ABC is looking to bring some Happy Days magic back the network with a new multi-camera project that would star Happy Days alum Henry Winkler. ABC has given a pilot order to The Winklers, a family comedy from Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal; Winkler’s son, director Max Winkler; and son-in-law, actor Rob Reinis. The project, which had a pilot production commitment, was conceived as a starring vehicle for Henry Winkler and is based on his relationship with his son-in-law. While Winkler doesn’t have an acting deal in place yet, he is expected to star in the pilot, written by Rosenthal from a story by him, Max Winkler and Reinis and possibly directed by Rosenthal. It centers on an emotionally reserved construction worker who learns about love, life and hugs while unexpectedly living with his in-laws — Henry (Henry Winkler) and Stacey Winkler. (In real life, Henry Winkler has been married to his wife Stacey for more than 35 years.) The comedy hails from 20th TV and Max Winkler and Jake Johnson’s studio-based Walcott Co., marking the company’s first pilot order in its first year of development.
After coming up with the idea for The Winklers, brothers-in-law Max Winkler and Reinis reached out to Rosenthal, who responded to the premise and came on board. This marks a return to primetime for Rosenthal following Raymond‘s hugely successful nine-season run that included two Emmys for best comedy series. He is exec producing with Max Winkler, Reinis and Johnson.