Jalen Rose ABC Comedy Pilot Casts Anna Maria Horsford, Marla Gibbs

NBA star and ESPN host Jalen Rose has cast his mother and grandmother for his ABC comedy pilot, Variety has learned.

Anna Maria Horsford and Marla Gibbs have signed on to play Rose’s mother and grandmother, respectively, in Rose’s single camera comedy “Jalen vs. Everybody.”

The half-hour follows Rose as he juggles his career responsibilities with the challenges of being a single dad. The project hails from the team behind ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat.” Nahnatchka Khan wrote the pilot and will executive produce with Jake Kasdan, Melvin Mar, and Mandy Summers. Aside from starring, Rose will also serve as a producer. Khan’s Fierce Baby banner is producing in association with 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios.

Horsford has a career rich in both comedy and drama, from long roles on FX’s “The Shield” to even lengthier stints on Sherman Hemsley comedy “Amen” and “The Wayans Bros.” Gibbs, of course, was a 1980s sitcom staple with “The Jeffersons” and “227.”

In addition to “Jalen vs. Everybody,” ABC’s other comedy pilots in contention include “Start Up” starring Zach Braff; “Libby & Malcolm,” starring Felicity Huffman and Kenya Barris; “Raised By Wolves” from Greg Berlanti and Diablo Cody; a series about a city mayor from “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs; plus female buddy cop sitcom “The Trustee” from exec producer Elizabeth Banks.

On the drama side, ABC has ordered pilots for “Salamander,” based on a Belgian format; Shondaland legal drama; time-travel series “The Crossing;” magician vehicle “Deception;” Carol Mendelsohn’s “Doomsday;” Daniel Dae Kim’s “The Good Doctor;” and a project from Marc Cherry starring Reba McEntire.
ABC has also ordered light-hearted hourlong, “The Gospel of Kevin,” from Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, plus “Unit Zero,” a spy dramedy starring Toni Collette from “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris.

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