I appreciate that NBC at least let one other piece of pre-upfronts news break — RIP, “Hart of Dixie” — between piecemeal announcements for new comedy pilots.
Just hours after picking up the multi-cam comedy “People Are Talking,” NBC has added to what is essentially a bare comedy cupboard with series orders for “Crowded” and “Superstore.”
The trio of Thursday comedies join the strange “Coach” reboot and Eva Longoria's “Telenovela” in NBC's 2015-2016 in-season plans, while “Mr. Robinson” and “The Carmichael Show” are premiering limited runs in August. It's at least conceivable that NBC may not renew a single one of its existing comedies, though “Undateable” is probably reasonably safe for a third season pickup.
Let's look at the two new comedies, both ensembles featuring a slew of TV favorites.
“Superstore” marks America Ferrara's return to the small screen and also brings Ben Feldman back to NBC just one year after “A to Z” was a well-reviewed ratings disappointment. Created by Justin Spitzer, “Superstore” is set at, as you might guess, a super-sized megastore, looking at the various employees, including in-it-for-life managers, newbies and clueless summer hires.
The single-cam comedy's cast also includes Mark McKinney, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nichole Bloom and Nico Santos.
If you want to have fun with “Superstore,” pretend you're Molly Shannon's Mary Katherine Gallagher when you say the title.
A multi-cam, “Crowded” was directed by industry legend James Burrows and created by Suzanne Martin, with Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner producing.
Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston play empty-nester parents who are looking forward to getting wild after 20 years of parenting. But then their two grown daughters move back in and his parents are also around. Full house? More like a fuller house! Wait. That's something else. Nevermind.
“Crowded” also stars Stacy Keach, Carlease Burke, Mia Serafino and Miranda Cosgrove.
And yes, “Crowded” also seems like a fine potential pairing with “Coach.”
NBC's official schedule will be announced on Sunday ahead of the network's Monday, May 11 upfront presentation to advertisers.
Either one sound interesting to you?