×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC gets onboard for laffer

Peacock anxious to return to family comedy

NBC has made its first comedy series commitment for the 2000-01 season, ordering 13 episodes of a new half-hour laffer to be created by “3rd Rock From the Sun” and “That ’70s Show” exec producers Bonnie and Terry Turner.

Details of the Carsey-Werner produced show are still being developed, but the skein will likely be a family-oriented comedy with a strong male father figure at its core. In addition to the Turners, Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Caryn Mandabach will serve as exec producers on the still-untitled project.

NBC’s decision to commit to 13 segs without seeing a pilot indicates just how anxious the Peacock is to get back into the family comedy biz. Indeed, NBC West Coast topper Scott Sassa and entertainment prexy Garth Ancier have both publicly stated that developing a major family comedy is a top goal at the Peacock.

By contrast, NBC’s almost single-minded focus on sophisticated, urban-set laffers over the past few years has resulted in far more misses than hits. It’s also made it difficult for NBC to launch new family comedies, as evidenced by the quick cancellations of “The Tony Danza Show” and “Built to Last” a few seasons back.

The last successful family-oriented comedy launched on NBC was the Turners’ “3rd Rock From the Sun,” which was an instant smash when it bowed in January 1996.

In addition to “3rd Rock,” the Turners co-created and serve as exec producers of “That ’70s Show,” which has emerged as a soild hit this season on Fox. The duo, both former “Saturday Night Live” scribes, wrote “Wayne’s World” and its sequel.

Carsey-Werner has produced some of the most successful family-oriented comedies of the past 15 years, including “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne” and “Grace Under Fire.”

While NBC is looking to find a hit family comedy, the net still seems interested in adult-skewing fare as well. It recently gave a six-seg commitment to a midseason laffer starring former “Seinfeld” sidekick Michael Richards.

More TV

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content