EXCLUSIVE: Each of them enjoyed a solid TV writing career before they partnered to write features. Now Jen Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan are returning to television as a team and, after being pursued by several studios, signed an exclusive overall deal with ABC Studios. The two-year pact, said to be well into the seven figures, starts in June. Outside of it, the duo is already working at ABC Studios – they just signed on to serve as executive producers/showrunners on the studio’s comedy pilot for ABC Bad Mom. Jenna Elfman is in talks to star in the project created by British writer-actress-comedienne Sharon Horgan. It centers on Julia, a single mom whose two kids had been raised largely by her mom. When her mom decides to get her life back, Julia has to do it alone. Crittenden and Allan will serve as executive producers on the pilot alongside Horgan and Aaron Kaplan.
Crittenden, who worked on Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond and The New Adventure of Old Christine, teamed with former Scrubs writer-producer Allan to write a feature comedy script, Twenty Times a Lady, based on the book by Karyn Bosnak. It made the 2008 Black List of unproduced screenplays and was made into a film titled What’s Your Number?. Directed by Mark Mylod and starring Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Zachary Quinto and Joel McHale, the movie opens in September. While working in features, Crittenden and Allan, repped by UTA and attorney Michael Gendler, started to miss television. Instead of returning to their separate TV writer-producer careers, they decided to extend their partnership in features to TV, leading to their gig on Bad Mom and the deal with ABC Studios. Teams of female showrunners are pretty rare in TV comedy, but ABC has had a success with another such pairing, Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, the creators/showrunners of sophomore series The Middle, which, like Bad Mom, centers on a mom.