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Pilot Season Heats up Television

nbc_logo_2011Now is the busy season for network executives as they order TV pilots to fill their schedules. NBC has ordered three single-camera comedy pilots: The sitcom “Assistance” (from Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy, Owen Burke, Jessica Elbaum and Adam McKay) tells the tale of a working girl assistant who’s pulled between her colleague and real-life fiancé as she tries to manage a demanding boss; “Donor Party” (from Lionsgate Television, Media Talent Group and Universal Television) follows an irresponsible man who’s forced to grow up when he discovers that his sperm-donor past has spawned several children; and an untitled Greg Daniels/Robert Padnick comedy will show the trials and tribulations of 20-something dating.

Fox’s pilot orders include “Rake,” a remake of an Australian series by Peter Duncan. Executive produced by Peter Tolan (“Rescue Me”) and Michael Wimer (“2012”), the character-driven dramedy is about a brilliant but self-destructive criminal defense lawyer. Greg Kinnear will star and also co-executive produce “Rake” for Sony Pictures Television, Fedora Entertainment, and Essential Media and Entertainment Pty Ltd. Fox has also ordered “2 Wrongs” from Chernin Entertainment and “Enlisted” from 20th Century Fox Television. “2 Wrongs” is a single-camera comedy pilot about a couple whose friends and family don’t think they’re right for each other; and “Enlisted” is about three very different brothers who work together at a small Army base in Florida. There’s also been good news about renewals for three scripted Showtime series for 2014: “House of Lies,” “Shameless” and “Californication.” With an unconfirmed number of new episodes, these productions will kick off in Los Angeles later this year.

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