10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Cecily Strong to Star in Apple Comedy From Lorne Michaels
Another Saturday Night Live star is branching out beyond the NBC late-night show.
Cecily Strong is set to star in the Apple comedy Schmigadoon, a show to be executive produced by SNL mastermind Lorne Michaels. The project, which has been picked up straight-to-series with an eight-episode order, will begin production in the summer — when Strong's schedule opens up after the conclusion of SNL's 45th season.
Sources say the series is near an official deal with Apple, though it has been in the works for months.
Written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (The Lorax, the Despicable Me franchise), Schmigadoon is described as Groundhog Day meets Enchanted. It revolves around a couple on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship who discover the magical town of Schmigadoon, in which everyone acts as if they’re in a studio musical from the 1940s. They then discover that they can’t leave until they find “true love.” Given the fantasy-like premise, sources say elements of the comedy could be animated. Sources also say the series will feature an ensemble of Broadway stars to play the townspeople of Schmigadoon.
Daurio and Paul will executive produce Schmigadoon alongside Michaels. The project hails from Universal Television, where Michaels' company is under a massive overall deal.
Strong is the latest SNL star to reteam with Michaels for a scripted series. Aidy Bryant stars in the Michaels-produced Hulu comedy Shrill (which returned this month for its second season) and Kenan Thompson also has NBC's The Kenan Show due next season on the broadcast network. (Kate McKinnon, meanwhile, has not one but two scripted projects in the works outside of SNL, though Michaels is not involved in either.)
Strong, who briefly co-anchored SNL's "Weekend Update" segment some years ago, has been with the show since 2012 and contributes impressions of everyone from Rachel Maddow and Lin-Manuel Miranda to Melania and Ivana Trump.
Schmigadoon is Michaels' first show for Apple.
Strong is repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment.
Schmigadoon joins a growing roster of Apple originals including The Morning Show, See, Dickinson, For All Mankind, Home Before Dark, Little America, Mythic Quest and Servant, all of which have already been renewed.