Black-ish‘s The Johnsons may be joined by another Black family in primetime next season. Fox is developing Jump Start, a single-camera comedy based on Robb Armstrong’s long-running comic strip. Co-written by Armstrong and Andrew Orenstein (Malcolm In The Middle), the project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, follows a Philadelphia cop who finds it harder to “serve and protect” at home than on the streets. Armstrong, Orenstein and Kaplan executive produce with Armstrong’s producer Bridget McMeel of Amuse Entertainment, who brought the property to Hollywood.
The strip Jump Start, which entered syndication in 1989, chronicles the trials and tribulations of young Philadelphia Black couple Joe, who is a cop, and Marcy Cobb as they try to balance the demands of work and raising their young children, Sunny, Jojo and twins Tommi and Teddy. Initially carried by 40 papers, Jump Start grew in popularity to appear in over 400 publications, including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Boston Globe.
Armstrong, one of only a handful of black syndicated cartoonists in the U.S., based the strip on his own experiences. “Nearly every married couple I know is like Joe and Marcy, my main characters,” he said in a 1996 interview. “The image of young blacks is so skewed, so false. I don’t know anybody who’s carjacking, playing basketball, rapping. Joe and Marcy and the characters I’ve developed are deep and based on real life.”
Armstrong, McMeel and Orenstein are repped by WME. Armstrong is also with Niad Management.