ABC has picked up two more comedy pilots, one from Scrubs star Zach Braff and another from Hamilton fame Daveed Diggs. This brings their network total to 8 pilots for this season, 4 of which are comedies.
Joining Felicity Huffman and Courtney B. Vance’s political comedy Libby and Malcolm and Cody Diablo’s eccentric family pilot Raised By Wolves will be Zach Braff’s Start Up. The single-camera comedy will follow Braff as Alex Schuman, a journalist and thirty-something father and husband who gives up his career to start his own business.
Scrubs writer and producer Matt Tarses wrote the pilot based off of radio journalist Alex Blumberg’s podcast of the same name. Blumberg is a former producer of This American’s Life.
All aspects of starting a business and eschewing security for the possible payout that comes with risk will be covered. The podcast is based off of Blumberg’s experience as the CEO of Gimlet, a narrative podcast company.
Should the pilot be picked up to go to series, it would reunite Tarses and Braff with ABC, who picked up Scrubs for its eighth and ninth final seasons.
Along with Braff’s start-up comedy is Daveed Diggs and Jeremy Bronson’s as-of-yet-untitled single-camera comedy that centers around a hip-hop artist who runs for the mayorship to promote his mixtape and actually ends up winning the race. The idealistic rapper realizes through his publicity stunt gone very wrong that he has a serious knack for this kind of work and eventually transforms city hall for the better.
The premise is somewhat reminiscent of the beloved Parks and Recreation except that the titular character starts off wanting nothing to do with government past self promotion, the exact-opposite of the blindly enthusiastic and incredibly endearing Leslie Knope.
Diggs is known for playing Marquis De Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson opposite Lin Manuel-Miranda in the broadway smash-hit Hamilton. Diggs is reportedly not set to star in the show but will executive produce it, along with Jamie Tarses, Scott Stuber and James Griffiths. Griffiths, who directed the pilot of ABC’s Blackish, is also set to direct the pilot for the mayor project.
This project will surely utilize the best of Bronson’s experience in show business. This includes being an ex-political producer for MSNBC as well as work on The Mindy Project and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where he served as head monologue writer and creator of Fallon’s popular ‘Thank You’ notes segment.
This will be Digg’s first big leap to network television, albeit in a non-acting role. He has starred in Baz Luhrman’s Netflix’s series The Get Down and Blackish.