Warner Bros. Television has reportedly made a 13-episode sale of a new project from Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing) to NBC for a record pilot license fee of $2 million and a seven-figure penalty if it does not proceed beyond the pilot.
Variety reports that NBC acquired Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip, an hour drama with comedic elements, after a bidding war with CBS.
It will take a behind-the-scenes look at a long-running Los Angeles sketch comedy show similar to Saturday Night Live.
In fact, SNL Executive Producer Lorne Michaels is producing a similar project from Tina Fey, but that one is said to be months away from fruition. Both shows are packaged by Endeavor.
If it goes forward, NBC’s deal—for 4 ½ years rather than the traditional seven—provides a commitment for the series to run anywhere from 9-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
One of Sorkin’s first TV projects was a behind-the-scenes look at a TV show, the ESPN-like Sports Night, which ran for two seasons on ABC (1998-2002).--John Eggerton contributed to this report.