Geyer Kosinski.
This marks Gary Sanchez’s first pilot order under the company’s deal with Universal TV where Deedle Dee is also based. All three pilots hail from NBC’s sister studio, with Lionsgate TV co-producing Donor Party. This is Lionsgate’s second consecutive comedy pilot at NBC, following last year’s Next Caller, which went to series but was ultimately shelved. The trio of pilots join recently picked up About A Boy, also single-camera, and multi-camera comedy Joe, Joe & Jane. Here are details about the newly picked up pilots:
After lengthy negotiations, Fox has closed a deal with Universal TV and Greg Daniels‘ studio-based Deedle Dee for a sibling comedy written by Tom Gormican and Richie Keen. It centers on Richie, a mediocre professional tennis player who returns to his college town, the scene of his greatness, in order to reboot his life, only to be caught between a lifestyle he never got to live — embodied by his carefree, bar-owning, younger brother Tom — and Kirsten, the love of his life he will have to grow up in order to get. Gormican and Keen executive produce with Daniels, Deedle Dee’s Tracy Katsky and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein and Oly Obst.
EXCLUSIVE: The Office co-star Brian Baumgartner is staying in business with the series’ boss Greg Daniels. Daniels is executive producing a new new single-camera comedy to star the original Office cast member, which has landed at ABC. It will be written by Harris Wittels, supervising producer on Daniels’ other NBC series, Parks And Recreation. The untitled half-hour centers on Norman (Baumgartner), a mid-level airline executive who fights to experience winning again… At anything. Universal TV and Daniels’ studio-based Deedle Dee Prods are producing, with Wittels, Baumgartner, Deedle Dee’s Daniels and Tracy Katsky and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein, Dave Becky and Tom Lassally executive producing.
Baumgartner, repped by Theodore B. Gekis & Daniel Ribera, and attorney Matthew C. Thompson, plays Dunder Mifflin Paper accountant Kevin Malone on NBC’s The Office, where he has been since the pilot. For Wittels, repped by CAA, 3 Arts and attorney Jared Levine, the project stems from the overall deal he signed with Uni TV in June.
EXCLUSIVE: Greg Daniels is backing another comedy project from an up-and-coming writer on one of his NBC series. In a competitive situation with multiple networks bidding, a half-hour written by The Office‘s Robert Padnick and executive produced by Daniels has landed at NBC with large penalty. The untitled comedy revolves around four hopeful city-dwellers who step through the endless mine field of their romantic entanglements. Universal TV and Daniels’ studio-based Deedle Dee Prods. are producing, with Padnick, Deedle Dee’s Daniels and Tracy Katsky and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein executive producing. Padnick is a relatively recent addition to The Office, having joined the comedy developed and executive produced by Daniels in Season 6. The very first episode of the show he wrote, February 2011′s PDA, which was directed by Daniels, earned Padnick a WGA Award nomination earlier this year. He is with UTA and Price Management.
This marks WME-repped Deedle Dee’s third comedy sale at NBC this season, along with a half-hour starring The Office regular Craig Robinson and written by the show’s supervising producer Owen Ellickson and another written by Parks And Recreation writer-producer Alan Yang.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has put in development a comedy project from Parks And Recreation writer-producer Alan Yang and the series’ co-creator/executive producer Greg Daniels. The untitled comedy, from Universal TV and Daniels’ Deedle Dee Prods, centers on a strict “Tiger Dad” who, after a near-death experience, tries to reprogram his super-responsible son to be more like his fun-loving immature roommates. Yang will write the script and executive produce with Deedle Dee’s Daniels and Tracy Katsky and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein.
In his first major sale this season, The Office developer/executive producer Greg Daniels has set up a comedy at NBC starring The Office regular Craig Robinson and written by the show’s supervising producer Owen Ellickson. The untitled project centers on a talented musician (Robinson) with rough edges who adjusts to his new life as a music teacher in a big-city middle school, where he encounters teacher politics and the temptations of single moms. The comedy hails from Universal TV, Daniels’ Deedle Dee Prods and 3 Arts Entertainment. Ellickson, Daniels, Deedle Dee’s Tracy Katsky and 3 Arts’ Howard Klein and Mark Schulman executive produce, with Robinson serving as producer.
Emmy winners Allison Janney and Tony Shalhoub are finalizing deals to star in Greg Daniels’ NBC comedy pilot Friday Night Dinner. The single-camera project, based on the British format, centers on a quirky family that has dinner together every Friday night. Janney will play Barbara and Shalhoub will play Gene, the matriarch and patriarch of the family. On the British series the roles are played by Tamsin Greig and Paul Ritter. Daniels is executive producing the pilot with Howard Klein and the original series’ creator Robert Popper and producer Big Talk TV. The casting brings together Janney, four-time Emmy winner for The West Wing; Shalhoub, 3-time Emmy winner for Monk; and Greg Daniels, five-time Emmy winner for SNL, The Simpsons, King Of The Hill and The Office. WME-repped Janney is coming off an ensemble SAG Award win for The Help. ICM-repped Shalhoub co-stars in the upcoming HBO movie Hemingway & Gellhorn.
EXCLUSIVE: Actor-comedian David Koechner has signed a talent holding deal with NBC. Under the pact, he is attached to star in Greg Daniels’ comedy project Friday Night Dinner and possibly do more episodes of The Office, where he has appeared occasionally since the second season. The deal expands Koechner’s relationship with The Office showrunner Daniels.
Like The Office, Friday Night Dinner also is based on a UK series. The original, created by Robert Popper and airing on Channel 4, is about a traditional but not strictly observant Jewish family and chronicles their Shabbat dinners. It centers on brothers Adam and Jonny who reluctantly visit their parents — mom Jackie, who is obsessed with Masterchef, and dad Martin, who loves to walk around shirtless — for a home-cooked meal. Adding to the gallery of oddball characters is a grandmother who struts her stuff in a bikini and eccentric neighbor Jim who constantly interrupts dinner. Daniels originally explored a role as supervisor/executive producer on the project and met with a number of writers but ultimately decided to write the adaptation himself. While he was still writing the script, NBC put the project on a fast track, getting a casting director to explore casting choices and looking at directors.
As for The Office, it was unclear whether, with Michael Scott gone from Dunder Mifflin, his obnoxious BFF Todd Packer, played by Koechner, would return. I hear that now is a strong …
EXCLUSIVE: The Office and Parks & Recreation executive producer Greg Daniels is teaming with a writer from each of his two NBC series to develop new animated comedy projects for the network. One of the projects will be written/executive by The Office co-executive producer/co-star Mindy Kaling, who will also voice a character, the other – by Parks & Recreation producer Alan Yang. Daniels and his manager/producing partner Howard Klein will executive produce both comedies. The Mindy Kaling project revolves around a girls high-school volleyball team. Alan Yang’s toon is about a group of 20something guys sharing a house in Los Angeles’ upscale community of Hancock Park. For King Of The Hill co-creator Greg Daniels, returning to his animated roots was important when he closed a new overall production deal with Universal Television this past summer. “One of our focuses will be to return Greg to primetime animation, for which he had particular success with King of the Hill when he and I worked together at FBC,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said in announcing the deal. In addition to the two animated projects, Daniels has a live-action comedy in the works at NBC, a U.S. version of the UK series Friday Night Dinner, which is looking for a writer. Kaling, repped by UTA and 3 Arts, will next be seen …
Greg Daniels, The Office (NBC)
Why He Was Nominated: Being nominated for Emmys is simply what Daniels does. He’s reeled in 19 Emmy nominations all told, including three in this category and three noms this year alone. He’s won here once before, in 2007 for the celebrated “Gay Witch Hunt” episode of The Office. And Daniels has five Emmy trophies to his credit all told, also including previous wins for King of the Hill, The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live.
Why He Has To Win: In earning a nomination for star Steve Carell’s final episode, Daniels becomes something of a prohibitive favorite to win for writing, particularly since he’s already taken one home here previously. The super-sized episode, “Goodbye, Michael,” was heavily hyped by NBC and exceptionally well-received by viewers and the industry. “Greg did a terrific job of walking the line between comedy and sentiment,” one producer told me, “which was quite a feat.”
Why He Can’t Possibly Win: Sentiment doesn’t always go over so big with the TV academy crowd, whether talking about shows or individuals. Voters could well also figure that giving an overdue Emmy to Carell for acting is plenty and need not adorn the farewell with coattails. Plus, there are a couple of other exceedingly worthy contenders here, like a particularly buzzed episode of Modern Family.
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
When a comedy writer moderates a WGA panel of his peers, the audience is bound to get more jokes than straight answers. That’s what happened tonight at this year’s ‘Primetime Sublime’ panel featuring Emmy-nominated writers moderated by The Simpsons’ Mike Scully. Joking “Let’s start on a light note – The Killing!”, Scully turned to the AMC mystery’s showrunner, Veena Sud, who was nominated for the pilot. “So you were looking for something dark, coming off Cold Case? I like that [your] scenes don’t end with David Caruso tipping his sunglasses and saying: ‘This seems like a case of sour rapes.’”
Next, Scully moved on to Peter Gould, writer of the HBO movie Too Big to Fail, based on the non-fiction book of the same title by Andrew Ross Sorkin which dissects that 2008 financial meltdown. “It’s about banks closing, businesses going under: how do you make that shit up, man?” Scully asked Gould. As Gould attempted to explain the difficulties of writing about controversial real-life characters, Scully jumped in to inform the audience that as a writer Gould also had to contend with HBO pressuring him to “add a vampire … or have Turtle from Entourage drop by with some crazy financial scheme.” Scully also cracked wise that if the script had been based on a book by Aaron Sorkin, and not Andrew Ross Sorkin, the film “would have won an Academy Award, not an Emmy.”…
EXCLUSIVE: After successfully adapting British workplace comedy The Office for NBC, Greg Daniels is taking on another half-hour British format for the network, this time a family comedy. I hear that NBC has put in development a U.S. version of the UK series Friday Night Dinner with Daniels at the helm. It is unclear whether Daniels will write, co-write or supervise the writing of the adaptation for UMS. Created by Robert Popper, Friday Night Dinner, which debuted on Channel 4 in February, centers on the Goodmans, a traditional but not strictly observant Jewish family, and chronicles their Shabbat dinners. Every Friday night, brothers Adam and Jonny reluctantly visit their parents — mom Jackie, who is obsessed with Masterchef, and dad Martin, who loves to walk around shirtless — for a home-cooked meal. Adding to the gallery of oddball characters is a grandmother who struts her stuff in a bikini and eccentric neighbor Jim who constantly interrupts dinner. Friday Night Dinner, which has been renewed by Channel 4 for a second season, airs in the U.S. on BBC America. The show hails from Big Talk Prods, the UK production company also behind another Channel 4 comedy series that is being remade by NBC, Free Agents. NBC’s version, starring Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn, was picked up to series and launches this fall.
TCA: NBC Renews Overall Deal With Greg Daniels, Signs Pacts With Gary Sanchez Prods, Sean Hayes & More From Exec Panel
NBC has signed a new major two-year overall deal with The Office executive producer Greg Daniels, co-creator/exec producer of another NBC comedy series, Parks and Recreation. NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt announced the pact, which will encompass scripted live-action and animated programming as well as unscripted series, at the top of NBC’s TCA session today. “He is one of the founding fathers of our Thursday comedy lineup,” Greenblatt said. “We had a chance to work together at Fox when he was launching King of the Hill. The new deal is to develop all kinds of programming, but we also want to emphasize animation, I think he is going to do great things.” NBC also has inked a development pact with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Prods., marking the company’s first network pact. And former Will & Grace star Sean Hayes, who segued to producing over the past few years, has signed a development deal to headline a half-hour series. “Sean is a friend, and I think it’s time for him to star in a comedy again,” Greenblatt said.
On the development side, NBC is developing a firefighter drama from feature writers Michael Brandt and and Derek Haas, produced by Dick Wolf and his new development exec Danielle Gelber. Greenblatt also confirmed the deal for a karaoke bar comedy produced by The Voice star Adam Levine who …
His eponymous FX comedy may have been snubbed in the best comedy series category, but comedian Louis C.K. still managed to become the most nominated person at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards with four noms, sharing the honors with The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Louis C.K. was nominated in the lead comedy actor category for his role on FX’s Louie, in the writing for comedy series category for penning the Poker/Divorce episode of the show, as well as in two Variety, Music or Comedy special categories for his Epix comedy special Louis C.K.: Hilarious — for writing and for editing. Three of Schaffer and Taccone’s four nominations were in the Original Music and Lyrics category, in which The Lonely Island’s Schaffer, Taccone and Andy Samberg have a regular presence, often in tandem with Justin Timberlake, having won an Emmy together for Dick In a Box. This year, Saturday Night Live is completely dominating the category with four of the six nominations: three for Schaffer, Taccone and Samberg’s digital music videos I Just Have Sex, Jack Sparrow and their latest collaboration with Timberlake, 3-Way, and one for the song from host Timberlake’s opening monologue. Schaffer and Taccone’s fourth Emmy nomination is in the writing for VMC series category for their staff-writing duties on SNL.