Comedy from 'Glee' thesp Mike O'Malley
Mike O’Malley and Conan O’Brien join the roster of comedy pilot producers for the 2012-13 development season with projects ordered by Fox and CBS.
The Eye ordered a trio of drama pilots on Thursday.
Fox gave the greenlight to laffer “Prodigy Bully,” penned by hyphenate O’Malley, who was a regular player on the network’s series “Glee.” O’Brien’s Warner Bros. TV-based Conaco shingle landed a femme buddy vehicle at CBS written by and starring “Bridesmaids” trouper Rebel Wilson.
“Bully” hails from Warner Bros.TV and John Wells Prods. The single-camera series is about a young boy genius with a knack for intimidating his fellow students and even the teachers.
Exec producers are O’Malley, Wells, Paris Barclay, Hank Perlman and Andrew Stearn. O’Malley has been working as a scribe on Wells’ Showtime drama “Shameless.”
A previous incarnation of the project was developed at NBC back in 2005-06.
At CBS, the multicam “Super Fun Night” pilot revolves around a trio of female friends who are on a quest to have a “super fun” Friday night every week. Wilson is co-exec producer. O’Brien, Jeff Ross and Conaco’s David Kissinger are exec producers.
On the drama side, CBS gave the nod to “Quean,” from Ilene Chaiken (“The L Word”), Silver Pictures and Warner Bros. TV. Pilot concerns an edgy and independent millennial hacker girl who teams up with an Oakland police detective to solve crimes. Chaiken and Joel Silver are executive producers.
Also ordered was “Applebaum,” a series based on author Ayelet Waldman’s “Mommy Track Mysteries” series of books in which a former public defender becomes a private investigator to keep from being bored to death as a stay-at-home mom. CBS TV Studios is behind “Applebaum,” which will be executive produced by Waldman, Jennifer Levin, Sherri Cooper and Chris Columbus, who will direct the pilot. Columbus has helmed theatricals including “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
Finally, “American Gangster” screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi has teamed with “Without A Trace” exec producer Greg Walker on an untitled period piece set in the 1960’s centered around the true story of Ralph Lamb, a rodeo cowboy turned longtime sheriff of Las Vegas.
CBS TV Studios is behind the pilot, which will be executive produced by Cathy Konrad and Arthur Sarkissian and James Mangold, who will direct the pilot. Mangold has helmed theatricals including “Walk the Line” and “3:10 to Yuma.”
As the broadcast networks’ pilot slates take shape, a few distinct trends are emerging. Greg Berlanti (Brothers and Sisters”) is clearly a man in demand: Three pilots have already been ordered at Fox (“Guilty”), CBS (“Golden Boy”) and the CW (“Arrow”) via Warner Bros. TV, and there may be more to come from his shingle.
Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire is doing double duty at the CW with “The Carrie Diaries” and “Cult.” Kari Lizer, late of “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” is busy fielding two untitled projects, one at ABC, the other at NBC.
The usual assortment of cops, docs and lawyers are in the mix on the drama side, and families of all types are well represented in half-hours.
NBC’s 19 orders to date are far more than its competitors. Twelve of them are comedies: The Peacock is aggressively looking to replenish its primetime supply of half-hours.
Many of the projects come from producers with established track records at NBC, including Greg Daniels (“The Office”), Dick Wolf (“Law and Order”) and Jason Katims (“Parenthood”). But there’s also efforts afoot to find new voices that have had success elsewhere in TV, and on both sides of the camera: Sarah Silverman and Roseanne Barr are in contention with projects that would have them do double duty for the network.
ABC may be keen on something with a supernatural twist given at least three pilots already ordered there that fit that bill, from “666 Park Avenue,” a drama about mysterious occurrences at a Manhattan apartment building, to a Dan Fogelman comedy about a gated community populated by aliens.
Fox looks to be on the hunt for something in the mold of ABC’s “Alias” with two projects on female CIA spies. Twentieth Century Fox TV has scribes Josh Friedman and Karyn Usher developing separate sleuth projects.
The CW is putting a premium on projects with pre-sold concepts: Three of their five pilot orders are devoted to known quantities including superhero “Arrow,” a reboot of a 1980s take on “Beauty and the Beast” that aired on CBS and “Diaries,” a “Sex and the City” prequel of sorts featuring teenage versions of the HBO characters.