Pilot Season: First look at Fox's 2010 comedy pilots
Editor's note: Over the next several days, Show Tracker will cover the pilots under contention for the fall season at the five broadcast networks in the following order: ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC. (Yes, it's alphabetical.)
Fox's 10 comedy pilots cover the spectrum of the genre: five single-camera, three multi-camera, one animated and one sketch, and already there are some big names behind the camera as well as in front of it.
Ben Stiller's company is producing the already buzz-worthy "The Station," a single-camera comedy about a covert CIA operative and his workmates who are embedded in a South American banana republic and with the task of installing a new dictator. Newcomer Kevin Napier wrote the script and the cast has some comedic heavy hitters: John Goodman, Justin Bartha ("The Hangover"), Rob Huebel ("I Love You Man"), Carla Gallo ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall"), Jordan Peele ("MadTV") and Jose Zuniga ("Twilight").
Greg Garcia ("My Name Is Earl") is back with a single-camera comedy, "Keep Hope Alive," that I will check out just because he wrote it and Cloris Leachman is a lead. Cloris Leachman, everybody! The series: single dad raising his child while living with the parents that made him the screwed-up adult he is. Cloris Leachman, I repeat. Also cast: newcomer Lucas Neff, Martha Plimpton ("The Goonies"), Garret Dillahunt ("No Country for Old Men"), and Olesya Rulin ("High School Musical").
Since we're on a single-camera note, let's continue with those:
"Tax Man" by Brent Forrester ("The Office"), and produced by Ron Howard, is a workplace comedy about IRS employees who fight to change stereotypes while providing a vital government service. David Krumholtz ("Numb3rs") is a lead.
"Traffic Light" is based on the Israeli series "Ranzor," about three male friends in different stages of relationships. By Bob Fisher, it will star Nelson Franklin ("I Love You Man") and David Denman ("Big Fish") as two of the leads.
"Security" is an office comedy about a cute but awkward guy who joins a digital security firm and fits in among the oddball geniuses there. Bret Harrison ("Reaper") has been cast. It was written by Adam Goldberg ("Still Standing").
The "Will & Grace" team of David Kohan and Max Mutchnik has written "Strange Brew," a multi-camera show about a family that owns a small but successful regional brewery and struggles with working and living together. The cast includes Jere Burns ("Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles"), Laurie Metcalf (pictured, "Roseanne"), Aya Cash ("Spellbound"), Skylar Astin ("Hamlet 2"), Mo Mandel ("Reality Bites Back").
Another multi-camera offering is "Nevermind Nirvana," written by Ajay Sahgal; Rachael Leigh Cook ("She's All That") has been cast. It's a family comedy about balancing your values as a young American with those of your culturally traditional parents after they move in.
Kaitlin Doubleday has been cast in "Most Likely to Succeed," another multi-camera about a young ensemble of friends who reside in Seattle and have not lived up to the promise they showed in high school. Written by David Walpert ("Cupid" and "Miss/Guided"), it is produced by David Nevins and Brian Grazer.
The animated series "Bob's Burgers" was written by Loren Bouchard ("Lucy: The Daughter of the Devil") and Jim Dauterive ("King of the Hill"). It follows a family who runs a burger joint where anything can happen.
The network is giving Spike Feresten another shot in a sketch show that he will star in with Dana Carvey. "Spoof" will spoof pop culture themes.-- Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)
Photos: Cloris Leachman. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times. Laurie Metcalf. Credit: Walter McBride / Retna
Pilot Season: First look at Fox's 2010 drama pilots
Pilot Season: First look at ABC's 2010 drama pilots