The new shows this television season may have been a weak slate — Joss Whedon's “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” needs to up its freshly-renewed game, while the less said about Seth McFarlane's “Dads” the better — but as always in Hollywood, there are plenty of potential replacements waiting in development, and now a massive batch of new comedy projects with promising talent has been announced.
The most high-profile and notable sees the reunion of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, this time as exec producing partners on a half-hour CBS sitcom starring comedian Tom Papa entitled “More Time With Family.” Based on the stand-up career and experiences of Papa, the show will follow him as he gives up his comedy dreams to stay at home with his family, only to find out they aren't too thrilled about that prospect. It seems like an unlikely project for Affleck and Damon, but the idea struck up when Papa worked with the latter actor on “The Informant!” and “Behind The Candelabra.” This marks Affleck's second TV producing gig after crime drama “The Middle Man” at Fox, the pilot for which he will also direct. [Deadline]
After two action-comedies led him into a more dramatic and disappointing direction with “Gangster Squad,” director Ruben Fleischer is heading back to lighter fare, and this time with a TV reboot. NBC and Fleischer are primed for a half-hour comedic version of “Remington Steele,” which originally starred Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan as a private detective and con man, respectively. The new version centers on Olivia Holt, daughter of Zimbalist and Brosnan's characters, as she reopens the business that her parents started and falls into similar patterns. Fleischer is set to direct with Jay Scherick and David Ronn writing; at the very least you can hope for some visual flair if not laughs. [Deadline]
Actress Melissa McCarthy is currently enjoying a successful excursion into film with scene-stealing and starring roles in “Bridesmaids”, “This is 40”, and “The Heat”, but after now selling her third consecutive comedy pilot to Fox, it's clear she still has a stake on the small screen. Developed alongside husband and actor-writer Ben Falcone and actor Larry Dorf, the untitled single-camera show chronicles the mismatched adventures of two men who becomes stepbrothers when their parents get married. The trio's first project was sold in 2011, and while that show (“Wake Up Call”) has yet to air, it might be soon that they hold on a monopoly on the format. [Deadline]
Another TV heavyweight transferred into film success, “The Devil Wears Prada” scribe Aline Brosh McKenna (who also penned the upcoming “Annie” remake) has landed at Showtime with her new show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”. Described as a half-hour comedy with musical elements that follows “a girl who upends her life to stalk her ex,” the show is written by McKenna and actress/comedian Rachel Bloom (“Robot Chicken," “Allen Gregory”). A cast has yet to be revealed, as has whether the show will end up being a relationship drama in the vein of “Glee." [Deadline]
It might come as a surprise to hear Andy Samberg remained on TV between his “SNL” departure and new Fox show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” but the BBC Three comedy “Cuckoo” premiered last year to a record-high audience and now its getting a Stateside remake, of course. NBC are hoping to have another hit the size of “The Office” on their hands, and they're crossing their fingers with this, a comedy that sees a middle-class family's daughter return from a summer abroad married to an insufferable hippie idiot--played in the original by Samberg, and in the remake by a to-be-determined British actor. The BBC show's creators Robin French and Kieron Quirke will write the adaptation with Tim Long (“The Simpsons”) on as showrunner. [Deadline]
Finally, two actors at the head of their respective shows are trying their hand in producing. “The Hangover” star Ed Helms will produce a new series for NBC written by “Parks and Recreation” staff writer Aisha Muharrar that centers on a gifted teen who uses her family and friends as test subjects on her path to become the next Oprah. Meanwhile, “New Girl” star Jake Johnson has started up his next project on his Fox shingle Walcott Co. with Max Winkler, a Max Spicer-written project about a dysfunctional family forced to deal with their 9-year-old golf prodigy and an incapable father. Again, no cast has yet been announced, but if you're looking for Johnson's intention behind the shows he puts out, check out our interview with him here. [Deadline]