Huge NBC Win for Chicago Pilot

Huge NBC Win for Chicago Pilot

Another huge win for Chicago comedy talent as the pilot BOBBY & IZA from Bobby Richards and Avery Lee has won the NBC PLAYGROUND competition, the network's national search to find the next ground-breaking comedy series. To help select the winners, NBC held an online vote and also brought together an impressive Advisory Board that included Jason Bateman, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Mindy Kaling and Adam McKay.

"When Avery and I first got word we won, we were definitely dumbfounded... that's right, I'm totally bringing 'dumbfounded' back into the common vernacular," joked Richards. "We always had this feeling like we were the 'little show that could' and hearing we were the web winners was totally gratifying."

In BOBBY & IZA, a young, Chicago couple deals with meddling parents and career chaos while planning for their future.

"We are stoked to ride this wave and create this show beyond the pilot," added Richards. "Avery and I have a solid idea of what's next, but it's very exciting to see how things will evolve as we continue the story of BOBBY & IZA. All in all, I think we are most looking forward to actually writing a TV show...that's kind of a dream come true.

What's most inspiring about this show, other than the fact that it beat out top pilots from all over the country, is that BOBBY & IZA was a true Chicago community effort. "We also could not have done this show without PJ Fishwick, Alex Fendrich, Matt Abramson and everyone else working with Cap Gun Collective," added Richards. "They were all pivotal in getting BOBBY & IZA from script to screen. And of course, this show wouldn't have existed if I never met my wife, Isabelle. She is my muse and was a huge part of helping to hone our story. Finally, we had the best cast and crew two comedy nerds could ever ask for. We can't wait to do it all again...and again!"

To that point... what's next for BOBBY & IZA? NBC, Richards and Lee are currently hammering our those details. As this series heads into production, I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, click here to enjoy the BOBBY & IZA pilot.

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.