Variety exclusively learned in January that Fox was in the very early stages of developing the series, which is based on a long-running advice column from writer David Courtney. According to Texas Monthly, The Texanist — which “has taught many a well-intentioned Texan how to properly conduct him- or herself,” says the magazine — is its most-read feature.
The comedy will focus on Dave, an Austin-area radio show host who doles out advice to Texas natives and newcomers on “the true Texas way.” But as Texas evolves and changes, “it’s Dave’s job, with the help of his wife and family and co-workers, to figure out which changes to embrace and which to reject,” per Fox.
“I’m a longtime reader of Texas Monthly and a huge fan of David Courtney’s sly and generous column,” said Long. “The Texanist is about facing a changing world and trying to hold fast to the important things while letting the other stuff move with the times. And knowing which is which. Or trying to.”
Long, who kicked off his career writing and producing “Cheers,” has also served as the showrunner for CBS’ “Kevin Can Wait,” and created and exec produced “Sullivan & Son.” He is also the author of “Conversations With My Agent,” “Set Up, Joke, Set Up, Joke,” and “Bigly: Donald Trump in Verse.” Long is also a contributing editor of the National Review and hosts KCRW’s radio commentary, “Martini Shot.”
Gail Berman, David Courtney, Megan Creydt and Scott Brown are also slated to executive produce.
“Since 2007, Texas Monthly writer David Courtney has offered our readers sage advice in the voice of semi-fictional character The Texanist, a trusted arbiter of all things Texan who habitually refers to himself in the third person,” said Creydt, Texas Monthly’s executive editor for new story platforms. “Questions like ‘Is it all right to tuck my jeans into my boots? Can a really hot pepper give me a chemical burn? Are we able to bury Granddad in the old family cemetery if we don’t own it anymore?’ give the Texanist plenty of fodder to dive deep into the state’s customs, culture, and taboos. We’re thrilled to be bringing The Texanist to life with Rob Long, who brings to this project not just a stellar writing pedigree, but a nuanced understanding of The Texanist’s humor and what makes this column so special.”
Long is represented by George Heller at Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Hillary Bibicoff; Texas Monthly is repped by CAA.