Netflix has ordered eight episodes of Special, a comedy series based on Ryan O’Connell’s part-memoir, part-manifesto I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. Starring, written by and executive produced by O’Connell, it hails from Jim Parson’s That’s Wonderful Productions and Warner Bros’ Digital Networks’ Stage 13 and is set to premiere April 12.
The semi-autobiographical Special is based loosely on O’Connell’s own upbringing and experience as a gay man navigating the world with cerebral palsy. He stars in the series as a gay man with mild cerebral palsy who decides to rewrite his identity as an accident victim and finally go after the life he wants. Jessica Hecht, Punam Patel, Marla Mindelle, Augustus Prew and Patrick Fabian also star.
O’Connell executive produces with Parsons, Eric Norsoph and Todd Spiewak for That’s Wonderful Prods. Anna Dokoza is executive producer and director. Ross Dinerstein, Ross Girard and Colin Frederick serve as producers for Campfire. Special is produced by Alison Mo Massey.
O’Connell’s I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves was published by Simon & Schuster in 2015 to critical acclaim. The actor-writer-producer served as editor of Thought Catalog and has contributed to Vice, BuzzFeed and numerous other publications. His writing career spans television as well, having recently served as an executive story editor on NBC’s revival of Will & Grace. O’Connell also was on the writing staff of MTV’s Awkward.