It seems NBC has an insatiable appetite these days for comedy that threatens to push the envelope and the boundaries of network television appropriateness. For starters, on Thursday the peacock network announced plans to pick up a new series based on – and titled after – Chelsea Handler’s bestselling tome, Are you there Vodka? It’s me Chelsea. The series will be produced by Chelsea Chandler, Mike Clements, Tom Werner and Tom Burnelle.
While many have previously wondered if Handler’s foul-mouthed and edgy style would ever be kosher for prime time network television, that question will likely remain unanswered. At this time, plans do not call for Chelsea Handler to appear in the program. According to published reports, the show will star a 20-something woman – named Chelsea, of course – who has a “very honest and provocative point of view” on dating, friends and family. The program is widely anticipated to re-create many of the situations chronicled in Chelsea Handler’s book, a loosely based autobiography inspired by her humorous and often-controversial personal and professional experiences.
The 35-year-old stand-up comedian currently hosts Chelsea Lately on E! Entertainment Television.
Joining Handler in the parade of pilots at NBC is friend and fellow no-holds-barred stand-up comedian Whitney Cummings, best known for her randy performances on Comedy Central. Cummings’ yet-to-be titled multicamera project differs from Handler’s show in that Cummings will actually star in her forthcoming series.
According to Deadline, Cummings’ sitcom will center on a young couple and the always-entertaining but dramatic highs and lows of a committed relationship in “today’s complicated world.” A recognized talent in comedy writing, Cummings personally penned the script for the pilot, which she is co-producing along with Scott Stuber.
Best of all for Cummings, if NBC’s acquisition doesn’t work out, she’s already scored a sweet little fall-back plan at CBS. Long before NBC ordered her sitcom to pilot, Cummings convinced CBS to pilot Two Broke Girls, which she also wrote and will executive produce if the series similarly gets picked up.
In total, NBC picked up four half-hour pilots on Thursday alone – those from Chelsea Handler and Whitney Cummings, one by Peter Tolan, and another to be produced by actor and comedian Jack Black.