Fogelman comedy pilot finds hero in NBC

NBC is taking a spin with Cars writer Dan Fogelman.

As part of its strategy for a year-round development cycle, the network has given the green light to Lipshitz Saves the World, a comedy project from Fogelman to be directed by Chris Koch, who has directed multiple episodes of NBC's My Name Is Earl and Scrubs.

Lipshitz centers on Adam Lipshitz, a 17-year-old social outcast who finds out in the most bizarre way that he might be "the one" to save the world.

Fogelman describes Lipshitz as being in the vein of the Matrix movies, "if Keanu Reeves wasn't good-looking and The Matrix was not a movie but a pilot for NBC."

Fogelman penned the script on spec during a weekend a few months ago, just after he had wrapped work on the Fox comedy pilot The 12th Man, which he created.

"I decided to sit down and write something different," he said. "I went out on a bender, and Lipshitz was born."

Fogelman said Lipshitz features autobiographical elements--sort of. "I was a very cool 17-year-old, but I did save the world once."

As for NBC's quick decision to pick up the project for a pilot, "it's really bizarre," Fogelman said. "NBC is both crazy and brilliant for deciding to do it."

For NBC, Lipshitz marks the first pilot order after the network announced its fall schedule in May.

"We had been eager to work with Dan, so we jumped fast after reading this spec," NBC senior vice president comedy Jeff Ingold said. "It has a big comedic idea driving it, just like his feature work."

On the feature side, Fogelman most recently penned the script for Warner Bros. Pictures' upcoming comedy Joe Claus starring Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, and Kevin Spacey. Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin is at the helm.

This past development season, Fogelman and Koch worked together on The 12th Man, which Fogelman wrote and Koch directed. The pilot didn't make the cut in May but is still alive after the network extended its options on the actors last week.

Fogelman also created WB Network's comedy series Like Family.

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