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Carol Burnett is plotting her return to the small screen. The acclaimed comedian is set to star in an untitled multi-camera comedy from executive producers Amy Poehler and Michael Saltzman, EW has confirmed.
ABC has given a put pilot commitment to the project, which centers on a family purchasing and moving into a dream home with one stipulation: The previous owner, an older actress (Burnett), gets to stick around until she kicks the bucket.
Saltzman, whose credits include Mad Men, Murphy Brown, and Wings, is writing the script, and he and Poehler (Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live) are executive producing alongside Brooke Posch, Dave Becky, and Michael Pelmont.
Burnett, 83, has of course been a force in show business for more than half a century, but this will be her first starring role in sitcom. Known for her brilliant physical comedy, distinctive voice, and impeccable timing, she became a major TV star in 1967 with her Emmy-winning variety series, The Carol Burnett Show. The series ran for 11 years.
Earlier this year Poehler and Tina Fey presented Burnett with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, where Poehler recalled watching Burnett religiously while growing up.
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Speaking to reporters backstage at the award show, Burnett also weighed in on the state of modern TV comedy.
“Some of the sitcoms that I see — I won’t name them — but they make me feel like they might be written by teenage boys in a locker room,” she said. “It’s just, it’s easy to get those kinds of laughs, so I would like to see cleverness come back. It does exist in some shows, but not enough.”
Deadline first reported the new Burnett pilot.