‘A League of Their Own’ Star Abbi Jacobson Compares New Series’ Characters to Original Cast

by Sean Griffin

Abbi Jacobson stars in the upcoming television series A League of Their Own. Jacobson co-created the series along with Will Graham. The series serves as an adaption of the 1992 film of the same name about a woman’s professional baseball team. However, this time, there are new characters and storylines. It remains set during the World War II era.

Recently, it was reported Rosie O’Donnell would join the cast. When asked about how the new series differs from the original, Jacobson explained.

“I think it’s as original as we could make it being based on that real league,” Jacobson told The Hollywood Reporter. “Penny Marshall watched a documentary about the All-American Girls League, and then the movie came out of her viewing that and being, ‘Oh, I want to make a film about this.’ We saw the doc and then saw the movie and were like, ‘We’re gonna make our own thing about that.’”

Jacobson continued, saying, “I don’t think any characters are really mapped on to anyone. Darcy’s character has a Madonna vibe but is nothing like that character, at all. Melanie Fields’ character Joe is a little bit of a Rosie visual. In the pilot, we nod to the movie the most, and there are nods as you keep going.”

“It was really fun to get to nod to it,” she added. “People are coming in being like, ‘Are they gonna do it?’”

Fans should expect a change from the coaching side, too. Nick Offerman’s coach Casey “Dove” Porter will replace Tom Hanks’ Jimmy Dugan. However, the storylines will mainly revolve around the players of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Abbi Jacobson’s Thoughts on Her New Series

“In some places where you go to watch the film, the description is that it’s about a washed-up player who goes to coach a women’s league, and it’s like, ‘That’s what this film is about?’” Jacobson said. “Tom Hanks is one of my favorite parts of that movie, but with this telling the coach is not and Nick knew that coming. It’s a different portrayal.”

While the Amazon Prime Video series features the coach prominently, the story isn’t about him as it is in the film.

“Going into the writers room we were like how do you approach this coach character? That character is just so big and full-out,” she said. “He actually is really impactful, especially to my character later in the season because of what happens in the beginning.”

The coach role will change and, as previously reported, there will be another huge change from the film version. That is the addition of Black female baseball players.

The show’s co-creator and star said her take on A League of Their Own will expand on one unnamed player. That player serves as an amalgamation of three real Black female baseballers — Connie Morgan, Toni Stone and Mamie Johnson. These three players competed alongside and against men in the Negro League.

Jacobson talked about the inclusion of Black women in the series will distinguish it from the original. “I think my character Carson [Shaw] and Chanté [Adams] character Max [Chapman] are really the hinge of the show. Those are the two worlds you’re ping-ponging between. Max is based on three real women and their stories are fucking incredible and Penny Marshall, in the film, was nodding to them when that foul ball is thrown back by a Black woman. So it’s like, ‘What’s going on here?”

The series is set to premiere on August 12, 2022 on Amazon Prime Video.