Wow, Was That a Bad Free-Agent Signing (TV Writer Division)

With the news that NBC won’t pick up David E. Kelley’s pilot Legally Mad (starring Kristin Chenoweth), we may be seeing the fruits of Warner Brothers’ decision to give him a development deal last year, after he’d spent two decades working almost exclusively for Fox’s television division. To indulge in my baseball analogy of the week, it’s like signing a free agent just as he is showing clear signs of being past his peak; it may be a decent PR coup to steal him away from the other team, but there may be a reason why the other team wasn’t fighting that hard to keep him.

Other news in the same article is that ABC has passed on Lauren Graham’s comedy pilot, not surprisingly: the premise sounds similar to Samantha Who?, and Samantha Who? is less successful now than it seemed when that pilot was probably developed. And Fox has pretty much dumped Sit Down, Shut Up, meaning that Mitch Hurwitz’s attempt to establish himself as the Remake King hasn’t worked out so far: he’s done this flop, a remake of a not-so-great Australian show, and an unsold pilot based on a UK show. His upcoming remake of Absolutely Fabulous may be the third-time charm; if not, at least he’s got the Arrested Development movie to redeem him.