Two 20th laffers picked up

'Work Wife,' half-hour laffer set for Fox, NBC

Twentieth Century Fox TV has landed two more projects at the nets: a half-hour workplace comedy in the works at Fox and a family laffer set up at NBC.

At Fox, scribes Brad Copeland and Barbie Feldman Adler are behind “Work Wife,” which revolves around two newspaper columnists — a man and woman — who work so closely together that they start interacting like spouses, affecting their home lives.

Meanwhile, Abraham Higginbotham is behind the untitled Peacock half-hour, about the relationship between a mother and son.

Copeland and Adler said the inspiration for “Work Wife” came from their own partnership working on “Arrested Development” (and now “My Name Is Earl”). Given the late hours and weekends on “Arrested,” they spent more time together than they did with their spouses.

“It’s a work marriage, essentially, what Brad and I have,” Adler said. “We spent so many hours together at work, we became really close. It happened to a lot of people we know.”

The scribes said 20th Century Fox TV’s Gary Newman and Dana Walden, who share the studio’s presidency, said they could relate to the show’s concept.

Copeland and Adler said their families have grown close, and even travel together — but the work spouse/home spouse dynamic has still been tricky to navigate at times.

“There’s definitely tension, at least on my end,” Copeland said. “A real wife will have to share an emotional bond with her husband.”

On “Work Wife,” the male character will be married, while the female character will be dating. But the scribes said there won’t be any romantic tension in the relationship, which will remain strictly platonic.

“There won’t be a ‘will they or won’t they scenario,’ ” Adler said.

Multicamera project will be set in a midsize Middle American city, they said, and will be shot in front of a studio audience (a departure from their most recent series).

Adler’s other credits include “Hidden Hills” and “Boy Meets World,” while Copeland worked on “Grounded for Life” and “NewsRadio.” Both scribes are in the midst of an overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV.

As for the Higginbotham project, the action centers on a woman who attempts to reconnect with her gay son. Project is a multicamera laffer as well.

Higginbotham has an overall deal at 20th; past credits include “Arrested Development,” “Will & Grace” and “The Singles Table.”

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