2:15pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC Orders Pilots From Bill Lawrence, Greg Garcia and Hybrid Game Show/Comedy
NBC on Tuesday added to its comedy pilot haul, ordering half-hours from Bill Lawrence (Undateable), Greg Garcia (The Millers) and a scripted/game show hybrid from Betsy Thomas (Guys With Kids).
From Lawrence's Warner Bros. Television-based Doozer banner, the untitled Vladimir Caamano comedy stars the stand-up comedian in a semi-autobiographical story. Formerly known as Vlad, the project centers on Caamano, the son of Dominican immigrants, who wants to carve his own path in life but finds that proves difficult as his father has no desire to change their extremely co-dependent relationship.
Undateable's Adam Sztykiel will pen the script and executive produce the multicamera comedy alongside Lawrence and Doozer's Jeff Ingold. The project landed a hefty put-pilot commitment from the network in November.
Garcia's Sebastian, meanwhile, stars another stand-up comedian in Sebastian Maniscalo. Written by The Millers' Austen Earl and Maniscalo, the project revolves around Sebastian and his old-school values — instilled by his opinionated Italian father — being put to the test by his new wife, her family and the absurdities of the modern world.
Earl and Maniscalco will serve as co-executive producers, while Garcia will exec produce the multicamera comedy via his CBS Television Studios-based Amigos de Garcia banner. The project landed at the network with a script commitment in October.
Rounding out Tuesday's pickups is Crunch Time, a game show/multicamera comedy from Thomas (Whitney, My Boys) that intercuts between a real game show and the scripted workplace laffer that centers on an up-and-coming producer trying to wrangle the volatile host.
Thomas will pen the script and exec produce the comedy alongside David Janollari and his Universal Television-based banner. Phil Gurin is also on board as an exec producer.
Crunch Time arrives as Lifetime has found critical and ratings success with UnREAL, a scripted drama that centers on the behind-the-scenes insanity of a Bachelor-type dating show. The pickup gives Janollari both a comedy and a drama pilot in the works at NBC this season as the former MTV chief also has drama Midnight Texas at the network.
Tuesday's pickups bring NBC's comedy pilot haul this season to 14 — off one from last year. The network has been making a major push for comedy this season as the genre remains a high priority for topper Bob Greenblatt.
The Caamano and Maniscalo comedies come as family fare has become the can't-miss story of pilot season. NBC also is prepping a semi-autobiographical comedy starring Marlon Wayans as well as others inspired by the lives of 30 Rock alums Matt Hubbard and Tracey Wigfield. CBS also has a Kevin James family comedy in the works, and ABC has a comedy starring stand-up comic Gabriel Iglesias. Family fare was one of the biggest trends this past development season as broadcast networks look to reflect society with diverse programming and feature families that aren't typically reflected on the small screen.
Keep up with all the latest pickups, castings and eventual series orders with THR's handy guide to pilot season.