Comedy 'Outsourced' to NBC, Kwapis

5:00 AM PST 10/08/2007 by Nellie Andreeva, AP

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NBC is heading east with "Outsourced," an India-set comedy project to be directed and exec produced by Ken Kwapis based on the indie comedy of the same name.

The single-camera project, which has received a premium script commitment from the network, centers on a customer service manager in Seattle whose department is outsourced to India, and he goes there to train his replacement. The project explores the clash of the Western and Indian cultures and chronicles the manager's romance with a local woman.

"Outsourced" screenwriters George Wing ("50 First Dates") and John Jeffcoat are on board to pen the pilot script. They also will executive produce with Kwapis and the film's producers, Tom Gorai and David Skinner. Alexandra Beattie will serve as co-exec producer.

Kwapis and Beattie's In Cahoots and Universal Media Studios are producing the comedy.

The premise of a romantic comedy about an American man falling for a woman from a different ethnic background draws parallels to another indie film, the smash hit "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." A half-hour series version of "Greek" also was sold near the film's premiere in 2002. CBS picked up the project and eventually launched it as a multicamera sitcom.

The ShadowCatcher Entertainment-produced "Outsourced" movie, which was directed by Jeffcoat and stars Josh Hamilton and Ayesha Dharker, premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is now in narrow release and out on DVD.

Kwapis is directing the ensemble comedy "He's Just Not That Into You" for New Line and Flower Films. His feature directing credits include "License to Wed" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."

On the TV side, he was nominated this year for directing the "Gay Witch Hunt" episode of NBC's Emmy-winning "The Office." Kwapis has helped launch several television comedies over the past decade, including "Office," for which he directed the pilot.

Kwapis, whose series credits include Fox's "The Bernie Mac Show" and "Malcolm in the Middle" and HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show," is repped by UTA and Code Entertainment. Wing and Jeffcoat are managed by Code.

Attorneys who worked on the deal include Jeanne Newman, Walter Teller, Adam Kaller, Lance Rosen and Peter Grossman.
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