2:53pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
CBS Buys Interracial Family Comedy From Sam Laybourne (Exclusive)
CBS is ready to mix up its family comedy brand.
The network is teaming with The Michael J. Fox Show creator Sam Laybourne to develop a comedy based on his life as the father in an interracial family.
Titled The Mix Up, Laybourne is set to pen the script and exec produce the semi-autobiographical comedy that has received a hefty put-pilot commitment. The single-camera comedy hails from ABC Studios, where Laybourne is under an overall deal. The comedy marks a key off-network sale for ABC Studios at CBS.
The Mix Up comes as CBS heads into its fall lineup that has been criticized for its lack of diversity. The network's three new comedies — Kevin Can Wait, The Great Indoors and Man With a Plan — are all toplined by white men (Kevin James, Joel McHale and Matt LeBlanc, respectively).
Speaking with reporters in August, CBS president Glenn Geller admitted that his network had a diversity problem. "We need to do better," he said of the network's fall roster, which also features nearly an all-white roster of drama leads as well.
Laybourne's credits include NBC's The Michael J. Fox Show and Fox's Grandfathered. Repped by UTA and Myman Greenspan, he began his career on Arrested Development and counts Aliens in America among his body of work.
The Mix Up becomes the latest family comedy in the works this development season. Family comedies were among the biggest trends of last year's pilot season. Earlier on Friday, NBC handed out a put-pilot commitment to an untitled single-camera comedy based on the life of Fresh Off the Boat's Kourtney Kang about growing up as the only girl in a mixed-race family.