Sean Hayes Prepping Live Comedy for NBC

Breaking Through
Amanda Friedman

"For a long time, we had trouble because people didn't really take us seriously. It's this joke from Chicago," quips Milliner, motioning to himself, with Hayes adding, "And this joke from TV." But they've proved their ability to do far more than attach their names, as many in Hayes' position tend to do.

NBC is looking to take its success with live broadcasts and translate that into scripted comedy.

The network has handed out a script order to Hospitality, a multicamera comedy that would air live every week — including live commercials, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Hospitality centers on the staff of a midtown Manhattan hotel and would air live every week with live commercials during the breaks. The comedy hails from writer Chris Moynihan (Man Up), Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy Mills Productions banner via their overall deal at Universal Television. 

The comedy marks NBC's latest attempt to DVR-proof its programming by offering live fare, which includes its veteran Saturday Night Live. The push comes after the network found ratings gold in its live broadcast of The Sound of Music, with its Peter Pan follow-up already generating heavy interest ahead of its likely December bow. (Fox, for its part, is prepping a live version of Grease.) Live events, including sports and awards shows, have become increasingly valuable in the DVR era as networks look to draw eyeballs in an increasingly competitive landscape. Hospitality also would mark a return to the beginning of television, when sitcoms were broadcast live.

For Hazy Mills, Hospitality joins a roster of programming including TV Land's Hot in Cleveland and The Soul Man and expands its relationship with NBC, home to drama Grimm and unscripted entry Hollywood Game Night.

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