Empire and Star co-creator Lee Daniels has emerged as one of Fox and 20th TV’s most prolific producers this development season. Fox has given a put pilot commitment to an untitled single-camera culture-clash family comedy from Daniels, Modern Family executive producer Vali Chandrasekaran and Endemol Shine Israel. 20th Century Fox TV, where Lee and Chandrasekaran are based, is the studio.
Written by Chandrasekaran, the project is based on the Israeli format Nevsu: A Young Multicultural Couple. It revolves around three typical Minnesotan families — a household of African refugees, a household of outdoorsy Midwesterners and a young interracial couple — testing the idea that we are all more alike than we are different.
Daniels executive produces via Lee Daniels Entertainment alongside Chandrasekaran; Pam Williams; Marc Velez; the original series’ creators Yossi Vassa, Shai Ben-Atar and Liat Shavit; and Endemol Shine Israel in association with Endemol Shine North America.
The Israeli comedy Nevsu (which means “soul” in Amharic) was produced by Endemol Shine Israel for Reshet and launched in March 2017 on Channel 2 Israel. Created by Vassa, Ben-Atar and Shavit, it focuses on Gily Chalcho (Vassa), an advertising agent of Ethiopian origin, who is married to Tamar (Meyrav Feldman), an artist from an Ashkenazi (Polish descent) family. Gily and Tamar are a relatively normal couple, raising their 5-year-old daughter while navigating the prejudices and tension that are inherent in a multi-race family.
The culture-clash comedy joins three drama projects Lee has set up at Fox via his Lee Daniels Entertainment so far this season: Victory, with writer Julian Breece, which has received a put pilot commitment; East of Hope, with Outsiders creator Peter Mattei, which has a script commitment with penalty; and another collaboration with Breece, Mason Dixon. He is repped by CAA.
Chandrasekaran has been one of the key writers-producers on ABC/20th TV’s comedy series Modern Family, which he joined at the beginning of last season. He is with UTA.