First things first: One of the headlines for this story that I saw floating around the TV industry websites was something along the lines of “Will Ferrell To Produce Anchorman-Inspired Astronaut Pilot For NBC,” which makes it sound a little like Will Ferrell is building a robot Ron Burgundy that will fly the shuttle for a new space program funded by the National Broadcasting Company. That is not what is happening here. It’s just a television show. I checked and everything. Here, look.
The potential NBC series is titled Mission Control and it’s set in 1962. The official description: “A workplace ensemble in the tone of Anchorman examines what happens when a strong woman butts heads with a macho astronaut in the race to land on the moon.”
Executive producers include Ferrell and his production partner Adam McKay, who also directed both Anchorman films. David Hornsby (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as pilot showrunner.
Anyway, here’s the most interesting part of this story, now that we’ve debunked the robot space exploration angle: You probably know this show’s showrunner, David Hornsby, as Rickety Cricket from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I mean, he’s also been a writer on the show since 2007 and a co-executive producer since 2009, so it’s not like it’s totally out of left field or anything, but if you’re anything like me, you just pictured Cricket hobbling into the NBC offices and delivering a rambling, drug-addled pitch about the cosmos, and NBC’s executives greenlighting it on the spot. Not totally unreasonable.