NBC to Air Web Series Based on ‘Parks and Rec’ and Other Primetime Shows

/ Feb 10, 2014

parksandrec

Just because NBC’s regular primetime schedule has been upended by Olympics coverage, it doesn’t mean you have to go weeks without watching new content from some of your favorite TV shows on the network.

That is essentially the premise behind NBC’s decision to launch a slate of companion web series tied to night-time fare like “Chicago Fire,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Grimm,” and “Parenthood.” These web-only shows, which were developed by NBC in partnership with the writing teams at their sister shows on TV, will be available across NBC.com, Hulu, and YouTube throughout the Winter Olympics.

The companion slate begins on February 11 with the premiere of a four-part series tied to the firefighter drama “Chicago Fire.” “I Am a Firefighter” will focus on Dawson, a female firefighter played by Monica Raymund, who has to deal with an emergency that puts her training to the test. The series was directed by Joe Chappelle and written by Ryan Harris.

Following that will be “Friday Night at the Luncheonette,” another four-parter, which debuts on February 13. Based on Jason Katims’ family drama “Parenthood,” this series will follow Mae Whitman’s character Amber as she juggles taking care of her cousin and maintaining order when a popular band shows up to her place of work. For fans of Katims’ other TV series, “Friday Night Lights,” there will be a crossover element to look out for as Jesse Plemons and Derek Phillips reprise their roles as Landry Clarke and Billy Riggins. “Friday Night at the Luncheonette” was written by Julia Cox (episode one), Monica Mitchell (episode two), Aaron Brownstein and Simon Ganz (part three), and Adam Karp (part four), and directed by Eric Tignini (episodes one and two) and Scott Schaeffer (episodes three and four).

Next up, “Love Is in the Air,” based on the show “Grimm,” which will premiere on Valentine’s Day. To keep the theme going, the story will focus on two characters who throw a Valentine’s Day spa party, only to deal with something called a “Zieglevolk” that’s casting a love spell among the group. Starring Bree Turner and Bitsie Tulloch from “Grimm,” this four-part web series was written by Nick Peet and directed by Chip Touhey.

Finally, last but not least, treat yourself to “The Hapley Group,” which focuses on the newscaster Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson) from “Parks and Recreation.” Starring Matt Besser, Nick Kroll, Mo Collins, and new cast member Seth Morris, alongside Jackson, the show will feature the characters in a heated, political roundtable about the Pawnee’s hot topics. “The Hapley Group” was written by Greg Levine, directed by Morgan Sackett, and will debut on February 20.

Companion web-native programming isn’t new to NBCUniversal — NBC cable networks Bravo and USA Network have been known to launch web series tied to TV programming — it’s just not often that the company’s crown jewel offers such content.

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