Apple close to inking a series order for a musical comedy starring Saturday Night Live‘s Cecily Strong, from Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (Despicable Me), and Universal TV.
Written by Paul and Daurio, the as-yet untitled comedy series follows a couple on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship when they discover the magical town of Schmigadoon, in which everyone acts as if they’re in a studio musical from the 1940s. They then discover that they can’t leave until they find “true love.”
The series has been in the works at Apple for almost a year. Strong is believed to be in the final year of her current SNL contract but her involvement in a comedy series does not necessarily mean that she would leave NBC’s late-night sketch program. Her Apple series is produced by SNL boss Michaels, as are two other series starring SNL cast members, Hulu’s Shrill with Aidy Bryant and NBC’s The Kenan Show toploined by Kenan Thompson. Both Bryant and Thompson ave been doing their new shows while continuing on SNL.
MacDailyNews Take: The premise sounds so awful that you just know it has a chance to be great! Counterintuitive, yes, but it’s often the case that the synopsis sounds bad until you see the final result.
Example: Former Red Sox relief pitcher owns and runs a bar in Boston. He hires a smart, just-jilted, and tightly-wound waitress out of sympathy, but attraction blossoms between the oddball duo. It turns out that, yes, opposites do attract. Other bartenders, along with a colorful group of the bar’s regulars provide a never-ending stream of hijinks.
(Actually, that one sounds pretty good now, as all of the good ones do with 20-20 hindsight, but it might have sounded as bad as the pitch above before it was given the green light!)
Of course, the bad series can also have bad synopses and good series can have good ones, which is what makes show business such a crap shoot! The way to mitigate the risk, somewhat, is to pay for very talented people, which is obviously Apple’s playbook; they’re paying top dollar in order to theoretically have more hits and fewer misses.
Good luck, Cecily & Co.!
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]