While most networks are just now giving new projects pilot commitments, Netflix is not nearly as restricted as the networks and just signed on for two seasons of a brand new project this morning. On Tuesday, Netflix signed on with Judd Apatow and Legendary Pictures for Love, a brand new romantic comedy that will offer an “honest take” on 21st century relationships.
The half-hour comedy series will follow a modern-day man and woman as they maneuver through intimacy and commitments both wanted to avoid. Community’s Gillian Jacobs has signed on to play lead Mickey and Inglourious Basterd’s Paul Rust has signed on to play Gus in the romantic comedy. The project is being created and written by Apatow, Rust and Lesley Arfin, who has also worked on Awkward and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Brent Forrester will also executive produce. It’s a team that’s full of connections, as Jacobs has worked with Apatow on Girls and Rust worked on Super Fun Night with Forrester.
Netflix uses words like “unflinching” to describe Love in the press release, but honestly, all they had to say was Apatow to help us understand that Love won’t exactly be the usual rom com. It’ll probably look at romance in ways that are sticky and complicated but still manage to be amusing. Apatow is mostly known for film work, including Knocked Up and This is 40, but he famously created Freaks and Geeks back in the day, and currently produces HBO’s Girls. His tone in recent years has been consistently forward-thinking, and I expect Love will follow suit.
Unfortunately, it will be a while before we find out. Love has nabbed the same sort of two-season deal that David Fincher’s House of Cards acquired when it was first picked up by the network. Fans will get 10 episodes of the first season, followed by a 12-episode second season of Love. However, because Netflix has invested so much in the new comedy, the streaming service is also giving Love plenty of time to come together. Subscribers won’t get the first set of episodes until 2016 and they won’t get the second set of episodes until 2017.
Netflix has frequently pumped money into the right sorts of projects. Its first big scripted program, Lilyhammer may not have found a huge audience, but since then Netflix has produced House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and a new season of Arrested Development, all of which have done well for the streaming service. (Let’s just choose to leave Hemlock Grove out of this conversation.) Hopefully, Love will be the show that amps up Netflix’s original comedy offerings considerably.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about Love in the coming year or so, so stay tuned.