12:15pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Remote Comedy From 'Blindspot' Creator Nabs NBC Series Pickup
NBC is the first broadcast network to greenlight a scripted comedy series set in the time of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The network has handed out an eight-episode, straight-to-series order for Connecting, an ensemble comedy about a group of friends trying to stay close — and sane — through video chats as they share the highs and lows of these extraordinary times.
Blindspot creator Martin Gero and his longtime collaborator Brendan Gall are writing the script and exec producing the single-camera series from Universal Television. Connecting is the first TV series to stem from Gero's multiple-year overall deal that he signed with UTV last month after departing his longtime home at Warner Bros. TV.
Connecting is the first scripted broadcast series to explore the new way of life amid the global coronavirus pandemic and third overall. It joins Jenji Kohan's Netflix anthology Social Distance and Freeform's Love in the Time of Corona.
Connecting will be produced entirely remotely, with cameras sent to actors. Sources say all facets of the production will be done remotely in order to get work started immediately. Sources note that it is being fast-tracked for a September bow. The series, though, was not included on NBC's "fall" schedule. NBC, like ABC and CBS, is hoping its flagship scripted series will be able to resume production on time for a fall launch, though it's considered highly unlikely that any of them will return in late September for the traditional Premiere Week. The network, save for the new Law & Order spinoff, is holding back its few new scripted series for 2021.
For Gero, the news arrives as his Warner Bros. TV-produced Blindspot is in the midst of airing its fifth and final season on NBC. Gero and Gall's joint credits also include Blindspot, L.A. Complex and the 2020 Netflix feature The Lovebirds, starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani.