Soccer Family Comedy From 'Will & Grace' Duo Scores ABC Pilot Pickup

Kari Lizer TCA06 P 2012
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ABC is looking for laughs in the world of club soccer.

The network has handed out a pilot order to soccer family comedy Dream Team, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Dream Team hails from Will & Grace alums Kari Lizer and Bill Wrubel and centers on Marty Schumacher, who coached his last club soccer team for 10 years and ultimately took them to the National Championships. He now has to start from scratch with a diverse group of 8-year-olds — and their disparate parents. The comedy is inspired by Lizer's experiences as a soccer mom on weekends and landed a pilot-production commitment at ABC following a competitive situation with other networks bidding.

The single-camera entry hails from Warner Bros. Television, where both Lizer's Kari's Logo Here and Wrubel's Here Comes Scrappy banners are based. The project reunites Lizer and Wrubel a decade after they teamed on NBC's Will & Grace. For Wrubel, it brings him back to ABC, where he worked on the first five seasons of Emmy darling Modern Family as well as Ugly Betty.

Dream Team marks the latest family comedy pilot to get the nod at ABC this season as the network looks to build on its successful Wednesday block that includes Modern Family, The Goldbergs, Black-ish and The Middle.

Thus far this pilot season, ABC has diverse family offerings including semi-autobiographical entries Square Roots and Chunk & Bean; Downward Dog, about a woman looking for love and her talking dog who narrates; Pearl, about a mother with cancer who plots her family's life before she dies; Speechless, about a family with a special-needs child; and a high-concept CGI/live-action family entry from The Goldbergs boss Adam F. Goldberg.

The wave of family fare comes as the network remains committed to exploring new and underrepresented families on the small screen.

For Warner Bros. Television, Dream Team marks the first pilot pickup at ABC this season. Thus far, the studio has four total sales (Powerless and The Trail at NBC and Recon at Fox) as vertical integration continues to play a major role in pilot and series pickups.

Keep up with all the latest pilot news with THR's handy guide to pilot season.