NBC Orders 12 Episodes of Comedy 'Working the Engels'; Series is a Canadian Co-Production

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

November 14th, 2013

Andreas Martin


Production From Halfire-CORE Entertainment and Shaw Media Stars Emmy- and Tony-Winning Comedienne Andrea Martin

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Nov. 14, 2013 — NBC has entered a deal to co-produce 12 episodes of the half-hour singlecam comedy “Working the Engels” from producers Halfire-CORE Entertainment in partnership with Shaw Media.

“Working the Engels” marks the first time a U.S. and Canadian broadcaster have collaborated to produce a half-hour network comedy.

The series, created and written by Katie Ford and Jane Ford, centers on a family who must band together to keep their heads above water when their father and breadwinner passes away, leaving them a mountain of debt. The Engels must all go to work running Dad’s storefront law firm, with one minor problem — daughter Jenna is the only one who is qualified to practice law.

“SCTV” legend and two-time Emmy Award winner Andrea Martin will play Ceil, the overly confident family matriarch. “Working the Engels” also stars Kacey Rohl (“Hannibal”), Azura Skye (“American Horror Story”) and Benjamin Arthur (“Less Than Kind”).

Martin, who also earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” most recently won a Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award for her performance in the Broadway revival of “Pippin.”

Katie Ford, Jane Ford, Howard Busgang, Tom Nursall and Noreen Halpern serve as executive producers.

“We’re over the moon thrilled to work with NBC and Shaw Media on this series,” said Noreen Halpern, President, Halfire-CORE Entertainment. “Katie and Jane Ford have created a laugh-out-loud show and we’re delighted to have a comedic legend in Andrea Martin, complemented by a trio of rising stars.”

About Halfire-CORE Entertainment

Halfire-CORE Entertainment is a joint venture between Noreen Halpern’s Halfire Entertainment and CORE Media Group, headed by Marc Graboff, to co-finance new scripted programming for the Canadian, U.S., and international marketplaces. By investing in content and partnerships, Halfire-CORE Entertainment is developing and producing exceptionally creative and commercial programming and employing non-traditional financing resulting in straight-to-series orders. The company has a robust development slate including “Billy the Kid” — a 10-hour limited series for Fox and a three-for-one deal at NBC. Kevin Smith’s “Spoilers” is in pre-production for Bell Media and the half-hour single-camera series “Working the Engels” is in production for Shaw Media and NBC. Prior to Halfire, Halpern oversaw all scripted programming for Entertainment One, where she launched series including “Rookie Blue” (ABC, Global) and “Hell on Wheels” (AMC), among many others. Halfire-CORE Entertainment has offices in Toronto and Los Angeles.


  • r0ckmypants

    @Insane Commenters – Ummmmm….

  • Erwan From France

    It makes sense for me, it must be a good idea

  • Chris J

    This doesn’t sound so bad. Most log lines for perspective NBC comedies sound dreadful.

  • Carmen

    I like the name of the show in relation to the concept.

    Perhaps ABC who has all of those great PR writers could spend a little on someone who can name a show something that might alienate some potential viewers.

    That is a skill that ABC has not always demonstrated. For example(s), <Cougar Town or Trophy Wife

  • Carmen

    Damn, where is the edit button.

    Meant of course – that might NOT alienate.

  • Chris J

    Also this will probably be a summer series, maybe even paired with America’s Got Talent or something. It makes sense to use cheap co-productions to fill up summer primetime hours.

  • StevenD

    NBC has another international co production comedy, Welcome to Sweden , staring Amy Poehler’s brother. I can easily see these two pairing up together in the summer

  • Movie12

    Cheap to produced?

  • C

    So basically The Goodwin Games with a mom?

    Dad’s dead, one kid actually went to college, the others probably never made anything of themselves and now they all have to live and/or work together.

    Doesn’t sound promising, especially coming from NBC.

  • k:Alex

    No, not again a drama with a comedy label.
    It doesn’t work, how many of those shows must fail before they see it’s a wast of money?

  • Michael

    Heh. I think people should at least give it a shot. Remember that “The Office” was originally an England Show, an idea of Ricky Gervavis (yea that bafoon!)

  • joel

    If it doesn’t involve wacky aliens from outer space I’m not interested.

  • Parker Wyeth

    A Toronto production w/ Andrea Martin could be ok. She can be a funny lady. Can it be any worse than what NBC has been offering?

  • Quirkydude

    SCTV “legend”? Really?

  • RJC

    Andrea Martin is very funny. I wouldn’t call her a legend, but she is very talented. Her involvement in this alone puts it above most of the “comedies” NBC produces, in my opinion. I’ll give it a shot.

  • a p garcia

    Lets hope that unlike other NBC comedies(dramas, this is actually funny.

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