‘Pie’ scribe Herz to pen Peacock sitcom pilot

Show marks first foray into TV

“American Pie” scribe Adam Herz is creating a high school comedy for NBC, which has made a significant pilot and production commitment to the Touchstone Television-produced project.

Herz will write and exec produce the fall 2000 pilot, his first foray into TV. He’s also committed to writing and exec producing the skein if it goes to series.

NBC beat out at least one other network for the Herz project, agreeing to a deal that includes a put pilot commitment with what industry insiders described as “heavy” episodic penalties if the Peacock decides not to take the pilot to series.

Herz, 27, is still writing the pilot for the skein, which is expected to be based loosely on his own high school experiences. The main character of the half-hour comedy will be an average young teen male who starts high school with the goal of becoming the most popular guy on campus — only to crash headfirst into the cold hard everyday humiliations of adolescence.

The show will be set in the present but will still have a retro sense of nostalgia, much like “Pie.”

The Herz project is the second Touchstone Television pilot in as many weeks to be sold to NBC. The Peacock last week ordered production on “Daddio,” a half-hour comedy about a stay-at-home dad. The Disney-owned unit seems to be having little trouble selling to outside webs, despite predictions that its merger with ABC would kill its ability to deal with other nets.

“Pie,” one of last summer’s most successful comedies, was Herz’s first feature script. Pic has pulled in more than $100 million domestically.

The success of “Pie” has predictably served as a huge boost to the pic’s behind-the-camera talent.

Herz recently inked a seven-figure deal with Universal Pictures to write and directe an untitled comedy (Daily Variety, Sept. 28). And in August, the WB network pacted for 13 segs of a sitcom to be created and exec produced by “Pie” producer/director duo Chris and Paul Weitz.

The Herz deal was brokered by Paul Haas and Barbara Dreyfus of ICM and attorney Jason Sloane.