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USA Orders Jessica St. Clair/Lennon Parham Comedy Presentation

By | Friday February 15, 2013 @ 5:12pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: USA has given a pilot presentation order to a single-camera comedy written by and starring Upright Citizens Brigade alums Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, the duo behind NBC’s Best Friends Forever. The Office‘s Zach Woods is eyed for another role in the project, directed by Jeffrey Blitz whose credits include The Office and Parks & Recreation. Like BFF, which also started as a presentation, the untitled USA project will be produced by Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan’s American Work. Universal Cable Prods. is the studio.
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Comedian Luka Jones Lands Male Lead In New NBC Comedy Series ‘BFF’

By | Friday August 12, 2011 @ 6:47pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Upright Citizens Brigade performer Luka Jones has landed the male lead opposite UCB alumni Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair in the midseason NBC comedy series BFF. The single-camera comedy, created by Parham and St. Clair, centers on Jessica (St. Clair) and Lennon (Parham), best friends forever, who live on opposite sides of the country. But when Jessica is served divorce papers, she reluctantly moves back to New York and back into Lennon’s apartment. It doesn’t take long for the girls to fall back into old habits: Steel Magnolias marathons, epic girl-talk sessions … none of which is good news to Lennon’s live-in boyfriend, Joe (Jones). He’s trying to be understanding, but begins to feel like a stranger in his own home. Jones, managed by 3 Arts, succeeds Adam Pally, who played the role in the pilot presentation. Pally, a friend of Parham and St. Clair, did the presentation as a guest star as he is a regular on Happy Endings, which ABC renewed for a second season. This marks the first major acting gig for Jones, who has been doing standup, performing with UCBLA and pursuing PhD in philosophy.

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The Over-Achievers Of This Year’s Upfront

Nellie Andreeva

Here is the second-annual honor roll of the best and brightest at the broadcast upfront. First off, to all who got their pilots picked up to series — congratulations. You’re already winners. This is a list of those who took their upfront success to an extra level:

Whitney Cummings: The undisputed queen of Upfront 2011. She is behind two new comedy series that are among the highest-profile new half-hour entries next fall. She created, stars in and executive produces her eponymous comedy for NBC, which was assigned the network’s best comedy slot, following The Office. She also co-wrote on spec with Michael Patrick King the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, which broke records as CBS’ best-testing pilot (comedy or drama) ever. Both were the first comedy pilots to get a series order at their networks. Cummings, who also has a talk show in contention at E!, will serve as an executive producer on 2 Broke Girls but will be full-time on Whitney, which was in first position. I hope that doesn’t impact 2 Broke Girls, which King is expected to run/co-run, because the pilot indeed looks great. Honorable mention in the category of creators with multiple projects for Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen. One of their two ABC pilots, Work It, was picked up to series, while the other, Smothered, is very much in contention for midseason.

What a comeback for J.J. Abrams! After his high-profile NBC drama Undercovers went bust last fall, some questioned whether the networks will continue to bet on him. But bet they did this upfront, with both pilots he produced, CBS’ Person of Interest and Fox’s Alcatraz, going to series. Person of Interest instantly became one of the most anticipated new fall series when CBS made it its new Thursday 9 PM anchor. The network also said it was its best-testing drama pilot ever. And over at Fox, Alcatraz prevailed over several high-profile pilots to land one of only two drama series spots. Then, as icing on the cake, Abrams’ modestly rated but well-liked Fox sci-fi series Fringe got a renewal for next season, bringing the producer’s series for next season to three. Read More »

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NBC Picks Up Lennon Parham/Jessica St. Clair Comedy Presentation

Nellie Andreeva

NBC has given a presentation order to an untitled comedy written by and starring Upright Citizens Brigade alums Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair. The single-camera project, from Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nandan’s American Work and UMS, is a comedy triangle  centered on a woman (Parham) and her new live-in boyfriend. They find themselves  taking in her distraught (and pushy) best girlfriend (St. Clair) who ends up on their doorstep after a divorce. Parham, St. Clair, Armstrong and Nandan are all exec producing. The pilot order stems from American Work’s first-look deal with NBC. The company previously produced the network’s 2009 comedy pilot Off Duty.

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Mike Sitrick, Shame On You…

By | Thursday July 12, 2007 @ 5:31pm PDT

sitrick.jpgI’ve known Mike Sitrick for a long time. He’s a PR maven who prides himself on being a family man. Which is why he should be filled with self-loathing for allowing his firm to promote a torture porn pic like Captivity, much less an even more disgusting premiere party whose selling point was its political incorrectness. (Let me make it perfectly clear: I support talent’s right to make the movie, just not business people profiting from it.) Sure, I received all those inane emails announcing the bash, and I did the right thing: I trashed them. Other journalists fell all over themselves covering the event so as to diss it: really, they’re lemmings hurling themselves off the cliff. There is only one way to stop the business of these torture porn movies: by shaming the people who receive money for releasing them, publicizing them, having anything to do with them. So, Mike, how could you? (And how could you, After Dark’s  Courtney Solomon and Allan Zeman?) Take that Captivity money and donate it to charity and pledge publicly right now you’ll never get involved with torture porn pics again. Until Mike does, I urge Hollywood and other companies to shun Sitrick and Company because there is such a thing as guilt by association.

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