'L.A. to Vegas,' 'Grace and Frankie' Veterans Land Comedy Pilots at Fox

The two projects are the network's first live-action comedy pilots ordered in the 2019-20 cycle.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images; Jim Spellman/WireImage
Lon Zimmet (left), Billy Finnegan

Fox has greenlit pilots for a pair of live-action comedies, the network's first such orders of the season.

The shows are Geniuses, a family comedy from L.A. to Vegas creator Lon Zimmet, and Richard Lovely, about a children's book author whose main character springs to life, from Grace and Frankie writer and executive producer Billy Finnegan. 

Both shows come from 20th Century Fox TV, the network's soon-to-be former sister studio; it will become part of Disney once the latter completes the purchase of 21st Century Fox's non-network assets.

Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn has said half of this season's pilots will come from 20th; every pilot green light so far has come from the studio. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that orders for projects from other studios are expected in the coming days.

The multicam effort Geniuses follows a blue-collar couple in South Jersey who are trying to get by and raise their four kids — three of whom happen to be certified geniuses. Zimmet (I'm Sorry, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) is writing and executive producing.

Richard Lovely's title character is a disgruntled author of a best-selling book series for kids called Mr. Mouse. He doesn't hate children; he just hates everything about them. After a publicity fiasco involving an unexpectedly savvy 9-year-old, Mr. Mouse appears in Richard's real life and forces him into an unlikely and life-changing father-son relationship. Finnegan writes and will exec produce with Kat Coiro (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia). 

The pilots are the first two live-action comedies ordered under the regime of Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, who joined the network in November. They follow the order for the drama Filthy Rich, a family soap from Tate Taylor (The Help, The Girl on the Train) that was originally developed for 2018-19 but didn't go forward.

Fox has also given straight-to-series orders to a pair of animated comedies: Duncanville, from Amy Poehler and Simpsons veterans Mike and Julie Scully, and Bless the Harts from creator Emily Spivey (The Last Man on Earth).