Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin is heading back to work to headline a new workplace comedy for NBC. According to Deadline, Matlin is set to star in and executive produce the as-yet-unnamed project set in the fast-paced world of sign language interpretation, written by Ben Shelton. The network landed the single-camera comedy in a competitive situation, originally developed by Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Universal Television.
Based on an idea from Kaplan inspired by sign language interpreters at COVID-19 press conferences, Matlin will star as DJ, the head of a mid-size American Sign Language interpretation company in Los Angeles, who is both “overextended and overconfident.” Producing the series alongside Matlin will be Jack Jason, her sign language interpreter of over thirty years.
Primarily a television actress, Matlin has racked up credits playing Deaf characters in a number of shows, including The Magicians, The West Wing, Switched at Birth, and Quantico. She also appeared in the 2015 Broadway revival of Spring Awakening and has starred in films like Excision, Some Kind of Beautiful, and The Linguini Incident. Matlin is the only Deaf actress to date to have won an Academy Award — for her role in Children of a Lesser God — and also remains the youngest performer to have won the award for Best Actress. She was most recently featured in Sian Heder’s CODA, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
Shelton mostly recently directed Candy Jar for Netflix, and also served as creator and showrunner on the Amazon series Impress Me, produced by Rainn Wilson. He has also served as writer and director on The Daily Show, and recently set up the father/son espionage comedy Don’t Believe Anything with Lionsgate, with a deal to direct the potential pilot.
No further information has been released about the upcoming series, though it joins American Auto at NBC, another single-camera comedy from Kapital Entertainment.