The creative teams behind "Wedding Crashers" and "500 Days of Summer," along with the producers of "Arrested Development," are NBC’s new "Friends with Benefits."
The network of "Friends" has greenlit production on "Friends with Benefits," a half-hour single camera comedy that had been in development at ABC. "Wedding" director David Dobkin is on board to direct the project, which was written by "500" scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. Imagine TV’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and David Nevins are all putting their names on the half-hour, joining the other creatives as executive producers.
Imagine and 20th Century Fox TV are producing.
NBC describes "FWB" as a "comedy exploring modern day romance through the eyes of five friends each looking for ‘the one’ but in the meantime settling for ‘friends with benefits.’"
"FWB" was set up at ABC last September, landing a splashy story in Daily Variety — complete with a quote about how happy he was to be at the network, particularly in light of ABC’s success with comedy in the fall.
So what happened? We’re checking.
UPDATE 10:15 AM: As suspected, NBC snagged "FWB" after ABC executives — after reading the script — opted to pass, two people familiar with the situation confirmed.
That didn’t faze the 20th/Imagine folks, who still believed the project could work. They were able to get ABC to release its hold on "FWB," and then proceeded to set up the pilot at NBC.