“Parks and Recreation” co-creator Michael Schur may do for San Diego what he did for Pawnee, Indiana: Make it must-see TV.
San Diego isn’t a fictional city like the one Leslie Knope (and friends) made famous, but if you were making a TV show about a city where people spend most of their time outdoors drinking beer, Schur couldn’t do much better than one that is repeatedly named among the best in the U.S. for its beer AND its weather.
Get ready for your close up, San Diego.
Buzz is already building after NBC confirmed that Schur and co-executive producer Josh Malmuth are working on a comedy pilot called “Abby’s” — no relation — that revolves around an unlicensed backyard bar in San Diego “where the regulars enthusiastically enforce a unique set of rules that give them a sense of community and allow them to avoid the frustrating behavior found at other establishments.”
I’m sure there are a number of real-life locals who would jump at the chance to frequent such an establishment.
Natalie Morales, known for recent roles in “Santa Clarita Diet” and “The Grinder,” will star in the show.
Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter:
“Morales will play the title role of Abby, a no-nonsense, slight but strong ex-Army staff sergeant who did two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Warmly convivial but never openly sentimental, Abby has found her calling, hosting friends and newcomers in her open-air backyard bar, where locals find camaraderie and a kind of sanctuary. It's her livelihood and her lifeblood, and she's clearly unnerved when her new landlord shows up citing all kinds of reasons why the whole venture is illegal.”
Beer? Military? Friends hanging out outside?
Schur clearly gets San Diego and, after we initially posted this story, we heard from co-producer Malmuth’s father, who let us know that his son lived in San Diego from the time he was 12 until he left for college. So he obviously knows what it’s all about.
Since I’m currently the only “Abby” that pops up right now when you Google “Abby San Diego,” I feel reasonably well-qualified to assess whether a show about a woman named Abby in San Diego is going to make us San Diegans proud.
As for Schur, there’s proof he’s been to the city. He was at Comic-Con for a panel about NBC’s “The Good Place,” which he also created, in 2016. He also stopped by NBC 7 in San Diego while he was here and told Whitney Southwick he’s been to the city “a few times.”
In “The Good Place,” which Schur executive produces, he works with star (and San Diego native) Ted Danson, so it’s fun to imagine Danson sharing old stories with Schur about starring on “Cheers,” which also revolves around a close-knit group of friends who frequent a particular bar.
Schur has also tweeted about the Padres a few times, which shows he’s aware of our most well-known professional sports team (which was itself the subject of a TV show, which we wrote about in its short run)…
That’s about it for Schur tweets about San Diego. I couldn’t find any tweets by him about “beer,” but we won’t dwell on that. Here’s the most important thing to know: Schur has an insanely good track record.
His television credits include “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office.” And he was a writer on “Saturday Night Live” during the Will Ferrell era, so if he was in any way involved with the magic behind the man who went on to play San Diego’s most famous fictional anchorman Ron Burgundy, we should feel pretty good about Schur turning a spotlight on San Diego.
There have been other shows shot or set in San Diego over the years, of course, including “Simon & Simon,” “Terriers” and “Veronica Mars.” Here’s a list of the 9 best television shows set or filmed in San Diego.
“Pitch” was canceled after one season, so here’s hoping better luck for “Abby’s” from one Abby to another.