EXCLUSIVE: Saturday Night Live alumna Vanessa Bayer is set to co-create and star in Big Deal, a single-camera comedy which is in development at Showtime from Annapurna Television, with The Big Sick helmer Michael Showalter attached to direct.
The project, which Bayer will co-create and co-write with former SNL writer Jeremy Beiler, is a comedy in which a woman (Bayer) overcomes childhood leukemia to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming an on-air host at a home shopping network.
Bayer’s character is inspired by the comedy actress’ own personal story as a survivor of childhood leukemia, which she was diagnosed with in her freshman year of high school.
Bayer and Beiler are teaming up for the project after working together at SNL. Their collaborations included nervous Weekend Update meteorologist Dawn Lazarus who became an instant breakout when Bayer introduced her just before her departure NBC’s venerable night sketch comedy program after seven seasons.
Bayer and Beiler executive produce Big Deal with Emmy-winning former Inside Amy Schumer head writer Jessi Klein. Showalter, who is set to direct the potential pilot, and Jordana Mollick executive produce via Showalter Semi-Formal Productions, which has a first-look deal with Annapurna TV. Executive producing for Annapurna are Megan Ellison, and head of Annapurna Television, Sue Naegle. Ali Krug co-executive produces. Showtime will produce.
Annapurna TV has upcoming Netflix series Mixtape and The Plot Against America miniseries, which was just ordered by HBO.
Bayer recently starred in the Netflix comedy film Ibiza. She is repped by Rise Management, UTA and Jackoway Tyerman
Beiler, who also worked on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer with Klein, is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment and ICM Partners. Klein, who most recently worked on Amazon’s Transparent, is repped by Rise Management and UTA
Showalter and Semi-Formal Productions are repped by Artists First, UTA and Stone Genow.