NBC revives ‘Watching’

NBC revives 'Watching' 1NBC is resurrecting “Nobody’s Watching,” the quirky 2005 WB comedy pilot that recently found new life on YouTube.com.

Peacock entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly is expected to announce today that he has ordered six scripts of the project following a meeting with “Watching” creators Bill Lawrence, Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan.

Project, about two young sitcom fans who end up in a reality show, is from NBC Universal Television Studio.

In a move that underscores NBC’s desire to plunge into nontraditional comedy development, net has also agreed to fund a series of viral videos featuring the characters from “Watching.” Producers began working on the videos even before the Peacock greenlight, and the first vignettes could hit the Internet by September.

“Part of our pitch for bringing back the show is that, for it to succeed, it needs to become more edgy and blur the lines between reality and fiction,” said Lawrence, who still seemed amazed at the chain of events that brought “Watching” back from the dead.

If it goes to series, “Watching” is also expected to be produced for far less than a normal sitcom, with a budget well under $1 million per half-hour.

Decision to revive “Watching” comes barely a month after a copy of the pilot popped up on video-sharing service YouTube (Daily Variety, June 22).