9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Courtney B. Vance-Felicity Huffman Comedy Picked Up to Pilot at ABC
And so it begins.
ABC has officially kicked off its pilot season with an order for Courtney B. Vance (People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and Felicity Huffman (American Crime) starrer Libby & Malcolm, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The comedy, considered a shoo-in to move forward given its impressive team both in front and behind the camera, marks ABC's first official pilot order of the season.
The half-hour single-camera comedy, which had a sizable pilot-production commitment attached, is a blended-family show about two polar-opposite political pundits (Huffman, Vance) who fall in love despite all odds and form an insta-family as well as a work partnership. Should Libby & Malcolm go to series, it would film around Vance's schedule for American Crime Story: Katrina, the second season of FX's anthology from Ryan Murphy. Katrina is scheduled to shoot in the summer.
The single-camera comedy is being co-written by Black-ish creator-showrunner Kenya Barris and co-executive producer Vijal Patel. Vance also will executive produce alongside Barris, Patel, Huffman and Brian Dobbins. The comedy is produced in-house at ABC Studios, where Barris is under an overall deal.
Libby & Malcolm stars Vance as Malcolm, a smooth, confident liberal pundit and father of three who arms himself with cold, hard facts and an irresistible easy charm that wins over everyone he meets. Malcolm recently married Libby (Huffman), a strong, brilliant Republican who won his heart by knocking him off his feet. Now they'll forge a new life together at home against all odds while going head-to-head at work on their fiery new political talk show.
The project, first announced in September, comes at a perfect time given the recent presidential election and the country's heightened political divisiveness. Libby & Malcolm also arrives as ABC has found tremendous success with its inclusive brand of family comedies that include Black-ish, Fresh off the Boat, Speechless, The Real O'Neals and The Goldbergs.
Libby & Malcolm marks ABC's first official pilot order for the 2017-18 television season. The Disney-owned network previously handed out two straight-to-series drama orders for next season: Kyra Sedgwick vehicle Ten Days in the Valley and Marvel's Imax entry The Inhumans.