EXCLUSIVE: Nick At Nite has ordered its first original scripted comedy pilot, Daddy’s Home, starring Happy Days alum Scott Baio. The multi-camera, half-hour comedy, originally put in development in May, centers on David Hobbs (Baio) an actor who, after ten years of starring as America’s favorite TV dad, becomes a stay-at-home father to honor the deal he made with his soap star wife so that she may return to the limelight.
The project was created by writer-producer Tina Albanese (CSI) and actor Patrick Labyorteaux (Little House On The Prairie) who are executive producing with Baio as well as Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey through their production company Bischoff Hervey Entertainment.
“Scott Baio is an actor known and beloved by today’s Nick at Nite viewers, many of whom are parents,” said Nickelodeon’s president of original programming and development Marjorie Cohn. “His new project will put a contemporary and comedic twist on parenthood that will make for a great addition to our existing slate of family programming.”
Baio became a household name with his role as Chachi on Happy Days and spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi and headlined his own 1980s sitcom, Charles in Charge. But, except for an arc on Arrested Development, Baio spent the past decade mostly on the unscripted side, teaming with Hervey for Scott Baio is 45 and Single, Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant, and Confessions of a Teen Idol, all from BHE. “It’s nice to be back home in an arena where I’m completely comfortable and with a show idea that I love,” Baio said. Nick at Nite’s only previous original live-action scripted effort was the short-lived 1991 sitcom Hi Honey, I’m Home, which originated on ABC with instant reruns on Nick at Nite, migrating to the cable outlet after ABC canceled it. On the animated side, the primetime and overnight block of Nickelodeon has aired Fatherhood and Glenn Martin D.D.S.
In establishing an original sitcom franchise, Nick at Nite is taking a page from the playbook of sibling TV Land, which started off as a Nick at Nite spinoff channel. Over the past year and a half, TV Land successfully moved into original series with comedies starring established sitcom stars, including Hot In Cleveland, toplined by Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White, and Hapily Divorced starring Fran Drescher.