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NBC Revives "Nobody's Watching"


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NBC Turns On 'Nobody's Watching'

YouTube exposure leads to redevelopment of pilot

By Rick Porter

July 21 2006

PASADENA, Calif. -- NBC is hoping several hundred thousand YouTube fans can't be wrong, rescuing the discarded pilot "Nobody's Watching" from oblivion with an eye toward eventually putting it on the air.

The show, originally developed for The WB by "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence, died a somewhat surprising death at the 2005 upfronts after having a lot positive buzz during its development. That would have been the end of things in most cases.

However, the pilot was posted on viral-video site YouTube in June, and since then the first part of the pilot (it's posted in three roughly nine-minute segments) has been streamed nearly 400,000 times, with mostly positive feedback from viewers. Given the response -- and the fact that NBC's sister studio, NBC Universal TV, produced it -- the network has put it back into development.

"I love the spirit of the experimentation," NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly says. "And I think if we can actually have something find an audience on the web, gravitate over to the network, continue with a web presence and have them feed each other, that could end up being a really cool thing."

The resurrection of "Nobody's Watching" will continue online before it ever hits the air (if, in fact, it does). Lawrence and his co-writers, Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, will produce a set of webisodes featuring the show's two leads, Taran Killam and Paul Campbell, that Reilly hopes will be online within the next month.

At the same time, Lawrence and Co. will begin working on scripts for the TV series. As with other pilots, there's no guarantee it will make it to NBC's airwaves. If it does go, though, there's a chance it could air in the coming season.

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The cast and one of the writers of "Nobody's Watching" on the phone with Kevin Reilly on "Last Call with Carson Daly".

My opinion of Kevin Reilly has completely changed in the past few months. First he comes out with an ace fall schedule, then he expands NBC's web presence into something impressive, now this.

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I agree. They act like sitcom-actors. I know they're supposed to be big sitcom fans, and they're meant to be "wacky" or whatever, but they just didn't seem at all "real". Then you put them in front of the live studio audience, and it just gets confusing.

I guess in a way I thought that was sort of the point. I looked at it like they really were trying to hard to be funny, but they were doing that on purpose. The problem is if that that WAS their intention they need to make it less subtle so it doesn't look like bad acting and instead looks like good actors playing bad actors.

I still laughed; the supporting cast is funny and the concept is great. But they really do need to work on that.

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