The heavens have finally answered our prayers. Carol Burnett, best known for her work on the beloved Carol Burnett Show, has finally slated herself for a highly welcome return to primetime comedy television, a place where she once reigned supreme between 1967 and 1978. This time, she'll be working with one of the brightest stars in comedy today: the hilarious and adorkable Amy Poehler.
Amy Poehler spoke very openly about the decision to cast Burnett and why, even after all this time, she still credits Burnett with how she's developed in her career as a writer, producer, and actress.
“We watched Carol with our moms, and our moms taught us 90 percent of what we needed to know to be the kind of women that we are today, and the other 10 percent is Carol,” Poehler said. “We love her and we thank her.”
The multi-camera series was recently acquired by ABC after a long and competitive bidding war from both primetime networks and streaming services. The network has a put pilot commitment in place for the series that has yet to have a title officially attached. The series is co-produced and written by Michael Saltzman (Murphy Brown, Mad Men, Halt and Catch Fire) who revealed a deep connection behind the casting of Burnett.
In his early years, it was through the intervention of Burnett that Saltzman was truly able to find his big break in Hollywood.
"Through an incredible act of kindness and generosity, she (Burnett) gave me my start. In our meeting, Carol offered praise and encouragement, which by itself was amazing, but she then elevated things to a truly surreal level when she presented a check with no contract or conditions. Her only instruction was to write anything — a play, a musical, a TV show, a movie, a poem. It didn’t matter. She just wanted to give someone she believed in their start."
Throughout the years that followed, whenever Saltzman would be open to the opportunity of working with Burnett, she was always busy and vice versa. But he never stopped hoping an opportunity would arise.
"I’d always wanted to pay her back in some way."
And now he's finally getting that chance.
The new series is set to focus on a family who finally gets the opportunity to buy the house of their dreams - a house completely out of their price range. The house and all its luxuries can become a reality to this family with one small caveat: to move in, they must also live alongside the original home's owner (Burnett) and allow her to remain there until her death.
The ABC comedy not only marks Burnett's return to the small screen in a leading capacity, but also her sitcom debut. Recent acting credits include short but memorable runs on Glee, Hawaii Five-O, and a rather deliciously evil role on Law and Order: SVU.
Although ABC has only put forward a pilot commitment at this point, it's highly unlikely the Disney owned network will let this once-in-a-lifetime pairing of Poehler and Burnett slip through their fingertips. In an industry where women of a certain age are devalued, it's great that Carol Burnett is making a comeback.
Welcome back, Miss Burnett, the world has missed you.
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Will you be checking out Carol Burnett's new comedy series?