Bill Murray has given film and TV audiences many classic characters. From Honker the Homeless Man to Nick the lounge singer on Saturday Night Live, to Carl Spackler and Mr. Badger in the movies. He improvised all his dialog as Jeff Slater in Tootsie, the film where Dustin Hoffman put on tasteful drag to win a soap opera part. Murray’s Peter Venkman got his gender reassigned when Melissa McCarthy reimagined his part in Ghostbusters as Abby Yates. NBC will do its bit for equal opportunity by adapting the film What About Bob? as What About Barb?
NBC ordered a pilot based on the 1991 black comedy that will feature female leads in the roles originated by Murray and Richard Dreyfuss.
“Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m a schizophrenic… and so am I!” What About Barb? will tell the story of a psychotherapist who attempts to make a clean break from her most overbearing patient. But baby steps won’t work.
What About Barb? will be a single-cam comedy written by Joe Port, who will executive produce along with Joe Wiseman. Port and Wiseman collaborated on the CBS series The Odd Couple and The Crazy Ones. They also brought Last Man Standing to ABC, gave Fox New Girl and sold 1600 Penn to NBC. Port and Wiseman also worked together on NBC’s The Office.
What About Barb? will be produced by ABC Studios. ABC Studios previously tried to adapt What About Bob? for the 2015-16 season, when Zack Olin, the studio’s comedy development executive, pitched the idea make Bob a woman.
What About Bob? was produced by Touchstone Pictures and Laura Ziskin, pulled in almost $65 million at the box office.
No word has been mentioned yet on casting.