NBC chief Bob Greenblatt went on a pilot-buying binge in the late-night hours yesterday, determined to fix his network in much the same way that a depressed person will buy a whole new wardrobe and assorted storage bins to organize it in, because this is the year that they finally turn things around. As part of that makeover, NBC seems determined to become the “funny” network, with eight of the 10 pilots it picked up yesterday being comedies. And these are in addition to previously announced comedy pilots like The Sarah Silverman Project and New Adventures Of Old Christine creator Kari Lizer’s show about co-dependent female best friends, plus the more high-concept Save Me, in which Anne Heche believes she’s channeling God, and Isabel, in which Kevin Nealon and Marcia Gay Harden play the parents to a girl with “magical” qualities.
Other recently acquired shows with which we’ve already become familiar, both because we’ve heard about them and because they seem like they were already on the air at some point: Roseanne Barr’s trailer-park sitcom Downwardly Mobile and Law And Order creator Dick Wolf’s show about firemen, Chicago Fire. The latter is joined on the drama side by Parenthood/Friday Night Lights showrunner Jason Katims’ County, which stars The Event refugee Jason Ritter as a member of the young staff at a struggling L.A. hospital. NBC also renewed its vows yet again with The Office’s Greg Daniels by picking up his adaptation of the UK’s Friday Night Dinner, which revolves around the weekly Sabbath meals of a Jewish family. Interestingly, TV Line’s description drops the “Jewish” and substitutes the widely accepted synonym “quirky,” but between this and Ben Stiller/Jonathan Safran Foer’s All Talk, we’re pretty sure next season may finally see Jews get their fair shake in comedy.
NBC has also issued pilot orders to: Go On, a comedy from Friends (That’s good!) and Joey (That’s bad!) writer Scott Silveri about a “charming sportscaster” who moves on from personal loss with the help of group therapy sessions; Next Caller Please, about an “alpha male” satellite radio DJ and his new feminist co-host; Daddy’s Girl, in which a woman discovers that her dad is now dating her “mean girl” rival from high school; Animal Kingdom, a sitcom from The Hangover Part II writer Scott Armstrong that’s about a veterinarian who loves pets but hates their owners, and which might have to change its title to avoid confusion with this; an untitled comedy executive-produced by Jimmy Fallon about three thirtysomething dudes who struggle with fatherhood because they are immature man-children; and an untitled comedy from Community writer Hilary Winston about a shy woman who comes out of her shell by plotting revenge against her ex-fiancé. And yes, that is the only tangential mention of Community you’re going to get in this entire story, and you had to wait until the very end to get it! I know!