NBC has ordered a pilot starring “MTV Jams” host Bill Bellamy and executive produced by former “Ellen” executive producer Mark Driscoll and “Moesha” executive producer Ralph Farquhar. Universal inked Bellamy to a development deal in October, and sources say several networks expressed some interest in the project, which Bellamy will also produce. The premise of the new sitcom is still being tinkered with, but it will have a multiracial ensemble cast, and the concept is semiautobiographical.
Bellamy is expected to play a young man in his late 20s from an upper-middle-class family of overachieving professionals in Chicago. While his parents and sister are doctors, judges and astronauts in training, Bellamy’s character will break the mold to pursue his dream of becoming a movie critic.
NBC has committed to filming the pilot. Before signing on with U, Bellamy had been in talks with Paramount about hosting a latenight syndie talkshow. That market has since become crowded with projects such as “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show” and “Vibe.”
Aside from his MTV duties, Bellamy also has starred in a couple of features, including “How to Be a Player” and “Love Jones.” Driscoll shared an Emmy Award this year for writing the groundbreaking coming-out episode of ABC’s “Ellen” last season. Farquhar is credited with turning singing sensation Brandy into a small-screen star on UPN’s teen sitcom “Moesha.”
Separately, sources say NBC is developing a drama script with Warner Bros. TV called “Nuevo Mondo,” which is a “Miami Vice”-type cop drama set in the future. The project was created and written by Jeff Spencer and Alan Zaleski, who were formerly ad execs at Leo Burnett. This is their first TV project, and David Kirschner and Jonas McCord are executive producers.