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NBCUniversal entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt had plenty of announcements to dole out at his network’s Television Critics Association Press tour panel on Sunday. NBC will be moving ahead with a political drama starring Katherine Heigl and will also be doing more business with Amy Poehler in the next few years.
Heigl’s drama has been titled State of Affairs. There have been reports on the project since August as Heigl expressed interest in returning to TV since leaving Grey’s Anatomy and starting a mixed movie career. NBC won a bidding battle between the networks in September.
The project is a Bob Simonds Company, Abishag Productions co-production with Heigl as the only star attached. She will also co-executive produce the pilot, along with Nancy Heigl, Alexi Hawley, Bob Simonds, Sophie Watts, Henry Crumpton, Julia Franz and Rodney Faraon. Heigl will play a CIA agent who advises the president and also has a challenging private life.
“I hope it will be very intelligent and very emotional,” Greenblatt said, reports HitFix.
Up next is an untitled pilot from Poehler, who just signed a three-year deal with the network. the Parks and Recreation star co-created this pilot, which deals with a young woman (Natasha Lyonne of Orange is the New Black) working with outspoken old people. “We'd like to see them represented. This is something that Amy and Natasha were interested in exploring,” Greenblatt said about portraying old people on TV. There are “great actors are available” for the show, he added.
Greenblatt likely hopes that the show will help the network’s struggling comedy block. The Hollywood Reporter notes that he admitted Thursday night has been “a real challenge” and that some shake-up may be on the horizon. “Anything is open for discussion. We may shuffle the whole deck in terms of genres [on Thursday night],” he said.
One other new project announced was Slap, a mini-series produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. It’s about the aftermath of a child getting slapped at a barbecue and the court case.