Lee Daniels Comedy 'Cupcake Men' Based on NFL Players Lands at ABC

The Daniels-produced project is inspired by the real-life story of former teammates turned bakery owners Michael Griffin and Brian Orapko.
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Michael Griffin (left), Brian Orapko

ABC is cooking up a comedy with Empire co-creator Lee Daniels and Good Morning America host Michael Strahan.

The network has given a put pilot order to Cupcake Men, inspired by the real-life story of former NFL players Michael Griffin and Brian Orapko. The onetime Tennessee Titans teammates and their childhood friend Bryan Hynson together opened a cupcake shop in Austin; their business was featured in a Microsoft Surface ad earlier in the year.

Written by Owen Smith (Black-ish, Survivor's Remorse), Cupcake Men centers on AJ Petty, who has lived his life in the shadow of his younger brothers, recently retired NFL players Mo and Quo. The owner of Austin's most popular cupcake truck, AJ hopes to assume the mantle of "most accomplished son" by opening his first brick-and-mortar location.

When the three brothers learn, to their shock, that they all own a stake in the store, they must learn to work together despite their clashing approaches over how to run the business and tricky sibling dynamics.

The project comes from Lee Daniels Entertainment and Strahan's SMAC Productions in association with Disney siblings 20th Century Fox TV (where Daniels is based) and ABC Studios. Smith, Daniels, Marc Velez, Strahan and Constance Schwartz-Morini are executive producers.

WME and Ziffren Brittenham repped SMAC Productions in the deal.