Relationship Comedy From David Caspe, Seth Gordon & Jamie Tarses Lands At NBC With Pilot Production Commitment

EXCLUSIVE: In what is believed to be the biggest commitment for a comedy project so far this development season, Marry Me, a single-camera half-hour from Happy Endings creator David Caspe, just landed at NBC. The Sony Pictures TV project — which has Seth Gordon, who exited Horrible Bosses 2 today, attached to direct and executive produce and Jamie Tarses to executive produce — sparked a bidding war when it was taken out two weeks ago. It ultimately commanded a pilot production commitment in a deal which I hear also includes a full license fee and series penalty. Last summer, NBC nabbed another Sony TV single-camera comedy project with a big commitment, giving a 22-episode order to The Michael J. Fox Show, one of four new Sony series on the NBC schedule next season along with fall drama The Blacklist, fall comedy Welcome To The Family and midseason drama The Night Shift.Said to be in the vein of Mad About You, Marry Me centers on a young couple who get engaged, something they quickly realize is harder than it looks. Caspe, who is writing and exec producing, as well as Gordon and Tarses, are all under overall deals at Sony TV. Marry Me was one of two single-camera comedy pitches about betrothed couples from a top writer and director that hit the marketplace in the past two weeks. The other, The Longest Date, from Cindy Chupack, Jake Kasdan and 20th TV, was pre-emptively bought by Fox with a pilot production commitment. The comedy market is quickly heating up this year, with three projects already earning pilot production commitments, including 20th TV’s half-hour from Nahnatchka Khan, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash at Fox, and another one, Ali Rushfield’s Stuck from Warner Bros, getting a put pilot commitment at Fox.

For the past three seasons, Caspe — repped by WME, Magnolia Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein — served as showrunner on ABC’s underrated comedy Happy Endings, which ended its run in May. Marry Me reunites him with Tarses, who also exec produced Happy Endings through her Fanfare shingle. Gordon, repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment, recently directed the pilot for Sony TV’s upcoming ABC comedy series The Goldbergs.

Comments (26)

  • Sure, if by “underrated” you mean “cancelled because nobody watched it.”

    Comment by Ed — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 7:36pm PDT  
  • Tired of happy endings being called underrated. The show was bad. The characters were annoying and regular people don’t enjoy watching that. It’s over, let it go

    Comment by George — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 7:44pm PDT  
    • “regular people” ?

      Comment by son — Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 2:28pm PDT  
  • This could save NBC.

    Comment by Zachary — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 8:11pm PDT  
    • Dumbest comment ever on a Deadline thread?

      Comment by Writer — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 8:21pm PDT  
      • Something will. The Cosby Show did in the 80s. It looks like they finally realized they suck at family comedies. More power to them.

        Comment by Zachary — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 9:04pm PDT  
      • Not the dumbest from Zachary, he likes many failed stinker comedies, reel off a few of your favorite turds Zach…

        Comment by Anonymous — Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 8:23am PDT  
    • FYI, only god can save NBC and he is tied up with CNN.

      Comment by Dan — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 11:59pm PDT  
  • Will anyone remember the “heat” on all these projects one year from now. . .except the business affairs departments of the agencies that will commission these projects, I guess.

    Comment by Howard Beal — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 8:18pm PDT  
  • This could save planet earth

    Comment by Ralph — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 8:22pm PDT  
    • Bestest comment ever on a Deadline thread?

      Comment by Writer Too — Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 12:36am PDT  
  • Whats with commenters on Deadline having some sort of vendetta against Happy Endings? With all the mediocre stuff I always see praised to death on here it confuses me that Happy Endings (one of the few quality comedies on tv in the last couple years) is the one people on this site have it out for and seem to resent for whatever reason.

    Comment by Seesi Oh — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 8:26pm PDT  
    • The mainstream just doesn’t have very good taste. It was too smart for network TV which is why it wasn’t a huge ratings winner. Though it did strong in Season 2. ABC screwed it over in the third season with the poor scheduling.

      Comment by Mike — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 9:57pm PDT  
      • happy endings was definitely not “too smart” for network tv — tired of that excuse. such bs. problem was it wasn’t funny enough. it was broad but not grounded, which means stupid. and in comedy, if you’re going to be stupid you better be funny. which happy endings, like community, frequently the new girl, and a slew of other “underrated” network comedies, are not. i don’t blame you for loving it as much as you did, it had a great cast, but it was the writers who screwed it by not doing their jobs well. that is all. let’s not speak of this any further.

        Comment by Sean M — Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 8:08am PDT  
        • First, you just named every comedy on TV as being shit aside from chuck Lorre. So i see youre a tastemaker.. Second, you may want to unplug your tv now because every single writer from HAPPY is on a new network show. Not some or most, every single one. All this aside, I still have faith in your struggling career.

          Comment by Gute — Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 12:51pm PDT  
  • Same tired players over and over again. How about some new writers? Some fresh faces? Stop recycling the same writers over and over.

    Comment by Eliza — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 8:30pm PDT  
    • Eliza, list some of those new writers and fresh faces you’re confident are more capable. Name them here. Seriously. Promise we’ll take a look. Easier to criticize than generate. List ‘em and give them a shot…

      Comment by Network Exec — Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 12:32am PDT  
    • Um, yeah, considering the only hit network comedies are shows created by Chuck Lorre and the guys from Frasier, I’m pretty sure they need to do the exact opposite of that.

      Comment by Anonymous — Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 9:19am PDT  
  • I’m looking forward to it since Caspe created the brilliant Happy Endings. NBC should have just rescued that. I’ll always miss that show. Maybe some Happy Endings players could be cast. Eliza Coupe needs her own sitcom. She’s amazing and hilarious.

    Comment by Mike — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 9:55pm PDT  
    • Thanks for checking in, Caspe!

      Comment by Truth Teller — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 11:30pm PDT  
    • I like Coupe, she was really good on Scrubs (when she was alongside dolts like Dave Franco) and during the first couple of seasons on Happy Endings. But Zachary Knighton was really the MVP of that show. His dry, slightly stoned delivery always had me cracking up. Also, IMHO, he was the only character that actually behaved like a rational human being during the whole course of the series. Just my 2 cents.

      Comment by Zachary — Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 7:33am PDT  
  • NBC will screw this up. Just look at the Greenblatt-era comedies.

    Comment by Oliver — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 10:28pm PDT  
  • Weird phenomena with Happy Endings — the older, 50+ writers in our room despised it, while it was universally adored by our younger writers and assistants. Which makes me think that it was a show with more cable sensibilities than a broad hit. Shame, show was absolutely hilarious and was subjected to the worst scheduling of any show on a network last season. Excited for this one.

    Comment by Anon — Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 11:43pm PDT  
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