×

ABC Developing Comedy About Undocumented Family With ‘New Girl’ Writer

ABC is developing a comedy about an undocumented family with “New Girl” writer and co-executive producer David FeeneyVariety has learned.

Titled “Sanctuary Family,” the single camera comedy would follow a hard-bitten husband and empathetic wife who butt heads over the chaos created when they provide sanctuary for their undocumented nanny and her family. They come to learn, if their marriage survives, that the differences both families have aren’t as significant as their similarities.

Feeney will write and executive produce the project, with Christine Gernon also executive producing. 20th Century Fox Television will produce. Gernon previously directed several episodes of “New Girl,” and has also directed and co-executive produced the ABC comedy series “Speechless.” Her other directing credits include “Fresh Off the Boat,” “The Goldbergs,” “Superstore,” “Black-ish,” and “Absolutely Fabulous.” In addition to his work on “New Girl,” Feeney has written for and produced shows like “According to Jim” and “2 Broke Girls.”

Feeney is repped by UTA. Gernon is repped by the Curtis Brown Group.

This is the latest project about immigration to go into development at the broadcast networks in recent weeks.  Gina Rodriguez has set up Latino-led series at CBS and The CW. At CBS, drama “Have Mercy” centers around a Latina doctor who is unable to practice when she immigrates to Miami. She begins work as a nurse’s assistant, but risks everything when she opens a makeshift clinic in her apartment to serve the community. At CW, dramedy “Illegal” follows a 16-year-old American high school student named Rafael who discovers he is in fact undocumented.

Meanwhile, Fox is developing “In the Country We Love,” based on the memoir of the same name by “Orange Is the New Black” star Diane Guerrero. That project was set up at CBS last year, with Guerrero attached to star as an attorney who begins defending undocumented immigrants for free, with Guerrero also attached as an executive producer. Finally, CBS is developing the comedy “Welcome to Maine,” which follows a ninth-generation Maine family and a recent immigrant and his daughter who must all learn to embrace change when they share the same workplace in a tiny rural town. Greg Garcia serves as executive producer on the project.

More TV

  • Mike Royce24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    CBS Orders Comedy Pilot 'Story of Us' From 'One Day at a Time' Co-Creator Mike Royce

    CBS has ordered a pilot for the comedy “The Story of Us” from writer and executive producer Mike Royce. The hybrid comedy tells the story of how an unlikely couple becomes a family through interviews and vignettes spanning 10 years. In addition to Royce, Nick Stoller and Conor Welch will serve as executive producers. Sony [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Bob Costas Olympics Mike Tirico

    Bob Costas Officially Out at NBC After Nearly 40 Years

    Bob Costas has formally parted ways with NBC after nearly 40 years as a sportscaster for the Peacock. Costas and NBC have been negotiating an exit agreement for months. Word surfaced last summer that he was preparing to end his tenure with the network. Costas confirmed the news in an interview with the New York [...]

  • Happy

    TV Roundup: Syfy Drops First Trailer for Season 2 of 'Happy!'

    In today’s TV News Roundup, Syfy drops the first trailer for the second season of “Happy!” and Imagine Kids & Family sets a partnership with Four M Studios.  FIRST LOOKS Syfy has dropped the first trailer for season two of “Happy!” starring Christopher Meloni and Patton Oswalt. The new season premieres Wednesday, March 27 at 10/9c [...]

  • 'Brexit' Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Stars in

    TV Review: HBO's 'Brexit'

    The announcement of the film “Brexit” — which aired in the U.K. on Channel 4 before its HBO bow on Jan. 19 — engendered serious criticism from the British, and understandably so. The film, which looks at recent history in the manner HBO productions like “Game Change” and “Recount” had done, takes on a story whose very [...]

  • 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre' Reviews: Behind

    TV Review: 'Fyre Fraud' and 'Fyre'

    It seems in retrospect unavoidable that the week of release for a highly-anticipated documentary about a scammer began with an attention-grabbing stunt. On Monday, in advance of the planned Friday drop of Netflix’s “Fyre,” Hulu executed a surprise release of its own “Fyre Fraud”; both films assay the failed 2017 gathering Fyre Festival, a would-be [...]

  • Deadly Class Review

    TV Review: 'Deadly Class' on SyFy

    High school, according to TV and movies, is either the best or worst thing that can happen to a person. It’s almost always depicted as the most fun a kid can have, or a horrifying hellhole from which there’s no escape. “Deadly Class” is decidedly in the latter camp — and despite its edgy attempts [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content