The highly in demand comedic actress and producer Melissa McCarthy is developing a new series for the cable network TV Land titled Friends With Melissa. McCarthy will executive produce with her actor/filmmaker husband Ben Falcone via their company On The Day. The series was inspired by the experiences of the couple’s friends, television writers Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras. In addition to producing, McCarthy will also guest star in the pilot episode.
The writers have known McCarthy and Falcone since their early days in show business, when they were part of the Los Angeles-based improv and sketch comedy troupe The Groundlings. The series will explore the lives of the people who watched their friends attain massive success with hit movies and Oscar-winning performances while they were left behind writing for kids television.
“We are continuing to build our stable of innovative, engaging and challenging comedies, which is exactly what Melissa, Ben and these writers have brought us,” said Keith Cox, executive vice president of development and original programming at TV Land. “With this script being from a group of alums from The Groundlings, we’re excited to know they’ll have an endless amount of creativity and interesting experiences to pull from.”
In a joint statement, McCarthy and Falcone added: “We are so excited to be working with Hugh, Rachel and Larry—such funny people, who are great friends. TV Land is a great place for this show.”
McCarthy and Falcone aren’t the only Groundlings alums who have rocketed to the top. The comedy troupe is notable for the famous entertainers it has spawned over the years, including Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Jon Lovitz, Kathy Griffin, Craig T. Nelson, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig.