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.
TBS has finalized a deal for a pilot order to an ensemble multi-camera workplace comedy from Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. This would mark the duo’s first cable pilot. The untitled project (formerly known as Clipsters) is about a group of kids from high school, who ran in different circles but now all work together at a local Charlestown, MA. barbershop called Buzzy’s. Their dreams may lie across the Charles River in Boston, but for now, their work, their lives, their loves and their worries remain in the town they grew up in. The project was set up at TBS a year ago, stemming from an exploratory meeting Kohan and Mutchnick took with the network’s programming chief Michael Wright. Kohan and Mutchnick’s KoMut Entertainment and Warner Horizon are producing.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
At TBS, the Kohan/Mutchnick project joins a busy pilot slate that include four other comedy pilots: single-camera Tribeca and multi-camera Living The Dream, Do It Yourself and Your Family Or Mine. Kohan and Mutchnick also have an Upstairs/Downstairs dark comedy in development at Showtime. Mutchnick has been repped by WME since last year, but the TBS pilot (as well as the Showtime project) was packaged by the duo’s longtime agent Scott Schwartz at Vision Art, who continues to rep Kohan.
EXCLUSIVE: TBS‘ comedy pilot Tribeca is becoming a family affair, with Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton set to portray the parents of the series’ lead, played by Jones and Lipton’s’ real-life daughter, Rashida Jones. Also set for a guest starring/potential recurring role in the pilot is Alfred Molina, with Lisa Kudrow in talks for a cameo. Directed by Steve Carell from a script he wrote with his wife, Nancy Carell, Tribeca is a satirical look at a police procedural anchored by Angie Tribeca (Rashida Jones), a 10-year veteran of the LAPD. The single-camera comedy 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. Molina will play Dr. Edelweiss, a solemn and serious handwriting expert who also has a penchant for toys.
Related: 2014 TBS Pilots
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
TBS has ordered a pilot presentation for The Weekly Awards With Jimmy Pardo, an unscripted project starring comedian Pardo. It is produced by Conan O’Brien’s Conaco banner, which is behind TBS’ late-night shows Conan and The Pete Holmes Show. According to the producers, on the show Pardo “honors all the news, clips, personalities and oddities of the week, in a tux.” Filming of the presentation is tentatively slated for March 7 in Burbank on the same stage where Conan tapes. Pardo has a long history with O’Brien. He was the warm-up comedian for The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien and continued in the same capacity on O’Brien’s TBS talker. Additionally, he has a companion web series, The Pardo Patrol, featuring backstage interviews with Conan celebrity guests. Pardo, repped by Omnipop and attorney Lev Ginsburg, has hosted the Never Not Funny podcast since 2006. He and the Never Not Funny crew also hold an annual fundraiser to raise money for Smile Train, on which O’Brien has been a celebrity guest.
Conan O’Brien will devote most of his TBS show Tuesday to guest Mel Brooks, who will talk about close friend Sid Caesar, who died this week at age 91. Brooks famously worked with Caesar on historically significant TV programs including NBC’s comedy series Your Show Of Shows, which aired in the early ’50s and boasted a writing staff that included Brooks, Neil Simon and Carl Reiner, among others. Conan boasts the youngest-skewing audience of the late-night talkers. Back in the fall of 2013, O’Brien did a Serious Jibber Jabber with Brooks about the latter’s long career in film and TV. Watch here:
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.
TBS has ordered eight episodes of Funniest Wins (working title), a new competition series featuring Marlon Wayans that focuses on a search for the funniest comedian out there. The goal — make people laugh or go home. Each week, Wayans and a rotating crew of guests will guide competitors in learning the ins and outs of a particular comedy style. They will then put what they’ve learned to the test with one comic sent packing at the end of each round. Funniest Wins is being produced for TBS by Workaholic/Marlon and Eyeworks USA. Wayans is exec producing. A summer launch is planned.
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.
Departing Parks & Recreation original cast member Rashida Jones has lined up her next series vehicle, signing on to play the lead in TBS‘ single-camera comedy Tribeca, co-created and directed by Steve Carell. Co-written by Carell and his wife, actress 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. A lone wolf, Angie is not thrilled when told she has to work with a partner. The Carells are executive producing the pilot through their Carousel TV, with production tentatively scheduled for February/March. Jones had been in high demand since word leaked in that summer that she would be leaving Parks & Recreation. The actress, repped by UTA and attorney James Adams, had been very busy as a producer via her shingle with Will McCormack Le Train Train. In its first year under a deal at Warner Bros TV, the company has sold six project and recently landed its first pilot order for comedy A to Z at NBC. Picking a starring vehicle outside of her deal was somewhat surprising but I hear Carell actively pursued her, and she sparked to the premise of …
The dust has settled on the cable late-night newcomers. Following the 40-week renewal Comedy Central gave to its entry, @midnight, in November, TBS has handed out a 13-week pickup to its midnight series, The Pete Holmes Show. New episodes of The Pete Holmes Show, produced by Conan O’Brien’s Conaco, are set to begin February 24 and will continue to air Monday-Thursday nights, following Conan.
The half-hour Pete Holmes Show, which mixes live comedy, sketches and video piece, started off with a seven-week run last fall. It was not a breakout hit the way @midnight was and was outranked by its Comedy Central rival in all key demos. Still, the show boasts a likable host and has averaged an OK audience of nearly half a million viewers with a median age of 36. Its viral videos, like the X-Men parodies and interviews with Olympian Lolo Jones and NBA all star James Harden, have amassed more than 20 million views on YouTube and Pete Holmes.com. “The first 28 episodes were a joy to make, and I’m so thrilled we get to keep going,” Holmes said. “We have so much more we want to do, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to make great comedy, continue to evolve the show and really push the limits of potty language and tasteful male nudity.” The Pete Holmes Show is executive produced by Jeff Ross, David Kissinger, Nick Bernstein, Dave Rath and Conan …
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 is relying on his own development for his first pickup as head of scripted development at TBS. The network has greenlighted half-hour pilot Tribeca, written and executive produced by Steve Carell and Nancy Carell and to be directed by Steve Carell, whose company Carousel Television is producing. Hinlke ran Carousel and developed and sold Tribeca to TBS before joining the network as VP Comedy last month. Described as the brainchild of Steve and his wife, actress Nancy Carell, Tribeca is a satirical look at a police procedural anchored by Angie Tribeca, a 10-year veteran of the LAPD’S elite RHCU (Really Heinous Crimes Unit). This single-camera comedy 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. These dedicated men and women are more than counter-intuitive; they are non-intuitive. The project seems in the same milieu as Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV:: and Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
TBS’ new late-night entry, The Pete Holmes Show, opened to 407,000 viewers at midnight on Monday, 245,000 of them in the adults 18-49 demographic. That was below the debut of the other new late-night cable show, Comedy Central‘s @midnight, which premiered last Monday to 549,992 total viewers and 260,876 adults 18-49, and Pete Holmes‘ predecessor in the post-Conan slot, Lopez Tonight, which clocked in 425,000 viewers and 269,000 adults 18-49 in its final week. Pete Holmes, which is produced by Conan O’Brien’s Conaco, only held half of its Conan lead-in, 782,000 total viewers, 482,000 adults 18-49. In the first midnight face-off last night, the Funny Or Die-produced @midnight topped Pete Holmes in every category, including adults 18-49 (393,000 vs. 245,000), helped by a stronger lead-in from The Colbert Report (628,000 adults 18-49). @midnight’s dominance is strongest in the younger demos, as it beat all late-night cable shows, including lead-ins The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and Colbert Report, in persons 18-24 where it drew 127,000 viewers last night. Colbert was No. 2 with 106,000, while Pete Holmes had 51,000.
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.”