The multi-camera comedy originally co-created and executive produced by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, Julie Bean (Grown-ish) and 30 Rock alum Alec Baldwin, which ABC landed in December with a straight-to-series order, is no longer going straight to series.
The project’s order has been reduced to pilot after Baldwin opted not to star in it.
Written by Barris and Bean, who serve as showrunners, the untitled half-hour is described as a classic dysfunctional family comedy series about a stuck-in-his-ways, opinionated, fading TV star who moves in with his progressive daughter, her girlfriend and the child they are raising together.
It was developed as a potential starring vehicle for Baldwin but he was never attached to star. He was to make a decision after reading the finished script by Barris and Bean. After the script was completed following Baldwin’s guidelines, I hear he decided he wanted to go in a different direction. The central character is now in the process of being cast, with the goal to get an actor of Baldwin’s caliber for the role.
The female roles in the project had been earmarked for Regina Hall and Whitney Cummings who, like Baldwin, were not formally attached. It is unclear whether any of them would continue in the comedy’s new incarnation.
Baldwin remains an executive producer alongside Barris and Bean, with the project’s informal title tweaked from untitled Kenya Barris/Julie Bean/Alec Baldwin to untitled Kenya Barris/Julie Bean.
Under his ABC Studios overall deal, Baldwin, who hosts ABC’s Match Game revival, filmed several pilot episodes of a talk show for ABC based on his radio show and podcast Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin. His decision not to star in the ABC comedy was first reported by THR.
Barris is creator/executive producer on ABC/ABC Studios’ Black-ish on ABC and its spinoff series Grown-ish on Freeform.