August 18, 2014 1:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Tina Fey's 'Cabot College' Officially Dead at Fox
Tina Fey's Cabot College will not move forward at Fox.
The comedy set at a women's college that begins admitting men for the first time was considered a frontrunner for a six-episode order under former Fox chairman Kevin Reilly in May. That all changed when Reilly stepped down and studio chiefs Dana Walden and Gary Newman were tapped to oversee the network, appointing Fox TV Studios' David Madden as entertainment president and now passing on the comedy from Universal Television. Sources tell THR that Fox has declined to pick up the options on the cast and the project is now dead.
Starring Margaret Cho, Bonnie Dennison and Fortune Feimster, Fey exec produced the pilot alongside 30 Rock alums Matt Hubbard, Robert Carlock and David Miner. The multicamera project, written by Hubbard, landed at Fox following a multiple-network bidding war with a hefty series commitment attached in August and was subsequently picked up to pilot.
Comedies Cabot College and Justin Long and Nick Frost starrer Sober Companion were both considered frontrunners to earn series orders at Fox under Reilly. Fox went so far as to promote Sober Companion, from CBS Television Studios, at its upfront presentation to Madison Avenue ad buyers in May. That project still remains in contention at the network as Walden and Newman continue to review their options, but the status of Sober Companion remains unclear.
For the upcoming 2014-15 broadcast season, Fox has only The Last Man on Earth, Mulaney and Weird Loners (as well as animated entry Bordertown) on the schedule. Rather than greenlight any of its comedy pilots, Fox instead upped the order on Mulaney from six to 16 episodes. Weird Loners and Last Man on Earth, like Mulaney, were picked up straight to series under Reilly's plan to abandon pilot season. Of the three, Fox will premiere only Mulaney in the fall.
Meanwhile, Fey, Carlock and Miner still have NBC's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on tap for midseason. That comedy, starring The Office alum Ellie Kemper, received a straight-to-series order for fall and was subsequently left off NBC's schedule and slotted for midseason.
This development season, all eyes are on Walden and Newman to see if the newly installed duo will show any potential favoritism toward studio 20th Century Fox Television. The duo told reporters in July that in the case of bubble shows or ties, that the competitive edge would rest with the studio — as is the case with other studio-network pairings.