Netflix has given a 10-episode series order to Q-Force, a gay spy half-hour adult animated comedy from Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills, Mike Schur’s Fremulon, Gabe Liedman (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, PEN15) and Universal TV.
This marks the first animated show and first streaming series for Hazy Mills.
Written by Liedman, Q-Force is about a handsome secret agent (I role I hear is being earmarked for Will & Grace star Hayes) and his team of fellow LGBTQ superspies. Constantly underestimated by their colleagues, the members of Q-Force have to prove themselves time and again as they embark on extraordinary professional (and personal) adventures.
Liedman executive produces and will showrun. Schur, Hazy Mills’ Hayes and Milliner and 3 Arts’ David Miner also executive produce. Universal TV co-produces with Hazy Mills, Schur’s Fremulon and 3 Arts Entertainment.
Hayes and Milliner had been mulling the idea for a series about a gay spy for a long time.
“A spy TV series is so tough, because they’re so expensive,” Milliner said. “We were thinking how do we get to do gay spy and every week, and the only way to do that is animated, because we can do all of the fun parts of a James Bond film. We can travel, we can have big chase sequences; animation is allowing us that freedom.”
Said Hayes, “Also, I don’t know that the studios would greenlight a feature with a leading character that’s gay in that genre. Hopefully they will, but that doesn’t seem like right now.”
Added Milliner, “It does seem like it’s one of the last bastions of masculinity that seems like we can’t break the rule of who gets to play that part.”
As for teaming up with top comedy writer-producer Schur, that happened fast and stemmed from the fact that both Hazy Mills and Schur are under deals at Universal TV and are based on the Universal lot.
“I’ve been friends with Mike for a long, long, long time, and I was literally driving my car to work, and he was walking,” Hayes said. “I pulled over and I rolled down my window and I said. ‘Hey Mike, would you want to work on something together?” He’s like, ‘What is it?’ And I said ‘Gay James Bond’, and he said, ‘Yeah, I would do that’. So that’s how it all kind of started.”
Founded in 2004 by former college pals Hayes and Milliner, Hazy Mills started off in the unscripted arena with the Bravo series Situation: Comedy. The company went on to produce two long-running, hit series, drama Grimm for NBC and comedy Hot In Cleveland for TV Land, which spawned a spinoff series, The Soul Man, in addition to a couple of other comedy shows. Hazy Mills also has kept its toe in the reality arena with NBC’s Hollywood Game Night, which earned host Jane Lynch two Emmys, and Movie Night With Karlie Kloss on Freeform. The company currently is working on Breaking Broadway, a reality pilot for NBC/Uni TV which, in partnership with the Broadway Dreams organization, is looking for triple threat performers: great singers, dancers and actors.
Hazy Mills recently branched out into documentary series with CNN’s The History Of Comedy. In 2018, the company produced their first feature, Lazy Susan, starring Allison Janney and Hayes. On Broadway, Hazy Mills produced SpongeBob SquarePants, which garnered 12 Tony nominations. The company also recently launched a branded content division, which has produced an award-winning spot for Orbitz as well as campaigns for TNT, and TBS, among others.
Liedman spent three seasons as writer-producer on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He also executive produces Hulu’s new middle school comedy series PEN15 and was a supervising producer on Broad City.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place and Parks & Recreation creator/co-creator Schur recently re-upped with Universal TV, signing a massive new multi-year overall deal with his longtime home. He’s currently executive producing both Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place. He’s also an executive producer on Kal Penn’s untitled comedy pilot at NBC.