Anna Faris might play ditzy onscreen, but don’t discount her industry acumen when it comes to comedy’s playability with an audience. As one of the leading comedic females, she’s got the pratfalls and cheeky camera reactions down pat, but she also knows what types of raunchy comedy features click and don’t click, having relished the highs with the near billion-dollar Scary Movie franchise, and weathered the market’s ennui with What’s Your Number? There’s nothing wrong with raunchy female roles per se according to Faris; there just needs to be an evolution with them. It’s partly why she took a pause from her string of marquee roles to play Christy: A complicated, ex-alcoholic mother who is trying to piece her life back together in Chuck Lorre’s CBS-Warner Bros. TV comedy Mom. While Faris still gets to show her flair for physical comedy, her Christy has tackled such heavy story arcs like teenage pregnancy, long-lost fathers and cancer. During her childhood in Seattle, Faris says comedy wasn’t her strong suit: “I was the short one with headgear who just had the desire to be heard.” But she quickly earned her funny stripes after working with such icons as David Zucker and Keenen Ivory Wayans, the latter who advised, “There’s no vanity in comedy”. “Embrace the idea that the audience will think you’re a certain type of person,” says Faris. Click through for our interview with her:
We may have seen the last of midseason CBS comedy series Friends With Better Lives and Bad Teacher. CBS has quietly pulled the shows off the schedule as it is making a push for a freshman comedy series that got renewed for next season, Mom. Repeats of Mom will move into Friends With Better Lives‘ Monday 8:30 PM slot, where it will air next fall. For extra sampling, reruns of Mom also will air behind the biggest comedy series on television, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, in the Thursday 8:30 PM slot for the next few weeks. Starting this week, fellow renewed freshman comedy The Millers, which will return to the Thursday 8:30 PM slot in the fall, will temporarily move to the 9:30 PM berth currently occupied by Bad Teacher, following Two And A Half Men. CBS has an available half-hour slot on Monday for the summer, with 2.5 Men reruns also airing at 9:30 PM there, following Mike & Molly. But the network seems to be going for a clean break from the just-finished season, opting not to continue with any of its cancelled comedies and focusing on the shows that are coming back. There are no plans at the moment for the remaining episodes of FWBL, which has aired 9 of its 13 produced episodes, or Bad Teacher, which has aired 5.
We finally have some comedies to go with those three new dramas that had been picked up so far this fall. As expected, CBS has given Back 9 orders to The Crazy Ones, The Millers and Mom. The pickups come as Crazy Ones and The Millers ticked up by a tenth in the 18-49 fast nationals last night. While Mom slipped by a tenth this week, it comes from comedy Superman Chuck Lorre and stars Anna Faris, so there was no chance that show was not getting picked up. In fact, all three comedies hail from A-list auspices: Lorre, David E. Kelley (Crazy Ones) and Greg Garcia (The Millers). CBS has been touting the performance of its new comedies (sans swiftly cancelled We Are Men), which rank as No. 1-3 in total viewers and claim the top 2 spots in adults 18-49 among all new comedy series in another fall that has been pretty brutal to half-hour newcomers. “We’re proud of CBS’ leadership position in comedy and excited to build on it with the back nine pickups of these three new comedies,” said the network’s entertainment president Nina Tassler. “These series are creatively distinct, continue to improve each week and are led by strong showrunners, writing and production staffs, and feature amazingly talented casts.” The only new CBS series that has not learned its fate yet is underperforming Monday drama Hostages. The serialized thriller was designed for a 15-episode-a-season run, so there is no back order to be given. Based on its high-profile auspices and solid DVR gains, the series will likely finish its first-season arc, possibly moved to a less trafficked spot on the schedule, with no further cycles.
Chuck Lorre, who is famous for his exits from sitcoms about women looking for a second start, says he’ll keep doing them until he makes one on which he survives. “I tried it with Grace Under Fire and I left that show…well, just because. And I tried that with Cybil and…moving on,” he joked today at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013. His latest stab: CBS’s new Mom, about a recovering alcoholic, who’s also a mother, played by Ana Faris. Allison Janney plays her mom. Chuck Lorre says he originally thought his next series would be about vampires. “Been done” he announced. “I wanted to tell a story about a woman starting her life over again and redemption and all those funny premises for a sitcom…This is a story that’s very meaningful to me. It’s about starting your life over again repairing the mistakes that you’ve done. Getting another start [is] very much a story of Los Angeles, even though this isn’t set in Los Angeles, because this is the city of second chances or fifth or sixth chances.”
Faris calls the role a “Cinderella shoe” after a run of one-dimensional parts. “Playing one-dimensional characters like Cindy from Scary Movie is actually really difficult because it’s not someone you really know.. I felt I was in a place in my career …
The Crazy Ones stars Robin Williams as larger-than-life advertising genius Simon Roberts whose unorthodox methods and unpredictable behavior would get him fired… if he weren’t the boss. The image features Williams playfully posing with illuminated light bulbs.
UPDATE: I hear among the pilots remaining in serious contention are dramas Backstrom and Beverly Hills Cop and comedy Friends With Better Lives. I also gear that the serialized Hostages, which had been rumored for a midseason run, has received a 15-episode order and may air as a limited run.
PREVIOUS, 2:30 PM: CBS is going for star power — both in front and behind the camera — with its series pickups. The network has ordered projects starring Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anna Faris, Allison Janney, Will Arnett, Kal Penn, Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O’Connell, Toni Collette, Dylan McDermott, Josh Holloway, and Marg Helgenberger from writers/producers Chuck Lorre, Greg Garcia, David E. Kelley and Jerry Bruckheimer.
Living up to the buzz that CBS has been higher on its comedy pilots than dramas this season, the network has picked up four new comedy series vs. two dramas. The comedies are two multi-camera — Lorre’s Mom and Garcia’s multi-camera project, now titled The Millers – and two single-camera — Kelley’s Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams and We Are Men (formerly untitled Rob Greenberg). This marks the first time in five years that CBS will have a single-camera on the air, since Worst Week in 2008. On the drama side, getting the nod are the Bruckheimer-produced conspiracy thriller Hostages and crime procedural Intelligence, which stars Holloway and Helgenberger. The big question is: where is Beverly Hills Cop? Word is CBS is not completely done yet, with 1-2 more pickups likely. For now, I’ve only heard that the Tad Quill project and Rottenberg/Zuritsky are not going forward; I’ll update with info on others.
The “C” in CBS can now officially stand for Chuck as top producer Chuck Lorre will have four series on the network in the fall. I’ve learned that CBS will pick up Lorre’s comedy pilot Mom to series tomorrow, a full week before the network’s upfront presentation. It will be the first pilot from this year’s crop to get a series order. A select few A-list producers get early pickup deadlines from the networks, giving them a window to shop the projects elsewhere if they get a pass. Lorre understandably is in that category with an unusually early deadline for Mom this year even by those standards. Not that there has ever been any doubt that CBS would exercise its option to pick up Mom to series. Written on spec by Lorre, Eddie Gorodetsky and Gemma Baker, Mom has been sailing through the pilot process with a hot script, top-notch cast led by Anna Faris and Allison Janney and great table read and taping that led to a finished pilot that has been well received. The series, produced by Warner Bros TV and Chuck Lorre Prods., centers on a newly sober single mom (Faris) who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley. It is eyed for the Monday 8:30 PM slot following the final season of How I Met Your Mother – which is exec produced/directed by Pam Fryman, who also helmed the Mom pilot. Despite his tremendous workload, Lorre
Matt Jones (Breaking Bad) and Spencer Daniels (Star Trek) have been added to the cast of Chuck Lorre’s CBS comedy pilot Mom. The multi-camera project, which Lorre co-wrote on spec with two members of his Two And A Half Men team — executive producer Eddie Gorodetsky and story editor Gemma Baker — stars Anna Faris as Christy, a newly sober single mom who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley. Jones, repped by Paradigm and manager Brian Ferrantino, will play Baxter, ex-husband to Christy and father of her son, Roscoe. Daniels, repped by Stone Manners Salners and manager Debra Manners, will play Luke, the boyfriend of Christy’s daughter, Violet. Also co-starring in the Warner Bros TV-produced pilot are Allison Janney and Nate Corddry.
Nate Corddry To Co-Star In Chuck Lorre’s CBS Pilot ‘Mom’, Amanda Lund In NBC’s Craig Robinson Comedy
EXCLUSIVE: Nate Corddry (Harry’s Law, Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip) has been tapped as the male lead in Chuck Lorre’s CBS comedy pilot Mom. The multi-camera project, which Lorre co-wrote on spec with two members of his Two And A Half Men team — executive producer Eddie Gorodetsky and story editor Gemma Baker — stars Anna Faris as Christy, a newly sober single mom who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley. Corddry, repped by WME and the Group Entertainment, will play Gabriel, Christy’s good-looking, married restaurant manager boss. Allison Janney co-stars as Christy’s mom. Corddry, who was pursued for multiple pilots, will next be seen in the features The Heat, In Lieu Of Flowers and Girl Most Likely and voices a regular role on the new Disney XD animation series Tron: Uprising.
Kevin Dunn has been tapped for a major recurring role on Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s upcoming eight-episode HBO drama series True Detective. The high-concept project is described as an elevated serial narrative with multiple perspectives and time frames. It centers on two detectives, Rust Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Harrelson), whose lives collide and entwine during a 17-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. The investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 is framed and interlaced with testimony from the detectives in 2012, when the case is reopened. Dunn will play Rust and Martin’s boss, the fair but tough 3rd Squad Homicide Commander Maj. Ken Quesada. Dunn, repped by the Gersh Agency and Lighthouse Entertainment, already is recurring on another HBO series, comedy Veep, as the President’s Chief of Staff. On the big screen, he will next be seen in The Frozen Ground, Jobs and Diego Luna’s Chavez.
Is this the next Angus T. Jones? Youngster Blake Garrett Rosenthal has been cast opposite Anna Faris and Allison Janney in Chuck Lorre’s CBS comedy pilot Mom. The multi-camera project, which he co-wrote on spec with two members of his Two And A Half Men team — executive producer Eddie Gorodetsky and story editor Gemma Baker — centers on Christy (Faris), a newly sober single mom who tries to pull her life together in …
Comedy pilot Mom has solidified its status as frontrunner for the fall CBS schedule. The project, from the network’s biggest hit maker Chuck Lorre, already snagged Anna Faris for the lead. Now it has also scored Emmy winner Allison Janney. Mom, which Lorre co-wrote on spec with two members of his Two And A Half Men team — executive producer Eddie Gorodetsky and story editor Gemma Baker — centers on Christy (Faris), a newly sober single mom who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley. Janney will play her mom Bonnie, who is the source of a lot of Christy’s previous problems, most likely because she wasn’t the best mother.
Mom landed Janney in a competitive situation, with three other pilots pursuing her. The project reunites Janney and Lorre. In 2007, Lorre and his Two And A Half co-creator Lee Aronsohn developed a CBS comedy pilot for her to star. The same year, Janney also guest starred on Men. Jenney just returned from the Sundance Film Festival, where she had two movies, Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely and The Way, Way Back, which was acquired by Fox Searchlight in a blockbuster $10 million deal. She is repped by Gersh, Thruline and attorney Peter Nelson.
Anna Faris has been tapped as the lead in Mom, CBS‘ comedy pilot from Chuck Lorre, the man behind the network’s comedy series Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly. Mom, which Lorre co-wrote on spec with two members of his Two And A Half Men team — executive producer Eddie Gorodetsky and story editor Gemma Baker — centers on a newly sober single mom (Faris) who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley. The project, produced by Warner Bros TV and studio-based Chuck Lorre Prods, was taken to CBS last month, landing a pilot order.
This marks a rare foray into TV for feature actress Faris, The House Bunny star who has been on the wish list of comedy pilot casting directors for several years. Her only previous series credits include a high-profile guest arc on the final season of NBC’s Friends as the birth mother of the twin babies adopted by Monica and Chandler, and another one on HBO’s Entourage where she played herself. Faris, repped by WME, Anonymous Content and attorney Robert Offer, also played the lead in Jhoni Marchinko’s 2005 NBC comedy pilot Blue Skies and has twice hosted NBC’s Saturday Night Live. On the feature side, her credits include the Scary Movie franchise, Lost In Translation and most recently, The Dictator and What’s Your Number?
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy king Chuck Lorre is expanding his relationship with CBS with a new half-hour project, which is instantly becoming a top prospect for the network’s fall 2013 schedule. The network has given a pilot production order to Mom, a multi-camera comedy from Lorre, who is behind half of CBS’ comedy series: Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly. Lorre co-wrote Mom on spec with two members of his Two And A Half Men team, executive producer Eddie Gorodetsky and story editor Gemma Baker. Mom centers on a newly sober single mom who tries to pull her life together in Napa Valley. The project, which was developed internally at Warner Bros TV, marks Lorre’s first project under the blockbuster new four-year deal he inked with the studio in September. It also marks Lorre’s return to comedies with a female lead where he had success in the 1990s with Grace Under Fire and Cybill.