ABC Buys Comedy From Gail Berman & ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ Writer (EXCLUSIVE)

Gail Berman Kirbyland
Courtesy of Jackal Group

ABC has bought a script for “Kirbyland,” a comedy from Gail Berman and “Hot Tub Time Machine” scribe Josh Heald, Variety has learned.

The single-camera half-hour show centers on a Griswold-esque middle class family which declares its property a sovereign nation in order to dodge IRS troubles. They encounter a new normal where juggling the most everyday issues requires national and international maneuvering.

The potential series, based on an idea by Norwegian filmmaker Magnus Martens, hails from Berman’s Jackal Group and ABC Studios with Berman exec producing, along with Heald, who is penning the project. Martens will also exec produce.

“Kirbyland” marks one of many development projects across various broadcast networks for Jackal Group this cycle, joining another comedy set up at ABC, “Housesitters,” which Berman is exec producing with Michael Bolton. Jackal is also behind “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” based on the 2011 novel of the same name, which is set up at NBC. Over at CBS, Berman’s shingle is developing an untitled drama, based on the life of the “Mythbusters” duo.

The former Fox entertainment president, Berman has also landed a put pilot commitment at Fox for a dramedy, “Horrorstör,” written by “The O.C.” creator Josh Schwartz, plus the musical workplace comedy “Left of Center,” which has a script commitment at the network.

Coming up on Fox, midseason comedy “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” hails from Jackal Group, as does the net’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” event, starring Laverne Cox.

Heald, who also wrote the “Hot Tub Time Machine” sequel, is repped by Paradigm. Martens is repped by Verve and Writ Large.

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