3:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC Adds Horror Comedy Pilot 'Strange Calls'
NBC is giving Australian format Strange Calls another stab.
The network on Wednesday handed out a pilot order to a remake of the Aussie comedy, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Twice developed by ABC, the NBC take again hails from prolific producer Aaron Kaplan and his Kapital Entertainment banner.
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The single-camera comedy centers on an affable but down-on-his-luck young police officer who is transferred to a rural town where — with the help of a peculiar, elderly night watchman — he starts to realize the town has a bizarre supernatural underbelly. (Watch a trailer for the Aussie series below.)
Cougar Town's Blake McCormick will pen the script and exec produce alongside Kaplan and Hoodlum's Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield. The comedy hails from 20th Century Fox Television and Hoodlum Entertainment, the latter of which produced the original series.
ABC piloted the comedy last season with a cast-contingent pickup after redeveloping the script from 2012. That incarnation, written by New Girl's Donick Cary, directed by Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer and exec produced by Kaplan and Robertson, was never cast and did not move forward.
For Kaplan, who had more than 15 sales this past development season, Strange Calls marks his whopping fifth pilot order of the season and projects at all of the Big Four broadcast networks. It joins ABC comedy Chev & Bev and drama Broad Squad; CBS comedy Life in Pieces as well as an untitled Fox half-hour from Dana Klein.
Strange Calls also marks the sixth pilot to be either redeveloped or rolled from a previous cycle this season.
For NBC, it becomes the network's 10th comedy pilot of the season — off eight from a year ago.
The horror comedy joins Fox's similarly themed anthology Scream Queens, which is in the works for next season as broadcasters continue to look for new spins on the horror genre.