O'Brien, Lewis team on generational series
Conan O’Brien is teaming up with scribe Lester Lewis (“NewsRadio”) on a half-hour workplace laffer at NBC, inspired by Blighty skein “20 Things to Do Before You’re 30.”
Lewis will create, write and exec produce the NBC Studios half-hour, which will focus on the 10-year frame in life in which “your main objective is having fun, but you have a decade to figure everything out before your life ends at 30,” scribe said. O’Brien and Jeff Ross, along with Tiger Aspect Prods., are on board as exec producers. Conaco senior veep A.J. Morewitz will serve as a co-exec producer.
Project is Lewis’ first under his overall deal with NBC Studios (Daily Variety, May 30).
“The show’s about that singular time in your life when stakes are pretty high, and the drama that ensues can either help you a lot or have absolutely no effect,” Morewitz said. “It’s also a workplace comedy, which is something NBC doesn’t have on its air right now.”
And despite the title, “The goal of the show is not to do something that disqualifies someone older than 30 or younger than 20 from watching,” exec added.
The U.K.’s Channel Four aired one season of “20 Things” earlier this year, and scribe Jane Fallon is offering her advice on the project. But unlike NBC’s “Coupling,” Lewis and O’Brien aren’t planning a carbon copy of the U.K. original.
“We’re not in any way trying to transfer the British show to U.S. television,” Lewis said. “I’m using it as an inspiration, but it’s a completely different show.”
Skein will take place in the world of marketing, with most of the cast playing low-level researchers.
“People in their 20s are the most marketed-to generation,” WMA-repped Lewis said. “I’m interested in the idea of twentysomethings taking part in the exploitation of their own generation.”
Endeavor-repped Conaco acquired the rights to “20 Things,” then went after Lewis to create the new project. “Fortunately, he was both available and liked the project,” Morewitz said.
Lewis is currently working on NBC’s “Happy Family.” He also wrote for “The Larry Sanders Show.”