UPDATE: NBC will be the network to launch Sarah Silverman’s new autobiographical comedy series. Silverman will not only star in, but will write the pilot, along with her The Sarah SIlverman Program writing partners, Dan Sterling (who has also written for The Daily Show, South Park and King of the Hill) and Jon Schroeder. From Imagine Entertainment, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo will produce.
EARLIER: Sarah Silverman is the sort of comedian that most people either ardently love or viciously hate. Although her material has been said to be crude enough to drive fans away, she is certainly not without comic talent. Networks clearly agree, as several of them are launching into a bidding war over a new sitcom to star, and be written by, Silverman. To make matters more enticing for interested networks (which, at this point, include NBC, ABC and Fox), the universally adored Ron Howard is now on board and has taken a definitive interest in the project.
Howard attached his production company, Imagine Entertainment (which he founded with producer Brian Grazer), to Silverman’s new series. In the past, Imagine produced series including 24, Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night, and the Howard-narrated Arrested Development. Although primarily known for film direction, Howard’s involvement in television rarely produces anything of questionable quality. Unfortunately, this is often paired with meager ratings. But perhaps the teaming of the poignant and pensive Howard with the crass and high-energy Silverman will appeal to larger audiences.
The series will be a single-camera autobiographical comedy, wherein Silverman plays a woman whose recent decade-long live-in relationship recently ended. It is unclear how explicit this series will be in mirroring Silverman’s longtime romance with talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, but reverence is definitely not one of the comedian’s most outstanding qualities.
Whether you are a fan of Silverman or not, you certainly have to find Howard’s dedication to the project provocative. Sure, Howard’s recent exploits with television projects may not have resulted in impressive viewership, but the man has good judgment when it comes to quality television. Let’s just hope that after the series takes form, our beloved Arrested Development producer won’t be muttering, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”