11:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
CBS Comedy 'Taxi-22' Rolled to Next Season
Taxi-22's long road to the small screen just got a bit longer.
Following troubles casting the lead, CBS has opted to push the comedy based on the French-Canadian series of the same name, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. CBS has a high bar for the project and is committed to finding the right cast. The network will continue to pursue the comedy for the 2015-16 development season.
CBS' incarnation, from Tad Quill (Scrubs, Spin City), centers on a misanthropic and politically incorrect New York City cab driver. Quill penned the script and will exec produce the CBS Television Studios single-camera entry alongside rights holders Francois Flamand and Patrick Huard. Nancy Sanders, Mark Armstrong, Dennis Erdman and Clark Peterson also are on board to exec produce.
The late James Gandolfini shepherded the project and was attached to executive produce the comedy for CBS, which bought the comedy two weeks before the Sopranos star passed away. Taxi-22 was a passion project for the actor, who first developed it at HBO where his Attaboy Productions banner had an overall deal. The comedy went through three writers at HBO -- with Gandolfini loosely attached to star at one point. Following the actor's tragic passing, producers opted to continue on and tapped Quill to pen the script and exec produce.
Taxi-22 marks the third pilot (all comedies) to be pushed out of pilot season this year. It joins NBC's reboot of The Money Pit and relationship comedy Fifth Wheel. With more than 90 broadcast pilots competing alongside projects from cable and streaming services including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, the depleted talent pool has made casting that much more challenging this season, prompting the uptick in pushed projects.
CBS has ordered 10 comedy pilots including Taxi-22 this season, down two year-over-year. The other nine half-hours -- of which two are single-cam -- are likely competing for only two slots. CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves noted he'd like to add two comedies and two dramas for the 2014-15 broadcast season as the network looks to firm up its comedy offerings following the conclusion of How I Met Your Mother after nine seasons. (A HIMYM spinoff, How I Met Your Dad, is among the nine still in contention at CBS.)
For its part, CBS has a history of remaining committed to rolled projects. The network picked up Vince Gilligan's script for Battle Creek 12 years after it was first developed for CBS. Last season, CBS rolled comedy pilot The McCarthys to this season, redeveloping the Brian Gallivan entry from single- to multicamera and recasting a handful of roles. The new comedy is one of those in contention at the network this season.