Is There Room for Yet Another Newsroom Comedy?

Is it just me or is nearly every other comedy pilot this season about the hijinx at a local newsroom?

There's the 13-episode order for Action News, starring Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Paul Campbell, Aimee Garcia, and Fred Williard, about the friction between two local news co-anchors in Buffalo when one returns after a sojourn in the "big city." It will be airing this fall on FOX and has been generating a lot of buzz here in Hollywood. (It doesn't hurt that the script it pretty damn hilarious and the characters are engagingly witty.)

Then there's the Rick Swartzlander comedy pilot The News, about the goings-on at, you guessed it, a local news station, this time set in Phoenix, Arizona. That project, up for contention for a fall slot at ABC, stars Amy Yasback, Jay Harrington, Rachel Boston, Tim Conlon and Veronica Mars' Julie Gonzalo.

So I was a little surprised when I woke up this morning to discover that FOX had ordered yet another newsroom-set comedy for fall. Six episodes of Anchorwoman, from studio fox21, have been ordered for the fall. Unlike the other two newsroom comedies, this will be a hybrid mix of reality and scripted elements and will follow the exploits of a supermodel who settles in a small Southern town and (naturally) becomes an anchorwoman on the local news.

I'm a little confused as to why FOX would order two similarly-set comedies for next season, especially given that it won the heated bidding war for Action News. Bizarre.

As they would say on one of these local telecasts, stay tuned for more on that story at 11.

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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions junior exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionary.blogspot.com.