Fox nabs pilot from 'Mencia' scribe

Gives cast-contingent order to 'Save Us Then the Whales'

Fox has handed out a cast-contingent pilot order to a single-camera comedy from "Mind of Mencia" writer Sameer Asad Gardezi that is set at a politically incorrect nonprofit organization.

"Save Us Then the Whales," from 20th Century Fox Television and executive producer Peter Engel ("Last Comic Standing"), centers on Herbie Grueber, a middle-aged wheeler-dealer who works for a nonprofit that's trying to stay current. The charity maven approaches the world of fundraising as if he's bartering at a Moroccan bazaar, but his anything-goes approach rankles his idealistic new co-director.

Gardezi also wrote "Equal Opportunity," a short that was named best film at NBC Universal's inaugural Comedy Short Cuts Diversity Film Festival in 2006. The film's team got pitch meetings with Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Rogue Pictures and was awarded a $25,000 grant to produce a pilot presentation for NBC Universal Digital Media.

Gardezi went on to write for Comedy Central's "Mencia."

He is repped by Paradigm.
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