We know that NBC's Nielsen disaster of last season has caused some pretty profound self-esteem issues at the network (the "colonic" talk was a tip-off), but this plea for comedy scripts sounds a little like a recent divorcée slurring, "Boy, am I waaaaasted! I think if I do one more widdle shot, I might go home with anybody!" from the end of the bar:
With its lineup undisturbed by any new hit comedies, NBC is seeking to fast-track at least one spec script to a pilot order for midseason consideration. Submissions deadline is Sept. 15.
The initiative is an extension of the aggressive strategy entertainment president Kevin Reilly has implemented at NBC since the network unveiled its fall schedule to advertisers in May and promised to bring in new material by any means necessary. That has included taking a second look at projects passed over by its competitors, including recent series order "Windfall," which was set up at Fox. NBC also recently ordered four cast-contingent comedies this summer and reactivated two pilots it had passed on, "Filmore Middle" and "I Love Faron Hitchman."
While August is traditionally the period networks are hearing pitches, NBC is now set to pounce on the kind of project writers might find too intimidating to subject to the traditional gantlet that is the broadcast development process. NBC could potentially shoot a project submitted now as early as January.
Please, comedy writers, take them up on their offer. The janitorial staff over at NBC is getting a little tired of president Kevin Reilly stopping them every time they come in to empty the wastebasket to ask, "A wisecracking cleaning lady and an uptight TV executive unexpectedly find themselves in a green card marriage—that's a show, right?"