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NBC Doubles Down on Sketch Comedy: 'Saturday Night Live' Alum Developing New Project Deadline

A former "Saturday Night Live" performer is developing a new NBC project that is a sketch comedy and variety hour. Writing on Deadline.com, Nellie Andreeva reports that David Koechner, who is also one of the stars of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” is returning to his roots in sketch comedy as the creator, star and executive producer of the new show.

The project has received a pilot order from NBC.

Koechner, who recurred on NBC’s “The Office” as Todd Packer, will executive produce the pilot with Lou Wallach and Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Alex Murray and Tim Sarkes.

Koechner had a short stint on "SNL" in the mid-1990s, later performing as part of The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show and making a series of appearances on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." He went on to a number of feature film performances, including roles in "Anchorman," "Talladega Nights" and "Thank You for Smoking."

“I am thrilled to be working with NBC to develop a dynamic hour of variety entertainment,” Koechner said. “I got my start working for NBC on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ followed by a stint on ‘The Office,’ and I’m happy to be back. As a husband and father of five, my vision is for us to create a show that engages everyone. I want it to make a mom, dad and grandmother laugh, while the 13- to 19-year-old stands behind the couch peeking over his iPhone, equally amused by the content.”

The order is the second high-profile variety show in the pipeline at NBC, which is also developing a project headlined by former “SNL” cast member Maya Rudolph, the story notes.

“NBC has been actively exploring alternative comedy as this is where the network’s strength has been recently, with ‘SNL’ and ‘Hollywood Game Night’ ranking as NBC’s top two comedy programs in the 18-49 demo,” Andreeva writes. “Given how well NBC did with another variety-type program, the live staging of ‘The Sound Of Music,' on Thursday [Dec. 5], it is not inconceivable for the network to try sketch/variety shows on the night where its traditional comedies have struggled.”

Thumbnail image for david-koechner.pngDavid Koechner