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UPDATE: ABC Studios is betting big on Nia Vardalos.
The studio is developing a star vehicle for the My Big Fat Greek Wedding star. The still untitled comedy project, which will be shopped to the networks, will be written and executive produced by Vardalos as well.
While details are being kept under wraps, the ensemble comedy will revolve around a morning show host (Vardalos) who after reaching a tipping point encourages her viewers and the people around her to wake up.
“Because Ian gets treated really well on Cougar Town, I wanted to get in on that action,” Vardalos quipped of her actor husband, Ian Gomez. “Since I go through the gift baskets that come home in his trunk, I figured it’d be nice to double up on the freebies. So I’m writing a pilot about everyone’s real family, that dysfunctional family you see the most and often sleep with — your work friends.”
Vardalos garnered fame, and an Oscar nomination in the best original screenplay category, for her 2002 sleeper hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which was based on a one-woman show that she had written and starred in. The film, one of the independent field’s top grossing, led to CBS’ short-lived spin-off, My Big Fat Greek Life.
More recently, she co-wrote and produced the Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts film, Larry Crowne, about a middle-aged man (Hanks) who loses his job and looks to reinvent himself.
Vardalos has turned up on ABC’s Cougar Town, in which her husband is one of the key castmembers. Vardalos, tongue in cheek, said it was seeing Gomez’s great time on that show that prompted her to jump into the TV pool.
Vardalos is repped by Paradigm and Untitled Entertainment.
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