2:28pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Paramount Network's 'American Woman' Changing Showrunners (Exclusive)
Paramount Network has yet to launch, but it's already undergoing a showrunner change on one of its first originals.
American Woman showrunner John Riggi (30 Rock) has exited the Alicia Silverstone 1970s-set series, citing creative differences. Instead, executive producer John Wells (Shameless), whose Warner Bros. Television-based production company oversees the project, will take over showrunning duties to complete the first season of the show.
American Woman is poised to launch in the first quarter of 2018 on Viacom's Paramount Network, which is being rebranded from Spike TV. The cable network is looking to be a home for high-end scripted originals.
The half-hour comedy is based on the life of Kyle Richards (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) and was developed and picked up to series by Keith Cox for TV Land but was moved to Paramount Network in an effort to broaden the cabler's male-leaning demo. The single-camera series is set in the 1970s amid the sexual revolution and the rise of feminism. Silverstone stars as a mother of two who finds herself facing a new world after she leaves her husband. Mena Survari co-stars in the series from Wells and Riggi. Cox now oversees originals at both TV Land and Paramount Network.
With the move to Paramount Network, American Woman was expected to add a male lead to heavily recur in a bid to broaden out the female-skewing series with its move from niche network TV Land. The role has yet to be recast.
For the time being, Wells will juggle finishing American Woman while executive producing Showtime's Shameless. Should American Woman be renewed for a second season, a new showrunner would be brought in.