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Johnny Knoxville Signs Overall Deal With ABC Studios, Developing Semi-Autobiographical Comedy

The Southern family comedy is inspired by the life of the 'Jackass' star

Johnny Knoxville - H 2014
AP Images/Invision
Johnny Knoxville

ABC is getting into the Johnny Knoxville business.

The female-skewing network is developing a semi-autobiographical comedy based on the Jackass star's life, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Additionally, Knoxville has signed a two-year first-look deal with the network's studio counterpart ABC Studios.

The untitled comedy is described as a Southern family comedy inspired by Knoxville's unconventional childhood. ABC has handed out a script plus penalty commitment to the comedy produced by 3 Arts. 

Knoxville's TV deal comes three months after he inked a two-year first-look film deal with Paramount Pictures for his Hello Junior production company. That extended his relationship with the studio behind the Jackass franchise, which has earned $336 million worldwide, and the more recent Knoxville starrer Bad Grandpa.

Knoxville rose to fame on MTV's Jackass, which featured the stunt performer/actor/comedian taking on dangerous and often crude stunts and pranks. The series ran for three seasons on MTV from 2000-02 and helped launch the acting careers of Bam Margera and Steve-O.

Knoxville was born in Knoxville, Tenn., the son of a Sunday school teacher and car salesman. He moved to California to pursue acting after graduating from high school.

His TV credits include MTV's Nitro Circus and Dudesons in America. On the big screen, he most recently voiced Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and penned the screenplay/starred in Bad Grandpa, among others. He's repped by CAA, 3 Arts and Sloane Offer.

He joins a roster of comedy writers at ABC Studios including Dan Fogelman, Dave Hemingson, Peter Huyck & Alex Gregory, Emily Halpern & Sara Haskins and more.

The Knoxville comedy marks a notable departure for a network that's home to more female-leaning soaps including Grey's Anatomy, Revenge and Once Upon a Time.

Semi-autobiographical fare continues to be hot this development season as broadcast networks look for passion projects that hit close to home and come with a unique voice attached. Fox on Wednesday picked up a semi-autobiographical comedy inspired by the life of Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit