7:15pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Coach' Follow-Up Dead at NBC
NBC's Coach revival will not be moving forward.
The network has opted to cancel the straight-to-series follow-up starring Craig T. Nelson, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Barry Kemp — who created the original series that ran on ABC for nine seasons — was attached to write the NBC follow-up and exec produce the Universal Television multicamera series with Nelson.
The series was poised to pick up 18 years after Coach went off the air in 1997 following a nearly 200-episode run. Nelson's beleaguered football coach has now retired and is called back to become the assistant coach to his own grown son, who is the new head coach at an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania that is just starting up a new team.
The new series, originally ordered for a 13-episode pickup, was set to star Andrew Ridings as Hayden Fox's (Nelson) son. Original star Bill Fagerbakke was poised to reprise his role as Michael “Dauber” Dybinski.
Insiders say the comedy, which had just begun production, was not going well and multiple people inside NBC were not optimistic about it from the start.
Asked by reporters at TCA about the kind of message the series sent about the network, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said the deal for the recent Parenthood grad came together quickly.
"We love Craig. He’s been on this network for the past six years in Parenthood. He is a force of nature and a real talent. And he and Barry Kemp, I think, got together and started kicking around the notion of, 'Hey, what if we pick up this character 20 years later. What do you think?' And they came to see us and we just thought it was a great idea. One man’s practical joke is another man’s hit show.… It’s a way to do another variation on a family show with, I think, a truly talented star and a great showrunner and a presold title. And if that works, then Alf the series is next."
Coach becomes the latest straight-to-series order to vanish. The network previously picked up Emerald City straight to series, but canceled it only to revive it again with a different showrunner.
Coach — which did not have a premiere date — becomes the latest 2015-16 series to experience a problem. Four shows have changed showrunners, three have tweaked their titles and many have undergone recastings as the competitive and overcrowded landscape forces networks to address changes from the get-go.