ABC Confirms Comedy Pilot Based On British Series ‘Motherland’ Starring Ellie Kemper


ABC has confirmed Deadline’s exclusive report about a pilot order for Drop-Off (working title), a comedy based on the British series Motherland, with Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) to star and executive produce.

As we reported, Karan Soni (Deadpool franchise) also is set as a lead in the project, from writer Julieanne Smolinski, Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman Television, Paul Feig’s Feigco Entertainment, Lionsgate and ABC Signature. Michael Showalter (The Big Sick) will direct.

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Written by Smolinski, Drop-Off (wt) centers on Julia (Kemper), a working mom for whom nothing is working so she goes looking for her village. With the help of new friends Calvin (Soni) and Liz, Julia discovers she just might succeed at balancing work and parenting from time to time. This is a comedy for anybody who’s dropped their kids at school, breathed a sigh of relief … then realized it’s Sunday.

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Showalter and Smolinski executive produce alongside Horgan, Mountford, Stacy Greenberg and Kira Carstensen for Merman Television, Paul Feig and Dan Magnante for Feigco Entertainment as well as Holly Walsh and Helen Serafinowicz.

The original series is set in a middle-class suburb of London and stars Anna Maxwell Martin (A Spy Among Friends) as the disorganized Julia, Diane Morgan (Cunk on Earth) as single mother Liz and Paul Ready as stay-at-home dad Kevin Brady. The trio are a group of misfits parents, joined in later seasons by Tanya Moodie’s crazy working mom Meg, fighting against the mean girls including Lucy Punch’s Amanda, while dealing with school politics.

Like its U.S. remake, Motherland originated as a comedy pilot that aired on BBC 2 in 2016, before airing its first full season in 2017. The second season premiered in 2019, the third season began in 2021, and it also has had a pair of Christmas specials. The series was created by Horgan, Walsh, Serafinowicz and Graham Linehan and is produced by Horgan’s Merman.

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