Katie Finneran, recognized as one of the hilarious bright spots in Broadway's Noises Off, playing dizzy contact-lens losing Brooke Ashton, is on leave from the Broadway revival April 23-May 1 to shoot a CBS-Paramount sitcom pilot tailored for her in Los Angeles.
The pilot is created by Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan ("Frasier"), and veteran sitcom director James Burrows is helming. Variety previously billed the untitled show as a "father-daughter" comedy in which Finneran plays a woman named Katie "who dabbles in various careers and ends up giving advice" to a character played by actress Traylor Howard ("Two Guys and a Girl").
While Finneran is absent, standbys Virginia Louise Smith and Kate Gleason fill her shoes in Noises Off before she returns to face Tony Award voters; she's expected to be Tony nommed for her universally embraced performance in the Michael Frayn farce. Roger Bart won a Tony Award for Broadway's You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and made a splash as Carmen Ghia in The Producers (for which he was Tony nommed).
Scores of pilots are developed every year for networks, and there is never a guarantee it will be "picked up" for a series. Some never see the light of the TV screen. — By Kenneth Jones