EXCLUSIVE: ABC has put in development Jenni, a multi-camera family comedy starring Mexican-American singer-songwriter Jenni Rivera. It hails from leading Broadway producer Robert L. Boyett — marking his return to television, where he was one of the top comedy series producers in the 1980s and 1990s — and Robert Horn (Designing Women). Boyett and Horn will write the project, which stars Rivera as a strong, middle-class, single Latina woman working to raise a family using unique parenting skills, while struggling to run a family business and navigate her extended, co-dependent relatives — all while fighting the cultural perception that she needs a man to do it. Boyett and Horn will executive produce, with Rivera and her manager Pete Saldago serving as producers for ABC Studios.
Boyett was a principal in Miller/Boyett Prods., a leading supplier of family-friendly sitcoms in the ’80s and ’90s, including Bosom Buddies, which Boyett co-created; Family Matters, which he co-developed; Full House; and Step By Step. Before joining the company as partner in 1980, he worked on its ’70s series Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley. After Miller/Boyett was dissolved in 1999, Boyett segued to a Broadway producing career. He has won eight Tony Awards for his work, which includes such productions as War Horse, History Boys, The Drowsy Chaperone and 13. On the musical 13, he worked with Horn, who co-wrote the book, among several theater credits. In addition to Jenni, Horn has another family comedy in development at ABC, mother-daughter half-hour The Motherload.