[09/05/05 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Continues to Build Midseason Comedy Roster
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- NBC continued to build up its unusually active midseason development slate over the weekend as the network had greenlighted the Greg Grunberg-led comedy pilot "Grand Union."

Grunberg ("Alias," "The Catch") stars as Tom McBride, a blue-collar family man who manages a local Long Island neighborhood grocery store in the project, which previously ran under the title "Father of the McBrides." Also cast in "Union" is Beth Lacke ("ER") as Grunberg's wife, Pat.

David Israel and Jim O'Doherty ("The Tracy Morgan Show," "Grounded for Life") are behind the project, which comes from NBC Universal Television and executive producer Tom Werner. It's believed Werner will produce through his Warner Bros. Television-based Werner-Gold-Miller banner along with Eric Gold and Jimmy Miller.

As for Grunberg, his involvement stems from an overall development deal the actor recently signed with the network.

Meanwhile, casting has begun on the Peacock's Tina Fey-led comedy pilot, a semi-autobiographical look at Fey's tenure on "Saturday Night Live."

Among the details revealed in the casting notice: Fey will play Lisa Lemon, the head writer of "Friday Night Bits" (the show-within-a-show), while the characters include Jack Donaghy (NBC's new VP of development), Pete Hornberger (Lisa's long-time producer and friend), Toofer (a Harvard-type staff writer), Frank (a heavy-set, working-class staff writer who butts heads with Toofer), Josh (an adorable young cast member known for his flawless impressions), Sarie (a Paris Hilton-esque assistant), Kenneth (a chirpy Clay Aiken-type NBC page) and Jonathan (Jack's nerdy assistant).

Lorne Michaels, David Miner and Joann Alfano serve as the executive producers of the NBC Universal Television/Broadway Video-based project along with Frey, who wrote the pilot script.

"Union" and the Fey project join the Peacock's already busy comedy development roster for midseason, which also includes the previously shot pilots "Filmore Middle" and "Lies and the Wives We Tell Them To" as well as the cast-contingent "I Love Faron Hitchman," "Bearaboo 2010" and untitled Mike Markowitz project.

Already on tap for midseason are the new comedies "Four Kings" and "Thick and Thin," not to mention the fifth season of "Scrubs."

  [september 2005]  

· 30 ROCK (NBC)
· BARABOO 2010 (NBC)
· ER (NBC)

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