Patricia Heaton Set for TV Return with New Comedy on Fox: Report

by Jennifer Shea

“Everybody Loves Raymond” star Patricia Heaton has a new comedy show in the works. The outspoken Daytime Emmy winner will star in and executive produce an as-yet-untitled multi-camera series.

Heaton’s new project has received a solid commitment from Fox, Deadline reports. Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Fox Entertainment will produce the new series. (Kapital worked with Heaton on the short-lived CBS comedy “Carol’s Second Act.”)

The comedy will take place in Nashville. And if it’s picked up, production will occur within city limits. Heaton and Kaplan both have Nashville connections. Heaton divides her life between Los Angeles and Nashville. Moreover, Kaplan’s Kapital operates several stages in the city.

Patricia Heaton Says Nashville Is ‘Incredible’

Heaton and David Hunt will executive produce the series through their FourBoys Entertainment production company. Adam Griffin, Kaplan and Michael Lohmann of Kapital Entertainment are also executive producing.

Nashville will reportedly provide the series’ backlot. And the show will also feature location shoots around town. The goal is to achieve a hybrid multi-/single-camera feel.

“I’m looking forward to working with Fox on this series,” Heaton said, according to Deadline. “I have gotten to know and love Nashville over the years while visiting my son and my sister there. It’s a wonderful city with an incredible quality of life. [It also has] a vibrant culture and so much creative energy.”

“I want to help support and grow the entertainment production business there and shooting a TV series in Nashville would provide hundreds of jobs for local cast and crew,” she added.

Kapital Develops Cost-Effective Production Model

Meanwhile, Fox has been turning to the script-to-series model more and more during the past year, a result of the network’s careful reappraisal of its development process. That reappraisal brought about a diversified approach. Fox now boasts a combination of traditional pilots, lower-cost presentations, script-to-series projects and straight-to-series orders.

But Heaton’s project will be Kapital’s second straight-to-series commitment from Fox. The other is an hour-long anthology series. Kapital also has a live-action comedy and an animated series coming down the pike at Fox.

Still, Fox Entertainment has been trying to produce live-action comedies more cost-effectively. So the show’s creative team will shoot the Heaton-Kapital collaboration under a new production model from Kapital. Kapital used it for the upcoming ABC series “Women of the Movement.” Lohmann, Kapital’s head of production, oversaw the development of the more efficient model.

“Patricia is an incredible talent who is comedy royalty,” said Michael Thorn, president of entertainment at Fox Entertainment. “And the opportunity to partner with her on this project was too good to pass up. We firmly believe in the promise of broadcast comedy and [we] can attain success in the space with new and innovative models that give series more legroom to grow.”

Fox will fully own Heaton’s series. The project is still searching for a writer to script the comedy.