Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, creators of Warner Bros TV‘s upcoming Fox comedy series Surviving Jack, have signed a two-year overall deal with the studio, which begins June 1. Surviving Jack, which the duo executive produce with Bill Callahan, who is serving as co-showrunner alongside them, Bill Lawrence and Jeff Ingold, was based on Halpern’s bestselling book I Suck At Girls. Halpern and Schumacker, repped by ICM Partners, previously co-created CBS’ S#*! My Dad Said for WBTV and CBS with Max Mutchnick and David Cohen. It was based on another Halpern bestseller, Shit My Dad Says.
Fox’s new Surviving Jack, about a dad and his relationship with his son in the ’90s, is based on Justin Halpern’s autobiographical book, I Suck At Girls. Halperin also created CBS’ comedy $h*! My Dad Says — also about his relationship with his father — based on his book that was, in turn, based on his Twitter feed. TV critics attending a Q&A about Jack at TCA this afternoon noted the similarity between the two comedies and asked what went wrong with the CBS one. “It was really bad,” Halpern said. “You’re aware you created that show,” joked Bill Lawrence, who exec produces Jack with Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Jeff Ingold. “Yes, and I put the blame squarely on Patrick,” Halpern joked. The CBS sitcom, he said, was “very much the wrong tone.” The dad character, he said, did not live well in a multi-cam sitcom world where it’s all about setup and punch lines. On a single cam, “the comedy comes more organically,” he said.