Fox has made its first series pickups of the season with three half-hours.
In its bid to beef up its live-action offerings, the top-rated network has ordered single camera projects from both 20th Century Fox TV and Universal Television. Ben Fox is My Manny and TheGoodwin Games hail from the former; the Untitled Mindy Kaling comedy comes from the latter.
For its part, Ben Fox is based on the life of writer/executive producer Dana Foxs brother, Ben. The laugher stars Dakota Johnson as a single mother who gets an assist from her brother (The Descendants scribe Nat Faxon) who moves in with her to help raise her baby. Lucy Punch, Maggie Jones and Echo Kellum co-star in the 20th project in association with Chernin Entertainment. Fox penned the pilot and will exec produce alongside Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope. New GirlsJake Kasdan directed the pilot.
Games comes from How I Met Your Mother scribes Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Chris Harris, and stars HIMYM guest star Becki Newton along with Scott Foley and Jake Lacy as siblings who inherit their late fathers fortune if they agree to his terms. The HIMYM trio created the project with Newton in mind after the actress guest starred on their long-running CBS hit, which has already been renewed for next season. The project marks Foleys return to a starring role on series television following a multiepisode turn on ABCs Greys Anatomy; hell also be recurring this season on HBOs True Blood. His Felicity co-star, Scott Speedman, co-stars in ABCs Shawn Ryan drama pilot The Last Resort, which has been garnering positive buzz.
Finally, The Offices Mindy Kaling stars as a young Bridget Jones-type doctor as she tries to navigate her personal and professional life in her untitled project. Kaling will depart the NBC staple to focus on writing, executive producing and starring in the comedy, a passion project for the actress. The OfficesHoward Klein will executive produce alongside Kaling and her now-former co-star, BJ Novak, who served as an EP on the pilot. Ed Weeks, Chris Messina, Anna Camp, Zoe Jarmon and Dana DeLorenzo co-star, while Bill Hader, Ed Helms and Richard Schiff will guest star in the pilot. The pick-up is of significance for Universal Television, which is building out its stable of producers as it looks to expand beyond its own sister network.
The Fox order comes after NBC has already picked up six comedies to series.