2007-08 comedy pilots: NBC


"This year we're looking for big ideas, for things that are very promotable," says Jeff Ingold, who is overseeing his first slate as NBC senior vp comedy development.

NBC is looking to expand its comedy presence beyond Thursday, taking a page from the successful launch of "My Name Is Earl" on Tuesday last season.

"We went for big ideas that can self-start and open up another night for us like 'Earl' did," Ingold says.

In a throwback to the big-concept comedies of the 1970s, NBC is betting on high-concept projects like "Area 52," whose ensemble includes an alien.

While the majority of NBC's pilots are single-camera, the network is staying true to its multicamera comedy roots with two projects.

"Even with those multicamera shows, we're looking for something that is unique in tone like 'The Mastersons of Manhattan' or in execution like 'The IT Crowd,' which includes single-camera elements," Ingold says.

In line with NBC's low-cost initiative, the network also has ordered "Improv Everywhere" and "This Is Culdesac," which run 20%-25% of the budget for a single-camera pilot.

Area 52
Prod. Co.: NBC Universal Television Studio
Prod. Team: Mike Armstrong (writer), Dean Parisot (director), David Latt
Office comedy set at secret location in Nevada desert where the staff watches over a crude, manipulative alien; Matthew Lillard and Jane Lynch co-star (single-camera)

Business Class
Prod. Co.: NBC Universal Television Studio/Dutch Oven
Prod. Team: Bill Oakley (writer), Josh Weinstein (writer), Adam Bernstein (director), David Bartis, Doug Liman
The absurd and surreal adventures of two high-powered soda salesmen on a never-ending business trip (single-camera)

I'm With Stupid
Prod. Co.: NBC Universal Television Studio/Reveille
Prod. Team: Wil Calhoun (writer), Ben Silverman, Teri Weinberg, Kenton Allen, Paul Telegdy, Linwood Boomer (director)
A down-on-his-luck guy (Kevin Daniels) befriends wheelchair-bound man (Christopher Thornton) and moves into his home for the handicapped; based on the BBC show (single-camera)

Improv Everywhere
Prod. Co.: NBC Universal Television Studio
Prod. Team: Charlie Todd, Jason Carbone, Kara Welker, Dave Rath
Improvisational group performs elaborate stunts using volunteers as well as the viewing public (single-camera)

The IT Crowd
Prod. Co.: NBC Uni TV Studio/FremantleMedia North America
Prod. Team: Joe Wiseman (writer), Joe Port (writer), Moses Port (writer), David Guarascio (writer), Steve Tao, Graham Linehan, Gail Mancuso (director)
Ensemble set in an IT department, based on a British format; stars Joel McHale, Jessica St. Clair, Rocky Carroll

Kath and Kim (will film in summer)
Prod. Co.: NBC Universal Television Studio/Reveille
Prod. Team: Nancy Pimental (writer), Gina Riley, Jane Turner, Rick McKenna, Ben Silverman
Follows the adventures of love and denial as only a mother and daughter could live it; adapted from an Australian format (single-camera)

The Mastersons of Manhattan
Prod. Co.: NBC Universal Television Studio
Prod. Team: Gary Janetti (writer), James Burrows (director)
Serialized soap about a wealthy family in New York; revolves around two socialite sisters, one of them played by Natasha Richardson

This Is Culdesac
Prod. Co.: Realand Prods.
Prod. Team: Luke Barats (writer, director), Joe Bereta (writer, director), Dan Farah
Alternative buddy comedy featuring YouTube stars Barats and Bereta (single-camera)

Prod. Co.: NBC Universal Television Studio/Conaco Prods.
Prod. Team: David Israel (writer), Jim O'Doherty (writer), Tucker Gates (director), David Kissinger, Conan O'Brien, Jeff Ross
Workplace comedy set in an animal park; Christopher Sieber stars (single-camera)

Prod. Co.: NBC Universal Television Studio/Reveille
Prod. Team: Mark Rizzo (writer), Marc Abrams (writer), Michael Benson (writer), Dan Attias (director), Ben Silverman
Follows the "have nots" living in a ZIP code full of "haves" who are hustling to join the rich crowd (single-camera)

View 2007-08 comedy pilots by network: ABC | CBS | NBC | Fox | the CW