NBC Orders Sitcom Pilots From Tina Fey, DC Comics, ‘Parks and Rec’ Creator and More
With the loss of 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation, NBC has struggled in the sitcom department and fallen far short of their former glory, particularly in the face of FOX’s strong lineup and excellent original content from Netflix, Amazon and other streaming providers. There are potentially great things ahead, however, as the company has ordered pilots from Tina Fey, Mike Schur, Marlon Wayans and DC comics, offering a veritable variety platter of humor that could very well punch-up their sitcom lineup and put them back in the game.
Amid the winter TCA press tour’s proliferation of announcements, THR reports that NBC has officially ordered pilots from 30 Rock creator / star Tina Fey, Marlon Wayans, Parks and Recreation co-creator Mike Schur and DC comics.
First up is an untitled pilot from Fey and 30 Rock colleagues Robert Carlock, Tracey Wigfield and David Miner, which is inspired by Wigfield’s life and the complex relationship with her mother, who takes an internship at her daughter’s place of employment. Fey and Carlock also collaborated on Ellie Kemper’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which enters its second season on Netflix this year (it should also be noted that NBC passed on Kimmy Schmidt, which went on to become a hit for Netflix).
Next is Powerless, a DC comics-inspired sitcom which NBC first ordered into development last summer. Described as a workplace sitcom similar to The Office, Powerless is a single-camera comedy that centers on a group of average, underachieving insurance company employees who attempt to find their own powers working among the superheroes and villains of the DC universe.
In addition to potentially bringing Fey back home to NBC, the network may also bring Parks and Rec co-creator and The Office producer Mike Schur back into the fold with his similarly untitled sitcom based on the life of producer Matt Hubbard. The series follows a man who moves to his wife’s hometown and struggles to cope with the cultural traditions of his in-laws.
Last is Marlon Wayans’ new multi-camera sitcom Marlon, which — like Fey and Schur’s new comedies — is also inspired by the life of its creator and producer. The series stars Wayans as “an inappropriate but loving father committed to successfully co-parenting with his polar opposite ex-wife.”
That’s a an interesting and somewhat diverse mix of projects, though it’s still possible that some — or none — of the four new pilots will be ordered to series. But it would be so, so nice to make NBC must-see TV again, and getting Fey and Schur back at the network is a step in the right direction.