January 06, 2014 1:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Craig Robinson Comedy Gets Series Order at NBC
NBC is back in business with Craig Robinson.
Nearly a year after ordering comedy Mr. Robinson to pilot, the network has handed out a six-episode series order for the vehicle starring The Office alum, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Mr. Robinson centers on a journeyman musician (Robinson) who gets a job as a music teacher at a middle school. While teaching the kids everything from rock to the blues, he simultaneously learns how to put the school's rules to the test.
Brothers Mark Cullen and Robb Cullen have boarded the project, from Universal Television and 3 Arts, and will executive produce alongside Howard Klein and Mark Schulman. The original pilot hailed from The Office's Owen Ellickson, who penned the original script and exec produced alongside Greg Daniels and Tracy Katsky. Daniels is no longer involved, while Robinson will still be credited as a producer, as he was on the original pilot.
The Cullens will serve as showrunners on Mr. Robinson, marking the duo's latest comedy following their short-lived semi-autobiographical baseball comedy Back in the Game. ABC canceled the series after its initial run ended in November.
Additional deals for original co-stars Larenz Tate, Jean Smart, Amanda Lund, Amandla Stenberg and Steve Little are expected to come shortly. A premiere date for the series has not yet been determined and it's unclear if the comedy is in contention for this season or the 2014-15 frame.
Mr. Robinson becomes the second new series at NBC starring a former Office alum. The network handed out a straight-to-series order for an untitled half-hour from EP Tina Fey starring Ellie Kemper. That series will bow in the fall. Should Mr. Robinson be slated for 2014-15, it would join Working the Engels, NBC's third series slated for next season.
Both the Robinson vehicle and Krysten Ritter starrer Assistance were NBC's remaining pilots from last year's massive crop to be in contention. Assistance will no longer move forward.