Leslie Odom Jr. is set to star and executive produce a family comedy that has received a put pilot commitment at ABC. The project hails from Kerry Washington, writer Saladin K. Patterson (The Last O.G., The Big Bang Theory) and ABC Studios, where Washington’s Simpson Street banner is based.
Written by Patterson, the untitled project is inspired by the experiences of real-life couple Pastor Touré Roberts and Pastor Sarah Jakes-Roberts. Leslie, played by Odom, and Hope are joint pastors at a young, hip, diverse church in Los Angeles. Through their services, online streams and books, they are experts at uniting people across different races, genders, orientations and opinions. But when it comes to uniting the people in their blended family, they are way out of their comfort zone — and as a result, the teachers often find themselves the pupils.
Odom executive produces with Washington and Pilar Savone via Simpson Street. Sarah and Touré Roberts will co-executive produce.
Touré and Sarah Jakes-Roberts, considered by many to be a leading “power couple” in the inspirational and faith community, are co-pastors of The Potter’s House at One LA, a fast-growing Los Angeles church with a congregation largely comprised of millennials, the entertainment community, professionals and families.
“Kerry Washington is one of the most formidable artists of my generation,” said Odom. “We’ve been searching for the better part of two years to find an idea about which we both felt passionate enough to dedicate ourselves. I’ve gone to Touré’s church for over 15 years. He is a unique, contemporary and very necessary voice. We are thrilled that ABC is allowing us the opportunity to bring Touré and Sarah’s modern views to an even wider audience in what will be a joyful and hopeful 30 minutes every week.”
Odom, best known for his Tony- and Grammy-winning performance as Aaron Burr in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, most recently was seen on the big screen in Fox’s Murder on the Orient Express. He also is one of the stars of the forthcoming feature directorial debut of pop star Sia.
“I am grateful to be working with such an all-star team of fearless and creative people,” said Washington. “And I am excited that we have gathered together to tell a story that is inspiring, relatable, provocative and hilarious.”
Washington starred for seven seasons as power fixer Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal, a role that earned her a pair of Emmy nominations. She’s set to star alongside Reese Witherspoon in a miniseries adaptation of the bestselling novel Little Fires Everywhere, which has a production order at Hulu. She’s also set to star and executive produce the futuristic sci-fi drama series Old City Blues, which is in development at Hulu.
Patterson most recently has served as executive producer/showrunner on TBS’ The Last O.G. He previously was a co-executive producer on hit The Big Bang Theory. His series credits also include Two and a Half Men, Psych, The Bernie Mac Show and Frasier.
Washington is repped by CAA, Washington Square Arts and attorney Gretchen Rush. Odom is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment and Jackoway Austen. Patterson is repped by CAA and Jackoway Austen. Sarah and Toure’ Roberts are repped by Darrel Miller of Fox Rothschild.