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Keenen Ivory Wayans is taking his brand of comedy to ABC.
In a competitive situation, the network has ordered a pilot script with a significant penalty for Wayans’ single-camera comedy. The half-hour will look at what happens when the whitest guy in America marries into a sprawling, close-knit African-American family.
Wayans will write and executive produce the project, which is being produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment. (There are no plans for Wayans to star.) Peter Chernin and his TV chief, Katherine Pope, will serve as executive producers as well. The news comes on the heels of another Chernin sale, Hieroglyph, an ancient Egypt-set drama that landed a series order at Fox.
Among the project’s appealing elements is that it’s multi-generational, offering the potential for broad viewership along the lines of hit Modern Family. What’s more, it has the ability to lure the growing African-American audience that is currently underserved in the broadcast marketplace. Outside of CBS’ The Millers and The Crazy Ones, both lifted by juggernaut The Big Bang Theory, the sizable crop of new comedies have struggled to break through this fall.
Wayans, repped by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman, is best known in TV circles as a creator and host of Fox’s In Living Color and as host of his own short-lived syndicated talk show. More recently, the comedian has been racking up credits as a writer, producer and/or director on movies such as Scary Movie, White Chicks and Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.
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