9:51am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Joss Whedon Developing Comedy for Freeform
Joss Whedon is plotting a return to television.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer mastermind is teaming with creators Siobhan Thompson and Rebecca Drysdale for a half-hour detective comedy at Freeform called Pippa Smith: Grown-Up Detective.
The project, which is in development at the younger-skewing, Disney-owned cable network, is described as a dark comedy that follows Pippa Smith, a twentysomething who played a former kid sleuth on television, as she deals with relationships, addiction and being too dang old for the detecting game. In each episode, Pippa solves a new case, while unraveling a bigger mystery and attempting to navigate a messy personal life.
Thompson (College Humor Originals, Bad Internet) and Drysdale (Key and Peele, Baskets, High Maintenance) will pen the script. Whedon will executive produce alongside Drysdale, with Thompson set as a co-executive producer. Drew Buckley, Jillian Vogel and Sam Reich will oversee for Electus' Big Breakfast banner.
The project marks a rare small-screen project for Whedon, who last exec produced ABC's Agents of SHIELD, though he is not considered to be closely involved in the Marvel drama on which his brother and sister-in-law, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, serve as showrunners. His TV credits include Firefly and Angel.
Whedon most recently has focused on features, including DC's Justice League and Marvel's The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He is repped by CAA and Ziffren Brittenham. Drysdale is with UTA and Brillstein Entertainment, and Thompson is with Reign Agency, 3 Arts and Hansen Jacobson.
Should Pippa Smith move forward, it would join a roster of series including Grown-ish, the Fosters spinoff, Famous in Love, Cloak and Dagger, Alone Together, The Bold Type, Siren, Pretty Little Liars spinoff The Perfectionists and Kenya Barris' recent straight-to-series order Besties. Freeform has a packed pilot roster that includes Paul Feig's Girls Code, Brown Girls, Misfits and more.
Variety was first to report the Pippa Smith news.