Showtime has ordered new half-hour comedy series SMILF, based on Frankie Shaw’s short that won the 2015 Short Film Jury Award at Sundance. The 10-episode first season is slated for premiere this fall.


Shaw is writing, directing, producing and starring in the semi-autobiographical project, which originally was bought by Showtime for development in spring 2015. Lee Eisenberg, Janice Williams, Gene Stupnitsky and Michael London executive produce. SMILF was one of three comedy pilots ordered by the network, along with White Famous, which was picked up to series in January, and Mating, which did not forward, and was thought likely to go.

Set in Boston, SMILF will take a raw and honest comedic look at a single, 20-something from Southie (Shaw) whose desires for relationships, sex, and a career collide with the realities of young, single motherhood. Rosie O’Donnell will co-star in her first series regular TV role as Tutu, Bridgette’s (Shaw) mother, who is completely oblivious to social convention.

ABC Signature Studios is co-producing with Showtime.


Shaw is a Boston-born writer, actress, director and producer currently based in Los Angeles. In addition to SMILF, Shaw also wrote and directed the 2016 short Too Legit starring Zoe Kravitz, which premiered at Sundance in 2016. Shaw also recently wrapped a supporting role in the feature film Stronger directed by David Gordon Green and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

“It’s thrilling to find an artist with a strong, singular voice that is new to television,” said Gary Levine, President of Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Frankie literally does it all on SMILF: writer, producer, director and star, and the results are funny, emotional, surprising and unapologetic.”