Bravo, known for glitzy “Housewives,” high-end real estate and well-to-do personalities, is expanding its slate with its first scripted comedy, “Odd Mom Out.” A sensible fit for the world the cabler’s audience already knows and loves (Bravo is the most upscale and educated ad-supported cable entertainment network among the 18-49 primetime demo), the series from exec producer and star Jill Kargman explores the upper crust in the Upper East Side.
Kargman stars as Jill Weber, a born-and-bred Manhattanite — much like herself — who’s wealthy, but poor in the eyes of her peers, better known as the “robot mom” club. The series is based on Kargman’s novel “Momzillas,” which critiques the elite cliques of New York City, where she grew up.
The first episode of the “really brash, crazy, dark comedy,”as Kargman described it, finds the mother of three feeling like an outcast for photographing her own children for their kindergarten applications, rather than hiring a professional, while her newly promoted-to-partner attorney husband (“The Office’s” Andy Buckley) is sidelined by his baby brother (Sean Kleier, Showtime’s “Happyish”) who sold a multimillion-dollar international bagel company.
“We’ve got the best cast in the whole wide world. I’m a newbie, but we shot for the stars with veteran actors and comedians and we got our first choice with every role,” the author and series creator tells Variety of her cast, which includes “Saturday Night Live” alum Abby Elliott. “Part of being new in this business is my naivete, and I was just really determined to shoot for the moon, and we got it so I feel really lucky.”
As for starring in and producing the cabler’s inaugural scripted comedy, Kargman said she won’t feel like she’s making history on the network until “we bomb or we rock it.” In fact, she credits Bravo’s first drama “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” which was renewed for a second season, for setting the path for her series. “They really paved the way first, so I’m really grateful to them,” she said.
Bravo’s scripted programming is shaking out to be full of female leads with Lisa Edelstein and her L.A.-set gal pals and now Kargman and her city frenemies. “I’m a big fan of all those actresses,” Kargman said of the “Girlfriends’ Guide” ensemble. “I’m not even in their league, so it’s an honor.”
The “Odd Mom Out” star is also a fan of other funny famous ladies with whom she has a connection.
“Amazingly enough, our producer, Jax Media’s Tony Hernandez, is kind of the king of New York comedy. He also produces ‘Broad City’ so I love Abbi [Jacobson] and Ilana [Grazer],” Kargman raved. “And then ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ he produces as well, so we have three of those goddesses in our Jax Media family. I feel so lucky that I’m sharing a producer with them.”
“I feel like the kindergarten class across the hallway where you don’t really know them, but you see them in the halls,” she said of Jacobson, Grazer and Shumer. “We had dinner together recently and it was a joy. I’m not a fame-f–cker at all, but I was totally having a celebrity boner over it.”
Back to her own show, Kargman will also be beating to her own drum, much like her comedienne role models.
“It’s Bravo’s first scripted comedy, which is exciting because they gave us a lot of rope,” she explains. “I feel like it’s the wild wild west out there. We get to say any words we want — except f–k.”