Struggling actors rejoice: A Chicago-based pilot about one actor's attempt to make it in the city will now have its own NBC Web series.
Developed by Chicago actors Bobby Richards and Avery Lee, "Bobby & Iza" follows Bobby – an actor – and his fiancée as they deal with meddling parents and navigate their own careers.
Richard and Lee's pilot – the only one from Chicago – was one of five up for the Web series as part of NBC's Playground contest, which relied on viewer-driven voting.
"It was pretty crazy. When we first found out, Avery – who's very reserved and cool – sort of had this freak out which was fun for me to watch," said Richards, who stars in the pilot. "We're like, the little show from Chicago, no one really knew who we were. Now its hitting me and it's one of the coolest things that's ever happened, aside from meeting my wife or the birth of a child I don't have yet."
"Bobby & Iza" also has something in common with "Teachers," TV Land's new single-camera series from iO improv team the Katydids. Both had help early on from Cap Gun Collective, a small Chicago production company that aided in visions for the two shows, which have each gone on to receive national attention.
NBC was not available for comment. Richards said there's no word yet on a timeline or formula for the new Web series.
For Richards, that unknown factor is both "exciting and petrifying."
"[NBC] seems excited to ride this wave with us, but this isn't really something they've done before. So, it's like, let's get our hands dirty, let's do this," he said.