TV stars have no allegiance to any one network, but a fascinating number of comedians who cut their teeth at NBC have found a haven somewhere else: at Fox. Saturday Night Live vet Will Forte will follow in the footsteps of Andy Samberg (who went from SNL to Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Mindy Kaling (who got her break as a writer-actress on NBC’s The Office before landing The Mindy Project) by headlining his own high-concept comedy, Last Man on Earth, this fall on Fox. Meanwhile, SNL writer John Mulaney received a series order from Fox to star on and exec-produce his eponymous comedy that was developed at NBC last fall. (For good measure, it costars SNL’s Nasim Pedrad.) And 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski will get top billing in the Fox pilot Dead Boss, a farce about a career woman accused of killing her boss. The results of these casting coups haven’t yet been golden for Fox — Brooklyn and Mindy average only 4.7 million and 3.6 million, respectively — but for now the network says street cred trumps ratings.
“Word has gotten out in the cool comedy group that Fox is the place to be,” says Tess Sanchez, Fox’s senior VP of casting. “When we are able to say we’ve got Andy Samberg, we’ve got Zooey Deschanel, and we’ve got Mindy Kaling, it’s a lot easier to say to Will Forte, ‘Come and do a Fox show.’”