NBC, which stocked its upcoming season with tired-looking family comedies featuring male leads, has just given us reason to hope for a new network comedy renaissance. It's bought an untitled comedy from 30 Rock writer Colleen McGuinness, set to be produced by Rock creator Tina Fey and her co-showrunner, Robert Carlock. Deadline's Nellie Andreeva describes the workplace comedy, about a young woman on Fire Island, as "in the vein of Cheers," which is a promising, if a bit easy, comparison. McGuinness is promising too. At 30 Rock, she co-wrote the hilarious final season episode "My Whole Life is Thunder," in which Jane Krakowski's lovably insane Jenna had a surprise wedding and Jack's mother died, leading to Alec Baldwin delivering the most perfect eulogy of all time.
This is a glimmer of something good in an otherwise bleak-looking future. After bidding farewell this past season to its flagship quirky,and inventive comedies, 30 Rock and The Office (and preparing to say goodbye to Community and, probably, Parks and Recreation), NBC loaded up on 2013-14 shows that the network clearly hopes will become the next Modern Family. That means things like The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World, projects with name-brand stars doing riffs on wacky family life. Of course these shows won't necessarily be bad, but they certainly don't seem to have the creative spark of the network's recently departed series, or terminal holdovers like Community or Parks and Recreation.
This Fire Island Cheers is only in the earliest stages, so we have to temper our excitement, but a Fey-approved female comedy is just about what we need right now, isn't it? And there may be hope elsewhere. Another show we're prematurely intrigued by: an ABC comedy about an immigrant family produced by Don't Trust the B----'s Nahnatchka Khan and based on a memoir by BaoHaus's Eddie Huang.