News Briefs: Tina Fey Is Returning to NBC to Produce a Workplace Comedy

By Kaitlin Thomas

Aug 14, 2013

YES, PRAYER WORKS!

Tina Fey is set to return to NBC, this time as an executive producer on an as-yet-untitled new project from 30 Rock writer-producer Colleen McGuinness. The project is a character-driven workplace comedy about a young woman who's searching to reconnect with her father. She eventually finds a new home and a new family on Fire Island in New York. Also producing is 30 Rock co-showrunner Robert Carlock. While I support Fey returning to my life in any way possible, does this world really need another workplace comedy right now? [Deadline Hollywood]


BUSINESS TIME

... NBC certainly has been busy lately. In addition to the Tina Fey-produced project mentioned above, the network has ordered three other more comedies to its development slate for next season. The first one is an untitled half-hour from Harris Wittels (Parks and Recreation) and Ali Rushfield, about a man-boy who lives with his parents and clashes with them on the matter of raising his little brother... who is apparently a multimillionaire high school entrepreneur? The second one, which is also untitled, is a multi-camera adult relationship comedy from Dan Mazer, and there isn't much detail available. And the third one, a multi-camera project called Gifted, centers on two average parents and their genius kid and is described as "Family Ties meets Big Bang Theory in a family setting" because someone forgot that words have meaning. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Remember that forthcoming e-book that will wrap up Showtime's The Borgias, which we literally told you about yesterday? It's now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and SmashWords. The title is The Borgia Apocalypse: The Screenplay, and it's basically the script of what was originally conceived as a two-hour movie to cap off the series, and which Showtime ultimately decided not to make. [Showtime via press release]

... Lifetime has renewed its summer drama series Devious Maids for Season 2. The series, from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, is Lifetime's fasting-growing drama ever, and hit a 2.9 million viewer high two weeks ago. The series will return with 13 additional episodes in 2014. [THR]

... Because IFC knows we don't like to go a single day around here without mentioning Breaking Bad in some way, shape, or form, the network announced today that Bob Odenkirk will appear in every episode of its upcoming sketch show The Birthday Boys, which premieres October 18 at 10:30pm. At least he's got something to fall back on if that Saul Goodman spin-off doesn't pan out! [Splitsider]

... Mischa Barton is throwing some major shade at The O.C., guys, and it's not cool. Not only has she said that it doesn't feel right to do a reunion—apparently forgetting the fact that her character, Marissa Cooper, died in Season 3 and probably wouldn't factor heavily into such an event—she would also prefer not to be sucked back into the limelight by the series. So I skimmed her recent acting credits, and as exciting as Cyberstalker and Gutsy Frog sound, I'm pretty sure her career could probably use the boost more than, say, Rachel Bilson's. [US Weekly]

... Proving that Syfy loves foreign relations as much as shark-infested weather phenomena, the network has acquired the first two seasons of the New Zealand series The Almighty Johnsons. The series, about four brothers who inherit the powers of Norse gods, will debut on Syfy in 2014[Syfy via press release]


CASTING NEWS

... Nick Jonas will guest-star on an upcoming episode of CBS's Hawaii Five-0 as a computer hacker with complicated motives. The most talented of the Jonas Brothers—sorry, other guys whose names I don't even bother to remember—Jonas has stopped by Smash and Last Man Standing, as well as starred in several Broadway productions. [CBS via press release]

... Leslie Hope, who has a pivotal role in the upcoming season of NCIS, has been cast in FX's The Strain, Guillermo del Toro's new thriller about a viral outbreak that has all the markings of an ancient strain of vampirism. Hope will play Joan Luss, one of the few survivors of the outbreak. [TV Line]

... British actor Ian Hart, known for playing Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and, more recently, Lonnie on HBO's ill-fated Luck, has been cast in ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But you shouldn't expect to find out any more details about his role. As with everything else regarding the heavily anticipated series, information about Hart's recurring character is being kept under wraps. [Entertainment Weekly]

... It's a big day for Harry Potter actors. Mad-Eye Moody himself, Brendan Gleeson, has landed the lead role in David Milch's The Money, which was just earned a pilot order from HBO. The series is about wealth and corruption and will focus on Gleeson's dynastic media family. [Deadline Hollywood]

... It's official: Casting for Cote de Pablo's replacement on NCIS is underway. The new character—named Bishop—is said to be intelligent, educated, athletic, fresh-faced, attractive, well-traveled, and a tad socially awkward, because CBS law dictates that she must have some sort of ridiculously stupid flaw. Boy, that shouldn't be hard to find. I'd hate to be the person to have to fill Ziva's shoes. [TV Line]

... Chris Diamantopoulos (most recently seen as Brian the camera guy on The Office and Marky Bark on Arrested Development) and Jake Sandvig (Twenty Good Years, Weeds) will star in High Moon, a 90-minute pilot that's being executive-produced by Bryan Fuller (HannibalPushing Daisies) for Syfy. The project, which was first announced last August, is based on the novel The Lotus Caves by John Christopher. Diamantopoulos plays Ian, a chief investigator for the government who's been dispatched to the moon to figure out the cause of an explosion, while Sandbig is Marty, his felonious younger brother who's serving prison time as a moon laborer. [Syfy via press release]

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  • Svanehjerte Aug 18, 2013

    The Strain also sounds good, despite it being another vampire show, because pretty much everything Guillermo does is good!

  • Svanehjerte Aug 18, 2013

    High Moon sounds GREAT!

  • KevinG87 Aug 15, 2013

    I love Tina Fey, but unless she's in the show I don't see why it matters who's executive producing something.

    I find it funny that Mischa Barton doesn't want to be associated with a show that's her only claim to fame, I think she must be on something and think The OC is The Walking Dead and Marissa could come back as a zombie.. also, she was the worst character on the show, especially in every episode of season 3. it's also funny how she pretty much was the most well known at the time, now everybody else is higher up on any sort of scale of awareness.

    I don't like any Jonas Brother but I'll agree he was the more talented one, especially considering he was a solo artist and his brothers (Kevin and Joe, and I hate myself for remembering that) just mooched off it and became a "band" lol

    speaking of Ian Hart, My Mad Fat Diary is a great show.

  • zeofan1 Aug 15, 2013

    "intelligent, educated, athletic, fresh-faced, attractive, well-traveled, and a tad socially awkward"

    So basically they gave her a flaw that wouldn't stain her perfection. MY GOD. They may as well have made her 'clumsy'. XD

  • mrjimmyjames Aug 14, 2013

    Just as long as Fey doesn't star in this so she can keep her film career going. She's already perfected television; time to move on and become a movie star.

  • mrjimmyjames Aug 14, 2013

    Haven't vampires played themselves out yet? Guess not...

  • mrjimmyjames Aug 14, 2013

    A better idea for IFC would be to go back to airing reruns of Mr. Show.

  • LeahLefler Aug 14, 2013

    is there really a place called Fire Island? I thought it was a TV gag.

  • borgsblueyes Aug 14, 2013

    The Money sounds promising. But I'm a sucker for Brendan Gleeson.

  • JT_Kirk Aug 14, 2013

    Will this Tina Fey-produced workplace comedy have another writing staff that is coddled and told all their ideas are great and they should never hear "no" so they just lob softball after softball and in-joke nonsense that only serves to minimize the talent?

    Uhhh, a man-boy who lives with his parents and clashes over his millionaire little brother, that sounds relatable and in no way gimmicky. *backs away slowly*

  • torque_smacky Aug 14, 2013

    What?

    30 Rock had some of the most brilliant writing I've ever heard. You're insane.

  • JT_Kirk Aug 15, 2013

    30 Rock was safe comedy, never going for the bite or the home run, a lot of half-baked jokes and story ideas because they weren't put through more of a challenging process. It started stronger in those areas and once established it got lazy and went for easier and wackier jokes - go back to the first season and compare Liz, compare the staff's and the show's competence, the characters' backgrounds to the last season, it's like night and day.

  • torque_smacky Aug 15, 2013

    WTF at preferring the first season....when it focused more on the characters' backgrounds, there was less room for humor. Tina agrees on this one.

    If this is your idea of "biteless" comedy then what the heck are things like According to Jim or Home Improvement? Protozoic amoebas?

  • JT_Kirk Aug 15, 2013

    They're not trying to be edgy, 30 Rock routinely set up edgy and biting material that got poor follow-through.

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