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TCA: NBC Looks To Break Into Comedy Club With “Crooked” ‘Free Agents’

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.

TCA: NBC Renews Overall Deal With Greg Daniels, Signs Pacts With Gary Sanchez Prods, Sean Hayes & More From Exec Panel
In his executive session this morning at TCA in Beverly Hills, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt, addressing the idea that NBC wants to raise its stakes in the scripted comedy business, admitted only half-jokingly that introducing a new comedy in any time slot in today’s TV landscape is like “standing in the middle of the 405.” And at TCA, NBC’s new comedy Free Agents, based on the British series, was the first to merge onto the freeway in a late-morning panel.

The Wednesday night show, described by the network as a “crooked romantic comedy” from creator John Enbom and director-producer Todd Holland, stars Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn as two corporate PR executives — read damage control experts — whose own personal lives are more of a mess than the people they represent. Hahn’s character drinks too much to cover her pain over the death of her fiance. Azaria’s character is a divorced dad who apparently is as outspokenly miserable as Ray Romano’s character in TNT’s recently cancelled dramedy Men of a Certain Age. In the series, the two grapple with the aftermath of an unexpected romantic tryst. Read More »

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NBC Picks Up 4 More Pilots: Drama From ‘Lone Star’ Creator, 3 Comedies

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: NBC has picked up to pilot REM, the spec by Lone Star creator Kyle Killen which was taken out by 20th TV a couple of weeks ago. Additionally, the network has given the green light to 3 more comedy pilots: Free Agents, LoveLives and an untitled project from Dan Goor.

Killen’s REM, from 20th TV, is described as an Inception-style thriller about a cop who wakes up after an accident to find he is living in two different realities. The project has been given a cast-contingent order. As expected, new NBC chief Bob Greenblatt has been very opportunistic with spec scripts, handing out a significant chunk of his pilot orders to project brought to the network as specs.

Free Agents, from UMS and Party Down co-creator John Enbom, is a single-camera romantic comedy based on the U.K. format  that explores the attraction between two quirky co-workers who are both on the rebound, one from a divorce and the other from the loss of a fiancé. While in the original series, which ran on Channel 4 in 2009, the lovebirds were agents, in the NBC version they will be PR executives. Enbom is executive producing with Kenton Allen from Big Talk Prods., producer of the British series. Todd Holland and Karey Burke are also exec producing through their UMS-based company, with Holland directing. The comedy has been given a cast-contingent order.

LoveLives, from 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment, is a … Read More »

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Fox Has ‘Little In Common’ With Rob Thomas For Comedy Project

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Veronica Mars creator and Party Down co-creator Rob Thomas has set up a second  broadcast project, this time at Fox. Thomas will be writing the single-camera comedy titled Little In Common, which is about three families whose lives have become intertwined through youth sports. The project, which has received a script commitment, is in second position to Temp, a comedy that Thomas is co-writing with fellow Party Down co-creators John Enbom and Dan Etheridge for NBC. Both shows are produced by Warner Bros. TV. Thomas is executive producing Little In Common with frequent collaborators Danielle Stokdyk, Jennifer Gwartz and Etheridge who all worked with him on UPN’s Veronica Mars, ABC’s Cupid and Starz’s Party Down and are also executive producing Temp with him.

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