Comedy writers-exec producers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, who are coming off an overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV, have closed a two-year overall pact at CBS TV Studios to develop and supervise projects. Under the 20th TV pact, the duo served as executive producers on the studio’s Fox comedy New Girl and most recently worked on CBS’ The Crazy Ones. Repped by UTA and Myman Greenspan, Port and Wiseman met while they were both assistants on the 1999 UPN animated comedy Dilbert and went on to serve as story editors on NBC’s multi-camera Just Shoot Me. They also worked on NBC’s 1600 Penn as writers and exec producers, were co-exec producers on NBC’s Perfect Couples and consulting producers on The Office.
EXCLUSIVE: A quarter century after Doogie Howser, another teen prodigy is looking to headline a comedy series. Enlightened creator/exec producer Mike White has teamed with Joe Port and Joe Wiseman for an untitled single-camera comedy, which has gone to NBC with a put pilot commitment. Written by Port and Wiseman, the ensemble workplace comedy centers on a driven but naive 16-year-old prodigy chef who gets a job working in the kitchen for his idol, a temperamental and unpredictable celebrity chef. It was inspired by Flynn McGarry, a 14-year-old Los Angeles chef who has been making national headlines. McGarry will serve as a producer on the series, from White’s RipCord Prods and 20th Century Fox TV where Port and Wiseman are under an overall deal. White, Port and Wiseman executive produce with RipCord’s David Bernad (Enlightened). Enlightened, which ended its two-season run on HBO, was nominated for two Emmys this year, including for lead Laura Dern. This marks Port and Wiseman’s return to NBC where they wrote and exec produced another comedy through 20th TV last year, Joe Joe And Jane, which went to pilot.
In a very competitive situation, NBC has landed Joe & Joe & Jane, a multi-camera comedy from writers-executive producers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, with a pilot production commitment. I hear the 20th Century Fox TV-produced project also has a series penalty behind it to rank as one of the biggest comedy sales this season.
Loosely based on the relationship between Port, Wiseman and Wiseman’s wife, Joe & Joe & Jane centers on a conflict-avoidant children’s book author caught in an ongoing tug of war between two needy, flawed people: his wife and his co-author/ best friend. It’s not about a couple, it’s about a trouple.
Last season, another Port/Wiseman comedy with semi-autobiographical roots, spec Rebounding, which was inspired by Port’s real-life experiences, was picked up to pilot by Fox with Steve Levitan executive producing, Jason Winer directing and Will Forte starring. The year before, the duo also had a strong pilot contender at Fox with Family Album, which like Rebounding, was single-camera. Last season, Port and Wiseman, who are under an overall deal at 20th TV, served as executive produced the studio’s Fox comedy New Girl.
Steve Levitan is back at Fox. The network has picked up Rebounding, a single-camera comedy from the Modern Family co-creator, Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, with Modern Family helmer Jason Winer on board to direct. The pilot order comes a couple of days after 20th Century Fox TV — where Levitan, Port and Wiseman are under overall deals — sent the comedy spec to the broadcast networks. Written by Port and Wiseman, Rebounding was inspired by Port’s real-life experiences. It is described as an uplifting comedy about a man recovering from the death of his fiance with the help of the idiots on his pick-up basketball team. Levitan, who has been very involved in the development of the project, was originally attached to direct but his schedule is not permitting, so Winer, who directed the pilot for Modern Family, will helm Rebounding, exec produced by Levitan, Port and Wiseman. This is a second pilot directing gig for Winer this season, along with the NBC comedy 1600.
Levitan and his Modern Family co-creator Christopher Lloyd had a falling out with Fox over the 2008 cancellation of their multi-camera comedy series Back To You after one season. Levitan and Lloyd spoke publicly against the decision and famously refused to shop their followup …
EXCLUSIVE: Let the bidding frenzy begin! A mostly sleepy January TV spec market is being shaken up today by Rebounding, a single-camera comedy from Joe Port, Joe Wiseman and Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan. Port and Wiseman co-created and wrote the script, inspired by real events in Port’s life, with Levitan, who has been involved in the development of the project, on board to direct the potential pilot. All three are executive producing. Rebounding is described as an uplifting comedy about a man recovering from the death of his fiance with the help of the idiots on his pick-up basketball team. I hear the spec, from 20th Century Fox TV — where Levitan, Port and Wiseman are under overall deals — is being sent to all the networks today. It arrives fashionably late to the party as the nets are wrapping their pilot orders (with 13 half-hour pickups, NBC is believed to be done), but all networks undoubtedly have emergency reserves for a marquee offering with A-list auspices. UTA reps Levitan, executive producer on blockbuster ABC comedy Modern Family, and Port & Wiseman, who served as co-executive producers on Fox’s freshman hit New Girl earlier this season. The pair are now consulting producers on another 20th TV-produced freshman comedy, ABC’s Last Man Standing.
EXCLUSIVE: After a lengthy four-way bidding war among ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS, Big Men, a comedy from Irish actor-comedian (and Bridesmaids standout) Chris O’Dowd and writer-producers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, has landed at NBC with a script commitment plus significant penalty. Setting the single-camera project at the network of The Biggest Loser seems appropriate as it revolves around a group of men who meet at a weight loss clinic. O’Dowd will write the script based on his idea, with Port and Wiseman on board as showrunners. The three will executive produce with 3 Arts’ Dave Becky and Nick Frenkel for 20th Century Fox TV.
O’Dowd had been enjoying a solid acting career in the U.K., including starring on the popular series The IT Crowd. His career shifted into high gear this summer with his breakout performance in the runaway hit Bridesmaids. This marks O’Dowd’s American writing debut. In Britain, he recently created and co-wrote Moone Boy, a comedy series for Sky TV inspired by his childhood, which is now filming. He also is penning a comedy feature funded by the Irish Film Board. UTA-repped Port and Wiseman, who are under an overall deal at 20th TV, serve as co-executive produces on the red-hot new comedy series New Girl. Last season, they created the Fox comedy pilot Family Album. Coincidentally, …
‘Family Album’ Creators Joe Port And Joe Wiseman Ink Overall Deal With 20th TV, Join ‘New Girl’; ‘Album’ To Film Second Episode
Comedy writer-producers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, creators of the 20th Century Fox TV-produced comedy pilot Family Album, have signed a two-year overall deal with the studio. Under the pact, the two will join New Girl, 20th TV’s hot new comedy series for Fox, as co-executive producers. Additionally, their pilot Family Album is in strong contention at Fox for midseason. Along with another half-hour pilot, Little In Common, Family Album is vying for a spot on the network’s four-show comedy block in March. To further boost the project’s chances, 20th TV has agreed to produce a second episode, which Port and Wiseman are currently working on. Family Album, which 20th TV co-produces with Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy’s studio-based 21 Laps/Adelstein Prods., stemmed from a blind script deal the studio signed with Port and Wiseman last year. “Having dated for a while, we all collectively wanted to take this relationship to the next level,” 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. “They have the inspiration to create their owns show and also have the right demeanor to be able to fit into a show and support other creators when they don’t have anything going on.”
PILOT CASTINGS: Rob Huebel Gets Fox’s ‘Family Album’ After FX Passes On ‘USS Alabama’, Jamie Bamber To ’17th Precinct’
Rob Huebel has become the first actor cast in Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot Family Album, written by Joe Port and Joe Wiseman and directed by Shawn Levy. Huebel most recently guest starred in the FX sci-fi comedy pilot U.S.S. Alabama. FX just passed on the project co-created and starring Reno 911! masterminds Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. The high-concept comedy was set a thousand years in the future aboard an United Nations peacekeeping spaceship. Meanwhile, Family Album centers on a headstrong patriarch who, determined to get some quality family time, embarks on a vacation with his extended family. Huebel, repped by CAA and Principato-Young, will play the brother. He co-stars on Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital.
Former Battlestar Galactica star Jamie Bamber will reunite with the sci-fi series’ developer-executive producer Ron Moore, TVLine reports. Brit Bamber has joined the cast of Moore’s NBC pilot 17th Precinct, set in the fictional town of Excelsior where magic and supernatural elements rule over science. Bamber, who most recently starred in Law & Order: UK, will play a homicide detective at the precinct, joining recently cast Stockard Channing.
The Council of Dads, from Sony Pictures TV and Tolan’s Sony-based Fedora Entertainment, is based on the non-fiction book by Bruce Feiler. It centers on a man who finds out that he’s dying and enlists five men from every corner of his life to assist his wife in raising his two children. In the book, Feiler chronicles his experiences after being diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer in 2008 and, fearing what the absence of a father figure would do to the lives of his young twin daughters, formed a Council of Dads which consisted of six of his closest male friends who agreed to help him raise the girls. While in real life Feiler made full recovery and the plan was never implemented, in Tolan’s version, the dad is expected to die, with the show chronicling how the kids are raised with the help of the Council. Tolan and producing …
EXCLUSIVE: Yet more proof that family comedy, especially one with a male point of view, is the hottest half-hour genre this buying season: shortly after CBS shelled out a put pilot commitment to a suburban dad comedy from writer Peter Knight and Happy Madison, a family comedy from writers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman and 20th Century Fox TV landed at Fox.