NBC's Latest Bright Idea Is a Live Multi-Cam Comedy Produced by Sean Hayes

By Tim Surette

Sep 04, 2014

NBC's latest bright idea with regard to original programming is to go old-school. Like, all the way back to your parents' parents' school. The network is teaming up with frequent collaborator Sean Hayes and actor/writer Chris Moynihan for a new sitcom that would air live each week, Deadline reports.

The potential series, dubbed Hospitality, is a multi-camera comedy set in a Manhattan hotel and focusing on the staff that works there. (which sounds a bit like Fox's atrocious 2008 sitcom Do Not Disturb). Even the commercial breaks would live.

To some degree, live "event broadcasts" allow networks to combat time-shifted DVR/online viewing, which damages their ad revenue earning potential. NBC actually has a long history with live scripted programming. Saturday Night Live is still going strong as it prepares to kick of its 40th season this fall, and 30 Rock aired two different live episodes during its seven-season run. However, the network's decision to give Hospitality a shot most likely stems from the success of its late-2013 special The Sound of Music Live!, which drew a whopping 18.62 million viewers in its initial airing. NBC also has a live production of Peter Pan in the works.

If Hospitality gets picked up—and I hope it does—it will be a disaster. No one is going to rush to their TV set to check out a live multi-camera comedy, and sitcoms, whether they're multi-cam or not, require a lot of editing. There's nothing like a joke falling flat on live TV. 

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  • Gold_Ruby Sep 07, 2014

    What do you expect from the network that cancelled Community?

  • JT_Kirk Sep 06, 2014

    Are they going to have live breaks where the stars advertise Chesterfields, that smooth and delicious taste that won't take your wind?

  • Prsnl_Stylst Sep 05, 2014

    Sounds awful... and I consider Will & Grace my all-time favorite sitcom.

  • dref22 Sep 05, 2014

    Hey NBC, stop joking around and give us info on Heroes Reborn.

  • numberonecubsfa Sep 05, 2014

    Because Sean Hayes has been such a winner lately

  • AndreaMcCooey Sep 05, 2014


  • ben45tpy Sep 05, 2014

    Maybe shooting it live will get some publicity (but the crap-crappiness of the show will squash that) but I don't get the DVR argument. Surely people are no less likely to DVR shows that are filmed live.

  • JT_Kirk Sep 06, 2014

    People tune in to watch live events in greater numbers, but those are EVENTS, they are special one-offs, that's what gets eyeballs on screens live, not weekly live tv. Stupid stupid network.

  • jaynashvil Sep 05, 2014

    I remember watching the Fox series "Roc" when they began doing it live. The cast and crew were pros and I never saw anything go wrong--not even a lousy camera shot. But there was always that chance that something horrible would happen...not that I was hoping for that. Of course not.

  • JT_Kirk Sep 06, 2014

    This won't be that, Roc was dramatic and had passion for the material.

  • JohnCouto Sep 05, 2014

    Sorry I have to disagree! Will & Grace Live episodes were some of the funniest episodes of the series! Sean Hayes was born for Live television. I'm excited!

  • remediosbuendia Sep 05, 2014

    I'll just rewatch Fawlty Towers, again.

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