April 10 update: Craig says the show is titled ‘Mr. Robinson.’
In his first major sale this season, The Office developer/executive producer Greg Daniels has set up a comedy at NBC starring The Office regular Craig Robinson and written by the show’s supervising producer Owen Ellickson. The untitled project centers on a talented musician (Robinson) with rough edges who adjusts to his new life as a music teacher in a big-city middle school, where he encounters teacher politics and the temptations of single moms.
The Office‘s Rainn Wilson has been tapped for the title role in the CBS/20th TV drama pilot Backstrom. Also cast in the project, based on the Swedish book series, is Page Kennedy. Written by Bones creator Hart Hanson, Backstrom centers on Everett Backstrom (Wilson), an overweight, offensive, irascible detective as he tries, and fails, to change his self-destructive behavior. In addition to starring, Wilson will serve as a producer. He joins co-stars Kristoffer Polaha and Dennis Haysbert.
Angela Kinsey is set as the female lead opposite Rob Riggle in Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot The Gabriels… The Gabriels centers on a gleefully antisocial family learning to act normal and make friends for the sake of their kids. Kinsey… will play the mom, Gail Gabriel. A therapist by profession, Gail is the slightly more mature member of her marriage than her husband Ken (Riggles). Co-starring in the pilot is Tim Meadows as the local school principal. Earlier this season, Kinsey, along with Rachael Harris, were attached to star in another comedy project for Fox, which had a put pilot commitment. Kinsey’s deal for The Gabriels closed after the dates for the pilot could be worked around her filming The Office series finale.
Ellie Kemper has signed for the lead role in the NBC comedy pilot Brenda Forever. The flashback-filled pitch: “Stories from Brenda Miller’s past and present are interwoven to give a unique portrait of how a chubby, awkward, but incredibly confident 13-year-old grew up to be a 31-year-old woman who still marches to the beat of her own drum.”
The Office co-star Brian Baumgartner is staying in business with the series’ boss Greg Daniels. Daniels is executive producing a new new single-camera comedy to star the original Office cast member, which has landed at ABC. The untitled half-hour centers on Norman (Baumgartner), a mid-level airline executive fights to experience winning again… At anything.