2009 ABC PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT GUIDE - COMEDY SERIES
They're young, they're moving up... and they've all just been canned. Five tight friends are about to find out what happens when their upwardly mobile lives turn upside down.
College sweethearts, Sam and Marissa have a long-term plan for success that gets completely derailed when Sam is suddenly fired. But Sam is in good company since three of his close friends are kicked to the curb at the same time: Neurotic Justin, who's forced to move in with Kwang, his cocky, but over-extended bud, and the long-suffering Sarabeth, who doesn't know what to do with herself without someone to boss her around. Marissa is the only one who survives the corporate ax, but now has to deal with survivor's guilt and jobless Sam. Always the optimist, Sam prefers to see this as a glass-half-full situation � preferably a glass half-full of beer. While he rallies the troops to form "Team Awesome," these five fast friends mull over how they got here and exactly where it is they want to be headed. They may not have a clear mission statement just yet, but now they've got the chance to figure a new direction.
Friends goes to The Office in this multi-camera comedy written by Kevin Etten (Desperate Housewives) and executive produced by Peter Traugott (Samantha Who?). Who knew you could turn down-sizing into the opportunity of a lifetime?
CAST - Tim Peper as Sam; Stephanie Lemelin as Marissa; Nelson Franklin as Justin; Baron Vaughn as Bryan (aka Kwang); Amanda Bynes as Sarabeth
CREDITS - Production Companies: ABC Studios, Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Writer: Kevin Etten; Executive Producers: David Rosenthal, Peter Traugott; Director: Gary Halvorson*
Can a woman of a certain age be a mom, a successful career woman and still be on the prowl? Jules Cobb (Courteney Cox) is about to give it a try.
In a small Florida town, the center of high society is the Cougars high school football team... which is wildly appropriate since this town is the natural habitat for over-tanned, under-dressed divorc�es prowling for younger men. Jules desperately doesn't want to be one of them, but with an ugly divorce behind her and 40 staring right back at her, she's longing for a little more action in her life. The available men her own age, like her silver fox of a neighbor, Grayson Ellis, only seem interested in dating barely legal hotties � which is awkward considering he's also her teenage son Tad's therapist. Egged on by her very married and very irreverent best friend Elle and her determined assistant Laurie, Jules reluctantly dips her toe back into the dating pool. To her surprise, she hits it off with a nice young guy named Bobby � emphasis on the young � and discovers this gal still has the goods.
Co-executive produced by Courteney Cox and Bill Lawrence (Scrubs), Cougartown is the single-camera comedy that dares to tell the truth about dating after divorce. Juggling a teenage son with her thriving career and budding love life isn't easy, but before you know it, Jules will have you cheering, "Go Cougars!"
CAST - Courteney Cox as Jules; Dan Byrd as Tad; Busy Philipps as Laurie; Christa Miller as Elle*; Brian Van Holt as Bobby; Josh Hopkins as Grayson; Ian Gomez as Andy
CREDITS - Production Companies: ABC Studios, Coquette Productions; Executive Producer/Director/Writer: Bill Lawrence; Co-Executive Producer/Writer: Kevin Biegel; Executive Producer: Courteney Cox
They're the few. They're the proud. They're the reserves. Cops, that is. In this comedy of errors, get a glimpse into the lives of the L.A. County Sherriff's Dept. Reserves. These weekend warriors may stumble now and again, but at the end of the day, they get the job done.
Gardening store owner, Cedric Battiste (Cedric the Entertainer) is one of the best Deputy Reserve Sheriffs around. On the weekends he lives to serve and protect, but during the week, Cedric works full-time selling marigolds and shoveling manure. And the manure's definitely gonna fly when Cedric gets stuck with a bunch of rookie reservists. Dan's a high-strung orthodontist. Michael's a graphic artist with a disturbing encyclopedic knowledge of cop shows. And Liz is a wealthy, bored housewife who's a tomboy at heart. At first the reservists are so amazingly incompetent that it looks like they have badges and guns and not a whole lot else to offer. But after Liz manages to sweet talk Cedric's crabby dad, an unhappily retired police captain, Cedric decides to give them a break. And when all three of them help Cedric bring down a snobby restaurant robber, it might just be the beginning of a beautiful partnership... times three.
Co-written by stand-up phenomenon Cedric the Entertainer, along with legendary writer/producer Bob Fisher (Alice), Cedric the Entertainer stars in The Law, a wild single-camera comedy that's a little Hill Street Blues, a little Barney Miller and a little Reno 9-1-1. From co-executive producers Charles Segars (National Treasure) and United States of Tara's Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey comes this year's comedy that really lays down the law.
CAST - Cedric the Entertainer as Cedric Battiste; John Amos as Charles*; Ryan Devlin as Michael; Donald Faison as Dan; Madchen Amick as Liz; Larry Joe Campbell as Sgt. Carl Tucker; Mercedes Masohn as Deputy Theresa Ramirez
CREDITS - Production Companies: ABC Studios, DreamWorks Television; Executive Producers/Writer: Bob Fisher; Executive Producer/Co-Writer: Cedric the Entertainer; Executive Producers: Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey, Eric Rhone*; Director: TBD
Forget about athletes, movie stars and politicians. Parents are the real heroes � but Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton), well she's some kind of superhero. A loving wife and mother of three, she's middle class in the middle of the country and is rapidly approaching middle age.
Frankie and her husband, Mike, have lived in Jasper, Indiana their whole lives. A man of few words (every one a zinger), Mike is a manager at the town quarry and Frankie is the third-best used car salesman (out of the three) at the local dealership. She may not be a high-powered career woman, but when it comes to her family, she'll go to just about any length. And with kids like these, she had better. There's Axel, her semi-nudist teenage son conceived with Guns N' Roses playing a significant role; Sue, the awkward teenage daughter who fails at everything with great gusto; and their seven-year-old son Brick, whose best friend is his back-pack.
From executive producers/writers Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline (How I Met Your Mother, Committed, Murphy Brown) comes a single-camera comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations.
CAST - Patricia Heaton as Frankie; Neil Flynn as Mike; Charlie McDermott as Axel; Eden Sher as Sue; Atticus Shaffer as Brick*
CREDITS - Production Company: Warner Bros. Television; Executive Producers/Writers: Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline; Director: Julie Ann Robinson
Welcome to a world where there are Super Heroes and some uh, well... Not-So-Super Heroes. And when you're on the Super Hero D-list, being a caped crusader isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Take Pete A.K.A. Chillout who may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but can he can make ice cubes in a single malt scotch. At least he's a hit at parties. Nigel A.K.A. Brainstorm can read your mind... that is if he's really, really close to you and he's in the mood. Other than that, his super powers are limited to lightning-fast insults � he is British, after all. Then there's Callie A.K.A. Crossfade. Okay, sure, she's cool, but her days as a Super Hero child star have left her bitter and jaded. Sandy A.K.A. Slamazon is crazy strong. Unfortunately, powerful women scare men, so she hasn't had a decent date in years. Never before has a group of super heroes been such a bunch of super zeroes. Together, they hang out at The Watchtower, a bar for super-types where they hurl insults at more successful heroes, like Bradley A.K.A. Infinitum, a square-jawed, square-brained super stud.
Based on the hit British series, No Heroics is a single-camera comedy adapted by Jeff Greenstein (Will and Grace) along with Andrew Zein and original show creator Drew Pearce. These four heroically-challenged friends may not have much going for them, but you never know when we might need them.
CAST - Paul Campbell as Pete aka Chillout; Eliza Coupe as Callie aka Crossfade; Tom Riley as Nigel aka Brainstorm; Freddie Prinze Jr. as Bradley aka Infinitum; Arielle Kebbel as Sandy aka Slamazon
CREDITS - Production Companies: ABC Studios, Tiger Aspect Productions; Executive Producers/Writers: Drew Pearce, Jeff Greenstein; Executive Producer: Andrew Zein; Director: Andy Flemming*
Boyfriends may come and go, but girlfriends are forever. When three almost-thirty-something best friends find themselves single again, they move in together and live it up as only three Philly girls can.
Donna, Louise and Karen have lived in Philly their whole lives and have been friends for almost as long. No matter what's happened in their lives, they've always been there for each other. Now facing their thirties, they're beginning to wonder just what it is exactly that they have to show for it. Ballsy Karen just gave up her apartment, but can't find a new one since landlords only want couples. Beautiful, but neurotic Donna is suffering a serious mid-relationship crisis regarding her fianc� Karl. And sweet, but slightly ditzy Louise is finally in a relationship... unfortunately, it's sex-free because her boyfriend is a reformed flasher. As Karen enlists her friends into her crazy schemes to secure her dream apartment, Donna finally decides that she has to let Karl go. Louise's boyfriend has the balls to dump her when she catches him flashing Karen's would-be landlady. Now the girls really need an apartment. These three girlfriends may not have anywhere to sleep just yet, but at least they know they've always got each other. Now if they could only find love.
Pulling is the blue-collar answer to Sex and the City. Stacy Taub (Notes from the Underbelly) adapts from Sharon Horgan and Dennis Kelly's hit British comedy of the same name. Every woman will identify with one of these three friends as they discover just how hilariously hard it really is to get a life.
CAST - Lindsay Sloane as Donna; Majandra Delfino as Louise; Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Karen; Charlie Finn as Karl
CREDITS - Production Companies: ABC Studios, Francie Calfo Productions; Executive Producer/Writer: Stacy Traub; Executive Producers: Francie Calfo, Sharon Horgan, Dennis Kelly; Director: Elliot Hegarty
SINGLE WITH BAGGAGE (formerly THREESOME)
What does it take for a bro to become a man? When an underachiever meets the girl of his dreams, he's going to have to figure out how to man up, keep the girl, all without losing his best bro.
Shawn hasn't quite got his life all figured out. An aspiring writer and reluctant telemarketer, he's been living with his friend Perry in the hope that it will allow him to write the great American novel. This works out well for Perry, who's been feeling a little clingy since his ex dumped him � over a year ago. But when Shawn meets Rebecca, his laid-back lifestyle is about to get a real shake-up. Rebecca is everything Shawn has been looking for. She's beautiful, successful, and totally gets his wry sense of humor. She's also got a few things he wasn't looking for � like an ex-husband and two kids. Normally this would be the kiss of death for a commitment-phobic, responsibility-avoiding, underachiever, but Shawn thinks he might just be ready for a woman like Rebecca, insta-family and all. However, the big question is, can he start a life with the woman of his dreams without breaking up his 'bromance' with Perry?
A multi-camera comedy created by Family Guy's Ricky Blitt, Singles with Baggage is both hopelessly romantic and bitingly funny. It's hard to find a balance between being a dude and being a man, but sometimes a guy's gotta do what a guy gotta to do... just as soon as he figures out what exactly that is.
CAST - Eric Christian Olsen as Shawn; Alyssa Milano as Rebecca; Kyle Bornheimer as Perry; Kelly Stables as Lisa; Sierra McCormick as Scout*; Camden Palmisano as Justin*
CREDITS - Production Company: Warner Bros. Television; Executive Producer/Writer: Ricky Blitt; Director: Jimmy Burrows*
THIS LITTLE PIGGY
You can go home again, but what happens when three grown siblings all try to go home at once?
When Henry Graham inherited his parents' large, rambling Portland, Oregon house, he assured his pretentious brother Eric and flighty sister Janet that they were welcome any time... just not at the same time, and definitely not for good. Henry, his wife Sarah and their two kids, have already let Janet move in temporarily. After trying pottery, archery and being a Muslim, Janet recently announced to their young children that she's decided to try being a lesbian. Meanwhile, Henry's materialistic brother Eric shows up for a surprise visit with his WASP-y wife, Tina. It seems the free-spending pair have lost their summer house... along with their winter house, their designer appliances, their jet skis, and their show dogs. They've been living out of their tiny two-seater Jaguar while driving cross-country back to the only home they have left � Henry's. All Henry wants is a little peace and quiet and some time with his family. But now he has to give up the grown up wine party he's been planning since his squatter siblings are making him feel like a whiny little kid.
Can grown-up siblings who have grown apart find a little common ground without someone crying me, me, me all the way home? Come visit This Little Piggy, the outlandish family comedy from the minds of Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley (MAD TV).
CAST - Andrea Parker as Sarah
CREDITS - Production Company: ABC Studios; Writers: Brian Bradley, Steven Cragg; Executive Producer: Marco Pennette*; Director: Andy Weyman*
UNTITLED ANITA RENFROE PROJECT
Inside every harried, rumpled, over-worked mom is a phe-mom-enon just waiting to bust out. Like Anita Randall. She's a loving, devoted wife and mother, but she's also a raging estrogen crusader with a wicked wit and a lot of creative energy.
Anita may be married to her town's pastor, but for a minister's wife she's a bit unorthodox. She's an affectionate and protective mom, who, occasionally, may or may not throw out her children's artwork, accidentally-on-purpose. She's a loving wife, who happens to love her husband Paul way more than she loves his irritating mother. Anita's an independent spirit, but sometimes she can't help stumbling a little bit under the disapproving gaze of her husband's congregation. Luckily, her faith and family are always there to help her through. Just like other moms, she may sometimes feel like a misfit outside of her family, but she knows you can never underestimate the forgiving powers of the perfect pair of jeans.
Comedian and YouTube sensation Anita Renfroe stars in a family comedy that punctuates Anita's funny everyday life with pops of hilarious fantasy as we see Anita's imagination run wild. From Roseanne's Amy Welsh and Hope & Faith's Rob Hanning, Arrested Development's Mitch Hurwitz and Two and a Half Men's Kim and Eric Tannenbaum, comes a multi-camera, can't-miss comedy about one irreverent mom who puts family first � by whatever ridiculous means necessary.
CAST - Anita Renfroe as Anita; Ryan Stiles as Paul; Tucker Albrizzi as Michael; TBA as Doug; TBA as Libby
CREDITS - Production Companies: Sony Pictures Television, Tantamount; Executive Producer/Writer: Rob Hanning; Producer/Writer: Amy Welsh; Co-Story: Anita Renfroe; Executive Producers: Kim Tannenbaum, Eric Tannenbaum; Director: Jamie Widdoes*
UNTITLED JEFF STRAUSS PROJECT
Just because you have kids, doesn't mean you stop being an adult. But it does mean all of your adult conversations are about the thrilling topics of carpool, soccer practice and potty training. For these couples, being parents is rewarding, but can they please just get a time out?!
Rob and his wife Jessica remember the days when they could actually have sex on a school night. Not anymore. With three kids and two careers, the only time they spend together in bed involves snoring. Turning to their best friends Gordon and Susan for advice on how to spice things up is useless. They're locked in a daily struggle trying to figure out if spanking is a good thing or the worst horror imaginable. And their soon-to-be-divorced friends, Jay and Christine, are now sleeping with each other more than when they were living together. Well if that isn't a ringing endorsement.
Parenthood meets Sex in the City in this outrageous new multi-camera comedy from Jeff Strauss (Friends) that proves getting a little one-on-one time in the middle of so much family time can be hilariously complicated.
CAST - Matthew Lillard as Rob; TBA as Jessica; Sam Schuder as Janey*; Jonathan Silverman as Gordon; Janet Varney as Susan; Shaun Majumder as Jay*; TBA as Christine
CREDITS - Production Company: ABC Studios; Executive Producer/Writer: Jeff Strauss; Executive Producers: Mindy Schultheis, Michael Hanel; Director: Andy Cadiff*
UNTITLED KELSEY GRAMMER PROJECT (formerly PRYORS)
Sometimes scaling back is the best way to get ahead. Wall Street legend Hank Pryor (Kelsey Grammer) and his wife Tilly have been living the high life in New York City. That is until Hank is forced out of his CEO job and has to move his family back home to the small town of River Bend.
A self-made man, Hank is used to running the show, but now that he's lost almost everything, can he learn how to hang with his family? The Pryors have had to seriously downsize their lives � even their king-sized bed won't fit in their modest new home. Tilly's not too pleased to be back in the same zip code as her family � especially her badgering brother Grady. Hank's offbeat son Henry worries about fitting in with a new crowd and his daughter Maddie would rather talk on her cell phone than be anywhere near her Dad. But every great businessman knows that the key to success is to turn setbacks into opportunities. Hank has big plans to get ahead in business... and to reconnect with his family. It may take a while for an industrial giant to figure out how to mingle with the little people � like his family � but Hank's up for the challenge. Like that smaller bed... Turns out that wasn't such a bad idea after all.
Starring Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), this hilarious family comedy mixes genuine, heart-warming moments with Grammer's trademark blustery humor. The series is written by Everybody Loves Raymond's three-time Emmy Award-winner Tucker Cawley, and co-executive produced by Grammer along with The Life & Times of Tim's Mike Clements and Tom Werner.
After many years of living the so-called good life, the Pryor Family is about to discover that downsizing just might be the key to living it up!
CAST - Kelsey Grammer as Hank Pryor; David Koechner as Grady Funk*; Melinda McGraw as Tilly Pryor; Macey Cruthird as Maddie Pryor*; Ryan Wynott as Henry Pryor
CREDITS - Production Companies: Warner Bros. Television, Good Humor Television; Executive Producers: Mike Clements, Tom Werner, Kelsey Grammer; Writer: Tucker Cawley; Director: Jimmy Burrows
UNTITLED LAUREN GRAHAM PROJECT (formerly THE BRIDGET SHOW; LET IT GO)
What happens when a self-help guru needs more than a little help herself? Inspirational talk show host Bridget O'Shea followed her own best-selling advice to "let it go," and now has really let herself go.
Ten years after chasing her newsman boyfriend around the world and getting nowhere, Bridget has been left on her couch with no man, no job and no direction. Now the only friends Bridget has left are her long-suffering manager Marty and her beleaguered assistant Lucy, who stick with her through thick or thin � or as long as she keeps paying them.
But Bridget now has the second chance she's been hoping for � to unveil a chapter in her new self-help book... which she hasn't gotten around to writing. With the help of her ex's cousin, professional slacker Chris Hopper, Bridget is re-focused on scoring the comeback of the year, or just sabotaging her career yet again. Unfortunately, sometimes letting go is easier said than done.
Actress Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, Broadway's Guys & Dolls) stars as the advice-challenged guru in this single-camera comedy written by Alex Herschlag (Will & Grace), who will executive produce along with Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men) and Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development). It just proves that even the people who are supposed to have the answers may not quite have it all figured out.
CAST - Lauren Graham as Bridget O'Shea; Lucy Davis as Lucy; Holly Robinson Peete as Macy; Jeffrey Tambor as Marty; Josh Braaten as Chris
CREDITS - Production Companies: Sony Pictures Television, Tantamount; Executive Producer/Writer: Alex Herschlag; Executive Producers: Kim Tannenbaum, Eric Tannenbaum, Mitch Hurwitz; Director: Barry Sonnenfeld*
UNTITLED LLOYD & LEVITAN PROJECT (formerly MY AMERICAN FAMILY)
When the Pritchett-Delgado-Dunphy family agrees to be interviewed by a documentary crew, they have no idea just how much they're about to reveal about themselves.
Family patriarch Jay Pritchett met the stunning Columbian Gloria Delgado when she bartended in a bikini at the pool party he threw for himself the day his wife left him. Now Jay and Gloria are married and Jay tries hard to keep up with his much younger � and hotter � wife and her passionate teenage son, Manny. Jay's daughter, Claire, is having a hard time raising her own family. Her husband Phil is great, except for the fact that he thinks he's "down" with their teenage kids, much to their embarrassment. Claire's brother Mitchell and his enthusiastic partner Cameron have just adopted Lily, a precious little baby girl from Vietnam. But when everyone gets together, things are bound to get awkward. Especially after Claire and Mitchell hilariously bag on everyone else in the family while they change the baby's diaper. Oops! Too bad they forgot about Lily's baby monitor. But that's the thing about family: no matter how badly you behave, hopefully they'll forgive... or maybe even forget.
In the tradition of The Office, this engaging new comedy offers a 'mockumentary' view into the complicated, messy, loving life of a modern day super-extended family. Steven Levitan (Just Shoot Me) and Christopher Lloyd (Frasier) invite you into the sometimes warm and sometimes twisted embrace of someone else's family.
CAST - Ed O'Neill as Jay; Sofia Vergara as Gloria; Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell; Eric Stonestreet as Cameron; Ty Burrell as Phil; Julie Bowen as Claire; Sarah Hyland as Haley*; Rico Rodriguez as Manny*; Nolan Gould as Luke*; Ariel Winter as Alex*
CREDITS - Production Company: 20th Century Fox Television; Executive Producer/Writer: Steve Levitan, Christopher Lloyd; Director: Jason Winer
UNTITLED TAD QUILL PROJECT (formerly THE NEW TWENTY)
Lifelong friends, Seth and Dean are the same age, but that doesn't mean they're at the same point in life. While one is about to become an empty-nester, one is about to become a first-time-father. They're two friends trying to survive two completely different types of mid-life crisis.
Dean (Will & Grace's Eric McCormack) has always taken the responsible route. He put himself through med-school. He took his time to marry the right woman. And finally, at 40, his beautiful wife Tess and he will have their first baby. His best friend, Seth did things a little differently. He never finished college after he got his wife Amy pregnant when they were still pretty much kids themselves. Finally, after 20 years, his kids have moved out and he's looking forward to going on a permanent adult spring break. While Doctor Dean smugly assumes he knows everything there is to know about babies � without ever actually having had one, Seth makes big plans to revel in his new-found freedom � alone. But it doesn't take long before Dean realizes he could really use Seth's parenting expertise and Seth realizes that living the good life isn't all that much fun without your best friend to share it with.
From Emmy-nominated executive producer/writer Tad Quill (Spin City, Scrubs, Dirty Sexy Money) and Emmy-winning director Marc Buckland (My Name Is Earl) comes a refreshingly funny multi-camera comedy about two best friends who discover that the only way they're going to get through middle age gracefully, is by doing it together.
CAST - Eric McCormack as Dean; Reno Wilson as Seth; Jolie Jenkins as Tess; Constance Zimmer as Amy
CREDITS - Production Company: ABC Studios; Executive Producer/Writer: Tad Quill; Director: Marc Buckland
[EDITOR'S NOTE: * denotes a previously unknown addition.]