NBC sets up White House comedy

Ex-Obama speechwriter producing '1600 Penn'

NBC has given a put-pilot commitment to a comedy set in the White House with a real-life former presidential speech writer on board as an executive producer.

20th Century Fox TV has sold single-camera half-hour “1600 Penn,” which includes Jon Lovett, who left the Obama administration over the summer to pursue a writing career in Hollywood. He’s joined by “Modern Family” director Jason Winer and “The Book of Mormon” star Josh Gad as executive producers.”Penn” focuses on the lighter side of a fictional president’s dysfunctional family living at the show’s titular address.

While primetime has already explored the dramatic side of White House life with NBC’s “West Wing” and ABC’s “Commander in Chief,” the comedy side of that world has been relegated to a short-lived Comedy Central series, “That’s My Bush,” which lampooned the sitting president with a lookalike actor. UPN did a retro version of the comedy concept set in the era of Abraham Lincoln with “The Secret Life of Desmond Pfeiffer.”

NBC has given out only a handful of put-pilot commitments for the 2012-13 season, including another 20th comedy from “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy and Alison Adler about a gay couple and a Warner Bros. Television project starring Portia DiRossi, who executive produces with Don Todd. Sony Pictures Television comedy set in an elementary school from “Easy A” director Will Gluck has a pilot production commitment.

Gad already has a project in development at NBC, a high-concept comedy about a family on the road, with Gary Sanchez Prods. and Universal Television. Winer already has a single-camera comedy set up at ABC from 20th with a script commitment plus penalty.

Lovett is represent by CAA, Mosaic, and Jeff Frankel of McKuin Frankel Whitehead. Gad is repped by ICM and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.