THE NEWS BUNDLE: NBC Picks Up Political Comedy '1600 Penn' and Vet Comedy 'Animal Practice'; May Shorten Returning Comedy Series [UPDATED]


After a four series pick-up, you would think NBC would wait until they've officially announced every series in the line up for next week's upfront. However, it seems the cat is out of the bag, and it's leaking profusely. Earlier today, we gave your the first looks at four brand new NBC series, and with that order tonight comes two additional comedies. But with the six shows scheduled, it seems that there may not be too much room for returning series. That's why NBC may be going the shorter route, and developing short seasons for many returning comedies.

THR reports that the comedies 1600 Penn and Animal Practice have been picked up by the network with 13-episode orders.

1600 Penn is a series we've been covering closely for awhile that was co-written by Book of Mormon star Josh Gad, along with the director of the pilot Jason Winer (Modern Family). The series follows the most dysfunctional family in America, who just so happens to be the first family. Bill Pullman will play the Commander in Chief, Jenna Elfman will be The First Lady, and Gad himself will be the elder son that somehow is the glue that keeps everyone together. The cast also includes Martha MacIsaac, Andre Holland, Amara Miller and Benjamin Stockham, while no mention of Brittany Snow anywhere. Early reports had her pegged as the First Daughter, and it's unclear whether or not she's on board or not.

Animal Practice, on the other hand, involves Weeds star Justin Kirk as in a workplace comedy that has Kirk playing "a House-like veterinarian who loves animals but typically hates their owners." Co-starring with the actor is an impressive supporting line-up that includes Tyler Labine, Bobby Lee and Amy Huberman. Should Weeds be renewed for a ninth season, it's been previously established that the new show won't interfere with Kirk's reprisal as Andy on the hit series.

UPDATE: Here are the first two images from 1600 Penn and Animal Practice. The 1600 Penn cast photo confirms that Brittany Snow's role has gone to actress Martha MacIsaac (Superbad). Click either image for a larger look:



But what does that mean for the returning comedies? Well, they'll likely get short changed. News broke this afternoon that 30 Rock is nearing a seventh and final season renewal of 13 to 14 episodes, while Community and Parks & Rec will likely get the same renewal order, though not for final outings. With six series already picked up, five of which are comedies, it seems like NBC is ready to flow out whatever laughs they're willing to pump out, but it's unclear how many new shows will be coming.

After a very unsuccessful 2011-12 slate, it's understandable that the network would bring this many new shows to the table. Along with the six new shows, and three that are nearing renewal status, NBC has also already picked up Grimm and Smash for second seasons. There is currently no talk of either getting the short order route, though it's been said Smash's second season will have at least 15 episodes. It's likely NBC could be the first network to take the cable approach, and improve quality over quantity, but after a staggering year, it's really clear the peacock is just trying to get back up on its feet.

What do you think of the new pick-ups and the renewal news? Let us know either in the comments below, or tweet us @FilmThrasher on Twitter!