EXCLUSIVE: Hulu is making a foray into multi-camera comedy with The Ms. Pat Show, a pilot headlined by comedian Ms. Pat. J. Bernard Calloway (City On A Hill) is set as the male lead opposite her in the pilot from the Empire duo of co-creator/executive Lee Daniels and executive producer Brian Grazer, Imagine Television and Fox 21 Studios, a division of Disney TV Studios.
The project, which had been set up at Fox with a different writer during the 2016-17 season, where it had a put pilot commitment, had quietly found a new home at Hulu where it was recently greenlighted to pilot. Debbie Allen is directing from a script by Jordan E. Cooper, who was a writer on Daniels’ Fox drama Star.
The Ms. Pat Show, from Imagine TV, Lee Daniels Entertainment and Fox 21 TV Studios, is based on Ms. Pat’s stand-up comedy and memoir. It tells the story of a former convicted felon turned suburban mom (Ms. Pat), whose hustle and resilient spirit were forged on the streets of Atlanta. To much reserve, she now finds herself in conservative middle America alongside her penny-pinching husband (Calloway), a struggle of a sister, and two distinct sets of kids raised under very different circumstances.
Cooper and Patricia “Ms. Pat” Williams executive produce with Daniels, Marc Velez and Pam Williams for Lee Daniels Entertainment and Imagine’s Grazer, executive-turned-producer Francie Calfo and Imagine TV head Samie Kim Falvey. Jon Radler and Jahil Fisher are producers.
Born to a single mother of 5, living on welfare in a tough West end neighborhood of Atlanta, Ms. Pat (real name Patricia Williams) had her first child at 14 and her second child at 15, She became a drug dealer, was shot twice and arrested numerous times during her teen years. At 19, with two toddlers and a new husband, she was handed the 4 young children of her sister who was struggling with drug addiction. Ms. Pat would go on to raise all 6 children. (watch below a video of her standup that touches upon her backstory.)
While Netflix has embraced multi-camera comedy with such series as Fuller House and The Ranch, Hulu and Amazon had remained focused on single-camera comedy. This is believed to be Hulu’s first major foray into multi-cam sitcoms; Amazon did a multi-camera pilot, Making Friends, two years ago. It did not go to series.
The Ms. Pat Show marks a reunion for Allen with Daniels and Imagine after she directing an episode of Empire.
At Hulu, Imagine TV has the upcoming drama series Wu-Tang: An American Saga, which premieres today.
Calloway was most recently seen recurring in Showtime’s City On A Hill. His other recent TV credits include The Breaks, Luke Cage and Elementary. Calloway is repped by Buchwald and Vamnation Entertainment. Ms. Pat is repped by APA, Reg Tigerman at Levity Live, and Bradley Garrett At Cohen Gardner.