Rosie O’Donnell has been cast in the Showtime pilot “SMILF, TheWrap has learned.
Set in Boston, the show will follow single, 20-something Bridgette (Frankie Shaw) whose desires for relationships, sex, and a career collide with the realities of young, single motherhood. It is based on Shaw’s short film of the same name.
O’Donnell, a multiple Emmy winner, will play Tutu, Bridgette’s mother, who is completely oblivious to social convention. Despite her troubled upbringing in the projects of Southie, she shows up for her daughter and grandson as best as she possibly can, which isn’t always up to Bridgette’s standards. If the project were to be picked up to series, O’Donnell would have a series regular role.
Most recently, she has had a recurring role as foster care mentor Rita Hendricks on Freeform’s “The Fosters” and appeared on the hit CBS show “Mom” alongside Anna Faris and Allison Janney.
O’Donnell is represented by WME.
In addition to Shaw and O’Donnell, the series will star Samara Weaving and Ismael Cruz Cordova. Shaw will star, write, produce and direct the semi-autobiographical pilot, with Oscar nominee Michael London and Emmy nominees Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky executive producing, along with Janice Williams.
Shaw’s short was previously a finalist in TheWrap’s 2015 Shortlist Film Festival and won the Sundance Jury Award in 2015. The pilot will be produced by ABC Signature as a co-production with Showtime.