Carol Burnett Says She’s Developing Apple TV Series Based on 1950s Stay at Women’s Boarding House

“There were so many women … and each one, of course, has their own story,” the legendary comic actress teases of the Rehearsal Club-inspired project

carol burnett
Carol Burnett (Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Carol Burnett has long told stories about her early days in New York City living at a boarding house for women pursuing a career in the arts — and now, she says she’s turning those stories into a TV series with Apple.

In Monday’s podcast episode of “WTF With Marc Maron,” the comic legend began telling the host about her life at the Rehearsal Club, a century-old arts housing initiative for women in entertainment, when she revealed that a 1950s-set series inspired by her time there is in development with the studio.

“I had these four roommates, and they were all totally different characters. It was — actually, we’re working on making a series out of the Rehearsal Club on that era, in the ’50s,” Burnett said.

When asked who’s working on developing the project with her, she excitedly revealed, “Apple TV, baby!” (Fittingly, Burnett currently stars on the Apple TV+ limited series “Palm Royale” with Kristen Wiig and Allison Janney.)

“There were so many women, and we were all young and all anxious. There was a tap dancer, there were actresses, there were singers, there were musicians, all kinds — and each one, of course, has their own story,” Burnett continued.

Apple did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment — but the famed Rehearsal Club certainly sounds ripe with storytelling opportunities.

Burnett began her walk down memory lane by recounting how an unnamed millionaire benefactor paid for her to move to New York City, sights set on Broadway, when she got a call from an old musical theater colleague telling her to move into the Rehearsal Club. Burnett said she checked out of her hotel and walked up to her new home in the pouring rain as her friend Ellie helped her get settled.

“I checked out, pouring rain, walked up, got into the Rehearsal Club. It was all these women running around with curlers in their hair, playing the piano, vocalizing. It was a beehive of activity,” Burnett said. “She introduced me to the house mother, Miss Carlton, and she said, ‘Well, you’re in luck. I have one cot available.’ And it was in what they called the transit room, which was on the first floor, and there were four other roommates in this one room. Five women, one bathroom, one closet, $18 a week room and board.”

“And I had a cot!” she added. “It was like heaven because I had always slept on a couch.”

Burnett can currently be seen playing Norma Dellacorte, the comatose matriarch of the wealthy family Wiig’s Maxine Simmons is trying to infiltrate, on Apple TV+’s “Palm Royale.” Additionally starring Laura Dern, Ricky Martin, Bruce Dern, Josh Lucas and Leslie Bibb, the Abe Sylvia-created dramedy premieres new episodes each Wednesday.

Listen to Burnett’s full “WTF” interview here.


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