For many years, Zach Braff was one of the most recognizable faces on TV, thanks to ABC's hit comedy Scrubs, as well as his character's penchant for letting viewers look directly at his face as he stared off lost in daydreams. Thankfully, Braff's fans are one step closer to seeing him back on the small screen in the future, as his new TV project Start Up just received a pilot order from ABC, which also secured a pilot for a comedy project co-created by Hamilton breakout Daveed Diggs.
Start Up would put Zach Braff back in front of audiences as a comic foil, though in a less cartoonish sense than his Scrubs reign. It would see Braff starring as a thirtysomething man who is living well with a loving wife and two kids when he decides to throw caution into the wind by quitting his dependable job and moving forward with the urge to start a new business. Perhaps I don't need to tell you that complications arise.
With the same name as an in-development drama on streaming service Crackle, Start Up is based on the excellent podcast from Alex Blumberg, the former This American Life reporter and producer who co-founded the truly stellar podcast network Gimlet Media. (Check out Reply All and Surprisingly Awesome, as well as Start Up, when you're done with this story.) The TV version was developed by Braff's former Scrubs executive producer Matt Tarses, who is writing the pilot, which will be directed by Braff himself. The two will also be executive producers, as will Blumberg and Gimlet's Chris Giliberti and Matt Lieber.
ABC first gave a put pilot commitment to Start Up late in 2016, so the network is almost definitely interested in having this new Zach Braff project ready to go by the start of Fall TV, assuming it does indeed go forward. Braff was also talking about a potential return to the Scrubs universe in the future, so we'll have to see if one affects the other in any way.
There's a completely different kind of business happening over on the untitled project from Daveed Diggs, currently recurring on ABC's Black-ish, and Jeremy Bronson, former Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writer and current Speechless writer/producer. Bronson wrote the pilot, which will follow a down-on-his-luck hip hop artist who becomes an unwitting leader after entering and winning a mayoral race in order to promote his mixtape. Both he and Diggs will executive produce, though Deadline states there's currently no plans for Hamilton's Thomas Jefferson to act in the project. Bummer.
Hopefully the timetable for Start Up's progress, as well as Daveed Diggs' project, is even quicker than what we've seen already. In the meantime, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what else is coming to TV in the near future.