Hot off its mass appeal at the box office, independent film My Big Fat Greek Wedding has been slated to become a midseason half-hour comedy series. CBS has ordered seven episodes but producers are negotiating to bump that up to 13.
Star Nia Vardalos, upon whose one-woman stage show the film is based, will reprise her character in the CBS series, as well as act as co-executive producer. Marsh McCall, Vardalos' manager Brad Gray and Rita Wilson will act as executive producers.
Wilson's involvement in Greek Wedding has become legendary. She first fell in love with Vardalos' stage show, took her hubby Tom Hanks to see it and they both decided to turn into a feature film. Variety reports the film, which cost about $5 million to make, has grossed more than $110 million at the North American box office and is well on its way in surpassing the $140 million mark achieved by The Blair Witch Project to become the highest-grossing indie film of all time.
The series will follow along the same lines as the independent film, focusing on a woman dealing with her large Greek family while dating a non-Greek behind their backs. Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan are also expected to reprise their roles as Vardalos' parents, as will Louis Mandylor as her brother. John Corbett, who played Vardalos' non-Greek love, already has his own upcoming series on F/X called Lucky.
Gray told Variety the TV project "seemed like a wonderful CBS comedy. It seemed like it would complement their schedule very well. It has great warmth and is just very funny."
And the show's chances? "It's become so popular around the country, it feels like there's even more potential and an audience that's been built around it," he said.