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EXCLUSIVE: That was quick. Just four days after the end of the SAG-AFTRA strike, including a weekend, the new NBC multi-camera comedy series Extended Family started production on Monday Nov. 13.
Mike O’Malley’s family comedy, starring Jon Cryer, Abigail Spencer and Donald Faison, had shot six episodes before the strike. The series, from Lionsgate Television and Universal Television, had scripts ready to go, allowing the studios to get everyone in place within a couple of days after the end of the actors work stoppage.
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Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs alluded to the fast turnaround on Lionsgate’s earnings call last Thursday, Nov. 9, the day the SAG-AFTRA strike ended.
“We’re back to production immediately,” he said. “We have two network comedies that start shooting again on Monday.”
Beggs did not provide titles but according to sources, he was referring to Extended Family, which started production Monday and indie studio’s single-camera comedy Ghosts, which started prep Monday for a Dec. 11 production kickoff.
Multi-camera comedies require the least lead time. The second earliest return-to-production date after the strike so far also belongs to an NBC multi-camera sitcom that had been filming when the WGA strike shut it down. Night Court is slated to restart tomorrow, Nov. 15.
Extended Family will produce a total of 13 episodes to air in midseason. The comedy originated as an off-cycle pilot. It was picked up to series in September 2022. The series follows Jim (Cryer) and Julia (Spencer), who, after an amicable divorce, decide to continue to raise their kids at the family home while taking turns on who gets to stay with them. Navigating the waters of divorce and child-sharing gets more complicated for Jim when the owner of his favorite sports teams (Faison) enters the picture and wins Julia’s heart.
Finn Sweeney and Sofia Capanna also star as the children.
O’Malley exec produces alongside Cryer, Tom Werner, Wyc Grousbeck, Emilia Fazzalari and George Geyer.
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