Showtime Picks Up 'SMILF' Comedy to Series From Frankie Shaw

SMILF Still - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Mark Schafer/Showtime

Showtime is adding another comedy to its roster.

The premium cable network has handed out a series order to SMILF, based on Frankie Shaw's short film of the same name. The 10-episode comedy will debut in the fall.

Picked up to pilot in August, the comedy is set in Boston and takes a raw and honest comedic look at a single, twenty-something from Southie whose desires for relationships, sex and a career collide with the realities of young, single motherhood.

Shaw stars, writes, produces and directs the semi-autobiographical comedy alongside Michael London (Sideways) and Janice Williams (Confirmation), with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office, Bad Teacher) executive producing. (The latter duo reunite with Shaw following HBO's Hello Ladies.) The project is a co-production of ABC Signature Studios — the cable arm of the broadcast-focused studio — and Showtime.

Rosie O'Donnell co-stars, marking her first TV series regular role as Tutu, Bridgette's (Shaw) mother, who is completely oblivious to social convention.  

"It’s thrilling to find an artist with a strong, singular voice that is new to television,” Gary Levine, president of programming at Showtime, said Thursday in a statement. “Frankie literally does it all on SMILF: writer, producer, director and star, and the results are funny, emotional, surprising and unapologetic."

SMILF premiered at Sundance in 2015 and went on to win the festival's Jury Award that year. Shaw also wrote and directed the 2016 short Too Legit, starring Zoe Kravitz. Her credits include a supporting role in the feature Stronger and on the TV side, Mr. Robot, Mulaney, Hello Ladies and Mixology. Shaw is repped by UTA.

SMILF will help bolster a thin roster of half-hours at Showtime that currently includes the upcoming final season of Episodes (set to bow Aug. 20), little-watched Dice and the forthcoming debut of Jay Pharoah's White Famous, which awaits a premiere date. SMILF was the last of Showtime's current pilot crop in the works.