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Pilot Season: First look at CBS' 2010 comedy pilots

February 23, 2010 | 12:02 pm
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).


The big news in CBS' comedy development got out last week when the first TV show to be developed from a Twitter page was announced. "Stuff My Dad Says" indeed sounds very promising, with the very funny William Shatner (pictured above) as the stuff-talking dad. Based on Justin Halpern's popular Twitter feed, it will be executive produced by David Kohan and Max Mutchnik ("Will & Grace").  Halpern is co-writing the script with Patrick Shumacker. No one has been cast. It is one of seven sitcoms CBS has ordered.

The network also ordered one multi-camera, single-camera hybrid from the "How I Met Your Mother" producing team, which has been making fans laugh in that style for five seasons. Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, Kourtney Kang and Joe Kelley, all from "How I Met Your Mother," have written a pilot centered around an unmarried couple and their friends in Pittsburgh. Sounds like "How I Met Your Mother" when Lilly and Marshall were single in a less glamorous city, doesn't it? Joe Manganiello ("True Blood" and "One Tree Hill") is the only cast member, and veteran comedy director Pamela Fryman is directing it.

The other nontraditional comedy is by Ant Hines ("Da Ali G Show") about a British lowlife who moves to Los Angeles to reconnect with his teen-celebrity daughter. The teen celebrity in question has not been cast, but British actor Paul Kaye plays the lowlife and Nicollete Sheridan ("Desperate Housewives") is her mother. Wayne Knight ("Jurassic Park") was cast Monday and the project is untitled at the moment.

CBS hopes to score again with its winning traditional sitcom formula, greenlighting several projects that have veteran comedy writers and producers behind them.

Mark Roberts of "The Big Bang Theory" has written "Mike and Molly," a multi-camera comedy about a couple who both struggle with overeating. Chuck Lorre's company is producing it and Billy Gardell ("Bad Santa"), Katy Mixon ("Eastbound and Down") and Reno Wilson ("Crank") have been cast. Veteran sitcom director James Burrows is directing. Roberts and Lorre have had a long professional relationship on the two most-watched comedies on the air, "Two and a Half Men" and "Big Bang," so it's worthy of a look.

Josh Schwartz ("Gossip Girl" and "Chuck") and Matt Miller ("Chuck") have written "Hitched," a sitcom that revolves around a newlywed couple and their extended family and friends. So far, Eugene Levy ("Best in Show"), Jack Carpenter and Kristin Kreuk ("Chuck") have been cast. Hmm.

Getprev-10 Minka Kelly ("Friday Night Lights"), pictured left, and Ashley Austin Morris ("Ugly Betty") will star in "True Love," an ensemble sitcom about four friends in New York City -- two of whom are falling in love and two of whom are not. Written by Matt Tarses ("Worst Week"), it will be directed by Pamela Fryman (who is very busy this pilot season). If it doesn't try to be "Sex and the City," maybe.

"Ugly Betty" writer Gail Lerner has written "Open Books,"  about a female editor and her circle of friends and their romantic entanglements. Laura Benanti ("Eli Stone" and "Life on Mars") has been cast and James Burrows is directing it. A book editor sounds like a smart chick. I'd give it a whirl.

"Team Spitz" centers around a divorced father of three girls who is a passionate, uncompromising high school football coach with a new job at an exclusive private school. It stars Rob Riggle ("The Daily Show") and was co-written by Bill Martin and Mike Schiff, both of "Hank." Eh.

"Scrubs" scribe Ted Quill has written an untitled project about a widowed father of a 12-year-old son who is reentering the dating world. No one has been cast. Not enough info.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)

Top photo: William Shatner. Credit: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times. Bottom photo: Minka Kelly. Credit: Getty Images


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