'Love in the Time of Corona' Comedy Series Set at Freeform

Joanna Johnson- Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy of Freeform

Freeform is the latest network to lean into writing the coronavirus-inspired scripted programming.

The Disney-owned basic cable network has handed out a straight-to-series order to the romantic comedy Love in the Time of Corona.

The four-part limited series, which hails from Joanna Johnson (Freeform's Good Trouble, The Fosters), is described as a funny and hopeful look at the search for love, sex and connection during this unprecedented time of social distancing. The comedy will premiere in August and will be filmed using remote technologies while using talents' real living spaces as the backdrop for the stories.

Love in the Time of Corona will follow several interwoven stories with an ensemble of characters who are sheltering in their homes, some of whom are wondering if a hookup with a roommate can ever be casual, while another is kicking herself for deciding to isolate with an ex. It is a show that takes a fresh look at love that knows no bounds. Anonymous Content's Robyn Meisinger also executive produces.

"This is the perfect show for a generation who is learning to love and be loved in a time when the entire world is telling them to stay 6 feet apart,” Lauren Corrao, executive vp programming and development at Freeform, said Thursday in a statement. “Although the constraints have been difficult during this time, immense creativity has flourished and we could not be more grateful that Joanna brought this series to Freeform.”

Love in the Time of Corona is the second scripted series to be greenlit that explores what life is like amid the novel coronavirus, as much of the country continues to shelter at home. Netflix late last month became the first outlet to greenlight a scripted series — the episodic anthology Social Distance, from Jenji Kohan — whose entire premise is inspired by our current landscape. That effort, too, will be produced remotely.

"Love is a basic and central need,” said creator and executive producer Johnson. “Finding it in the time of corona may pose unique challenges, but it won’t stop us from forging great love stories, inspiring grand romantic gestures and profound acts of kindness.”

The news comes as Freeform is in the midst of an executive changeover as Disney is interviewing candidates to take over for outgoing network president Tom Ascheim, who will depart this summer for a job at WarnerMedia.

Scribes across the creative community have been grappling with whether or not to write the novel coronavirus pandemic into scripted series. Only two — Love in the Time of Corona and Social Distance — will lean directly into it as the basis for an entire series.