Courtney B. Vance-Felicity Huffman Comedy Picked Up to Pilot at ABC

'Libby & Malcolm,' from 'Black-ish' creator Kenya Barris, marks the network's first official order of the season.
Charles Eshelman, Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images
Vance and Huffman

And so it begins.

ABC has officially kicked off its pilot season with an order for Courtney B. Vance (People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and Felicity Huffman (American Crime) starrer Libby & Malcolm, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The comedy, considered a shoo-in to move forward given its impressive team both in front and behind the camera, marks ABC's first official pilot order of the season.

The half-hour single-camera comedy, which had a sizable pilot-production commitment attached, is a blended-family show about two polar-opposite political pundits (Huffman, Vance) who fall in love despite all odds and form an insta-family as well as a work partnership. Should Libby & Malcolm go to series, it would film around Vance's schedule for American Crime Story: Katrina, the second season of FX's anthology from Ryan Murphy. Katrina is scheduled to shoot in the summer.

The single-camera comedy is being co-written by Black-ish creator-showrunner Kenya Barris and co-executive producer Vijal Patel. Vance also will executive produce alongside Barris, Patel, Huffman and Brian Dobbins. The comedy is produced in-house at ABC Studios, where Barris is under an overall deal.

Libby & Malcolm stars Vance as Malcolm, a smooth, confident liberal pundit and father of three who arms himself with cold, hard facts and an irresistible easy charm that wins over everyone he meets. Malcolm recently married Libby (Huffman), a strong, brilliant Republican who won his heart by knocking him off his feet. Now they'll forge a new life together at home against all odds while going head-to-head at work on their fiery new political talk show.

The project, first announced in September, comes at a perfect time given the recent presidential election and the country's heightened political divisiveness. Libby & Malcolm also arrives as ABC has found tremendous success with its inclusive brand of family comedies that include Black-ish, Fresh off the Boat, Speechless, The Real O'Neals and The Goldbergs.

Libby & Malcolm marks ABC's first official pilot order for the 2017-18 television season. The Disney-owned network previously handed out two straight-to-series drama orders for next season: Kyra Sedgwick vehicle Ten Days in the Valley and Marvel's Imax entry The Inhumans.

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