EXCLUSIVE: New father Jerry O’Connell may play one on TV next season. CBS has bought an untitled multi-camera family sitcom about new parenthood starring O’Connell and written by Jeff Astrof (The New Adventures Of Old Christine). CBS TV Studios and 3 Arts are producing. This marks O’Connell’s return to CBS and CBS Studios after starring in the network and studio’s dramedy series The Defenders last season.
As a father of 2-year-old twins, O’Connell had been looking to translate his experience and its hilarity into a comedy series vehicle when he read Adam Mansbach’s “bedtime book for parents” Go The F**k To Sleep. He liked the comedic yet honest tone of it, which he found similar to what he was going for. 3 Arts, which manages O’Connell and Mansbach, got them together, and they started bouncing around ideas for a TV show. With neither of them having TV writing experience, they looked around for a showrunner and met with Astrof, also a 3 Arts client, immediately after he became available when How To Be A Gentleman was recently shut down. Astrof served as an executive producer on the CBS/CBS Studios freshman comedy series and had a blind script deal with CBS Studios, which has now been applied to the new project. Astrof, O’Connell and Mansbach got their heads together and will share “story by” credit on the potential series. Astrof and Mansbach will co-write the script for the project, an adult family sitcom about a struggling writer catapulted into the spotlight as a parenting expert after his tongue-in-cheek children’s book becomes an unexpected hit. ICM-repped Astrof will showrun and executive produce with 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Richard Abate. UTA-repped O’Connell and CAA-repped Mansbach will co-executive produce.