5:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg to Star in ABC's Jermaine Fowler Comedy
Whoopi Goldberg is making her return to scripted TV.
The View co-host has been tapped to star in ABC's comedy pilot Delores & Jermaine, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Based on the life of Jermaine Fowler, the show will star the comedian as a millennial with big ideas, but very little drive, who moves in with his estranged grandmother — a strict, football-loving, former D.C. cop who needs his youthful enthusiasm in her life as much as he needs her old-school parenting.
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Following prolonged negotiations, Goldberg will play Delores, Jermaine's grandmother who takes him in after he's kicked out of his house. Delores left the police force for a safer job and wound up becoming a football-loving shut-in who, thanks to Jermaine, finally winds up leaving the house.
The ABC comedy pilot's casting is not expected to impact Goldberg's role on ABC's The View, where she's been a moderator/co-host since 2005. Specific scheduling details are currently being discussed to accommodate the pilot's shoot dates in New York. Should Delores & Jermaine go to series, Goldberg would juggle both the comedy and The View.
For Goldberg, this marks a return to scripted TV for the comedian-actress-host, who had been mulling the move for some time. Her small-screen roles include a recurring gig on Fox's Glee, as well as voice work on Suburgatory, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and NBC's Whoopi, which ran for one season in 2003-2004. Her scripted work also includes Star Trek: The Next Generation, Bagdad Cafe and writing/executive producing/guest-starring on Lifetime's Strong Medicine.
The Office's Daniel Chun will pen the script for Delores & Jermaine alongside Fowler. The duo will exec produce the multicamera comedy from ABC Studios alongside 3 Arts' Michael Rotenberg and Avi Gilbert. Goldberg and her producing partner, Tom Leonardis, will also be credited as exec producers.
Goldberg's casting comes as broadcast networks continue to create and cast more diverse shows following the breakout success of ABC's Black-ish, How to Get Away With Murder and Fresh Off the Boat.
Goldberg is repped by CAA and Principato-Young.