NBC is optioning a new sitcom to be developed and produced by comedienne and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres; the name of the show has not been finalized, but Pink News reports that the title of the pilot is “One Big Happy.” It follows the story of a lesbian and her straight, male best friend who decide to have a baby together. The twist? One of them finds the love of their life—after the fact.
Liz Feldman, the mastermind behind shows like “2 Broke Girls” and Nickelodeon’s “All That,” will be the head scriptwriter. An out lesbian, Feldman has also worked as a writer with DeGeneres on her talk show, “Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” since 2005.
Apparently, the premise of the show is that the male character meets and marries the love of his life just after his best friend becomes pregnant with their baby. The show will revolve around the complicated, modern family dynamic of gay mother, straight father, and father’s new wife. The new sitcom is being compared to “The New Normal,” which was officially canceled after just one season on May 11, 2013. That show, starring familiar faces like Justin Bartha and Ellen Barkin, followed the story of a gay couple and their surrogate.
DeGeneres’ self-titled sitcom “Ellen,” which premiered in 1994 and ran for four seasons, was among a few of the pioneering LGBT programs of the era, rivaled by favorites like “Will and Grace,” and other popular shows with LGBT side characters, like NBC’s “Friends.”
“Ellen” reached a high point of fame when DeGeneres herself came out as a lesbian on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1997. Afterward, DeGeneres’ sitcom character also came out as a lesbian. While the infamous coming out episode was also the show’s highest rated, “Ellen” lasted just one more season. DeGeneres and her partner, actress Portia de Rossi, have been married since 2008.
The new show is stepping up to the plate after the cancellation of several LGBT shows like ABC’s “Happy Ending,” and NBC’s “Go On,” “Smash,” and “Sean Saves the World.” The latter followed the story of a daughter and her gay father, played by actor Sean Hayes, who is perhaps best known for his role as the loud and sensational Jack McFarland on “Will and Grace.”
Little detail has been released regarding specifics of the upcoming sitcom’s cast and story, but NBC did offer up the show’s tagline: “When gay and straight best friends decide to have a baby together, things get complicated when one of them finds the love of their life.”