ABC sets comedy with Kohan, Mutchnick


UPDATED 4:45 p.m. PT Feb. 18

In the first major scripted TV sale after the end of the writers strike, ABC has picked up a multicamera comedy from "Will & Grace" creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick.

The network Friday handed out a pilot order to the project, which was written on spec before the work stoppage.

Overall, network development picked up right where it left off before the strike. In addition to reviewing outlines and waiting for scripts commissioned before Nov. 5, TV studios are frantically prepping pitches, mostly comedy, that originally were planned to go to the networks in November.

The broadcast nets are expected to pick up an average of five to 10 additional projects each this abbreviated pilot season, some of them going straight to series.

NBC is said to be looking to pick up six to eight more drama and two to three comedy pilots in addition to the ones the network ordered before the strike. Fox is rumored to be planning to order three or four pilots now and three or four more in the summer.

ABC reportedly is considering picking up about four comedy pilots, with one of the slots going to the Kohan and Mutchnick comedy.

The untitled project revolves around two men -- one straight, one gay -- who are lifelong best friends and business partners. Both of them are in serious romantic relationships and try to find a balance between their allegiances to each other and to their significant others.

The central characters mirror the relationship between Kohan, who is straight, and Mutchnick, who is gay. The two writing partners have been friends since their teenage years at Beverly Hills High School.

Last development season, Kohan and Mutchnick penned a multicamera pilot for CBS, which revolved around a gay writer and a straight writer who are best friends and their hot young assistants.

The project for ABC is a brand-new show, which the duo submitted to WBTV just before the strike. The studio took it out immediately after the end of the work stoppage and landed a production commitment at ABC.

Kohan and Mutchnick are repped by Vision Art's Scott Schwartz.