Back in March, one of the shows I was most looking forward to was stand-up comedian and former Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney’s self-titled multi-camera sitcom – The John Mulaney Show.
Despite its family roots (produced by Lorne Michaels with a cast consisting of SNL alum), NBC passed on the show, instead opting for more family-based sitcoms like Welcome to the Family and The Michael J. Fox Show.
NBC’s missed opportunity has become FOX’s gain, however, because the network that hosts New Girl and The Mindy Project has just saved John Mulaney’s show – giving it a six-episode order.
Kevin Reilly, the Chairman of Entertainment for FOX, said:
John is one of the sharpest and most skilled next-generation comedic voices out there, who also happens to be surrounded by the best of the best on this new show. I am personally thrilled to be working with Lorne Michaels again, a friend and show business hero who knows better than anyone how to build a show around talent. Add in the comedy magic of Marty Short and the seasoned hand of Andy Ackerman, and I believe we have the makings of something really special here.
The pilot script will be re-written, with Martin Short being confirmed to stay on. The statuses of Nasim Pedrad, who was to play a sweet but lazy schoolteacher and who would have exited SNL had the series been picked up, and Elliot Gould (Ocean’s Eleven) are a little more up-in-the-air. It doesn’t look like either Pedrad or Gould will be able to commit to the series, given Pedrad’s contract with SNL and Gould going on to do other projects.
John Mulaney was a writer on Saturday Night Live since 2008, with many of his sketches making it to air, and he occasionally made appearances on Weekend Update. He also co-created the much-beloved Stefon, one of Bill Hader’s most popular characters.
FOX seems to be branching out with its sitcom line-up. This fall, they began airing Brooklyn Nine-Nine, starring another SNL alum – Andy Samberg. The network also ordered a pilot for The Last Man On Earth, created by SNL alum Will Forte, and gave a series commitment to Tina Fey’s multi-camera sitcom about a women’s college that begins accepting men for the first time.