1:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Mike Schur, Sean Hayes Comedies Among 4 NBC Pilot Orders
NBC has picked up its first comedy pilots of the 2018-19 season, looking to proven producers like Mike Schur (The Good Place), Sean Hayes (Grimm) and Tom Werner (The Cosby Show, Roseanne) to help the network cut through a cluttered landscape.
Ordered to pilot are Warner Bros. Television's Friends-in-Law and a trio from in-house studio Universal Television: Like Family, Abby's and So Close. In a clear sign of what the network is looking for on the comedy side, all four pilots are multicamera — potentially inspired by the success of Hayes' Will & Grace revival.
Abby's expands NBC's relationship with Universal Television-based The Good Place creator Schur and his Fremulon banner. The project, written by Josh Malmuth (Superstore, New Girl), takes place at Abby's, an unlicensed bar in San Diego where the regulars enthusiastically enforce a unique set of rules that give them a sense of community and allow them to avoid the frustrating behavior found at other establishments. Schur will executive produce alongside 3 Arts' David Miner.
Hayes, meanwhile, nabbed a pair of pilot pickups Tuesday for his UTV-based Hazy Mills banner. So Close, written by Greg Malins (Friends, Life in Pieces), revolves around hopeless romantics Riley and Kyle, both at a crossroads in their separate lives, who are close to settling for the wrong partner, unaware that they live only blocks apart and may be each other’s soul mates. Hayes and his Hazy Mills topper Todd Milliner exec produce.
Hayes' Like Family reunites the Will & Grace star with Hot in Cleveland and Crowded creator Suzanne Martin, who penned the script. The half-hour revolves around Aubrey and Artie, who formed the tightest of sibling-like bonds growing up together in foster care, but are discovering that such closeness makes adulthood even more complicated. Hayes and Milliner exec produce alongside Martin.
Rounding out Tuesday's comedy orders, Friends-in-Law is written by The McCarthys creator Brian Gallivan and revolves around Brian and Jake, who are polar opposites who must quickly figure out how to coexist when their respective best friends decide to get married. Werner exec produces the project from Warner Bros. Television, which represents a key sale for the independent studio.
NBC got an early jump on pilot season this month, ordering five dramas including a Bad Boys spinoff. The network's total haul now tallies nine. (The network ordered 14 last season, six dramas and eight comedies.)
Keep up with all the latest pilot orders, castings and eventual series pickups with THR's handy guide.