Portia de Rossi sitcom lands at NBC

Portia-de-RossiImage Credit: Angela Weiss/Getty ImagesPortia de Rossi, it will be nice to have you back on the small screen: NBC bought a put pilot from Ellen DeGeneres that would feature the Ally McBeal actress as one of two dueling sisters.

The put pilot (if picked up to series for fall of 2012) would mark De Rossi’s return to TV since the (premature!) cancellation of Better Off Ted last year. Her wife DeGeneres would executive produce the pilot through her company A Very Good Production, which is based at WBTV, home to her eponymous talk show via Telepictures.

A put pilot is a project that comes with severe (see: costly) penalties if it doesn’t air — which means this laugher has a great chance of making the cut for next fall.

According to Deadline, all four of the broadcast nets were looking to snag the project before NBC prevailed. The multi-camera comedy will be written by Don Todd (Samantha Who).

Guess Dancing with the Stars will have to wait its turn for De Rossi!

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  • Steven

    A writer from Samantha Who teaming up with Portia de Rossi? I’m in.

    • Ash

      Me too! Samantha Who and Portia de Rossi are both awesome.

    • Rain

      Agreed! I Love Portia and I Loved Samantha Who. Both Samantha Who and Better off Ted of cancelled prematurely.

  • Slizzard

    I’m watching this. Love Portia. Her book was awesome.

  • orville

    Fantastic news! I’ll watch any show she’s in.

  • RR

    Donut-bumping good times!

    • M

      aw yeah! :D

    • Caren

      Do we have a premise for this show?

      • Sita

        According to the article, Portia will play one of a pair of duelling sisters.

  • Lana

    I love Portia’s comedic chops (especially Better Off Ted), but a multi-camera comedy on NBC? That success rate in the past 5 years has been extremely low…

    • JC

      NBC has the multi-camera comedy “Whitney” airing this fall. They’re airing it on Thursday with three single camera comedies, which seems like an odd fit. I don’t know if multi-camera shows are a new strategy for the network or not, but it seems out of place on NBC.

      • Misha Lauenstein

        I think it comes down more to how many microphones they are using.

      • Greg

        They actually re-worked the Whitney pilot into a single camera show.

      • Ryan

        And from what all reviews of Whitney have to say, there will be an open slot available to replace it next season. Perhaps de Rossi’s show can slide right in there.

    • Janet


  • Jay

    I still miss Better Off Ted. I really hope whoever cancelled that show is unemployed

    • Doug

      Agreed. That show was way to good for it to not be on the air.

    • Dave

      ABC treated that show like absolute garbage. I’m convinced the producer or creator of the show ran over the children of a few ABC execs. There’s no other explanation for that kind of treatment to such a brilliant show.

    • Steve

      And where are the blu-rays of “Better off Ted”, with the unaired episodes?????

      • Michelle

        Agree. I’ve looked and cannot find this show anywhere. Loved it

      • alan of montreal

        I know! I have the first season and cherish it, but I’ve been waiting and waiting for the 2nd season!

      • Nicole

        Both seasons are on Netflix (Canada, and I presume the US as well).

      • sonia

        The full series, including 2 unaired episodes, are available on Netflix Instant.

    • Sue

      Agreed. That was a great show, one of the few funny comedies out there.

      Great cast, ggreat writing, such a shame

  • Woot

    Quick question: Does multi camera always mean laugh track?

    • Z

      Pretty much…multi-camera has to mean a live studio audience and all those shows use laugh tracks when jokes fall flat…

      • K

        Though for HIMYM it is not filmed in front of an audience, but the laughs are from when they show it to an audience, I’m sure with some laugh tracks.

      • Voodoo

        Wrong. They use the laughs from the audience. When the joke falls flat they might add some laughter, a process called sweetning. Only HIMYM uses a laugh track.

  • T

    So far all the new NBC comedies look like crap. Doubt this one will be any different. The last good sitcom on NBC was The Office.

    • Fatima

      Lol, unbelievably silly statement.

    • Z

      Community, 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation beg to differ….

      • Johnification

        And Up All Night has been generating a ton of great buzz…

  • mc

    She was great in Arrested Development, have hopes for another great hit from her.

  • Z

    I just wish it wasn’t a multi-camera, live studio audience show. I can’t remember the last new one of those I liked…I guess I’ve been spoiled by the single camera shows like The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, etc….

  • Dave

    Multi-camera? Sigh. Portia de Rossi is too funny to not be on TV every week. I’ll be looking forward to this, but the multi-camera sitcoms aren’t my thing.

    • Voodoo

      Aren’t your thing? WTF, just ignore 50 years of television, will ya…

  • California

    Love Portia de Rossi! I really hope this show is good and is treated well by the network. Better Off Ted and Arrested Develpment got the shaft, and it is us,the viewers, who suffer for it.

  • Stef

    That is interesting. I have never heard of a put pilot before. Why are there penalties if it doesn’t air?

    • Jetouellet

      That’s when the showrunner’s got some dirt on a higher up.

      • Renaton

        Hahahahaha, loved it

    • steveh420

      When Ellen is producing and ALL the networks are bidding on the show, she goes to the highest bidder. But…she is also telling them that if they hose her and pull the show then they are going to pay for it. None of this cancelled after 2 episodes…

  • Dani

    Her eyebrows always scare me.

  • RJM

    They couldn’t have picked up Better Off Ted?? Such a great show

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