‘Delco Proper’ gets series pilot order from Comedy Central, will film locally in May

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"Delco Proper", with (from left) Tim Butterly, Tommy Pope, and John McKeever, has been a limited-run digital series for Comedy Central, but now is one of nine pilots the network has ordered.

Delaware County may soon head to Comedy Central proper, thanks to a newly announced pilot order.

The network today revealed its development slate for 2017-18, and the locally set Delco Proper is one of nine pilots and three series Comedy Central ordered.

While this is just a pilot order, this a major step toward becoming a series. The network initially debuted Delco Proper as a limited-run digital series with a single episode in 2015. Three more episodes, each running about six minutes, were released in February 2016.

Created by and starring Philadelphia-area natives and comedians John McKeever, Tommy Pope, and Tim Butterly, the show follows a group of friends who have worked together in the same Delco lumberyard for much of their lives. As a release notes, the series shows that “it’s hard to change in a town that doesn’t.”

McKeever says the group found out about the pilot order way back in November 2016 after submitting a final script in August that year. They kept it under wraps until now, but McKeever — a new dad as of last month — was overjoyed at the time.

“I didn’t have a job, and my wife was five months pregnant,” he says. “So that was great to find out.”

Pope and McKeever are credited as the pilot’s writers, McKeever is also set to direct. However, don’t expect to see any Delco landmarks, because, as McKeever told us in 2015, “showing an exterior shot to get a local boner is lazy.” Instead, the show, McKeever said at the time, will “stand on its own.”

To that end, McKeever says he and the Delco Proper crew will be shooting the pilot in the Delaware County area beginning in May. Comedy Central, the comedian adds, loved the look and feel of the original digital series, which he credits to filming it in the area and casting local actors.

“We think the town we created is such a specific character that would couldn’t shoot it in New York of Los Angeles,” McKeever says. “We’re not expecing a bunch of Delco people to watch it, but we are trying to portray the world we are familiar with.”

As far as what to expect from Delco Proper protagonists, Izzy, John, and Tommy, McKeever says growing pains will be a focus. However, what that means exactly is a mystery until we see the pilot.

“These guys are peaking into their 30s without leaving behind the behavior of their 20s,” McKeever says, “and that’s coming to a head professionally and personally.”

If the series doesn’t go to order following the pilot, however, don’t expect to see Delco Proper pop up on another network. As McKeever says, Comedy Central is “where it lives” because of how much the network has contributed to the show.

“If it doesn’t go to series at Comedy Central, it doesn’t go to series,” McKeever says. “The network has been unbelievable. They dig the show, and we’re lucky to be in that position.”

In addition to Delco Proper getting a pilot order, Comedy Central also ordered a pilot for Home for the Weekend. Created and hosted by Villanova native Neal Brennan, of Chappelle’s Show fame, the show is a mockumentary-style romp where celebrities travel back to their home towns with the comedian.

Check out the debut episode of the Delco Proper digital series below (warning — graphic language):