EXCLUSIVE: Comedy veteran Jeff Astrof (Grounded For Life) has come on board to write and executive produce ABC’s comedy pilot co-created and starring John Leguizamo as the project changes formats from single- to multi-camera. The untitled comedy is based on Leguizamo’s life as a husband, father and fish out of water on the upper West Side of New York as reflected in his one-person shows. Woven into this world are his privileged wife, his friends from his life back in the Bronx, his mother and grandfather who try to keep him grounded in his Latin roots, and his own kids who he worries are getting spoiled and losing touch with reality.
Leguizamo first signed a deal with ABC and ABC Studios last February with the intention to develop a single-camera comedy inspired by his life for him to star in and executive produce with Golenberg and Mandeville, the company he worked with on Edison. Days later, Leguizamo was cast in the ABC/ABC Studios multi-camera pilot The Kings Of Van Nuys (then Only Fools And Horses). This development season, former Family Guy executive producer/co-showrunner Chris Sheridan joined Leguizamo’s semi-autobiographical project while the actor was still attached to Kings Of Van Nuys, which was reworked and piloted again. The second pilot got a pass in early December, clearing the way for Leguizamo’s own project, a single-camera comedy written by Sheridan from a story by him and Leguizamo. But when ABC picked up the project to pilot earlier this month, it was ordered as a multi-camera and Sheridan was no longer part of it. Astrof will now write the multi-camera version and will executive produce the pilot with Leguizamo, the Collective’s Jeff Golenberg and Sam Maydew as well as Mandeville’s David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Maria Crenna. Astrof, repped by ICM Partners, 3 Arts and Michael Gendler, had his own multi-camera project at ABC this season, Fat, Forty And Fired, which had a put pilot commitment and was in serious contention for a pickup. It was produced by Warner Bros. TV.