Susan Sarandon and her daughter Eva Amurri Martino will do their best to help NBC’s struggling comedy line-up.
With dipping ratings and already one failed fall show, the network has turned to Sarandon and her daughter for a new sitcom. The real-life mother and daughter will play a fictional mother and daughter in Growing Ivy, which shows Martino as an ambitious professional to the free-wheeling Sarandon.
The concept for the show actually came from Martino, and the project has actress Rashida Jones signed on as executive producer. NBC has already given the project a pilot production commitment, signaling the network’s need for a turnaround.
This was not a good week for the comedy lineup at NBC. The network announced that the Mike O’Malley project Welcome to the Family had been canceled, and will be replaced in the Thursday night lineup by back-to-back Parks and Recreation episodes.
The cancellation will pave the way for fan-favorite Community to return in January, but television critics still see signs of desperation from the network. In the last year the network lost two reliable sitcoms in 30 Rock and The Office, leaving a hole in the lineup that executives hope Susan Sarandon will be able to fill, at least a little.
NBC has called on other big-screen stars to help its lineup. Meg Ryan recently signed on to produce a comedy about a single mother. Other networks have tried a similar gambit, with CBS nabbing Halle Berry for the Steven Spielberg project Extant.
Susan Sarandon herself has been easing into more television work, with a guest spot on Mike & Molly planned and a sting on the Showtime program The Big C. The Oscar-winning actress has also been nominated for Emmy’s for her work on You Don’t Know Jack, Bernard and Doris, Malcolm in the Middle and Friends.