EXCLUSIVE: Damon Wayans is returning to multi-camera comedy with a new project at ABC, where he headlined and co-created hit family sitcom My Wife and Kids. Wayans is reteaming with My Wife and Kids co-creator Don Reo on the new family comedy, Let’s Stay Together (working title), which we hear has received a script commitment plus penalty from ABC. The project, now in development, will be produced by ABC Studios, a division of Disney TV Studios.
According to sources, Let’s Stay Together is being pitched as a family comedy for a new kind of family. It will star Wayans as a single father who finds out it’s hard to get rid of millennial kids, and their kids. The sitcom reportedly features a story line that mirrors Wayans’ own life.
Wayans and Reo are writing and executive producing. The duo’s previous collaboration, the 2001 sitcom My Wife and Kids, ran on ABC for five seasons and is one of ABC Studios’ most successful comedy series.
Wayans is coming off a turbulent three-season stint on Fox’s Lethal Weapon, a series adaptation of the hit movie franchise. Wayans was strictly an actor-for-hire, playing detective Roger Murtaugh, on the hourlong drama, whose long filming hours took a toll on his health and whose behind-the-scenes drama included a co-lead recasting. Wayans is said to be more comfortable with a show that gives him a greater creative role, something that he had with My Wife and Kids, and the multi-camera comedy production schedule certainly is appealing as it is far less punishing than a network drama.
Wayans also is going back on the road, planning to return to the stand-up comedy stage this fall as his pilot percolates. Long considered one of the pre-eminent stage comics, Wayans for a while thought that his edgy stand-up humor might not be welcome at this PC moment. But seeing how Dave Chappelle turned that notion on its ear with his recent Netflix special changed Wayans’ mind.
Wayans is repped by attorney David Feldman and Paradigm.
Reo is coming off another successful multi-camera comedy series. He most recently co-created and executive produced Netflix’s The Ranch, which is in the midst of its fourth and final season. He is repped by Ziffren Brittenham.