Good 'Hurt': Winer pilot is Rx for Fox
EmptyIt's a threepeat for hot writer-director Jason Winer, who has landed his third pilot in as many seasons.
Fox has given the green light to "This Might Hurt," a partially improvised single-camera comedy from the mastermind behind last year's "Giants of Radio" for CBS and the 2005 pilot for Fox "The Adventures of Big Handsome Guy and His Little Friend."
20th Century Fox TV, where Winer is based with an overall deal, is producing. In addition to creating the show, Winer will executive produce and direct the pilot.
"Hurt," which has been fast-tracked by Fox to shoot in November, is set at a private medical practice run by three partners — a fiftysomething pediatrician, a charming buddy-type who is all bedside manners but not up to speed on the latest medical advances; his son, an internist, who is serious and intellectual and doesn't get along well with his dad; and a female OB-GYN with a secret.
"It's a look behind the curtain at the people that we perceive as being healthier than us both physically and emotionally," Winer said. "This is a show about the dysfunctionality and pain that is going on in doctors' lives done in a voyeuristic and comedic way."
The show will center on the father-son relationship, which Winer described as "intergenerational 'Odd Couple.' "
While he doesn't hold a medical degree, Winer based "Hurt" largely on personal experience.
"Because of my weak Jewish constitution, I've found myself in many doctors' offices," Winer said. Through his frequent visits, he gained intimate knowledge of the workings in doctors offices as well as of medicine. The latter earned him the nicknames Z-Pack, after the popular antibiotic, and Dr. Winer.
With "Hurt," which Winer is exec producing with Matthew Weinberg, Jon Berg and Todd Komarnicki of Guy Walks Into a Bar, Fox is taking a rare leap of ordering a pilot off a pitch.
"Fox's commitment to guaranteeing the shooting of a pilot off of a pitch is a testament to their belief in Jason and the show they know he can deliver," Weinberg said.
Winer made headlines this past development season when he took the $150,000 he got from 20th TV to write a script and used it to film the full-length semiscripted pilot "Giants," which drew the attention of the broadcast networks and was picked up by CBS for fall consideration.
"Hurt" is going to be done in the same style as "Giants," with Winer writing a detailed outline and then letting actors weigh in and improvise.
"It's a style that allows actors to work together and leads to a sense of ensemble, something that is so hard to achieve out of the gate (on a series)," he said.
One thing that will differentiate "Hurt" from "Giants" is the budget. With Fox on board from the get-go, the pilot will be shot on a regular multimillion-dollar network budget, which will allow the pilot's producers to go after A-list actors for the leads.
From the idea stage, "Hurt" has been developed with Web in mind. Winer said he is working on several cross-platform ideas, including voyeuristic Web elements and extra footage that would be available on Fox's online video venture with NBC.
Winer is repped by ICM, manager Weinberg and attorney Todd Rubenstein.