TBS has picked up a 10-episode second season of multi-camera comedy Ground Floor, created by Bill Lawrence and Greg Malins and starring Skylar Astin and Briga Heelan. The renewal extends TBS’ streak of renewing its freshman series, which includes sitcoms Men at Work and Sullivan & Son and reality comedy King of the Nerds. Ground Floor started off lower than the other two scripted comedies, drawing 1.6 million viewers for its premiere vs. 2.7 million for for Men at Work and 2.5 million for Sullivan & Son. But Ground Floor launched against much stronger competition during the November sweep; it has been pretty consistent, and TBS brass believe in its upside potential. Ground Floor finished its first season with an average of 1.8 million viewers in Live + 7 delivery, including 1.1 million adults 18-49 and 575,000 adults 18-34. The renewal keeps Lawrence and Malins with two projects each at TBS. Lawrence has series Cougar Town, while Malins has pilot Your Family or Mine.
Deon Cole (Barbershop, FX’s The League) has joined TBS‘ comedy pilot Tribeca, directed by Steve Carell. Co-written by Carell and his wife, Nancy Carell, Tribeca is a satirical look at a police procedural anchored by Angie Tribeca (Rashida Jones). Cole, repped by APA and Kirsten Ames Management, will play Officer DJ Tanner, head of the K-9 unit. He most recently hosted his own TBS series Deon Cole’s Black Box.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
Edi Gathegi (Justified) and Caroline Rose Kaplan have signed on to TNT‘s pilot Proof, a supernatural medical drama executive produced by Kyra Sedgwick. Written by Rob Bragin and directed by Alex Graves, Proof centers on a skeptical, hard science, female surgeon who is persuaded to investigate cases of reincarnation.
Related: 2014 TNT Pilots
Jere Burns (Justified) in in final negotiations and Andrée Vermeulen (CollegeHumor Originals) is set to co-star opposite Rashida Jones in TBS‘ single-camera comedy pilot Tribeca, directed by Steve Carell. Co-written by Carell and his wife, Nancy Carell, Tribeca is a satirical look at a police procedural anchored by Angie Tribeca (Jones), an outspoken 10-year veteran of the LAPD’s elite RHCU (Really Heinous Crimes Unit). The project explores an eccentric but brilliant group of people who investigate crime, reveal way too much personal information, and refuse to rest until justice has been served…sort of.
This latest deal for Franklin Leonard’s script service comes about six months after a tie-up with Warner Bros, which resulted in a two-step WGA minimum deal worth about $93,000 for Tasha Huo, who was a Universal assistant at the time. Today’s announcement marks the first TV network deal for the Black List, which is expanding into episodic content in its quest discover writers from underserved demos. Here’s the release:
TNT and TBS are partnering with The Black List on an initiative to promote diversity in the industry by identifying talented writers to develop scripts and concepts for the networks. TNT and TBS are the first television networks to team up with the Black List following the site’s expansion into episodic content. The networks will be looking for writers from diverse backgrounds for possible blind script deals and staffing consideration on TBS and TNT series, with the goal of signing script deals with particularly strong writers in the half-hour comedy and hour-long drama genres.
EXCLUSIVE: Hit online series Jake & Amir is heading to television. TBS has put in development a comedy based on CollegeHumor’s most popular and longest-running series by comedy duo Amir Blumenfeld and Jake Hurwitz. Hurwitz and Blumenfeld will star the TV project. They will co-write with another scripter duo, Mike Lisbe and Nate Reger, with The Hangover and The Office alum Ed Helms executive producing.
Created by Hurwitz and Blumenfeld, Jake & Amir will revolve around an odd-couple friendship between best friends and co-workers Jake (Hurwitz), the sensible “regular guy”, and Amir (Blumenfeld), the obsessive oddball. Together they must navigate the cubicles of their workplace, stand up to the corporate man and try to function with their dysfunctional co-workers, all while maintaining their shenanigans. CollegeHumor is producing, with the online comedy brand’s Ricky Van Veen and Sam Reich executive producing alongside Hurwitz & Blumenfeld; Lisbe and Reger, who serve as showrunners; and Pacific Electric Picture Co.’s Helms and Mike Falbo. Blumenfeld and Hurwitz originally teamed with CollegeHumor to pitch the Jake & Amir concept to TV networks. TBS, which has been focusing on younger-skewing comedy fare to fit its blockbuster off-network series The Big Bang Theory, bought the project; partnered Blumenfeld and Hurwitz with experienced comedy writers, Lisbe and Reger, who serve as co-executive producers on the network’s Cougar Town; and brought in Helms. This follows the template of TBS’ comedy Sullivan & Son, also exec produced by a well-known actor-producer, Vince Vaughn.
An old Conan promo that simulated the nails-on-chalkboard sounds of the Emergency Alert System looks have cost TBS $25,000. The Federal Communications Commission this week alerted TBS it is slapping the cable network with a fine in that amount over a 2012 Conan promo it telecast that used the well-known sounds intended to warn viewers of national emergencies.
The FCC — the government agency charged with fining those who misuse the distinctive EAS sounds — has given Turner notice of the fine for “the transmission of false distress signals,” unless it can dissuade the commission within 30 days.
The FCC this past February launched an investigation into a viewer complaint about a 2012 promo for TBS’s Conan O’Brien late-night show. Turner admitted, the FCC said, that it produced and distributed a promotion, for use prior to April 26, 2012, that included a “sound effect” in part derived from an online source, which the network insisted was not part of the actual EAS code, but did include a prerecorded “sound burst” followed by a “bars and tone” sound. Turner “admits that the promotion was not made in connection with an actual national, state or local emergency or authorized test of the EAS,” the FCC said. Turner also argued the promo was produced within such a “tight timeframe” that the production team never submitted it for S&P review. Since May of ’12, all promos for Conan’s show have undergone S&P scrutiny, TBS pledged, according to the FCC.
Turner declined comment on Wednesday.
Thom Hinkle, who ran Steve Carell’s Carousel Television, has joined TBS as VP Comedy. Based in Los Angeles, he will oversee scripted development for the comedy-focused network, reporting to Brett Weitz, SVP Scripted Development for TBS and TNT. TBS had been without a dedicated scripted executive since VP Comedy Development Kathy Busby moved to TNT & TBS Original Prods last year. “We found ourselves doing a lot of business with Thom while he was at Carousel, and we loved his taste and the style with which he handles talent,” said Weitz. “It became very clear to us that we would be lucky to have him on our team, leading TBS’ scripted comedy department as we prepare to launch our new comedy Ground Floor and build on the success of our sitcom hits Cougar Town, Sullivan & Son and Men At Work.”