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Fox Buys Male 'Laverne and Shirley' Comedy From Andrea Abbate

The "Accidentally on Purpose" executive producer has landed a put-pilot commitment from the network for "Paroled."

Andrea Abbate Headshot - P 2013
Andrea Abbate

Fox is looking for the next Laverne and Shirley.

In a pre-emptive buy, Fox has handed out a put-pilot order with significant penalty to Paroled, a semi-autobiographical comedy from Accidentally on Purpose's Andrea Abbate, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Paroled is described as a male Laverne and Shirley on parole and is based on members of Abbate's family getting out of prison -- again.

The project hails from 21 Laps/Adelstein and 20th Century Fox Television, where the banner is under an overall deal. Abbate will write and executive produce alongside Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements.

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This marks Abbate's second attempt at a comedy based on her family. Last year, she had The Crazy Gene (aka Keep Calm and Karey On) set up at ABC, again with 20th TV and 21 Laps/Adelstein. The comedy starred Kelly Preston as a clean-nosed black sheep in a family of petty thieves, drug addicts and narcissists who, after her brother is sent to prison, decides to raise his kids along with her adopted African-American son and give them the normal lives they deserve. ABC, which picked up the comedy with a put-pilot commitment last August, passed on the project in May.

For 21 Laps, this marks the latest in a busy development season. In addition to Paroled, the banner also has a Catch Me If You Can-type drama from G.I. Joe writers David Elliot and Paul Lovett set up at Fox and a Cristela Alonzo Latina comedy set up at ABC with a sizable penalty attached.

Last year, the company had an impressive 11 projects sold, with only The Crazy Gene moving to pilot. Semi-autobiographical comedies were among the biggest trends of the 2012-13 development season.

Abbate is repped by WME and Morris Yorn; Adelstein is with WME and Ziffren Brittenham.

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit