Showtime Sets ‘Big Deal’ Comedy Series

Showtime has commissioned a pilot order for a new half hour comedy series executive produced by Vanessa Bayer and Jeremy Beiler (Saturday Night Live), the premium service announced Monday. 

The series, Big Deal, is a comedy in which Bayer plays a character -- inspired by her own past -- who overcame childhood leukemia to achieve her lifelong dream of landing a job as a QVC host, according to Showtime. Jessi Klein (Inside Amy Schumer, Black Monday) will also serve as executive producer of the show.

“Vanessa Bayer is such a sharp and joyful comic talent, and in Big Deal she mines the story of her own life to deliver hard comedy with deep resonance,” said Gary Levine, Showtime president of entertainment in statement. 

 “In Jeremy, Jessi and Michael (Showalter), we have a veritable All-Star team who never fail to deliver smart, subversive and funny comedy – which Big Deal certainly promises to be,” he added.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.