August 08, 2005 12:00 PM

Bravo (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET)

How’s this for a sitcom? Single mom who resorted to artificial insemination seeks out her now-teenage daughter’s biological father. Or how about: precocious 11-year-old runs his life as if he were a corporate CEO? Don’t laugh. In the July 26 opener of this insightful fly-on-the-wall reality series, both ideas were chosen as candidates for an NBC pilot—out of 10,000 scripts submitted last fall by amateurs around the country. Actor Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) and his TV production partner Todd Milliner, aided by staffers, had the dubious privilege of combing through that slush pile—as well as the bright idea of doing for sitcom-producing what Project Greenlight did for moviemaking. Writing partners Jason Schuster and Mark Treitel (Sperm Donor) and Andrew Leeds and David Lampson (Stephen’s Life) now have to prepare 15-minute pilot presentations for NBC execs, who will judge only one as ready for prime time. The process includes endless rewrites, contentious casting sessions and (in a later episode) some backroom squabbling after Stephen’s Life’s Leeds hires his sister in a supporting role without informing the higher-ups. Soon he may have to fire her. Hey, here’s an idea: How about a sitcom about the making of a sitcom?


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