New Campaign for 'The Thick of It'
Passed-over ABC pilot attracts interest elsewhere
Several networks, including NBC and pay-cable outlets HBO and Showtime, have expressed interest in the show, which follows the exploits of an undistinguished congressman (John Michael Higgins, "The Breakup") and his staff. Talks are still in the early stages, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show would appear to have a few things going for it. In addition to Higgins, the cast includes Oliver Platt ("Huff"), Alex Borstein ("Family Guy") and Michael McKean ("A Mighty Wind") and it has a strong behind-the-camera pedigree as well: It's based on a critically acclaimed British show, was adapted by "Arrested Development" veterans Mitch Hurwitz and Richard Day and directed by Christopher Guest.
Showtime was interested in the project before it landed to ABC and has now re-entered the fray, the HR says. The network's programming head, Robert Greenblatt, is a professed fan of Hurwitz and expressed interest in picking up "Arrested Development" last year after FOX cancelled it. Hurwitz eventually opted not to continue the show.
New NBC boss Ben Silverman, meanwhile, has extensive experience in bringing TV formats from other countries to the United States, notably "The Office" and "Ugly Betty." The network has only picked up one new comedy for next season: "The IT Crowd" (which is also based on a British show).