Tag: damon wayans jr.

Glamorous (The CW) pilot preview: The gayest non-Ryan Murphy show EVER!

SERIES TITLE: Glamorous
NETWORK: The CW
GENRE: Dramedy

LOGLINE: a gender non-conforming recent high school graduate lands the gig of a lifetime interning at a cosmetics company whose products he panned on YouTube, at the side of its founder and CEO, Madolyn. But not everyone is happy to have ab fab Marco Mejia there, and they are doing everything they can to take him down. On his own for the first time, this is Marco’s chance to live, love and grow to understand what it really means to be queer…

Pilot Cast: Ben J. Pierce (Fuller House, Guidance), Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan, Lipstick Jungle, The Middle), Pierson Fodé (The Bold and the Beautiful, Jessie), Jade Payton (iZombie)
Series Creator: Jordon Nardino (Star Trek Discovery, Quantico, Smash, GCB). 
Pilot Director: Eva Longoria (Devious Maids, Blackish)
Producers: Jordon Nardino, Michael Rauch (Royal Pains, Instinct), Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Together) & Kameron Tarlow (Hot In Cleveland).

Studios: CBS Television Studios & Two Shakes.

Ever wonder how TV executives wade through the dozens of pilot scripts they’re pitched each year? They have staff script readers, who provide what’s called “Script Coverage,” an executive summary and a recommendation for each script. Now you too can preview some of the season’s most buzzed about pilots and find out whether we’d recommend them for pickup. Note that all opinions are our own, and all plot, casting and other creative details described here are subject to change.

 

   

You’ll Like It If You Already Like: The Carrie Diaries, The Bold Type, Insatiable, Ugly Betty, Pose, Ru Paul’s Drag Race…

Likely Timeslot: Who cares, as long as Netflix gets the international rights and US first window rights? But pairing it with Dynasty on fridays would probably make sense.

 

WRITTEN BY: Jordon Nardino

PAGECOUNT: 60 pages

DRAFT: Network draft 1/10/19

BACKGROUND: The CW has ordered two very inclusive pilots this year: DC’s Batwoman, which would be the first superhero series led by an openly gay character (and actress, Ruby Rose), and Glamorous, which would be the first series led by a gender non-conforming character (and openly gay actor Ben J. Pierce).

The first sale from Damon Wayans Jr’s newly launched company Two Shakes, Glamorous would appear to be very much in line with Wayan’s stated goal of developing projects that focus on characters who aren’t usually at the center of series. It’s an admirable move for Wayans, who recently apologized for a series of anti-LGBT remarks made earlier in his career, pledging to dedicate himself personally and professionally to righting his past wrongs. Also attached to the project is Eva Longoria, who will be directing the pilot — a first for her, as well. Having a latinx woman doing it makes a lot of sense. 

 

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS:  MARCO MEJIA (18) is a gender-fluid aspiring beauty influencer and soontobe high school graduate. Born to stand out but lacking the following to make his mark on the beauty scene, Marco posts a scathing review online for a Glamorous Cosmetics product. When Marco’s review catches the eye of aging glamazon turned Glamorous Cosmetics CEO MADOLYN ADDISON (50), she arrives on graduation day with a proposition. She offers him an internship at Glamorous headquarters in Manhattan, and a chance to help improve the brand from the inside. His mother JULIA (40s) is not really happy with this but lets him seize this opportunity. On his first day at Glamorous, Marco realizes he isn’t the only one up for the job and finds himself competing against popular influencers like ALISSASAYS (19) and NOWHERE (16) in a cutthroat competition for the coveted internship. After impressing Madolyn and securing the internship, Marco finds himself caught between newfound friends like VENETIA (20), Madolyn’s assistant, and enemies like CHAD (25), Madolyn’s son, and on the path to selfdiscovery in the city where dreams are made of…

COMMENTS:First, for those not already in the know, a primer on just what gender nonconforming” means. It’s used to describe a person whose behavior or appearance does not conform to prevailing cultural and social expectations about what is appropriate for their gender. Here, Marco is an ambitious and creative latinx gender-nonconforming teenager who uses makeup and fashion to let his queer self bloom. He is a he, not a she, and that’s important. He’s gay but he’s not transgender. And he lives in a world where that’s not a problem. Not once in this script is there a moment when somebody mocks him for who he is, how he acts, or what he wears. That may not seem realistic and perhaps the writers will tackle homophobia later on, but that’s not what the pilot is about and quite frankly it’s refreshing.

Marco is an incredible, groundbreaking character whose struggles are universal. Like The CW’s critically-acclaimed Jane The Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the show has the potential to add something new to the television landscape and to our shared cultural conversation. Unlike Netflix’s Insatiable (which was also originally a CW pilot), Glamorous doesn’t try to be controversial for the sake of controversy, handling its subject matter instead with care and sensitivity.

While this isn’t a Ryan Murphy show, it’s hard not to think of him when reading this script. No other writer/producer/director has done as much for the positive representation of the queer community on television, and without Ryan Murphy, I don’t think there’d be a Glamorous. What’s exciting about this project is it’s not just Marco being gay and more traditional characters surrounding him. Most of the other characters (in fact, all of the male characters in the show) are gay. Truly, it’s like 50 shades of gay: Marco is the fabulous gay; Chad is the ambitious alpha gay, with a personality and wardrobe that would seem more at home on Wall Street than the beauty industry; BEN is the nerdy gay who has a crush on Marco but is too shy to act on it; LAWRENCE (50s) is the older gay, the head of Product Development who’s happily married; and Dizmal is like the younger version of Billy Porter’s Pray Tell in Pose. They come from different paths and generations, and together they tell a strong, diverse, story of what it’s like to be a gay man in 2019. And that’s a lot of things, believe me.

The pilot is reminiscent of The Carrie Diaries, which also aired on The CW a few years ago. It’s a coming-of-age story full of cultural references, both light-hearted and inspirational. And it’s full of possibilities from the get-go, especially in the romance department. Will Marco sleep with his enemy Chad, or will he fall into Ben’s arms? Can something happen with Dizmal? These are questions one can rarely ask when it comes to gay characters on other shows.

There are particularly nice moments between Marco and his mother Julia, who share a very close relationship. Madolyn is more of a mentor figure, a bit like Melora Hardin’s Jacqueline in The Bold Type though there’s a bit more ambiguity with her. She’s not a Devil Wears Prada-kind of boss, but her intentions are also not entirely pure: this canny businesswoman and entrepreneur intends to make Marco her eyes and ears in the company, using him to discover what’s going on behind her back. Yes, it’s soapy. And since I haven’t mentioned it yet: it’s also very funny — full of punchlines and bitchy comments. That’s what we are here for too! You’ll also get the chance to admire Marco shaking his booty on stage. But enough said!

 

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Glamorous may have to fight with Riverdale‘s spin-off Katy Keene for a spot on The CW, since they’re both set in the fashion/beauty industry (andGlamorous is probably not the safer option of the two). But if the stars align, it could become a critically-acclaimed, award-winning show for The CW. I have a feeling that no matter what happens with the network, this show is too good to not to find its way to viewers, whether it’s on traditional TV or on streaming. And the LGBTQ+ community needs it more than ever!

 

OVERALL PROJECT SCORE:

[  ] PASS
[  ] CONSIDER
[ X ] RECOMMEND

SCOOP: Darren Criss, Damon Wayans Jr. & How I Met Your Mother’s creators back at FOX with comedy projects

darrendamon

FOX is developing two starring vehicles for Glee‘s Darren Criss & New Girl‘s Damon Wayans Jr., while How I Met Your Mother‘s creators Carter Bays & Craig Thomas are behind a third. Get the details!

The Jackal Group owned by Gail Berman is working on a musical comedy project called Royalties starring Darren Criss, which centers on a trio of songwriters at a Burbank recording complex enduring the minutiae of issues in the music business while collaborating to crack the next saccharine hit song of the summer… Allyn Rachel & Patrick Carlyle (Couple Time webseries) are the writers. 20th Century FOX Television is the studio. UPDATE: Per The Hollywood Reporter, should it move forward, Darren Criss won’t star in hit, just produce.

New Girl‘s Jake Johnson & Damon Wayans Jr. are behind The Henchman, a comedy project they wrote about a man (Wayans) who fights to find the right balance between his family and pursuing his dream of being a successful henchman. It’s produced by 20th Century FOX Television with Johnson’s shingle The Walcott Company.

Open Arms, the last effort from How I Met Your Mother & The Goodwing Games‘ creators Carter Bays & Craig Thomas as producers, is written by Peter Warren and tells the story of Howie and Joy, a couple who can’t have a baby that buys the Vermont inn they visit every year but soon realize they’re in over their heads… It’s produced by Sony Pictures Television where they are under an overall deal.

We’ll see in a couple of months if one of those is picked-up to pilot.

Catches of the Week: Colin Hanks, Jenna Elfman, Chris Klein, Nico Tortorella…

JENNA

While the most sought actors of pilot season are reading scripts and making their choices (or refusing everything), a few leads and secondary characters have already been cast this week. Here’s the summary!

She’s in a comedy project every year -which almost every time go to series- 2015 won’t be different! Jenna Elfman has said yes to the Untitled Dana Klein project for FOX, where she will play a working mom who is in constant competition with her perfect, stay-at-home sister-in-law. Ellen constantly second-guesses herself and, by extension, her husband. She worries she’s a bad mom/wife/daughter-in-law and often takes on more than she can handle in an effort to prove otherwise. Now they have to find the right fit for the sister part. Just as a reminder, the last few years we’ve seen Elfman in Growing Up Fisher, 1600 Penn, Accidentally on Purpose and Courting Alex (this one was really good but CBS destroyed it because of a bad move in the schedule). She also did Bad Mom for ABC which didn’t go to series. She’s still really living on her Dharma & Greg days. She did one season of Damages where she was great. She also appeared in one episode of Shameless. In 2007, she did Brothers & Sisters one time. The fact that she is not offered -or she don’t accept- drama or dramedies is beyond me… She would have been great in one of the few family dramedies developed this year…

At CBS, one of single-camera comedy Life In Pieces‘ lead has been cast. The role went to Colin Hanks, who was great in Fargo‘s first season, did good on Dexter during one of the atrocious seasons, and was recently very funny in an episode of Mom. Here, he will play Greg, the coddled youngest of three siblings who finds himself overwhelmed and unprepared for the birth of his first child. The show is about one family as told through the separate stories of its different family members.

At NBC, three secondary characters of single-camera comedy How We Live have been found: Lindsay Price, Chris Klein & Jared Gertner. The show is centered on Russell, a blogger, and his wife Holly who move to the suburbs where he begins writing about marriage and the family lives of his suburban friends and neighbors, in the style of an anthropologist who’s stumbled on an undiscovered tribe. Klein (American Pie) will play best friend Matt and Price & Gertner will form a couple, who are best friends with Matt!

Also note that Thomas Haden Church will star opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in HBO pilot Divorce, which is now officially ordered, Molly Shannon is also in it; the gorgeous The Following‘s season one alumn Nico Tortorella will be the boyfriend of a drag queen in HBO’s Mamma Dallas, written by Enlightened brilliant creator Mike White; and that Damon Wayans Jr. has just left New Girl to star in his own pilot, with the lead of Rush Hour for CBS being an option.