The Runway – Your 2017 Pilot Survival Guide: FOX Comedies

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amy's brother

Amy’s Brother

Logline: An unconventional family is formed when a successful type-A man and his estranged sister, plus her two children, find themselves not only back in one another’s lives but also living under one roof.
Cast: Michael Urie, Annie Mumolo, Ursula Parker, Miguel Pinzon, Sharif Atkins, Sawyer Barth
Creators: Jim Cashman (W / CoEP), Mitch Silpa (W / CoEP), Melissa McCarthy (EP), Ben Falcone (EP), Beth McCarthy Miller (D / EP)
Studios: Warner Bros TV

The one new comedy to really succeed at Fox last year was The Mick. It’s a story of a family brought together again by necessity. The logline for Amy’s Brother promises the same thing, but has some serious fire power among its producers: husband & wife Melissa McCarthy & Ben Falcone, plus long-time successful TV director Beth McCarthy-Miller.

Matthew Benjamin is a meticulous, type-A, Los Feliz-based real estate agent. His controlled lifestyle is upended when his sister, Amy, literally crashes into his life. She’s a bit manic after catching her husband cheating, and needs somewhere for her and her kids (Zach, 15 – cool, Abby – 12, smart, quiet) to live. Cue pilot season trope #127: Unusual living situation with relatives.

As you’d expect, the living arrangement wreaks havoc on Matthew’s controlled life. Amy, in between bouts of drinking and popping pills, stands up to Matthew’s ex-boyfriend, causing some distraction. Then Zach gets in trouble at school for drugs, which Matthew helps him avoid punishment for. And things reach a breaking point at Matthew’s work.

What we ultimately have here is a reverse The Mick — an uptight guy whose life is upended by the arrival of his extended family. There is some good to be found — solid dialogue, a good female co-lead role that Annie Mumolo should nail, successful producers steering the ship, but we also have some red flags — chief among them, the Matthew character lacks nuance. His adherence to lists and cleanliness puts him very much into a “Felix from the Odd Couple” role. And the kids don’t have much to play with. That this is produced by Warner Bros doesn’t help things. I guess you could pair it with The Mick, but that show feels much more on brand for the network than this one. Plus The Mick could cut a much better trailer, to generate excitement for it.

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