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NBC expanded its pilot offerings with orders to projects from Lost‘s Carlton Cuse, Jason Bateman, Peter Traugott, Liz Brixius, Rand Ravich and Dick Wolf.
The network on Tuesday ordered to pilot The Sixth Gun, an adaptation of Oni Press’ graphic novel of the same name, and a high-concept drama entry from Life’s Ravich, as well as comedies Holding Patterns, Girlfriend in a Coma and an untitled effort from Up All Night’s DJ Nash. Four of the five projects are set up at NBC’s sister studio, Universal Television, with Ravich’s drama produced by 20th Century Fox TV.
Cuse and screenwriter Ryan Condal are behind Oni Press’ series The Sixth Gun. The project, which is being produced by Universal TV and Oni’s production company Closed on Mondays Entertainment, is the story of six mythical guns in the Old West. When the Sixth Gun, the most powerful and dangerous of the group, resurfaces in the hands of an innocent girl named Becky Montcrief, dark forces reawaken.
Condal will pen the script with Cuse set to serve as exec producer and showrunner on the drama. Eric Gitter and Andy Borne will exec produce the drama. The Sixth Gun marks Cuse’s second project this season, joining A&E’s upcoming Psycho-inspired drama series Bates Motel, which bows in March. Cuse and Condal are with WME.
Ravich’s untitled drama entry centers on Washington’s most powerful players, who are pulled into an international conspiracy. An unlikely puppeteer will bring everyone from CEOs to The President of the United States to their knees by threatening the things they hold most dear. Ravich will write and executive produce the 20th TV project, with Far Shariat on board as a non-writing EP.
Comedy Holding Patterns hails from The Office’s Justin Spitzer, who is writing and executive producing the multicamera ensemble comedy. The half-hour effort centers on a group of friends whose lives completely change after they survive a plane crash.
The move comes a year or so after Spitzer inked an overall deal with Universal Media, which will produce the project. Traugott and Rachel Kaplan are on board as executive producers through their Universal TV-based TBD Productions. Spitzer, who has been with The Office since season three, is repped by UTA and Morris Yorn.
Girlfriend in a Coma, meanwhile, hails from Universal Television and Wolf Films and revolves around a 34-year-old woman who wakes up from a coma after almost two decades to find out she has a 17-year-old daughter from a pregnancy she was unaware of when her life was put on hold.
Former Nurse Jackie showrunner Brixius will pen the script and serve as an executive producer alongside Wolf on the single-camera comedy. Peter Jankowski will also exec produce the comedy, that’s based on a book by Douglas Coupland. Should the drama go to series and rookie Chicago Fire and veteran Law & Order: SVU earn renewals, Wolf would have three shows on the air.
Finally, the untitled DJ Nash effort revolves around a son who idolizes his blind father and is bemused by his mother’s newfound adolescence watches his family come closer together post-divorce. It is said to be loosely based on Nash’s life.
Arrested Development’s Bateman and his Aggregate Films president Jim Garavente are on board as non-writing executive producers on the single-camera project, with CAA-repped Nash writing and executive producing. The news comes roughly a year after Bateman’s Aggregate Films was launched with first-look deals at both Universal Pictures and Universal TV.
The pickups bring NBC’s comedy pilot orders to nine as the network that bet big on comedy this past fall looks to do the same this season. The network’s execs have been vocal about their desire to broaden the appeal of their comedy fare with more “inclusive” offerings. On the drama side, the network has already greenlit five hourlong pilots.
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