NBC is getting back into the sitcom game. After pretty much abandoning its comedy programming these past few rounds, a decision that saw the end of its long-running “must see TV” block that ran for decades, the network ordered nearly 14 comedy pilots with a lot of them being helmed by comedians. Head Bob Greenblatt is making the return to comedy one of the network’s top priorities.
Here’s the rundown.
Sitcoms were ordered from Bill Lawrence (Undateable, Scrubs), Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope) and one from Betsy Thomas (My Boys, Whitney).
Lawrence has tapped rising NYC comedian Vladimir Caamano to star in an untitled semi-autobiographical show based on his life as the son of Dominican immigrants who wants to forge his own path despite a very co-dependent relationship with his dad. Adam Sztykiel (Undateable) will write the multi-camera show. This show earned a hefty pilot pull from the network in November.
Greg Garcia is tapping comedian Sebastian Maniscalco for Sebastian. Written by Austen Earl (The Millers) and Maniscalo, the show will star the comedian as a newlywed with old-school family values instilled by his Italian father. Maniscalco will serve as an exec producer and Garcia will exec produce the multicamera comedy via his Amigos de Garcia production company.
Betsy Thomas’ pilot is Crunch Time, a multi-camera game show featuring interstitials between a real game show and the scripted workplace comedy. The center of the show will be a producer trying to wrangle the show’s host. Sounds like 30 Rock meets UnREAL. Thomas is writing the script and it will be produced by Universal Television.
Both Caamano and Maniscalo’s pilots have been the talk of this pilot season as they were much buzzed about this pilot season by first picking up the scripts.
NBC is also working on a semi-autobiographical comedy starring Marlon Wayans as well as others inspired by the lives of 30 Rock alums Matt Hubbard and Tracey Wigfield.