Laffer to be based on Behrendt's comic routine
Scribe Alan J. Higgins (“Malcom in the Middle”) is teaming up comic Greg Behrendt and Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video for a half-hour comedy at NBC.
Laffer is the first major project set up by JoAnne Alfano since the exec ankled the Peacock in June to join Broadway Video as prexy of television.
NBC had made a talent holding deal with Behrendt last year, when Alfano headed up comedy for the net. In her new gig, she brought in Higgins to co-create the laffer with Behrendt. Both men will serve as exec producers, with Behrendt starring in the laffer.
Project, which has been given a premium script commitment but also has serious coin behind it because of the various deals involved, will be based on Behrendt’s autobiographical standup routine.
“It’s basically a 38-year-old man’s coming-of-age story,” Higgins said. “It’s about a guy who in the last three years has gotten sober, found this fantastic woman in his life and had a child. He realizes the things that were important aren’t as important as before.”
Character will be a rock ‘n’ roll type who’s gone through life committed to being cool — think John Cusack in “High Fidelity” — and now realizes, as Higgins puts it, that he’s the “creepy old guy” he used to mock when he was 16.
Alfano said the combination of Higgins and Behrendt should produce a potent laffer.
“Finding original voices and people who have something to say is difficult, which is why everyone is so excited about Greg,” Alfano said. “And there were a lot of people who want to be in business with Al. I honestly feel we won the sweepstakes by getting to work with both.”
Alfano said her focus during her first development season as head of TV for Broadway Video will be developing half-hour projects for NBC. She’s also a frequent presence on the set of midseason laffer “The Tracy Morgan Show,” which Broadway produces with C-W-M and NBC Studios.
Higgins, who teamed with Mike White for last season’s Fox comedy pilot “Senor White,” is co-exec producer of the Fox midseason laffer “Cracking Up.” In addition to “Malcolm,” CAA-repped scribe also was a writer/producer on “NewsRadio.”
Scribe also has another connection to Michaels: Brother Steve Higgins produces “Saturday Night Live.”
“We’re both beholden to Uncle Lorne,” Alan Higgins said.
Behrendt is a creative consultant to “Sex and the City.”