The network has given the new single-camera series, currently titled “Guess Who Died,” a pilot production commitment. Based on Lear’s personal experience of working well into his 90’s, the series is described as a humorous and inspiring look at the shared joys and challenges people experience at any stage of life.
Lear and Tolan will serve as executive producers and writers, with Brent Miller also executive producing. Lear’s Act III Productions and Tolan’s Cloudland Company will produce along with Sony Pictures Television. Cloudland is set up under an overall deal at Sony.
Lear is a television legend, having created, produced, and written classic shows such as “Good Times,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” “All in the Family,” and “One Day at a Time.” He has been nominated for 11 Emmy Awards during his storied career, winning three. He was also nominated for an Oscar in 1968 for Best Original Screenplay alongside Robert Kaufman for the film “Divorce American Style.”
Tolan is a writer and producer for both film and television. He is perhaps best known for his work on “The Larry Sanders Show,” for which he won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1998 alongside Garry Shandling. He also co-created the FX firefighter drama “Rescue Me” with Denis Leary. On the film side, he wrote the screenplays for comedies like “Analyze This” and “What Planet Are You From,” the latter of which reunited him with Shandling. He is repped by CAA and attorney Ira Schreck.
The sale of the Sony TV project is unique in that NBC only picked up projects from Universal Television for the 2017-2018 season.