EXCLUSIVE: In a very competitive situation with multiple networks pursuing, ABC has landed a multi-camera family comedy toplined and produced by reality stars Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons & Justine Simmons. The project, which has received a put pilot commitment with a big penalty, hails from ABC Studios and Amblin TV.
Written by Jeremy Bronson (The Mindy Project), with veteran comedy writer-producer Jhoni Marchinko (Will & Grace) supervising, the untitled comedy centers on a legendary rapper whose plans for slowing down are thwarted when his wife decides to pursue her own dreams and stardom.
The project is fictional and not based or inspired by the Simmons. Joseph Simmons, known for his stage names Rev Run and DJ Run, was one of the founding members of the iconic hip hop group Run-D.M.C. in addition to being a practicing minister.
Bronson and Marchinko executive produce the comedy alongside Rev Run Simmons & Justine Simmons, Michael Lehman of Simmons Lehman Productions and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of Amblin Television.
This is the second big sale for Bronson. He also is writing/executive producing a single-camera comedy about a hip-hop artist-turned-mayor, which landed a cast-contingent pilot production commitment at ABC, also in a very competitive situation, with Daveed Diggs and Bluegrass Fanfare producing. The Rev Run project was actually pitched first but the deals took longer to negotiate. Both comedies are through ABC Studios.
Bronson, former Late Night With Jimmy Fallon head monologue writer and creator of the signature “Thank You Notes” segment, serves as co-executive producer on the new ABC/20th TV/ABC Studios comedy Speechless, which has received a full-season order. Marchinko also was a writer on HBO’s Looking. She was repped by WME.
Like rocker Ozzy Osbourne with MTV’s The Osbournes, Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Simmons found a new audience and reality stardom with his popular series Run’s House, which ran on MTV for six seasons and introduced his family including wife Justine. Through Simmons/Lehman Productions, his banner with his manager Michael Lehman, Simmons and Lehman have produced several unscripted series on Scripps networks featuring the Simmons clan including Rev Run’s Renovations, Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers and Rev Runs Around The World. Additionally, the company produced It’s Not You, It’s Men for OWN, which was toplined by Simmons and Tyrese Gibson. Simmons is repped by WME.
Amblin TV also is developing an Amazing Stories remake at NBC with Bryan Fuller. The company has new CBS drama series Bull, the most watched freshman series this fall, which has been given a full-season order. Amblin projects received 15 Emmy nominations this year, led by FX’s The Americans and HBO’s All The Way, both garnering multiple noms, including in the top drama series and TV movie categories.
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