With pickups for the fall season in full swing, NBC is betting on three comedies, from Ride Along producer Will Packer, Hot in Cleveland‘s Suzanne Martin and Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer.
People Are Talking, created by DJ Nash, centers on two neighborhood couples who meet often to obsess over everything from sex, class and race to their suspicions that the new babysitter is a porn star. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tone Bell are two of the main foursome, Packer will exec-produce and Pam Fryman (How I Met Your Mother) directed the pilot.
Crowded, from Martin and actor Sean Hayes, is yet another multigenerational family comedy (following Modern Family, The Goldbergs, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat and others in what seems to be a never-ending trend) about parents whose future plans are derailed when their two adult daughters experience trouble in their personal and professional lives and move back in. James Burrows directed the pilot, and the buzzy cast includes Patrick Warburton, Carrie Preston, Stacy Keach and Miranda Cosgrove.
Finally, Superstore is America Ferrara’s big return to television after the conclusion of Ugly Betty in 2010. A workplace romantic comedy, the series co-stars Ben Feldman (of the late NBC show A to Z). Notably, Justin Spitzer (The Office) is scribing, and Fleischer both exec-produces and directed the pilot.
NBC previously ordered dramas Chicago Med, Heartbreaker and Blindspot, along with comedies Coach and Telenovela, for the fall.
The comedy pickups come after a deeply disappointing season for the Peacock Network, which saw comedies go belly-up one after another. Fall efforts Bad Judge and A to Z were canceled swiftly, while Mission Control was pulled before it even made it to air. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt had been planned for NBC but ultimately went to Netflix, where it has been renewed for a second season. Meanwhile, midseason premieres Undateable and One Big Happy also flopped.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this fall will be much better for NBC. THR’s report claims that “the network is significantly more pleased with this year’s drama development crop than it is the half-hours,” and it’s easy to see why – People Are Talking, Crowded and Superstore all sound horribly generic.