EXCLUSIVE: ABC has put in development Rev, a half-hour comedy based on the BAFTA-winning British series Rev., which will be written by former Desperate Housewives executive producer/showrunner Bob Daily. The original series, created by Tom Hollander and James Wood, stars Hollander as a priest from a small rural parish who becomes the vicar of an inner-city London church. Daily’s version, produced by ABC Studios, centers on an Episcopal priest who leaves a small rural parish in Wisconsin to take over a failing inner-city church in a racially diverse, economically-challenged Chicago neighborhood. It chronicles the daily frustrations and moral conflicts of the minister and his eccentric congregation, which includes genuine believers, a homeless man, and a crack addict. Daily will executive produce with Kenton Allen and Matthew Justice, principals of Big Talk Prods., which produces the original series. Hollander and Wood are set to consult.
Rev., which premiered on BBC Two in June 2010, won the 2011 BAFTA for best sitcom. It aired a second season last fall, and this June it was renewed for a third cycle. In the U.S., the series was picked up by Hulu this past summer and has quickly become a top performer for the streaming service. (See the trailer below.)
Rev takes WME-repped Daily back to his half-hour comedy roots. He spent five years on Frasier, winning back-to-back WGA Awards in 2003 and 2004. Daily spent the last six years on Desperate Housewives, seven of them as executive producer. He quickly established himself as the No. 2 to creator/executive producer Marc Cherry and took over as showrunner when Cherry left after Season 7. This is Daily’s second sale this season through his overall deal at ABC Studios. He also is co-writing with feature writer Pierce Gardner and executive producing a family drama for ABC and the Mark Gordon Co.