For much of the last decade, Katey Sagal was best known for busting bitches in the face as the rode-hard matriarch Gemma Teller on FX’s Sons of Anarchy. But her latest gig will take her back to her TV comedy roots, as she has signed on to bring some of the laughs to an untitled CBS pilot that sounds like nothing else the network has showcased in quite a while.
The project’s non-CBS nature is mostly due to it being based on the Australian comedy Upper Middle Bogan, and it appears as if it will stick to the basic premise while utilizing a wealth of American thesps. It centers on a family coming together as a wife and mother discovers that she was adopted, and that her birth parents are outgoing and totally into drag racing. Plus, they’re happy to reconnect with their long lost child.
Katey Sagal will play Julie, the family matriarch who took over as lead driver for Team Wheeler after her husband Wayne lost one of his eyes. Wayne will be played by John Carroll Lynch, the former Drew Carey Show star whose most recent TV work has been on American Horror Story and The Walking Dead. Deadline also reports that another classic actress will be lurking, as Swoosie Kurtz will play a widowed mother named Margaret that doesn’t mind using her acidic point of view against her many loved ones.
The untitled pilot will be co-written by Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope, the creators of Upper Middle Bogan, as well as The Librarians and Little Lunch. Joining them will be veteran TV scribe Dan O’Shannon, who has penned scripts over the years for Modern Family, Frasier, Cheers and Newhart. Add to all of this the fact that it’s a single-camera show, without a studio audience anywhere around, and it could set a bold new direction for CBS comedies. Or it could be an outlier to the network’s monster hits. Whichever way.
After Sons of Anarchy, Katey Sagal rejoined husband Kurt Sutter for his period FX drama The Bastard Executioner, but that didn’t make it beyond its initial season. Elsewhere on the small screen, the actress has stuck mostly to comedies. Many of us are still waiting for Futurama to return, and some of us wouldn’t have hated more of A to Z, for which Sagal was heard as the narrator. She’s also recently played Jake’s mom on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Mordecai’s mom on Regular Show. Over on the big screen, she was last seen in Pitch Perfect 2. And if that Married…with Children revival ever gets off the ground, she might show up in that, too.
We can’t wait to hear what happens with Sagal, Lynch and Kurtz in this untitled pilot, which will hopefully be grand enough to net a series order.