ABC has given a formal pilot order to an untitled comedy blending live-action and CGI animation (aka Imaginary Gary, Imaginary Friend), from Oscar-winning former Disney animator Patrick Osborne and The Goldbergs team of creator/executive producer Adam F. Goldberg, executive producer David Guarascio, Happy Madison and Sony Pictures TV.
ABC landed the project in October after a bidding war by giving it a pilot production order with a series penalty attached. The producers have already been planning ahead on the pilot and exploring casting though a network always wants to reserve final judgment until after they see a script. Now the pilot green light is officially official.
There is a major change in the premise of the show from the time it was pitched. The lead, originally a thirtysomething bachelor, is now a thirtysomething bachelorette. The switch of the lead from a male to a female sets the project further apart from Fox’s recently picked up live-action/animated comedy series Son Of Zorn, in which a guy interacts with his animated long-gone father, and Seth MacFarlane’s Ted. Somewhat reminiscent of CBS’ Angel From Hell, it also would be a good fit with ABC’s female-skewing lineup.
Written by Goldberg and Guarascio and co-created by Osborne, the untitled comedy centers on a thirtysomething bachelorette whose life is turned upside-down when she finally meets the love of her life — a divorced father with three kids. This triggers even more upheaval when the slightly unhinged imaginary friend she created as an only child suddenly reappears in her life to help her navigate the transition from single girl to a woman ready for a family.
The imaginary friend was conceived as a CGI creation in a live-action environment. Goldberg, Guarascio, Osborne and Happy Madison’s Doug Robinson executive produce.
ABC had been considered a natural home for the project as the network carries The Goldbergs –now in its third season — and is a sibling to the Walt Disney Animation Studios, where Osborne comes from.
Osborne, who worked as animator on such Disney movies as Bolt, Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, made his writing and directing debut with the studio’s 2014 animated short Feast, which won an Oscar last year.
Goldberg is repped by WME, Circle of Confusion and attorney is Bruce Gellman. Osborne is with WME and Anonymous Content. Former Community co-showrunner Guarascio is repped by UTA.