Two new comedies and a drama series have been given official series orders at NBC. According to Deadline, comedies American Auto and Grand Crew have been picked up along with disaster action series, La Brea. All three are produced through Universal Television and are the first series ordered under NBCUniversal’s new Chairman of Entertainment, Susan Rovner.
According to Deadline, La Brea was first announced in June 2020 with a straight-to-series path. Some pre-COVID footage was filmed, but the pandemic ultimately shut down production. To keep the series alive, NBC developed multiple backup scripts and offered cast options for its main cast members. Written by David Applebaum (The Mentalist, The Enemy Within), the show follows a family’s quest to survive when a mysterious sinkhole divides the Los Angeles neighborhood. The series stars Natalie Zea, Zyra Gorecki, and Chike Okonkwo.
Applebaum will executive produce along with Avi Nir (Homeland, Tyrant), Alon Shtruzman (Save Yourselves!, The Brave), and Peter Traugott (Do No Hard, Wisdom of the Crowd), according to Deadline. Rachel Kaplan (The Baker and the Beauty, Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector) and Ken Woodruff (Reverie, Gotham) will also executive produce the series.
The first of two comedies ordered is Phil Augusta Jackson (Brooklyn-Nine-Nine, Insecure) and Dan Goor’s (Parks and Recreation, The Daily Show) buddy comedy, Grand Crew. According to Deadline, the series follows a group of black friends who are all regulars at a local wine bar. The show will explore their friendship along with life’s mishaps. Mo Marable (Brockmire, Wrecked) is set to direct the pilot that stars Echo Kellum (Arrow, Hot in Cleveland), Nicole Byer (Girl Code, Nailed It!), Justin Cunningham (When They See Us, Blue Bloods), Carl Tart (Party Over Here, Comedy Bang! Bang!), and Aaron Jennings (Movie 43, Pure Genius). Jackson and Goor are executive producers with Marable set to co-produce the pilot.
According to Deadline, Jason Spitzer’s (Superstore, Grounded for Life) American Auto will focus on a group of automotive executives reconfiguring their company’s brand in an ever-changing industry. First pitched in 2013, Spitzer and Aaron Kaplan (The Chi, A Million Little Things) revisited the project once Spitzer departed his showrunner role for NBC’s Superstore in 2019. Now set for series, the workplace comedy features a strong cast with Ana Gasteyer (Saturday Night Live, Mean Girls) and Jon Barinholtz (Dumb and Dumber To, Solar Opposites) as leads. The supporting cast includes Harriet Dyer (The Invisible Man, Love Child), Humphery Ker (Ibiza, The Wrong Door), Michael B. Washington (30 Rock, The Boys in the Band), Tye White (Greenleaf, NCIS: Los Angeles), and X Mayo (The Farewell, Finding Ohana).
Deadline reports Spitzer will executive produce via his Spitzer Holding Company along with Kaplan and director Jeff Blitz (Review, Spellbound). With the pickup of American Auto, Kaplan becomes the first producer with at least one scripted series either airing or set to air on five of the major broadcast networks. His Kapital Entertainment currently boasts nine series in all including three on ABC and two at CBS.
“Our driving force has always been to seek out talented storytellers who have a strong point of view,” NBC’s President of Scripted Content, Lisa Katz said via Deadline. “While these shows are very different thematically, what they have in common is a unique voice, excellent world building, and compelling storytelling. We can’t wait to share them with TV fans everywhere,” Katz said via Deadline.