By the time the 2013-2014 fall season begins, here’s what NBC’s comedy lineup will look like: 30 Rock, gone; The Office, gone; Parks and Recreation, maybe gone; Community, almost definitely gone; 1600 Penn and Whitney, hopefully gone; and Up All Night, please let it be gone, leaving only Guys with Kids, Go On, and, ugh, The New Normal left to fill the programming block. The rest of their schedule will be nothing but new episodes of The Voice, football, and maybe, just maybe, an occasional Parenthood, but don’t get your hopes up.
In an attempt to dig themselves out of the critically acclaimed comedy hole they’ll soon be in, NBC ordered three new sitcoms for next season, including projects from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and Greg Daniels.
UNTITLED GREG DANIELS/ROBERT PADNICK COMEDY
EP/W: Robert Padnick
EP: Greg Daniels, Tracy Katsky, Howard Klein
Deedle Dee Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment, Universal Television
Logline: Single camera. A look at the trials and tribulations of dating in your twenties as explored through a group of friends. The pilot focuses on bright eyed and vulnerable Matthew being pushed by his three best friends to get back on the dating horse.
That series description is a long-winded way of saying, “Friends……….dating………love?” but considering Greg Daniels has worked on “yellow family of five making their way through life” (The Simpsons), “sketch series with comedy up-and-comers” (Saturday Night Live), “Texas family of four making their way through life” (King of the Hill), “the daily lives of paper salesmen in Pennsylvania”(The Office), and “like the Pennsylvania salesmen thing, but with small-town Indiana politics” (Parks and Recreation), this show’s worth being excited for.
EP/W: Leslye Headland
EP: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Jessica Elbaum, Owen Burke
Gary Sanchez Productions, Universal Television
Logline: Single camera. Fast-moving comedy centered on an idealistic “working girl” assistant who is pulled between her colleague (“work husband”) and her real life fiance while trying to manage a demanding (translation: crazy) boss.
From a lady who wrote for Terriers, yes, and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, double yes.
EP/W: Alex Schemmer
EP: Geyer Kosinski
Lionsgate/Media Talent Group/Universal Television
Logline: Single camera. In New Normal fashion, this ensemble comedy is focused on an irresponsible man forced to grow up when he discovers he has children resulting from his days as a sperm donor. A new family unit develops when a single mom contacts him and he begins to have a relationship with her and the son he never knew he had.
And then there’s Donor Party. In case you trailed off after New Norm-…zzzzzzzz…dammit, I can do this…-al, Donor Party *shudder* sounds like a rejected Happy Madison pitch. “Irresponsible man,” “sperm,” “SINGLE MOM.” Just cast Peter Dante in it, make it a lacrosse comedy (or better yet, scrap the whole thing and change the title to Dahmer Party of Six, about a bunch of bros opening a restaurant where everything tastes a little…too fresh), and air the show at 8 p.m. on Thursday nights. It’s not like anything else is going to stink up the timeslot.