NBC has greenlighted two more hourlong pilots, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and Emergence, both from outside studios. Musical dramedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist hails from Jake in Progress creator Austin Winsberg, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, Universal Music Group and Lionsgate TV; mystery drama Emergence is from from Kevin (Probably) Saves the World creators/executive producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, director Paul McGuigan and ABC Studios.
Written by Winsberg and to be directed by Paul Feig, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, which had a script commitment plus penalty, is described tonally as What Women Want meets La La Land. It follows a whip-smart but socially awkward girl in her late 20s who is suddenly able to hear the innermost thoughts of people around her as songs and even big musical numbers that they perform just for her. With this new ability at her disposal, she is able to use her “gift” to not only help herself understand people in her life, but also to help others around her.
Winsberg executive produces with FeigCo’s Feig and Jessie Henderson, along with Kim Tannenbaum, Eric Tannenbaum and Jason Wang via The Tannenbaum Company. The project unites several entities that have first-look deals at Lionsgate TV — Universal Music Group, FeigCo and the Tannenbaum Co.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is the first project to come out of the TV deal between Lionsgate and Universal Music Group. It hails from UMG’s Polygram Entertainment film and TV arm whose David Blackman and Daniel Inkeles also will serve as executive producers.
Winsberg has musical theater pedigree. He was the book writer of the Broadway musical First Date and also penned the TV adaptation for NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! starring Carrie Underwood. In TV, he also worked on the CW’s Gossip Girl and most recently served as co-executive producer on CBS’ comedy 9JKL.
A three-time Emmy-nominated writer-director and DGA winner, Feig created Freaks and Geeks and served as director/co-executive producer of The Office. In TV, he more recently directed the pilot for 9JKL.
Written by Fazekas and Butters, Emergence, which had a put pilot commitment, is a character-driven genre thriller that centers on a sheriff who takes in a young child that she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what has happened. The investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all.
Fazekas and Butters executive produce with McGuigan, who is attached to direct. Robert Atwood, development executive for the Fazekas & Butters production company, is a producer. ABC Studios, where Fazekas and Butters are under an overall deal, is the studio.
Emergence marks a reunion for Fazekas, Butters and McGuigan after working together on the 2017 ABC/ABC Studios dramedy Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, which went to pilot and then series at ABC.
Fazekas and Butters previously served as executive producers/showrunners on ABC’s Agent Carter and Resurrection. They are repped by ICM Partners and Michael Gendler of Gendler & Kelly.
McGuigan also directed the pilots for Designated Survivor, Devious Maids, Lucky and the upcoming Carnival Row. He is repped by WME.
The Tannenbaum Company is repped by CAA and attorney Jeff Finklestein. Winsberg is repped by CAA, Underground and attorney Michael Schenkman. Feig is repped by CAA and attorney Warren Dern.
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