EXCLUSIVE: Former Speechless star Minnie Driver has extended the pod deal for her Huge Fan Productions banner at 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the ABC comedy series. She has set up her first project under the new deal — a dramedy series based on the Texas Monthly article “A Tree is Known by Its Fruit,” which is in development at FX. The project, about a West Texas family who own and run a pecan empire, is a potential starring vehicle for Driver, on which she would also serve as executive producer. Marty Coffou, Huge Fan’s Head of Development and Production would co-executive produce.
This marks Driver’s return to FX where she starred in The Riches. The 2007 series earned her a Golden Globe award.
Huge Fan also has secured the rights to Irish author Maeve Higgins’ bestselling memoir Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl from Somewhere Else, for development as a television series. Maeve in America humorously recalls the trials and tribulations of the successful author and comedian who leaves Ireland for New York City.
“We loved Minnie’s work on Speechless and feel very fortunate to continue our relationship,” said Carolyn Cassidy, President of Creative Affairs, 20th Century Fox TV, part of Disney TV Studios. “She’s smart, ambitious and is eager to produce as well as to act. We’re happy she’s staying in the fold.”
Oscar-nominated Driver starred in the 20th TV/ABC Studios-produced comedy Speechless which aired for three seasons on ABC. She also made several guest appearances on NBC’s Will & Grace, as fan-favorite Lorraine Finster.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with 20th Century Fox Television and remain in the Disney family,” said Driver. “With Huge Fan Productions we aim to develop and create shows in the comedy/dramedy space and after the amazing years spent on Speechless I know we share the same comedic sensibility. I am so appreciative of Carolyn Cassidy, Dana Walden, Cheryl Dolins, Craig Hunegs and Howard Kurtzman’s support and look forward to working with them on this new endeavor.”
Coffou was the Creative Development Director at Tastemade, where she headed up their initiative into traditional, linear TV. She previously worked as Director of Development for Ellen Pompeo’s production company, Calamity Jane.
Driver is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Morris Yorn. The rights deal for Maeve in America was brokered by CAA.
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