Tag: chevy chase

“Chevy” (ABC) pilot preview: the comedy that will make you smile… and cry

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(Previously entitled Chev & Bev) Written & produced by Brad Copeland (Grounded For Life, Arrested Development). Co-produced by Chevy Chase, Beverly d’Angelo & Aaron Kaplan (Friends With Better Lives, The Neighbors). Directed by Ben Taylor (Cuckoo, Cockroaches, Catastrophe). For ABC Studios & Kapital Entertainment. 35 pages.

Description: Two fun and relevant baby boomers are living a selfish retirement until their world is turned upside down when their eldest daughter die. They are suddendly left to raise their grandchildren. If as they say the golden years are starting when the fun begins, then their golden years and the greatest adventure of their life start right now…

With Chevy Chase (Community, National Lampoon’s Vacation), Beverly d’Angelo (EntourageNational Lampoon’s Vacation), Aly Michalka (Hellcats, Phil of the Future, Easy A), Maulik Pancoly (30 Rock, Weeds, Whitney), Ed Oxenbould (Puberty Blues), Cooper Friedman

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To be totally honest with you, I didn’t plan to write a preview for Chevy, but it turned out I underestimated the power of Chevy Chase. Because of Community‘s popularity on the internet -more than on TV obviously- and all that happened behind the scenes, I guess people are excited to see what will be his next move and that’s the reason why many of those who are looking for more informations about this project arrive here, thanks to the Google Gods. So I’m gonna give you a quick tour of Chevy pilot, what it is about and how it looks like on paper. Spoiler alert: I was pretty impressed!

We know ABC is very good at single-camera family oriented comedies and this one is right in its alley. If I had to compare Chevy to another one already on the air, I’d say it’s in the vein of The Middle. They share the same kind of sweetness and warmness, and they aim at the same sort of truth of what a family really is, or should be, based on everyday life. Chev, Bev and their grandchildren, the Peterson family, are not bigger-than-life characters, even if Chevy doesn’t always seem like he is a right fit for this world, doing one mistake then another. Actually, he never stops doing them. That’s part of the fun of the pilot, and it’s easy picturing Chevy Chase being very good at it. Of course, those who find him irritating will have a harder time enjoying it. But I’m sure they will in the end, because Chev has nothing in common with his Pierce character on Community. He is way more appealing. He’s a kinder person. My only reservation would be about the space he is taking. He should not be the central character in my opinion. Bev should be treated as equal, and it’s not the case for now. As if Chevy Chase requested to be THE funniest one. And noboby would be surprised if it were true… Bev is amusing nonetheless.

At the center of the show, there is death. Yes. Death. The daughter’s death is dealt with real subtlety, one you don’t expect in a comedy. Mom did it perfectly recently, How I Met Your Mother too a few years ago. It’s rare but not unprecedented. Some scene are clearly meant to make you sob a little, which is hard since we just met the family and never have met the dead woman. But it works, it’s touching and the last act is beautiful in that regard, as the whole voice over from Chev is. The whole story is in fact Chev writing his memoirs for the kids, in case he is not around when they’re grown up. This very idea is just devastating. Another good news: the kids are funny. Which is important since they’re not just here to play extras. There is Taylor, 14, a nerdy and handsome young man; Hope, 12, beautiful and smart; and Elliot, 4, ridiculously cute. I can’t say they are different from every other kids on television but I don’t think it’s even possible at this point. I like them just the way they are. The Petersons have another daughter, called Molly, 26, an embittered girl, who clearly has issues and a hard time adjusting to this new life without her sister in the picture. I think it haven’t stressed enough how fun the pilot is. It’s not just SAD, it’s also FUN.

Chevy is not a laugh-out-loud comedy neither an absurd one even if it is based on the absurdity and cruelty of life: grandparents should never have to raise their grandkids on their own. They have to be there for the vacations, for the fun… but not for the whole difficult and sometimes upsetting parenting, especially as they already did that a long time ago. So it’s a sweet and profound comedy, with a lot of heart, confronting the generations. It would fit perfectly in ABC’s line-up, between The Goldbergs, The Middle and Fresh Off the Boat. I hope ABC will move forward with it. 

Latest ABC drama pilot orders, first comedy ones (Shonda is involved!)

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ABC finally starts ordering comedy pilots when their drama plate is already almost full! Here comes Shonda Rhimes again…

A pilot season without a Shonda Rhimes show in competition is definitely not worth living. Last year, How To Get Away With Murder was ordered first and it became quicky a sure bet for a series order. We had to wait a little bit more this time around but here it is: The Catch, a new thriller drama produced by Shondaland, is in the works. Written by Jennifer Schurr (Hannibal), it follows a woman who’s about to get married and also about to get conned. Unbeknownst to her slippery fiancé, our heroine — who investigates fraud for a living — is not all she claims to be. And when the fiancé’s expertly planned con collides with her perfectly constructed lies, they plunge into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. This doesn’t sound as exciting as a Shonda Rhimes show should, but we’ll learn more soon enough…

The other drama pilot order, the 7th, goes to Broad Squad a period detective drama produced by Josh Schwartz (The OC, Gossip Girl, Chuck) set in 1978. It is a fictionalized account of the graduating class of Boston’s first female patrol officers. Dubbed “The Broad Squad” by the local press, they arrived at a tumultuous time in Boston’s history, marked by corruption within the police force and a heightened organized crime presence in the city. Navigating rival neighborhoods as well as the conflicting attitudes toward them from everyone, they find themselves tested both on and off duty. A tough sell, but an interesting one…

On the comedy side, first two pilots orders are family ones, as expected. After his controversial exit from Community, Chevy Chase is back at a network with a project he co-produces and stars in with Beverly d’Angelo, his co-star in classical movie National Lampoon’s Vacation. Chev & Bev tells the adventures of two baby boomers who are fun, relevant and living a selfish retirement when their world is turned upside down and they are suddenly left to raise their grandchildren. Both funny and emotional? Second one is a single-camera comedy too, written by famous LGBT activist Dan Savage. It centers on a picture-perfect family that is turned upside down when the youngest son comes out of the closet. What seems like the end of their idyllic life turns out to be the beginning of a bright new chapter when everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real.

Expect ABC to order anytime soon around 8 comedy pilots and at least 3 drama ones.

SEE ALL PILOTS ORDERED BY ABC SO FAR