Hoping to kickstart its comedy development, NBC U TV Studio has inked a two-year development deal with “Reno 911” producers Principato-Young Entertainment.
Pod pact calls for the 5-year-old management/production shingle to create and develop comedy projects for NUTS, with an emphasis on skeins targeted for NBC. Deal is one of the most significant the Peacock has made with a production entity since the NBC U merger last summer.
“This is a troubled time in the comedy genre,” NUTS co-prexy David Kissinger told Daily Variety.
“We’re looking for people who we think will break through those comedy doldrums, and Principato-Young are tapped into a very vibrant, fresh and interesting comedy scene,” he added. “There’s a sensibility that they have tapped into that could very well be what’s going to jumpstart the genre.”
Quirky has already paid modest dividends for NBC, which has gotten solid sampling for its offbeat new laffer “Committed.” Later this season, net launches “The Office.”
In addition to co-exec producing “Reno 911” for Comedy Central, PYE took the unusual step of self-financing production on “Campus Ladies,” a comedy pilot in development at Oxygen. Shingle also has wrapped production on the FX comedy pilot “Human Animals.”
On the performer side, shingle — which has a total of six managers –reps the likes of Anthony Anderson, Will Arnett, Rob Riggle, Earthquake, Cheryl Hines, John Cho and “Daily Show” correspondents Rob Corrdry and Ed Helms.
Peter Principato said he and partner Paul Young “have alternative tastes in the people we like and the projects we develop. We’re interested in things that have a distinctive voice to them, not the middle-of-the-road brand.”
What’s more, Young said PYE is interested “in a comedy process that’s not traditional. We think that will attract fresh ideas, like ‘Reno 911.’ ”
Kissinger said Principato and Young’s work on “Reno,” as well as the shingle’s client list, helped NUTS decide to close a deal with PYE.
“Unlike other deals with management/production companies, this is one where I think we’re getting into business with people at a phase in their lives where they’re extraordinarily motivated,” he said. “They have the hunger and the vision to really make their mark as producers.”
PYE has several projects in the development pipeline, including two laffers at NBC.
At ABC, shingle is paired with Sony on “Cop Show,” a half-hour single camera laffer from Modern Humorist founders Michael Colton and John Aboud. Comedy Central is developing PYE’s “Teach’s Lounge,” an improv comedy from Matt Ballard and Chris Crockett, with David Wain (“Wet Hot American Summer”) exec producing.
PYE’s client roster includes a strong stable of comedy scribes with bigscreen success, including Geoff Rodkey (“Daddy Day Care”); Don Scott (“Barbershop”); Jonathan Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (“Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle”); and Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant (“The Pacifier”).
Also on the feature front, PYE is producing the feature “You Are Going to Prison” with Carsey-Werner and Strike Entertainment.
TV scribes at PYE include Diane Ruggiero (“Veronica Mars”), Demetri Martin (“Late Night With Conan O’Brian”), Sal Stabile (“Rescue Me”) and Chris Regan (“The Daily Show”).