Perlman, winner of four Emmys for her role as Carla Tortelli on long-running NBC sitcom “Cheers,” will play the titular grandmother to her college-grad granddaughter played by Gutowski as they move together to Hollywood to break into the entertainment biz as actresses. In addition to “Cheers,” Perlman most recently starred in TV Land’s “Kirstie” and appeared in Hulu’s “The Mindy Project.”
“Bringing together an iconic actress of Rhea’s stature with one of YouTube’s brightest creators and such a stellar cast and crew is a dream for us,” said Tim Shey, head of scripted original programming for YouTube. “It’s been so much fun to watch Rhea and Eva collaborate on a new series that doesn’t feel like anything else out there, and we can’t wait for their fans and YouTube Red subscribers to see it.”
Added SelectNext founder and executive producer Adam Wescott, “The chemistry between Eva and Rhea is undeniable and speaks volumes to the level of quality we’re producing with this series for the growing YouTube Red platform.”
Also joining the cast of the half-hour series are Kayla Ewell (“Vampire Diaries,” “10 Year Reunion”) and Shelby Rabara (“Goliath”). In “Me and My Grandma,” Ewell portrays Victoria, a budding actress and rival to Gutowski’s character, Janey. Rabara — best known for providing the voice of Peridot on Cartoon Network series “Steven Universe” — plays Heidi, a lesbian barista-performance artist who lives next door to Janey and her grandma.
In addition, director Luke Matheny has signed on to direct the six-episode, single-camera series, which is slated to hit YouTube Red in 2017. Matheny most recently was showrunner on Amazon’s “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street,” and previously wrote, directed and starred in “God of Love,” a short film that won an Oscar for live action short in 2011. Matheny’s feature film directorial debut was “Lovesick,” a 2014 romantic comedy starring Matt LeBlanc.
“Me and My Grandma” is executive produced by Gutowski and SelectNext’s Adam Wescott and Scott Fisher, along with “How to Survive High School” writer Annie Stamell and showrunner Jill Condon, whose producing credits include “Friends,” “The Cosby Show” and “Grounded for Life.”
YouTube Red, priced at $9.99 per month, offers ad-free videos and music and access to original series and movies. The service is currently available in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, with plans for additional territories in the coming year.