ABC and producer Mark Gordon are betting on comedian Iliza Shlesinger as the next strong female comedy voice in primetime. The network has put in development Forever 31, a comedy written by and starring Shlesinger, which will be produced by ABC Studios and studio-based Mark Gordon Co. Shlesinger has teamed on the project with one of the top female comedy writers of the past 15 years, Sex And The City alumna Cindy Chupack.
Based on Shlesinger’s comedy, Forever 31 follows Shlesinger, playing a version of herself, as a 31-year-old comedian who, along with her best friends, struggle with the daily absurdities and indignities of becoming an adult. The title stems from the comedian’s age, 31, and appears to play off the name of the popular clothing store chain Forever 21.
Shlesinger will write the script with Chupack supervising. Chupack is executive producing with Gordon and Andrea Shay of the Mark Gordon Co., and Shlesinger’s managers David Martin and Kara Baker of Avalon Entertainment. Shlesinger will co-executive produce.
Shlesinger, repped by APA, Avalon and Leigh Brecheen, got her break on broadcast television when she became the youngest and first female winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2008. She has since launched a successful touring career, hosted syndicated dating show Excused and done two comedy specials for Netflix, War Paint in 2013, which reached No. 1 on iTunes, and Freezing Hot, which which will debut in 2015. Here is a set she did on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in June:
Forever 31 marks the eighth sale this season for CAA-repped Mark Gordon Co. It joins the untitled Fina Ludlow project, legal drama Pariahs, detective drama Las Reinas, an untitled Quantico project and comedies Unfunctional and Plus One — all at ABC — as well as untitled Heidi Niedermeyer and Elena Crevello projects at NBC.
In addition to Sex And The City, Chupack, repped by WME, also was a top-level writer-producer on Emmy-winning comedies Modern Family and Everybody Loves Raymond. Her new comic memoir about marriage, The Longest Date: Life As A Wife, was released by Viking in January.