In a broadcast television season that has found success with diversity (ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, Black-ish, Fox’s Empire), NBC brings another new family to our TV screens – One Big Happy.
The comedy stars Happy Endings’ Elisha Cuthbert as a lesbian who who has made a deal with her best friend (Nick Zano) to have a baby together, and happens to get pregnant just as he meets and marries the love of his life (Kelly Brook).
The comedy is loosely based on the experience of its showrunner, and comedian Liz Feldman, and marks NBC’s latest attempt to put the spotlight on LGBT families.
The idea of the show is based on my relationship with my best friend, a straight guy. We were two peas in a pod and had a plan to have a family together when he met the love of his life. What that did to me really surprised me; I was jealous and I felt really weird that I was jealous, and then I felt crazy about it. So I wrote a pilot about it. Sometimes I think the truth has a way of resonating more than any big agenda you could have.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Feldman said that she went to multiple networks with the initial idea, but struggled to get the show created.
To be honest, it’s hard to get a show on the air. It takes some sort of miraculous chain of events. So, sure, I think adding the fact that there’s a potentially controversial character makes it more difficult, but that’s why I am so happy to be on NBC because they are willing to take this risk.
They have always been pretty supportive and groundbreaking in that way — from the moment I pitched them the show in the room they instantly wanted to do this. I pitched this to every major network and they were the only ones who wanted to do that. I heard things like, “This is a great idea”; “We would love to work with you in some capacity”; “This show will never make it on the air.”
Ellen Degeneres is the executive producer for the show, but her influence on Feldman runs deep.
As a writer and comedian, I can’t overstate Ellen’s influence on me. When she was authentic [and personally came out] it changed my life. It was just a silly little half-hour comedy show, but it changed my life and made me feel differently about myself. That is always something I carried with me, which I hope One Big Happy will be able to do for other people.”