Jen Welter, who made history as the first woman to serve as a coach in the National Football League, is partnering with Amelia Baker and Mackenzie Munro’s Blonde Mamba and independent producer Casey Russell Hanley on the original series “FanGirl,” a half-hour single-camera comedy about best friends who become the first-ever female assistant coaches for their local team.
Billed as “Broad City” meets “Friday Night Lights,” the series will be executive produced by Welter, and will draw on her experiences as a trailblazer in the sport. Ellie Monahan (“The Boys,” “Mr. Robot”), Will Ropp (“The Way Back”) and Jacqueline Toboni (“The ‘L’ Word: Generation Q,” “Grimm”) are attached as writers.
“FanGirl” follows two football superfans and best friends, Ashley and Jamie, who through an absurd series of events become the first female assistant coaches for the University of Michigan Wolverines. Exploring issues such as feminism, equality, and fandom, the series follows two young women in positions of power in a male-dominated industry, fighting to be recognized as more than just fan girls while battling to secure the university’s first National Championship in nearly two decades.
“‘FanGirl’ is a sharp, original buddy comedy set against the epic drama and tension of college football, from a team of talented writers who are also ardent sports fans at heart,” said Blonde Mamba co-founders Baker and Munro. “We’re so proud to be partnering with Jen, a powerhouse and a pioneer for women in football, to bring her expertise and anecdotes from her own incredible career to the project, grounding the story in authenticity.”
Welter was the first woman to play professional football with men when she joined the Texas Revolution, of the Champions Indoor Football arena football league, and made history again when she became the first female coach in the NFL, as assistant coaching intern for the Arizona Cardinals. She serves on the advisory board of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Game for Life Academy and is the author of “Play Big: Lessons in Being Limitless from the First Woman to Coach in the NFL.”
“This is the perfect time to elicit a real conversation about women coaching men,” Welter said of “FanGirl.” “Because it is the only sport without gender parity at any level, football provides a unique lease to look at sport, culture, and what happens when women enter a ‘man’s world.’ Entertainment and culture are entwined, and this show parallels the real progress we are making in football, which means we will be able to address it in real time.”
With offices in Los Angeles, London and Toronto, Blonde Mamba develops and produces projects geared toward Gen Z audiences across a range of platforms. The company has developed content for services such as Snapchat Discover and Facebook Watch, as well as delivering internationally award-winning short films. Recently announced projects include feature film “The Art of Love,” an adaptation of Betsy Franco’s novel produced with Nic Sheff (“Beautiful Boy,” “13 Reasons Why”) and executive produced by Kari Skogland (“The Handmaid’s Tale”).