EXCLUSIVE: They have been an integral part of two of the defining family sitcoms of two separate decades. Now Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal and Happy Days star Henry Winkler have teamed with Winkler’s son, director Max Winkler, and son-in-law, actor Rob Reinis, for a new multi-camera family comedy project, which has landed at ABC with a pilot production commitment. The untitled project is designed as a starring vehicle for Henry Winkler and is based on his relationship with his son-in-law. Written by Rosenthal, Max Winkler and Reinis and to be directed by Rosenthal, the comedy hails from 20th TV and Max Winkler and Jake Johnson’s studio-based Walcott Co. It centers on an emotionally reserved construction worker who learns about love, life and hugs while unexpectedly living with his in-laws — Henry, to be played by Henry Winkler, and Stacey Winkler. (In real life, Henry Winkler has been married to his wife Stacey Winkler for more than 35 years.)
After coming up with the idea for the project, brothers-in-law Max Winkler and Reinis wanted to team with an A-list showrunner who has experience in family comedy. They reached out to Rosenthal, who responded to the premise and came on board. This marks a return to primetime for CAA-repped Rosenthal who, following Raymond‘s 9-season run that included two Emmys for best comedy series, has worked on his successful restaurant ventures and on his feature documentary Exporting Raymond, about his experience launching a Russian adaptation of the hit CBS sitcom. The Rosenthal-Winkler-Reinis comedy also marks the biggest sale for the Walcott Co. under the deal company inked with 20th TV in July. The company also has a Matt Spicer and Dan St. Germain comedy projects at Fox. Max Winkler, repped by CAA and Management 360, has directed 5 episodes of Fox’s New Girl. Henry Winkler, repped by Resolution and 360, has been recurring on USA’s Royal Pains.