This article was corrected on May. 7, 2002.
Call it the JP Mafia: Veteran scribes Judd Pillot, John Peaslee and Jon Pollack have been tapped to serve as exec producer-showrunners of NBC’s Thursday hit “Just Shoot Me.”
New triumvirate will come onboard this summer when the Universal TV-produced skein begins production on its seventh season. David Guarascio and Moses Port, who had an option to remain as showrunners through next May, will instead begin developing new programs via their overall deal with NBC Studios (Daily Variety, April 24, 2001).
Pillot and Peaslee are a longtime writing team whose credits include “Coach,” “Something So Right” and “Random Years.” Pollack was most recently an exec producer on ABC’s “Spin City”; his credits also include “Home Improvement” and “Soul Man.”
Series creator-exec producer Steve Levitan said he was “very excited to have Judd, John and Jon aboard.
“We believe that their strong showrunning skills and their commitment to telling real, grounded stories will reinvigorate the show,” he said.
Studios USA programming prexy Sarah Timberman, whose unit will take over production of “Just Shoot” once USA rejoins the Universal fold this summer, also praised the new troika.
“All three are tremendous writers and showrunners who we’re sure will be tremendous assets to the show,” she said.
Pillot, Peaslee and Pollock will “run the show by committee,” Pollack said, sharing equal responsibility for production of “Shoot.” Scribes are predicting few major changes to the series.
“It’s always been a smart, funny show, and the cast is awesome,” Pollack said. “Our job is to keep coming up with funny, compelling episodes that let the actors do what they do best.”
Pillot and Peaslee also have been regular “Shoot” viewers and had high praise for the cast. The one tweak they’re thinking of making next fall will be to let characters on the skein “have just slightly more meaningful relationships,” Peaslee said, noting that many past romantic relationships have lasted just a few episodes.
All three scribes have worked on other series that have indirectly competed with “Just Shoot Me” — and lost.
Pillot and Peaslee’s “Something So Right” was in development at NBC the same year that “Shoot” was being created. While “Something So Right” landed a spot on the Peacock’s fall 1996 sked, “Shoot” was held for midseason.
“I remember feeling a little smug about that,” Peaslee quipped. As it turned out, however, “Something” lasted but a year and a half (including a short run on ABC), while “Shoot” is still standing.
Meanwhile, Pollack was a scribe on the short-lived “Arsenio,” which debuted on ABC in 1997 just as “Shoot” was bowing on NBC in the same 9:30 p.m. Wednesday slot. “I feel I had an indirect hand in helping launch ‘Just Shoot Me,’ ” he deadpanned.
Pollack is repped by Endeavor, Pillot and Peaslee by UTA.