CBS has ordered its final three comedy pilots of the season, including a multi-camera project starring Patrick Warburton entitled Jacked Up.
Written by former Friends executive producer Greg Malins, Jacked Up stars Warburton as a beloved former baseball player having difficulty adjusting to retirement.
The casting of Warburton casts doubt on the future of CBS's Rules of Engagement, which drew a solid audience for its Season 7 premiere this past Monday. Cast deals for the valuable utility player are up this season, so it could be the end for Rules, although it's possible that Warburton could star in both shows since they are at the same network and studio. Rules co-producer Happy Madison serves in a similar capacity on Jacked Up.
CBS gave the go-ahead to another multi-camera project, an untitled comedy from Scrubs executive producer Tad Quill centering on a recently widowed father who raises his 12-year-old son while stepping back into the dating scene. The project was originally developed and ordered to pilot three years ago, but stalled due to difficulties casting the lead.
Quill had another pilot in contention at CBS this season, a firefighter comedy with David Walton attached to star, but Walton recently signed on to play the lead in NBC's About A Boy adaptation. Hence, the widower comedy was resurrected.
The third project to receive the greenlight is an untitled single-camera comedy from Smash co-executive producers Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky based on an Israeli series. Formerly called Mother's Day, the show revolves around Ella, a 40-year-old woman who navigates her demanding life as a mother, lover, friend, and career woman by telling lies — little lies, big lies, white lies, and at times not-so-white lies.
It's good to see Patrick Warburton starring in his own show, and the role sounds ideal for him. Or would you prefer to see Rules of Engagement return for an eighth season?