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OCT
2
1 years

John Mulaney Comedy Lands Series Order at Fox

The semi-autobiographical comedy from EP Lorne Michaels was developed last season for NBC. Martin Short also will remain on board with the multicamera vehicle.

John Mulaney - P 2013
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John Mulaney

Fox is going into business with John Mulaney.

The network has picked up to series Mulaney, the multicamera comedy that was developed at NBC last season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The Universal Television vehicle hails from Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video and 3 Arts. Stand-up comedian/Saturday Night Live writer Mulaney created, writes and stars in the multicamera comedy that is based loosely on his life. The new take is still based on Mulaney's life and follows an aspiring comedian coming of age under the influence of his boss (Short), his roommates and his neighbors.

An episode count for the comedy has not yet been announced. Mulaney and Michaels will executive produce alongside 3 Arts' Dave Becky (Louie) and Andrew Singer (Portlandia). Andy Ackerman (The New Adventures of Old Christine, Seinfeld) will direct the pilot. Emmy winner Martin Short, who co-starred in NBC's pilot, will remain on board. It's unclear which, if any, other original castmembers will return for the Fox take.

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The original cast for the New York-set comedy included SNL's Nasim Pedrad as Jane, the sweet, intelligent and lazy grade school teacher who doesn't love her job and wants to make changes but is addicted to procrastinating. (Had the NBC take moved forward, Pedrad -- the longest-running tenured female castmember on SNL -- would have exited the late-night staple.) Elliott Gould, Seaton Smith and Griffin Newman co-starred in NBC's pilot, which also featured a cameo by Jimmy Fallon.

"John is one of the sharpest and most skilled next-generation comedic voices out there, who also happens to be surrounded by the best of the best on this new show," Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said. "I am personally thrilled to be working with Lorne Michaels again, a friend and show business hero who knows better than anyone how to build a show around talent. Add in the comedy magic of Marty Short and the seasoned hand of Andy Ackerman, and I believe we have the makings of something really special here."

For Universal Television, the pickup marks the studio's latest off-network sale and the second this development season. The studio also received a straight-to-series commitment for an untitled comedy from 30 Rock's Tina Fey, Matt Hubbard, Robert Carlock and David Miner. The comedy also joins fellow Fox Universal TV comedies The Mindy Project and Brooklyn Nine-Nine as well as A&E drama Bates Motel.

The Mulaney vehicle also becomes the latest 2012-13 pilot to be redeveloped, joining CBS' The McCarthys and Jim Gaffigan's semi-autobiographical vehicle. Pilots Wild Blue (Fox), Girlfriend in a Coma (NBC), The Donor Party (NBC) and Wonderland (NBC) were pushed off-cycle and remain in the mix.

Mulaney marks the latest male-leaning comedy at Fox as the network looks to broaden its comedy brand. This season, Fox has male-skewing half-hours Dads and Brooklyn Nine-Nine leading into female-focused New Girl and The Mindy Project on Tuesdays.

For his part, Mulaney started his career in New York's East Village as part of a two-man "Oh Hello Show" with Nick Kroll. He has performed in Ireland and Australia, and has been with SNL since 2008, appearing as a Weekend Update correspondent and co-creating characters including Bill Hader's fan favorite Stefon. Mulaney has released two stand-up comedy specials.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit