After a couple years spent trying to make audiences laugh with unscripted shows, TBS is abandoning its reality-as-comedy strategy.
Gone are the likes of "The Real Gilligan's Island" and "Outback Jack." Instead, TBS will try to further establish its "very funny" brand with two scripted comedies debuting later this year. The cable network has two other projects in development.
The two shows, "My Boys" and "10 Items or Less," are both scheduled to premiere later this year. The channel is hoping the new series will blend in with its current roster of off-network comedies, which includes "Sex and the City," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Friends."
"Our audience is made up of fans of relationship-based and character-based comedies, shows where the laughs are rooted in strong character work and great storytelling," says Michael Wright, head of programming for TBS and TNT. "With the help of some very talented people, we're actively developing and producing what we know the TBS audience already likes: scripted half-hour comedies that are clever, contemporary and relatable, and that leave a smile on your face."
"My Boys" could be a potential companion for "Sex and the City." It stars Jordana Spiro ("Must Love Dogs") as a tomboyish sportswriter in search of romance -- a difficult quest, despite the fact that she's surrounded by guys at work.
The show comes from writer Betsy Thomas ("Run of the House") and executive producers Gavin Polone ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") and Jamie Tarses. Jim Gaffigan ("That '70s Show," "Welcome to New York"), Jamie Kaler ("The Family Stone"), Kellee Stewart ("Guess Who") and Kyle Howard ("Run of the House," "Grosse Pointe") also star.
TBS' other pickup, "10 Items or Less," is a partially improvised show about a not-entirely-successful businessman (John Lehr, "Jesse") who takes over his family's small-town grocery after his father's death. The show will also feature Brian Posehn ("Just Shoot Me," "Comedians of Comedy"), Greg Davis Jr. and Kirsten Gronfield. Lehr is also an executive producer, with Nancy Hower and Robert Hickey.
TBS is also developing scripted shows with comedian Larry Miller and writer-producer David Rosenthal ("Gilmore Girls," "Good Morning, Miami").