EXCLUSIVE: Rob Corddry’s single-camera comedy pilot Little In Common is no longer in contention at Fox. The network has passed on the project, about three families with different views on child rearing, which starred Rob Corddry, Heather Graham, Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union and Alana Ubach. The decision was made after Fox received the retooled Little In Common pilot. In lieu of a series pickup, Fox in May ordered a second pilot and some changes. Paula Marshall was recast with Graham and another character was phased out. But I hear that, while they liked the cast, Fox brass were underwhelmed with the new pilot, which also didn’t test well.
EXCLUSIVE: Heather Graham has been tapped to star opposite Rob Corddry in Fox’s comedy pilot Little In Common. Rob Thomas’ single-camera comedy, produced by WBTV, centers on the Wellers (Corddry, Graham), who move from California to Texas but find that their adjustment won’t be quite that easy considering their Latina single-mother neighbor (Alana Ubach) has a radically different approach to child-rearing than they do, while their other new neighborhood acquaintances, the African American Burlesons (Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union), take sports very seriously. Graham’s role, which has been recast, was played by Paula Marshall in the original pilot, in which Ubach had a husband played by Lombardo Boyar. This is a rare series gig for Graham, who has been focused primarily on features. She previously toplined the short-lived ABC comedy Emily’s Reasons Why Not and recurred on Scrubs.
Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot Family Album is no longer in contention for midseason. Considered one of the hotter pilots at the network this past season, the half-hour, written by Joe Port and Joe Wiseman and directed by Shawn Levy, didn’t get a series order but, along with another comedy pilot, Little In Common, was put in redevelopment for midseason consideration. The network ordered a pilot reshoot, which later morphed into filming a whole new episode/pilot. The project’s original premise was to to have each season take place during a family vacation and the pilot reflected that. I hear that Fox ultimately found that premise too narrow and asked the creators to turn Family Album into a more traditional family show, with every episode focused on a different incident in the family’s daily life, including one chronicling their vacation. The studio, 20th TV, which co-produces Family Album with 21 Laps/Adelstein Prods., extended the options on stars Mike O’Malley and Rachel Harris and standout supporting player Rob Huebel at the end of June, while Port, Wiseman and fellow executive producers Levy, Adelstein and Becky Clements focused on reworking the show. But after a lot of back-and-forth with the network, I hear the producers and the studio felt that by transforming Family Album into a family show the concept no longer felt as unique and specific as they wanted it to be. Said a person close to the network, “We loved the auspices but ultimately could …
Midseason Status Report: ‘Breaking In’ Stays Alive With Cast Options Pickup, ‘Common’ & ‘Album’ Keep Some Actors,’Smothered’ Dead
June 30 marked the deadline for TV studios to pick up the options on the casts of broadcast pilots and series whose fate was still in limbo. Good news for fans of Fox’s midseason comedy Breaking In: The options on the series’ actors have been picked up until Nov. 15. And, in a rare move, I hear the network, Fox, has pitched in, splitting the cost of the option extension with producing studio Sony Pictures TV. Fox’s decision to cancel the Christian Slater-starring comedy after a brief midseason run was one of the biggest surprises this past upfront season.
Among the pilots left in contention for midseason, Fox’s comedies Little In Common and Family Album remain in the running for Fox’s two-hour, four-show midseason Tuesday comedy block. But both projects will undergo some tweaking as reflected in their producing studios’ decision to pick up only parts of their casts.
Fox will experiment with a night of all live-action half-hour comedies in midseason. During Fox’s conference call this morning, entertainment president Kevin Reilly said the network plans to launch the four-show comedy block on Tuesdays in March, when the current block’s 8 PM anchor Glee goes on hiatus before returning in mid-April. “This is a protected trial as we have Glee coming back right after,” Reilly said. There are five contenders for the four slots: the three half-hour live-action comedies already on the fall schedule – Raising Hope, New Girl, and I Hate My Teenage Daughter — as well as pilots Family Album and Little In Common, which remain under consideration for midseason. Reilly praised both pilots, which he said may undergo “a piece of recasting and probably reshooting” before the network makes a pickup. “Both could make the cut,” Reilly said.
WHO IS STILL ALIVE? ‘Exit Strategy’ Taps Ken Olin As Co-Showrunner; ‘Family Album’ Eyes Midseason Order & More
Between the VIP section of newly picked up series and the pilot of rejected pilots is the no man’s land of pilots that are neither dead nor picked up yet. Here is a rundown on what is still alive and which dead pilots are looking for life elsewhere:
EXIT STRATEGY: Fox passing on the Ethan Hawke-starring action drama pilot was one of the biggest surprises on Tuesday when Fox made its series pickups. But the project, from 20th TV and Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman’s K/O Paper Products, is very much alive at the network for a possible midseason order. Veteran director-producer Ken Olin has come on board to help with the retooling of the project. He worked with Orci and Kurtzman on Alias where he also met K/O president Heather Kadin, then an ABC exec. Olin is expected to serve as co-showrunner if Exit Strategy is picked up to series. The pilot has been praised for the look established by director Antoine Fuqua but I hear that Fox brass felt the action needed to be infused with more character. Olin is already pitching ideas to do that, working alongside creator David Guggenheim who comes from the feature world and has no TV experience. Besides Hawke, a rare bona fide movie star to agree to do a broadcast series, Exit Strategy has something else going for it – the huge popularity surrounding Seal Team Six, the elite group that killed Osama …
3RD UPDATE: Fox Orders ‘Finder’, ‘Alcatraz’, ‘Daughter’ & ‘New Girl’ To Series, ‘Council’, ‘Locke’, ‘Bellevue’, ‘Outnumbered’ & ‘Iceland’ Dead; ‘Exit’, ‘Album’ & ‘Common’ Still In Play
UPDATE 9 PM: A Locke & Key limited series/miniseries was a stretch, and it seems that it is not happening. The show is now heading to the death pile. And yes, comedy Outnumbered is dead too. Surprisingly, multi-family comedy Little In Common starring Rob Corddry and Kevin Hart, which had stayed largely under the radar, is still very much in the mix.
UPDATE 8 PM: With two high-profile drama pilots, the Ethan Hawke starrer Exit Strategy and Locke & Key, conspicuously missing from the list of series pickups or rejects, speculation started swirling as to their fate. I hear both are still in play. Word is Exit Strategy may be held for retooling. I hear Fox brass felt the pilot had a lot of action and not too much character in it, so they had been looking to shift the focus on the show. As for Locke & Key, there is a rumor that Fox wants to make it into a big-event limited series/miniseries, but it is unclear if that would be financially feasible. Comedy Family Album is still TBD but is not getting an order at this time and may get pushed.
UPDATE 7:30 PM: Fox has picked up a second new comedy series, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, on the same night its star, Jaime Pressly, appears on Fox’s Raising Hope. Meanwhile, three other pilots, medical drama Weekends at Bellevue and comedies Council of Dads and Iceland, are dead.
Lauren Cohan has landed the female lead in the CW supernatural drama pilot Heavenly. Ryan Eggold also has been tapped for a lead role in the project, from CBS TV Studios and writer Richard Hatem. Heavenly centers on Lily (Cohan), a dedicated young attorney, and a former angel, Dashiel Coffee (Ben Aldridge), only recently turned human, who tackle cases at the attorney’s legal aid clinic – she saves clients’ butts while he saves their souls. Eggold, repped by Gersh and Untitled, will play a pastor whom Dashiel seeks counsels from. Also previously cast in the pilot is Elizabeth Ho. Cohan has recurred on two CW series, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries.
Kevin Zegers (Dawn of the Dead) has landed a lead role opposite Jimmy Wolk in ABC’s Georgetown. Written by Will Fetters, it centers on Andrew Pierce (Wolk), an effortlessly charming and brilliant Yale graduate and the youngest presidential speechwriter on record. Zegers will play Monty, an incredibly wealthy stockbroker from a well-connected family and an old rival of Andrew’s who has just proposed to an old girlfriend of Andrew’s. Canadian-born Zegers has been recurring on the CW’s Gossip Girl this season.
Kevin Hart is set to star opposite Rob Corddry in Rob Thomas’ single-camera comedy pilot for Fox Little in Common. The WBTV-produced pilot is about 3 families united through their kids’ little league sports. It centers on the Wellers (Corddry, Paula Marshall) who move from San Jose, CA to Austin, TX, but find that their adjustment won’t be quite that easy, considering that their Latino neighbors, the Pachecos, have a radically different approach to child-rearing than they do, while their other new neighborhood acquaintances, the African American Burlesons, take sports very seriously. Hart will play Ty Burleson, a former Division 2 athlete and sports writer-turned-house husband who now satisfies his competitive urges by coaching youth baseball.
Kevin Hart, now on tour with his standup show Laugh at My Pain, just wrapped up a 2-day performance at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live that set a record with $1.1 million in ticket sales. No African American comedian since Eddie Murphy has surpassed 1 million dollars in two-day live show ticket sales. The Nokia shows, which Hart co-directed, were filmed for a theatrical release. The concert film, also titled Laugh at My Pain, is being produced by Codeblack Entertainment, Hart’s HartBeat Prods. and exec produced by 3 Arts’ Dave Becky. Vivendi/Universal is distributing. Hart, repped by 3 Arts, UTA and APA, has sold over 350,000 DVDs of his most recent special Seriously Funny.
EXCLUSIVE: Rob Corddry is set to star in Rob Thomas’ single-camera comedy pilot for Fox Little in Common. Paula Marshall is finalizing a deal to join him in the pilot, from by Warner Bros. TV, which is about 3 families united through their kids’ little league sports. It centers on the Caucasian, oh-so-proper Wellers (Corddry, Marshall) who move from San Jose, CA to Austin, TX, but find that their adjustment won’t be quite that easy, considering that their Latino neighbors, the Pachecos, have a radically different approach to child-rearing than they do, while their other new neighborhood acquaintances, the African American Burlesons, take sports very seriously. Deal will allow Corddry, who has an overall deal at WBTV, to continue his work on Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital, which he created and executive produces with David Wain and Jonathan Stern. Corddry, repped by WME and Principato-Young, can be seen in Fox Searchlight’s Cedar Rapids and recently wrapped the Weinstein Co.’s Butter.
Another Fox comedy pilot, Tagged, has added BJ Bales and Lindsey Kraft to the cast. The hybrid comedy, from Sony TV, Reveille and writers David Guarascio and Moses Port, is a workplace ensemble set at the Los Angeles County’s coroner’s office that centers on Wally …
EXCLUSIVE: Feature director James Mangold has come on board to direct the CBS/CBS Studios drama pilot Rookies, an ensemble cop show from The Color of Money writer Richard Price, which is executive produced by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal through their Tribeca production banner. Price also is exec producing the pilot, about six NYPD rookies who balance their personal lives with learning the beat on the streets of Manhattan. De Niro and Mangold worked together on the 1997 movie Cop Land, also about a group of NYPD policemen. Mangold directed the movie, which co-starred De Niro. Because of the duo’s great experience on Cop Land, De Niro and Rosenthal approached Mangold to direct Rookies. This is the second TV directing gig for CAA-repped Mangold, who also directed the pilot for Men in Trees and served as an executive producer on the ABC series.
Meanwhile, Mad Men helmer Lesli Linka Glatter has signed on to direct the ABC drama pilot Grace, from Grey’s Anatomy executive producer Krista Vernoff, a dysfunctional family drama set in the world of professional dance. WME-repped Glatter was nominated for an Emmy and won a DGA Award for the Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency episode of Mad Men. She recently directed the pilot for ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars.
Fox has handed a pilot order to Little in Common, a single-camera comedy from Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas. The project, produced by Warner Bros. TV, is about 3 families united through their kids’ little league sports. This is Fox’s second comedy pilot pickup this season. The network recently ordered a multicamera comedy, Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer’s I Hate My Teenage Daughter, also from WBTV. The pickup marks a return to broadcast TV for Thomas who most recently co-created and executive produced the Starz comedy Party Down. Little in Common is one of two comedy projects Thomas sold to the broadcast networks this development season. It is in second position to Temp, a comedy for NBC, which Thomas co-wrote with fellow Party Down co-creators John Enbom and Dan Etheridge. Both shows are produced by WBTV. 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.
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.