Peacock, Lorre will laff it up

Producer signs on for $850K an episode license fee

It’s love at first sight for NBC and Chuck Lorre: The Peacock has made a big bucks, 13-episode on-air commitment to a new romantic comedy from the “Dharma & Greg” creator.

Agreement reps Lorre’s first efforts for Warner Bros. Television since inking a huge overall deal with the studio last year. NBC stepped up in a major way to snag Lorre, agreeing to pay a hefty license fee of around $900,000 per episode. That’s about $200,000 more than the nets usually shell out for first-year sitcoms, but right in line with what NBC pays for premium talent such as Lorre.

“Chuck is a one of the few premier producers out there,” NBC Entertainment topper Garth Ancier said. “He’s had a great record of starting and running successful shows. We’re thrilled that he’s coming to NBC. We fought hard to get him.”

Comedy will follow the exploits of an LAPD bomb squad officer who meets and falls in love with a movie star while in recovery at the Betty Ford Clinic. It could air as soon as midseason 2000-01, though fall 2001 is more likely.

Landing Lorre is a major coup for NBC, which will need to replace aging hit comedies such as “Friends” and possibly “Frasier” and “Just Shoot Me” over the next two years. With his track record, having created “Dharma” and “Grace Under Fire” for ABC and “Cybill” for CBS, Lorre had several nets interested in working with him.

Indeed, Fox Broadcasting Co. early last month made a preemptive move to snag Lorre’s next show, even before hearing what the scribe-producer had in mind (Daily Variety, Aug. 18.) When Lorre pitched the show to Fox, however, both sides agreed the concept skewed a bit beyond the net’s younger audience.

“The two leads are simply too old for Fox,” Lorre said. “I happen to have a great deal of affection for (Fox Entertainment prexy) Gail Berman, and was hopeful I’d be able to work with her. But this was never a good fit at Fox because of the nature of the material.”

After Fox passed, NBC and CBS both immediately jumped in with offers, with the Peacock ultimately emerging victorious in the bidding.

“NBC’s perfect for this. It’s an adult comedy, a show about adults with some real problems,” Lorre said. “NBC just exhibited a great deal of enthusiasm and passion for the project. I just felt, ‘Oh great, they get this,’ and I felt like it was a perfect match. The tone of the material fits their sensibilities. That’s encouraging.”

As for the show’s cop-meets-movie star concept, Lorre called his two main characters “deeply, deeply dysfunctional people with a great deal of baggage.

“For me, its a series about people trying to find salvation through a relationship.”

Lorre said the characters’ alcoholism, and even the female protagonist’s fame, will take a back seat to the show’s relationships.

“The situation at the beginning of the series quickly evaporates,” he said. “I’m trying to put together a series about two people really beginning to grow and come into their maturity as the series begins. I don’t want to do a series about alcoholism but about people finding themselves.”

Lorre is repped by Broder Kurland Webb Uffner.

More TV

  • How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    Toyo hunches over his street food stove, cooking tuna with a blow torch, stopping to light his cigarette with it and produce a cheeky grin. The Japanese chef, who owns a roadside stand in the city of Osaka, is one of many highlighted in the Netflix series “Street Food.” Over the course of 30 minutes, [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Shannen Doherty'Jennie Garth: A Little Bit

    Shannen Doherty Joins 'Riverdale' Season 4 in Luke Perry Tribute

    “Riverdale” is planning to make a special tribute to Luke Perry. The show’s executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced at Comic-Con that Shannen Doherty, Perry’s longtime friend and “Beverly Hills 90210” co-star, will guest star in the season 4 premiere. The tribute episode will “reflect Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character” Fred Andrews [...]

  • Supernatural CW

    'Supernatural' Team Gets Emotional Final Season Sendoff at Comic-Con

    The cast and creative team of “Supernatural” bid a fond farewell to the attendees of San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday. At the show’s final panel in the gargantuan Hall H, the team thanked the fans for all of their support over the years as the series prepares to enter its final season. “I’m trying not [...]

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases

    SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases 'The Magicians' Season 5 Clip (Watch)

    In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, Syfy shares a clip from “The Magicians” Season 5, and Amazon sets the Season 4 premiere of “The Expanse.” CASTING Julie Gonzalo and Staz Nair have joined the cast of “Supergirl” for its upcoming fifth season. Gonzalo will portray iconic DC character Andrea Rojas aka Acrata, a polished businesswoman [...]

  • Doom Patrol -- Ep. 101 --

    'Doom Patrol' Renewed, Season 2 to Stream on DC Universe and HBO Max

    “Doom Patrol” has been renewed for a second season and will soon be available outside of DC Universe. At San Diego Comic-Con, series executive producer Jeremy Carver and star Diane Guerrero announced not only that the show will be back for another season but also that it will be available on HBO Max, the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content