The project, created and executive-produced by Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) and John Carcieri (Vice Principals), was originally set up at FX with a pilot order. It suddenly became available about a month ago when FX brass opted not to proceed with the pilot after receiving the final script. The project was taken to the marketplace, sparking interest from multiple networks. It came down to TBS and Comedy Central, which has history with Peele through the Emmy-winning Key & Peele.
The existing pilot script will be rewritten for the TBS series, which Morgan executive produces along with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men) and Joel Zadak of Principato Young (Key & Peele). The series will be produced by Studio T, TBS & TNT’s in-house production studio.
In the untitled series, after being released on good behavior from a 15-year prison stint, Tracy (Morgan) is shocked to see just how much the world has changed in his absence. Returning to his newly-gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood, Tracy discovers that his former girlfriend has married an affable, successful white man, who is helping raise his twin sons he never knew existed. Wanting nothing more than to connect with his kids, but having neither the money to support them nor himself, Tracy falls back on the skills he learned in prison to make ends meet while treading on unfamiliar territory.
The single-camera comedy is designed to capture the rawness of Tracy’s stand up persona while also commenting on race relations, the Gen X/Millennial gap and the American penal system.
“Tracy and Jordan are two of today’s most sought-after and authentically funny comedians, and this show captures all the hilarity you would expect from this brilliant duo,” said Brett Weitz, EVP of programming for TBS. “TBS is becoming a home for the most creative and diverse comedy creators in the business, and Tracy and Jordan are a perfect fit for this network.”
The TBS series order caps a three-year journey to the small screen for Morgan at FX, impacted by adversity. He originally starred in FX’s 2013 comedy pilot Death Pact. The network went on to pass on that pilot, instead giving a straight-to-series order to another project toplined by the Saturday Night Live alum and executive produced by the creators of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. That series was put on hold following the June 2014 car crash that left Morgan badly injured. As he recovered, Morgan remained engaged with FX executives while that series was reworked with a new writer, but ultimately the project did not go to production. Instead, FX this past January handed out a pilot order for a new comedy, from Peele, John Carcieri and the Tannenbaums, which has now gotten a series order at TBS.
The Tracy Morgan comedy is part of TBS’s programming and brand evolution, which began in January with the premiere of Angie Tribeca and continued with the debuts of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee in February, The Detour in April and Wrecked in June. Coming up next are the debuts of People of Earth, starring Wyatt Cenac, and Search Party, a dark comedy starring Alia Shawkat, and The Guest Book, a new anthology comedy from Greg Garcia.
Morgan is repped by CAA and Ken Richman. The Tannenbaum Co. is repped by CAA and Jeff Finkelstein. Peele is repped by CAA, Joel Zadak at Principato-Young Entertainment, and Jared Levine.