EXCLUSIVE: ABC has picked up Super City, a comedy presentation, which will be produced by ABC Studios. Word is that the project would go through a long-rumored ABC Studios unit, code name Keystone. Keystone, which has been in the works for awhile and has not been formally launched yet, would focus on low-cost production. Super City is an adaptation of the New Zealand comedy series of the same name created by and starring Madeleine Sami and directed by Taika Waititi. On the show, which premiered on New Zealand’s TV3 network last year, Sami transforms into five different characters whose lives intersect — an aging cheerleader, an immigrant taxi driver, a closeted lesbian gym instructor, a woman fostering impoverished artists, and a homeless girl who finds and adopts a baby. (Watch trailer below).
The ABC adaptation also will be created by Sami, sometime referred to as the New Zealand Tracey Ullman, who will write the presentation and will star in it. Waititi will direct. Carthew Neal, producer of the original series, is executive producing through his Fumes banner, along with Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. The project reunites Kaplan and Waititi, who also directed the pilot for the Kaplan-produced MTV upcoming adaptation of the British comedy The Inbetweeners. Waititi also directed New Zealand sleeper feature hit Boy, which was recently released in the U.S. The Super City presentation is expected to film off-cycle. Kaplan has two other pilots in contention at ABC for fall, comedies The Manzanis and the untitled Dan Fogelman project. Sami and Neal are with ICM, Waititi with CAA. With Keystone, ABC Studios would become the latest major TV studio to launch a low-cost division. 20th TV’s Fox21 and Warner Bros.’ Warner Horizon started that way, gradually evolving into divisions dedicated to developing and producing top-tier cable and reality programming.