Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone have scored a deal with TV Land for a new pilot, which they will executive produce, called Friends with Melissa, reports Variety.
The comedic husband-and-wife duo, who appeared together in the chick flick Bridesmaids (McCarthy in a starring role and Falcone in a cameo) have both a business and personal tie with the project. It is written and executive produced by McCarthy’s fellow Groundlings alumni Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, and Rachel Ramras, who were inspired by the true story of how the actress (and other fellow Groundling-ers) went on to fame and fortune while the trio continues to write for kid’s TV shows, awaiting their big breaks.
It appears that McCarthy will be mostly behind the scenes on this show, though she is confirmed to appear in the pilot episode. Keith Cox, Executive Vice President of Development and Originally Programming at TV Land seems confident that the team can push out comedy gold. “With this script being from a group of alums from The Groundlings,” he says, “we’re excited to know they’ll have an endless amount of creativity and interesting experiences to pull from.”
McCarthy and Falcone, for their part, call the three writers their “great friends” and “funny people.”
While McCarthy has carved a name for herself on the movie side with hits like Bridesmaids and Identity Thief, playing her signature goofy characters, she is is no stranger to TV land. She currently stars in the sitcom Mike & Molly on CBS, which was renewed for a sixth season; and got her start playing Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls in the early ‘00s. Humour seems to run in the family: McCarthy is cousins with another funny actress, Jenny McCarthy.
In addition to appearing in the two aforementioned films as well, Falcone also starred in What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Enough Said, Tammy, the latter of which he also directed.
The LA-based improv and sketch comedy troupe/school The Groundlings is where a number of famous actors got their start in the business, including Will Ferrell, Kathy Griffin, Phil Hartman, and Kristen Wiig. Many moved on to appear as cast members in Saturday Night Live. It’s unclear which other alums Friends With Melissa may allude to. But we can probably expect a ton of cameos in this show.