Fans of Reality TV-- Bravo Combines Comedy and Reality.
First “Friends” and “Frazier” ended successful multi-season runs and just weeks ago “Everybody Loves Raymond” followed suit.
One network feels a dose of “reality” might be just what the doctor ordered to revive the dying sitcom industry.
Bravo has announced plans to screen a new series that allows viewers a behind the scenes look into the creation of a TV sitcom.
“Situation Comedy” premieres in two back-to-back, hour-long episodes on Tuesday, July 26, beginning at 8pm EST.
Emmy award winning actor Sean Hayes, of Will and Grace fame, along with producing partner Todd Millner, will invite the public to view the process of finding the “Next Great Sitcom” and even cast their votes for the winning show, which will be broadcast on Bravo.
Producers received over 10,000 original scripts following a nationwide search that took in colleges, comedy clubs and writing classes.
The field was narrowed to just five by Stan Zimmerman (“Gilmore Girls”) and Maxine Lapiduss (“Roseanne”) with the lucky quintet of semifinalists being flown to L.A. to further develop their scripts. The ideas were then pitched to NBC executives who gave the go-ahead for two of them to be made into 15 minutes shorts, which were shot by Fred Savage (“The Wonder Years”) and Amanda Bearse (“Married With Children”).
The two finalists (whether they are individuals or writing teams has not been disclosed) were dropped stone cold into the world of television production and all its associated stresses.
Audiences will have a front row seat through the entire process as the finalists attempt to live their dream of having their script turned into a show.
Both finished presentations will be aired and viewers asked to vote for the one they think should be broadcast in its entirety on Bravo.
Along with valuable representation by a major Hollywood talent agency for a year, the winner also takes home $25,000 in prize money.
Having developed the concept, Hayes and Millner called upon the team behind “Big Brother”, Arnold Shapiro and Allison Grodner, to share executive production duties.
Bravo is hoping for bright things from this unprecedented mixing of genres.
President of the network, Lauren Zalaznick, acknowledges the attempt to cash in on viewers passion for reality programming, but promises, “a sneak peak into the funny and not so funny moments and challenges behind making a sitcom pilot that will keep viewers laughing."