THE RUNWAY – YOUR 2017 PILOT SURVIVAL GUIDE: CBS COMEDIES

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me myself and i

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Me, Myself and I

Logline: Examines one man’s life over a 50-year span, focusing on three distinct periods: as a 14-year-old in 1991, a 40-year-old in present day and a 65-year-old in 2042.
Cast: Bobby Moynihan, John Larroquette, Brian Unger, Kelen Coleman, Mandell Maughan, Jaleel White
Creators: Mike Gibbons (Writer / EP)
Studios: Warner Bros TV, Kapital Entertainment

This is Us was unquestionably the breakout hit from last year. So why not go with a comedy that covers different time periods? Besides providing a lot of possible setups-payoffs, it also lets you do early 90s humor and futuristic humor. So the joke possibilities are there, but is the execution?

Talking to the camera, 40-year-old Alex relays how in 1991, at age 14, his mom re-married and he then went to living in a house full of strangers. Then in present day, we see Alex walk in on his wife cheating on him with a paramedic. Then flash-forward to 65-year-old Alex almost dying of a heart attack.

In the past we see Alex being a budding entrepreneur building a table wedge, in present day trying to sell investors on a half chopstick-half fork, and in the future Alex about to announce his retirement. (side note: in the future, his daughter is the GM of his beloved Chicago Bulls). The Act Break has Alex’s present day ex-wife announcing she’s remarrying, moving to San Francisco, and taking their daughter with her. Alex’s past is ostensibly repeating itself.

The second act has a particularly embarrassing incident from Alex’s past, middle-age Alex comes up with a last-ditch entrepreneurial idea, and older Alex runs into someone from his past.

This pilot has a lot to like. When I first started reading it, I thought the setups & payoffs were a little obvious, but then the plot widened, the writer added a lot of pathos, and I found myself enjoying the ride. This type of high concept is one that networks love to promote. If there’s any hesitation, it’s that I really didn’t picture someone like Bobby Moynihan as our main lead But with all the press SNL has been getting this season, maybe he’s just who they need.

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