5:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Sarah Cooper Comedy Moving Forward at CBS
CBS is adding a pair of comedies to its 2021 pilot slate.
The broadcast network is moving forward with its untitled Sarah Cooper comedy inspired by the TikTok favorite's book How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings. The network has also picked up a bowling comedy based on the life of pro bowler Tom Smallwood.
The untitled Cooper single-camera comedy landed at CBS in August following a multiple-outlet bidding war. The potential series revolves around three women at different stages in their careers at a male-dominated company help each other navigate modern gender politics in their professional and personal lives.
Cooper and Cindy Chupack (Modern Family, I'm Dying Up Here, Divorce) co-wrote the pilot script and exec produce, with the latter attached to serve as showrunner. The comedy hails from PatMa Productions, fronted by former CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler, Denise Di Novi and Joan Boorstein. Cooper is not currently attached to star.
The pilot pickup follows a banner 2020 for Cooper, who became a quarantine breakout on social media for her Trump lip-synchs, including her viral "How to Medical" video. Cooper signed with WME for representation and, since her first video went viral in April, has drawn interest from studios, streamers, production companies and publishers all with offers in a variety of genres, including features, scripted and unscripted TV, podcasts and books. She previously toplined her own Netflix variety special, titled Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine.
Meanwhile, the untitled Tom Smallwood project is based on the life of the professional bowler. Written by Mark Gross (Mike & Molly, Man With a Plan), the multicamera comedy revolves around a seemingly ordinary man who, after being laid off from the assembly line at the GM factory, makes the extraordinary decision to provide for his family by following his dream of becoming a pro bowler. Gross will exec produce the comedy alongside David Hollander (Ray Donovan) and Brian D'Arcy James (Hamilton, The Comey Rule).
Both comedies are produced in-house by CBS Studios.
The Cooper and Smallwood comedies are the first new half-hour pilot pickups of the season for CBS and join four holdovers from last year at the network: Julie Bowen vehicle Wilde Things, Hannah Simone's Welcome to Georgia, sibling comedy The Three of Us and the Rose McIver-led Ghosts. Of the six, only Ghosts and the untitled Cooper comedy are single-cams as CBS eyes a return to its multicamera block.
Keep up with all the broadcast network pilot orders with THR's handy guide.